The new boss will have to formulate a clear strategy in terms of products and projects and work out what the Twitter brand stands for.
An inkling of that future was announced at the end of June when Twitter revealed a feature called Project Lightening. The service will curate tweets around live events and launch later this year.
It also bought live video broadcasting platform Periscope in March.
Marketing Week caught up with Lunenfeld at the Cannes Lions Festival on life after Costolo, why Twitter’s long-term strategy is in products and mobile native video and how its changing what “live” means for brands and consumers alike.
Following the departure of CEO Dick Costolo – how do you reassure brand advertisers and consumers about the future of the business?
The coolest thing we are seeing right now is our product road map, for a company like Twitter it’s all about the product and how consumers respond to it. Regardless of the CEO shift, for the last year we have been working on Project Lightening, which will fundamentally change the way Twitter and content is used.
Jack Dorsey is coming in to be CEO [in July], no one in the world has thought more about Twitter than Jack as the co-founder and we have a ton of faith in him.
What would you say to brands that come to you with concerns about the slowing down of growth in users and profits?
The only metric that matters is results. We have been extremely focused on measuring real world return on investment and sales lift metrics, like video views, which is how many [brands] measure their campaign reach.
There are over 300 million people that use Twitter every month, there’s half a billion people that come to Twitter and log out and there are integrations on Google that will lead you to the site. There are also over a billion syndicated tweets, whether it is content or ads, out in the wild on mobile and web.
“A total audience of over a billion people is actually a good opportunity for reach.”
Joel Lunenfeld, VP global brand strategy, Twitter
We have only monetised the logged in state, so now that we are offering reach beyond Twitter it is a good opportunity for revenue and, for brands, results.
How are your strategic objectives shifting?
The biggest shift that anyone is seeing in advertising in the last 10 years or so is to mobile native video – video shot on phones, to be consumed on phones. Our team is focused on trying to bring speed and craft to that and focusing on integrating Twitter into the heart of a campaign and not as an add-on.
The teams are working with a company we acquired earlier this year called Niche, which is a platform that connects creators – people that have millions of followers on Vine, Instagram, Snapchat and other social networks – with brands to create mobile content.
HP, for example, turned Vine videos into TV commercials, so in some respect it’s a new creative outlet for agencies and brands.
How does the focus on video affect your acquisition strategy?
We are focused on being a live, public platform; we’re conversationally based and distributed everywhere. Periscope, which allows people to broadcast live video, is a great example of a product that plays into those strengths.
It has changed what live means, live used to be sitting back and watching but now consumers can comment and talk to the person on the other side of the screen, teleporting them to experiences.