Selling intelligence: digital marketing signed Ploomia and narrated by Luca Valente

04/09/2019 | Digital


Being an entrepreneur in the magnum sea of the digital marketplace is no child's play. Being a team leader, then, is even more difficult. Yet, there are still those who have the will to dare and to invent something that is more than an agency: a reality that communicates not only because it deals with communication, but that invests and believes in the potential of digital and their continuous evolution. We therefore interviewed Luca Valente, CEO of Ploomia, a Rome-based Digital Marketing Agency that in just four years has already distinguished itself on the Italian scene for its high level of professionalism and its constant look at innovation.

Luca, before founding Ploomia you worked for a long time as a freelancer: where did the need to create something of your own come from?

From the desire for freedom and independence. Being able to choose how to organize one's daily life, what moments to carve out for oneself, for one's hobbies. Not being subject to the stringent rules of office hours. Choosing to be able to go play tennis at 11 a.m. while others are sitting at their desks watching their PCs or while nervously chewing yet another chewing gum in the first of many boring Monday meetings. I thought these were the motivations that led me to open a VAT number and begin the consulting route. At least initially that was it. Then with awareness, with the first clients, the first challenges, the first recognition, I realized that freedom and independence are just an illusion, a "boy's" dream, and that the real motivation is to build your own path, to create something that speaks about you, that others recognize, that can even tickle your pride.

Launching a startup is currently the dream in the drawer of many, but fear often takes over. What are the false myths about entrepreneurship and what are the real difficulties?

It is a dream of many, but probably artificial and induced by trends and the changing environment in which we move. The myth of the fixed job is now a thing of the past and so by necessity young people are almost forced to have to invent work. I really struggle with the concept of startups, at least in the Italian declination where, partly because of our predisposition, partly because that's what the media tell us, everything is nice, fantastic, attainable. So easy. The main difficulties today, besides of course the atavistic conditions of Italian bureaucracy, are just that. We live in a kind of overexcitement about the role, that of the startupper, and about the concepts of pitch, funding, exit as if the only way forward is to wait for someone to take over our responsibilities. I prefer concepts like "doing business," where the focus is on the idea, but even more on the obsessive and exhausting search for how to make it pay off, make it sustainable, and make sure it generates revenue and can pay salaries. The "unicorns," the billion-dollar exits are a nice dream and it is good to keep looking for them but it is physiologically impossible for there to be 100,000 Zuckerbergs.

Ploomia is a relatively young agency, but one that already boasts case histories and high-level clients: did you expect these results, and more importantly, what do you expect for the future?

We recently celebrated 4 years of age and in the first half of 2019 exceeded the economic result achieved last year. When, with my partner Federico, we decided to embark on this path, we had a very clear idea of an agency in mind: not simple service providers but partners in the marketing activities and digital transformation processes of the realities with which we would collaborate. We hoped that our model, based on high specialization of professional figures and customization of services, could be positively appreciated by clients and the market, but we were also well aware of the difficulties we would have to face initially in order to convey its peculiarities. It is only thanks to perseverance, ambition and obsession for detail that today we are an emerging reality of the digital landscape in Italy, and these qualities are fundamental both to continue growing and to face the path of internationalization that we are going to undertake.

Ploomia's team is composed mainly of young people, so we imagine that the climate in the office is very...cheerful: how important is the choice of human resources and how important is teambuilding in a company?

If you sell intelligence, people are crucial. Consequently, the choice of people is a crucial aspect of your business if you want customers to choose you and, above all, to continue to work with you. Those who come to us ask for winning strategies and operational support, but above all they ask for vision and answers that in an ever-changing world can only be given by those who have undertaken continuous training and updating. We have paid special attention to team building, and our major commitments today are aimed at this: at keeping the level of participation and fellowship high in the projects we follow, at encouraging professional growth and updating, at inviting networking opportunities, and at stimulating everyone's creativity and the sharing of ideas. We grow as a company if everyone in their own small way is involved in a personal growth path, both human and professional. Clients notice this and those who chose us today feel the energy and passion of our team.

Finally, what message does Ploomia bring with it to Digital Innovation Days?

We will be present at Digital Innovation Days with all our enthusiasm and passion to bring testimony that in the long run quality rewards, but that you have to constantly question your certainties if you want to achieve lasting results. A Facebook audience exhausts its reach in a matter of hours, a landing page designed for Adwords that yesterday generated leads at 5€ today doesn't do impressions, now we have Tik Tok... tomorrow who knows. Either we are willing to change and start over or we are going nowhere. It is a question of attitude.


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