During SXSW in Austin, Texas Julia Roy, VP of Marketing at Manilla, and I took some time during brunch (and yummy bloody mary’s) to chat about her new career and why consumers should check out the cool and useful online application.
ME: Why did you choose to work for Manilla?
JULIA: I wanted to go back into the start-up world and do something that I really believed in. The app is something I would personally use and it adds tremendous value to people’s lives. I also wanted to see something from the ground up. Up until Manilla I had worked with some very big brands, and they already have a presence online. So you would normally augment whatever kind of sentiment and things they are already implementing. BUT, when you are at a start-up like Manilla, you have to strategize how you would use social to take a brand from “nothing” to “something” – I wanted to tackle that challenge.
ME: For the readers out there, tell us why they should check out Manilla.
JULIA: It would save you a lot of time! Right now you spend a lot of time managing your bills and it is a large consumer problem. Some people have a range of twenty different accounts including banks, credit cards, travel, rewards, and subscriptions. You get some in mail, some in email and with all the different ways you receive and pay bills, you can easily lose track. For example, you could have gotten this trip to SXSW for free if you kept track of points! In short, Manilla helps you keep track. It’s not a social network but a personal application to help you manage your accounts.
ME: And it’s free for consumers?
JULIA: : Yes Free!
ME: That’s awesome. And we consumers definitely like Free. Could you explain more about the customizable options and capabilities for consumers?
JULIA: It’s very customizable for user ease with reminders however far apart you want. You can also add your own accounts and Manilla will have any of those available for you. In addition if you don’t see one you use such as a store credit card, we can build that account as needed and/or on request. Typically we can build any request within a week.
ME: Since I am a social media geek and I know you are too, how are you utilizing social media for Manilla?
JULIA: We are using social for customer service and engagement. We are mainly focusing on Facebook and Twitter to start with. For instance, we don’t have a lot of video content yet, so YouTube is not a focus for us. The point is to make brand “real” and it’s a large challenge for a company like Manilla because we manage very personal information and in turn must be professional and build trust first on social networks.
Social is also a conduit to make sure we are responding to people talking about our brand and engage with them. We also run contests and promotions such as the 5K to people who sign up for the beta version!
ME: 5K? I want. I want!
JULIA: Continues to ease her mouth which is on fire from the bloody mary’s.
ME: So if you had to pick one tool you couldn’t live without when handling Manilla, what would it be?
JULIA: CoTweet because it makes managing convos so much easier! Like Manilla manages your accounts, CoTweet manages my social.
ME: Going back to Manilla and it’s sheer awesomeness with convenience and organization – what is the one thing consumers should know about its advantage and asset?
JULIA: It will get you “Sys-te-matized!”
ME: Chuckling. Systematized?
JULIA: Yes! Manilla helps you get systematized! Psychologically all these bills and items to pay can crowd your mind and inhibit your ability to enjoy and relax. So Manilla helps you organize so you can relax and know Manilla is doing it for you.
ME: I like it!
The interview wrapped up with “cheers” over our bloody mary’s and a fabulous brunch. I definitely suggest each of you to check out Manilla for yourself. If you ever have any questions, definitely hit up @mymanilla for the answers!