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Meet Brett Garfinkel cofounder and CEO of influencer marketing analytics platform SYLO

Agnieszka Gibbon (Social Media Portal (SMP)) - 08 February 2018

SYLO's Brett Garfinkel on the importance of third-party measurement of influencer marketing campaigns

SYLO, Inc. logo 150x150Social Media Portal (SMP): What name and what do you do there for SYLO?

Brett Garfinkel (BG): My name is Brett Garfinkel, and I'm the cofounder and CEO of SYLO. In this role, I head up sales and prospecting alongside my cofounder and COO, Erick Schwab, as well as fundraising initiatives and investor relations.

SMP: Briefly, tell us about SYLO what is it and what does company do?

Photograph of Brett Garfinkel cofounder and CEO of influencer marketing analytics platform SYLOBG: SYLO is an analytics platform that provides marketers and creators with the third-party validation, and standardized measurement and reporting, needed to confidently invest in influencer marketing partnerships. Similar to what Nielsen is to the Television space, SYLO provides third-party verification for influencer marketing campaigns.

SMP: When was the company founded, how many people work there and how is it funded?

BG: SYLO was founded in February 2016 and we are currently at ten employees. SYLO raised its seed round funding and has also had revenue from our clients from the get-go.

SMP: Who are your target audience and why?

BG: The brand, creator, and vendor communities all fall into our target audience because they are all participating in influencer marketing, and need third-party measurement to validate and justify their efforts. Influencer marketing is the only legitimate form of advertising media that doesn't have standardized measurement - SYLO is changing this.

SMP: How are you sourcing data from marketing influencers and how are you measuring campaigns?

BG: Influencers register and authenticate their social media accounts, giving SYLO read-only access to public, private, and proprietary data on all their social media posts to see their content performance. SYLO then categorizes each of the creators' social media posts using industry-established content themes, and then runs the data on these posts through our algorithm to generate the SYLO Score and content benchmarks.

SYLO homepage

SMP: What are the challenges that you've encountered and how are you overcoming them in what you have been doing so far at SYLO?

BG: The influencer marketing space has been self-reporting their campaigns up until now so, for us to come in and try to get everyone to look in one direction, at one standardized measurement system, doesn't happen overnight. What it takes is for the thought leaders from the brand, creator, and vendor communities to call for the standardization of the measurement in this space because only then will there be transparency and authenticity in the space.

SMP: What are the high moments of what you have been doing so far?

BG: The high moments are the immediate, positive responses that we've gotten from all parties who have taken the time to see SYLO and our measurement capabilities. These are marketing, analytics, and creative executives at brands and agencies who have seen everything in the space, and recognize the value immediately. They want to legitimize influencer marketing measurement, because only then will budgets keep flowing into the space.

SMP: What do you see as your biggest challenges and opportunities for your sector and the competition that you have?

BG: The biggest challenges I see is having every side of the influencer marketing space agree to a single source of standardized measurement, so we're all looking at performance and ROI through the same lens. It takes a village to make this happen.

SMP: The biggest opportunity is that this standardized measurement will bring more confidence for those investing in the space - more data and more money coming in leads to true measurable ROI. Those gettable TV and programmatic dollars will start flowing more towards influencer marketing efforts, where there's real, transparent data leading to true ROI.

SMP: What differentiates your services from your competitors and how do you plan to stay ahead?

SYLO currently has no known competition, because we do not match influencers, nor execute campaigns; meaning we are completely third-party - SYLO only measures the performance of these campaigns so that marketers and creators can ensure that they're working with the right partnerships, the right content and themes, across the right social media platforms.

As Influencer Marketing Hub stated in its review, "SYLO was created because there was no standard for measuring influencer marketing campaigns, and they wanted to create that standard."

About Sylo, watch the What is the SYLO Score? video at YouTube.

SMP: B2B influencer marketing campaigns are often thought as being more challenging; how are you addressing this?

BG: By providing benchmarks based off the past content and data of creators they've partnered with, B2B marketers can understand their influencer content strategy performance across various verticals and whether they benefitted or not in partnering with these creators.

SMP: What do you think is going to be the most interesting aspect regarding influencer marketing for the next 12 to 18-months and why?

BG: The most interesting aspect will be the move towards standardized measurement and validation. The influencer marketing space currently has the matching tools, the execution teams, a large percentage of brands participating, and now, to move the space forward, we need the standardized measurement to validate all of these components. One-off campaigns will be no more, and this will extend globally as well, with brands worldwide moving more towards brand ambassadors and utilizing data to support the relationships between brands and creators.

SMP: What are your top predictions for influencer marketing for the next 12 to 18-months and why?

BG replies with:

  • The establishment of third-party standardized measurement will allow influencer marketing to finally be on the same level as the other forms of media with validation, brand safety, better understanding of success, and benchmarks. The following four predictions will come once standardized measurement is embraced.

  • Creators will improve their content strategies now that they will know the posts, content themes, and social media platforms that their audience is responding to most favorably. This will lead to a much-needed separation from the true influential "players" from the "pretenders".

  • Brands will have benchmarks to better understand success of their branded posts than what is currently offered with no more self-reporting. Greater confidence in content strategy will lead to CMOs allocating more budget for investments and reinvestments in the space.

  • Agencies and PR firm's will see better efficiency and increased budgets for those who do not handle TV / Programmatic dollars. They will also better optimize their clients' spend on influencer marketing - there is absolutely no way that they can currently do so with various reporting tools of which provide only positive and, in a large part, inaccurate results. 

  • Vendors will reap the rewards from increased confidence, leading to increased budgets, in the influencer marketing space. With so many vendors promoting their matching tools, management tools, etc., we can now compare and contrast who is consistently doing so at the highest level.

SMP: What are your top overall five influencer marketing tips and why?

BG replies with:

  • Brands need to add to the story instead of interrupting it. The key to developing great influencer campaigns is finding what already works for the creator and blending seamlessly into that narrative.

  • Influencer marketing campaigns are generally found on social media, but brands often neglect to connect it to their overarching marketing goal to see how it's performing in relation to their other media investments.

  • Harnessing content benchmarks to understand which topics resonate with audiences on various social media platforms will ensure that you're reaching any and all engaged audiences for your creators.

  • Cross-promote your social influencer marketing content! A recent SYLO study found that creators' YouTube videos that were cross-promoted scored 47% higher than those that weren't cross-promoted, and creators who had cross-promotions accounting for more than 10% of their branded content saw a 58% higher score on average for that content.

  • Both creators and brands should strive to build a lasting relationship instead of one-off campaigns which appear inauthentic to the creator and brand's audiences.
SYLO, Inc. product page 600x300

SMP: Is there anything else we should know, or is there anything that you'd like to share?

BG: SYLO is not just another influencer marketing tech company. Without the standardized measurement that we provide, the influencer marketing space will face ramifications i.e. the bubble bursting, lack of transparency, etc. With standardized measurement, all parties participating in influencer marketing will benefit, as well as speak the same language. It's so important for the future of this space.

SMP: Best way to contact you and SYLO?

BG: Please check out our website, email the team at, Twitter @meetsylo, I'm on LinkedIn and you can email me directly at

Learn more about SYLO via The Biggest Threat Facing Influencer Marketing in 2018 and Backstage at Buffer Festival: Influencer Marketing Measurement by Sylo videos.

Now some questions for fun

SMP: What did you have for breakfast / lunch?

BG: Well, it is January which means New Year's resolutions are in effect. So, I had sugarless coffee for breakfast and grilled chicken with quinoa for lunch in hopes that this constitutes me as being somewhat healthy. I really need a slice of NYC pizza soon!

SMP: What's the last good thing that you did for someone?

I made an introduction between colleagues that resulted in a great employment offer.

SMP: If you weren't working at SYLO what would you be doing?

I'd like to tell you that I'd be touring the country playing guitar and singing in a band, but most likely I'd be consulting or running media sales at a conglomerate.

SMP: When / where did you go on your last holiday and why?

BG: Over the holidays, I went to Delray Beach, Florida to spend time with family visiting there, and then went to Miami to ring in the New Year with some friends.

SMP: What's the first thing you do when you get into the office of a morning?

BG: I greet my team, grab a coffee, take a deep a breath, and get to work!

SMP: If you had a superpower what would it be and why?

BG: My superpower would be time travel. I'd like to experience opportunities from when I was younger as I'm more appreciative now. The ability to alter some moments in history would be nice too. And, I'd take more guitar lessons.

Got an interesting story to tell? Get in touch.

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