Interview at ICEEFest 2016 Conference, Bucharest, Romania
Lukasz Zelezny, Head of Organic Acquisition London uSwitch Limited. Hi there Lukasz!
John: Thank you for being here.
Lukasz: Thank you for the invitation. It’s a pleasure.
John: How are you? How did it go? Your presentation.
Lukasz: Well, amazing audience, amazing audience, great response and I think it’s an honor to be here. It’s a second time I’m here and I hope to be here next year. Iconic, iconic event.
John: Okay. Let me say a few words about you to our Facebook fans. So Lukasz is the Head of Organic Acquisition at uSwitch.com, a UK based price comparison website with offices in London. Leading his team, he’s responsible for the uSwith.com brand’s organic visibility conversion rate, traffic and engagement. So you are the one responsible to make money actually.
Lukasz: Well, obviously, the whole team is working very, very hard by the company I am with, uSwitch like you mention. It’s a great, great place to be. Recently, we become a part of ZPG Group; so we are part of a much bigger organization, which is to help people from buying properties to switching prices and so on, and so on.
uSwitch as itself is helping people to compare prices of electricity, of broadband, of mobiles, of credit cards, insurances, and so on, and so on. And, me and my team got responsibility to deliver organic traffic. So we’re making sure that everything related to SEO and a bit of social media as well works as it should.
John: And of course, technology these days help you a lot and tell us about the impact technology has on human lives and on what you do.
Lukasz: Well, I could talk about these for different aspects about… Let me go from this way. We have lots of examples here of internet things. I’m a big fan of this. When we’re going with my wife for longer holidays to India, we have a set of CCTV cameras, which are linked through the clouds to our iPhones and we can see if everything is fine with our flat. We are using bands, which are measuring our steps.
And then, we can share the number of steps on our social media channels. Our friends are using these bands so we can challenge them and that’s our only two examples. Obviously, traditional social media activity just like here I am because of LinkedIn. I met Drago Indjic on LinkedIn. I met lots of other people on Twitter, on LinkedIn, or Facebook, so it’s a part of life.
John: It is a part of life. But don’t you think that technology seems to be taking control actually of our lives?
Lukasz: Well, I will give you example. Everytime people are afraid of this, I am trying to take couple of steps back, and I’m thinking about this people who are living for a couple of thousand years ago and reading papyrus and then Gutenberg created phones and people probably were the same way like, “Oh phones. That is too new school. We prefer this handwritten thing.”
Today, everybody is using phones, printed books, and so on, and so on. Same story with vinyls, CD and now digital music. So there is always a bit of concern of new things that’s human nature but overall, I think this is where we’re going, always we are hungry of new things.
Elon Musk is probably the biggest pioneer of this day. Tesla test this day. Their company is called Tesla. We should be very proud of people like that who are moving these borders and they are saying like, “Reusable rocket? No problem. I can do this.”
John: And the secret would be I think to be able to control actually technology.
Lukasz: That’s correct. That’s correct. Obviously, there are some concerns that technology can start controlling us. It’s the same like if you are too much about buying things, then some people may say that the things are buying you. This balance is needed, this balance is necessary, but overall, 90% of the situation, I think this is a good thing that we’re trying to progress with technology.
John: But how is advertising changing nowadays because of technology?
Lukasz: Well, I think from my field like organic search, like SEO, we know much more about users of what they intend to search, why they’re searching things, it’s less guess work, and also SEO back in the day, it was, “I want to rank on this keyword.”
Today, it’s like a glue, which can take together lots of different part of the company. UX, content, links, internal links, design – these things altogether, SEO is somewhere inside. So it’s much, much more smart approach to the customer and I think this is where search engines are trying to go.
This is where people are trying to go, and this is where the companies who are participating in this trying to go and finally, people like me and my team we’re trying to deliver extraordinary service and like high quality user interface, and this kind of feeling, that people feel that this is what they are really looking for.
John: What would be your advice to startups in order to grow organically, which is actually what you do.
Lukasz: Well, probably it won’t be anything new, but first thing, it is what I learned reading Steve Job’s biography. It shouldn’t be like, “I have a technology, how can I sell this?” Now, it should be more like, “There’s a problem to solve. Let’s find a technology, which can help to deliver this.” And obviously, you mention startup. I think the big thing this day is that not every startup, but lots of startups are a bit detached from, “I need to be profitable. I need to make money. This is a company.” Startup become a bit of buzzword where people are not stop thinking that much about profitability, about treating the startup like old school company, old school firm. If you would create a firm 20, 30 years ago, first thing or one of the first things, you would be thinking about would be…
John: To make money.
Lukasz: To make money. This is obviously, you like this, but you also want to make money. These days, because of this venture capital culture and so on, and so on, some people are detached from this. And that makes me worry, but I think that will also be like a self-correcting system.
John: Yeah. About personal, how do you feel the vibe here? What do you like the most?
Lukasz: Oh lots of very hungry of knowledge people, lots of people with great ideas. Exhibition here, so many interesting things. It gives me lots of energy. This feedback after my speech was great, that keeps me up to progress and to be better and better and better. I think it’s one of the example of how the conference should look like, perfect organization, perfect logistic, and the great topic and the great speakers.
John: And what about Romania being your third time here.
Lukasz: Oh, I can talk a lot. First of all, great people, amazing great people. Second, fantastic food. Once, I posted a photo of food on my Facebook, typical behaviour on Facebook and people are like, “You are in Romania. Yeah, they have this crazy fresh food. Man, you’re so lucky.”
So definitely, and obviously, like Bucharest is definitely a place which will be kind of, I consider this like a hub of new companies, startups, technologies. Something similar to maybe something like European version of San Francisco or Silicon Valley. If not now, then very soon.
John: Lukasz Zelezny of uSwitch.com. Thank you very much for being here and enjoy your rest of the day!
Lukasz: Thank you very much.