I just attended a fantastic, standing room only SXSW panel titled "Why Social Ads Work. Ignore Facebook Naysayers" with Kurt Abrahamson, the CEO of ShareThis, and Brandon Rhoten, the Director of Digital Marketing for the Wendy's restaurant chain. Both Kurt and Brandon spoke very openly about digital advertising, and social ads in particular.
Wendy's is a $9 billion company with over 7,000 locations in US & Canada (although only 150 locations in CA). Its biggest competitors are other QSRs (Quick Service Restaurants) like McDonalds and Burger King, but Wendy's is more interested in what newer chains like Chipotle are doing than these more traditional competitors, since Wendy's biggest business challenge is to have 20 and 30 somethings choose Wendy's over chains like Chipotle (Wendy's does very well with the older demographic, though, since it's a 60+ year old brand). The entire QSR industry is a $519 billion industry.
Here's the video of the event (sorry for the poor video quality; I was barely able to squeeze into the room)
Kurt kicked the session off mentioning that Twitter is scaling revenue significantly with promoted tweets and API ads interface, and Tumblr is now selling 'stories' & implementing other native advertising discussions. He and Brandon went on to talk about topics including:
It was a great panel, and a bunch of people gave me their biz cards afterwards, asking me to send them the video. Hope it's helpful! If you have more questions for Kurt or Brandon please write them in the comments below and I'll do my best to get you answers.
Really interesting stuff. It's really interesting that they are focusing more on QSR's and not the traditional fast food industry. I'm sure health concerns and quality transparency with customers are really driving that.
I've really enjoyed reading through all of this. The F1 Geekspeed challenge is pretty smart. Oh and by the way, I want “The AngelList Materials”. [email protected]
This post is a work in progress, since we’re just now selling our company Socialize to ShareThis. I also wrote about how the experience feels, and what getting a deal done is like.
One of my goals is to ensure a successful outcome from the deal. I'll start by defining what I mean by "successful outcome:" That the combination of the two companies produces more value together than we would have been able to achieve alone.
The first thing I did was start writing an Integration Document with my co-founders when we signed the term sheet. This document laid out the specific goals of the acquisition, the resources we had at our disposal, and the key items we would need to request to achieve those goals. Once we had co-edited that document in Google Docs to a point where we were all satisfied with it, I shared it with the ShareThis executive team.
I had already discussed and gotten agreement from Kurt, the CEO, on what the main goals of the acquisition were pre-term sheet. In the integration document, I outlined how we were going to prioritize those goals, and what resources we were going to put into them to achieve the goals.
Doing stuff without understanding why.
A few months ago there was a post on a moderately popular marketing forum asking something about email marketing service providers, and AWeber specifically. There were questions on pricing and if there were some free alternative available.
The forum poster also asked what he should send to his list. What would he write in the emails?
Errrrghhhh. That's completely back-assward.
My point was this: If you don't know what you're gonna write, don't start building your list.