Vision and mission

When Gilles Bindels and Yves Baudechon created Social.Lab in September 2010, they had the ambition to build a different type of social agency.

Today, we combine hard working content ideas with smart targeting to drive results. Owned media – like social – needs brands and agencies that bridge the traditional media / creative agency divide.

Social.Lab wants to be the leading agency in this space.

Social.Lab crosses the divide between creative content ideas and smart targeting with paid media.

After years of hard work, the team has designed an unique offer powered by content, community management, targeted amplification, action tracking and result optimization that provides clients with a solution that ties social media engagement to business success.

Our growth plan is driven by offering our expertise to both local and international clients through a multi-market footprint. From our homebase in Belgium we have been serving international clients from the start. In 2013 we expanded to France and the Netherlands.

To help us grow further internationally – robustly and with speed – we wanted a global partner. We have choosen WPP because of their worldwide footprint, the potential collaboration with their operational companies (like Ogilvy), access to clients and talents both locally and globally. They acquired us at the end of 2013.

Since the acquisition we have further expanded into North -America and the UK – with more markets in the pipeline for 2015/16. We are exploring the possibilities of an office in Dubai (to serve MENA) and in Asia.

Unlock the power of social media

We help clients gradually move from the traditional model – that is increasingly challenged due to low organic reach – to new models that unlock the power of social media.

So far we have observed social media to have been mainly leveraged around two models. We call them “Social Influence” and “Social Reach.”

The majority of brands are still using the “Social Influence” model. They are focused on having social media pages/channels/boards for which they create content and manage conversations. Their KPI’s are centered on fans and followers and they rely on organic reach. This model is already outdated for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We expect Pinterest and Instagram to also progress beyond their current model within next year.

Some brands have evolved to what we call the “Social Reach” model. Those brands understand that organic reach is over, but that social media offers tremendous reach potential that can be unlocked through paid media. Their Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are often still centered around endorsements (likes, comments, shares, tweets, retweets only). Doing so, they measure what flatters, and not enough what matters. They count the impressions, not the impressed.

Social.Lab is developing a more sophisticated version named “Social Reach & Frequency”, where frequency of contacts play a very important role, with adapted KPIs. Social.Lab has excelled in making this model work, which we still do for many of our clients.

The Social CRM model, by Social.Lab

This is why Social.Lab has designed a third model which we call the “Social CRM” model. It is based on an integrated approach that focuses on acquiring and retaining customers, growing sales and advocacy. This model is not influence centric or impression centric. It is consumer centric. In this model, content is customized and thus assuring more relevance and engagement. It’s narrowcast at scale. Or direct marketing powered by broadcast. Amplification (paid media) leverages advanced targeting options to prioritize audiences and results are constantly optimized. The model can be scaled up and down to deliver results on awareness, and/or preference, and/or consideration, and/or sales, and/or loyalty objectives – unlocking earned media throughout.

We are convinced this model has a bright future and addresses a lot of the current concerns around social media.

Our ambition is to ensure brands leverage the power of social media in new ways and position ourselves as the agency of choice to develop and/or execute their strategies, locally and/or globally.