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Pleo Hero: Ludvig Olsson, Trickle

Traditionally, marketing budgets were amongst the first to get cut in tough times. 

But it seems that might have changed.

Our own data has shown that in the recent crisis, marketing has been one of the most stable spending categories. It’s proof that these days, nimble companies are making the most of opportunities to sell their products or services digitally.

Ludvig Olsson is a big fan of that kind of agile marketing. He’s CEO of content distribution agency Trickle, who help their clients cut through the noise and stay relevant online. 

How would you describe what you guys do at Trickle?

Our vision is to make the internet a nicer place. Today, a lot of people are pretty sick of ads in their feeds and use ad-blockers to get around that. 

So at Trickle, we work according to our motto “trickle, don’t spray” (as our name implies), which means we use data to adjust the messages to the target audience and the situation they're currently in. Like identifying key demographics in local markets, to create a bigger splash for National Geographic.

Instead of creating annoyance in consumers' digital feeds, we ensure that companies are a natural part of the discussion. 

How did you find Pleo?

I read about Pleo online and immediately thought it seemed exciting and smart. 

Shortly after, a salesperson from Pleo called me up. I remember saying to him that "this must be the easiest sales job in the world" since it was so much better than our previous solution.

What problems did expenses cause before that call?

Previously we only had one payment card [in the company], which left my colleagues with two options – pay out-of-pocket or borrow that card.

Forcing employees to make outlays and fill out expense reports felt out-of-date and ineffective. They have to keep the receipt, clip it to a paper form, fill out the form, hand it over to their team lead... The process is just boring and time-consuming. 

On the other hand, borrowing the company credit card feels a bit like asking your parents for money to go to the movies when you were 12.

The team didn’t feel comfortable needing to ask for permission to buy team lunch or the tools that they needed to do their job. Neither did I. 

Also, it completely removed the spontaneity in showing appreciation to the team.

So Pleo’s helped with your company culture?

Indeed. Pleo has helped us increase initiative around social activities, which has strengthened our culture at Trickle. It’s mainly the small things, like someone buying flowers or getting breakfast for the team. 

It doesn’t take a lot of energy or big investments, but it makes everyone at the office excited. 

And those things happened less frequently before we got Pleo.

How else has it impacted how you manage your finances?

What I like the most... is getting an overview of all expenses, both per individual and per category.

With our previous way of managing expenses, it was hard seeing where and how we had invested our money over time.

With Pleo, we have full insight into our company spending in real-time, which makes it a lot easier to get an overview and set a budget. 

How has the crisis impacted the way Trickle spend?

Our expenses actually haven’t changed too much. 

And that’s thanks to Pleo, making it possible for the team to do their own purchases... even when working from home

What about your (growth) plans for the future?

The plan has always been to expand Trickle to new offices and markets. We recently opened up our new office in Gothenburg and have big plans for Helsinki and London too. 

These plans have obviously been affected by COVID-19.

Right now, we just have to ride out the storm and make sure that we can hit the ground running as soon as things turn.

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