Search

NativeAdVantage 10-Q2BA:

(10 Questions 2B Answered)

What do you do best?
What makes you the best?
Biggest success?
What are your aspirations?
Most challenging moment?
Favorite Motto?
Favorite People?
Favorite Places?
Favorite Products?
Current Passions?


Featured NativeAdVantage:

Andy Weir: Author of "The Martian"

John Philipson: VP, Six Senses Resorts

Tom Sito: Chair of Animation, USC Film School

Elizabeth Wynn: Broker, Sotheby's RE

Leonard Greenhalgh: Professor, Tuck-Darmouth)

Ryan Blair: NY Times Best Selling Author/Entrepreneur

 

Featured NativeAdVice:

Shai Reshef: Founder of University of the People

Paul D'Arcy: SVP of Indeed

Susan Hatje: GM of Mandarin Oriental, NY

Dan Laufer: Co-Founder of RentLingo

Hilary Laney: President of Tri-Digital

Greg Marsh: Co-Founder of onefinestay

Omar Qari: Co-Founder of Abacus

Gabriell Weinberg: Founder of DuckDuckGo

Stacy Rauen: E-I-C of Hospitality Design Mag

Jon Gray: CRO of HomeAway

Joe Speiser: Co-Founder of LittleThings.com

Ben McKean: Co-Founder of HungryRoot

John Boiler: Founder/CEO of 72andSunny

Wayne Pacelle: CEO of The Humane Society of the US

Tom Guay: GM at The Sagamore Resort

Dr. Alejandro Junger: Founder of The Clean Program

Rob Flaherty: CEO of Ketchum

Neil Thanedar: Founder/CEO of LabDoor

Andy Grinsfelder: VP of Sales/Marketing, Delaware North Resorts

Laura Frerer-Schmidt: VP/Publisher of Women's Health

Avi Steinlauf: CEO of Edmunds.com

Kathy Bloomgarden: CEO of Ruder Finn

Gabriel Flateman: Co-Founder/CTO of Casper

Mark Bartels: CEO of StumbleUpon

Bill Hagelstein: President/CEO of RPA

Adam Singolda: Founder/CEO of Taboola

Jonathan Plutzik: Proprietor of The Betsy-South Beach

Jessica Scorpio: Founder/VP of Marketing at GetAround

Ralph McRae: CEO of Leading Brands

Warren Berger: Bestselling Author

Liz Kaplow: Founder/CEO of Kaplow Communications

Dave Girouard: Founder/CEO of UpStart

Dave Asprey: Founder of BullectProof Executive

Douglas C. Smith: President of EDSA

Val Difebo: CEO of Deutsch NY

Guido Polito: CEO of Baglioni Hotels

Doyle Graham, Jr.: CEO of Valencia Group

Oscar Farinetti: Founder of Eataly

Angelo Sotira: CEO of DeviantART

Ali Khwaja: CFO of Safecharge

Zach Erdem: Proprietor of 75 Main

Jim Beley: GM of The Umstead Hotel

Alexis Gelburd-Kimler: Proprietor of West Bridge

Elie Georges: Proprietor of Hotel San Regis

Kalen Caughey: Founder o VOKE Tab

Michael Friedenberg: CEO of IDG

Donna Karan: Founder of DKNY

Edward Nardoza: Editor-in-Chief of WWD

Scott Dadich: Editor-in-Chief of Wired

Rhona Murphy: Former CEO of The Daily Beast

David J. Pecker: CEO of American Media

Lilian Roten: VP of Swissotel Hotels

Kenny Dichter: Founder/CEO of Wheels Up

Joshua Tetrick: Founder/CEO of Hampton Creek

Paul James: Global Brand Leader of The Luxury Collection

Dr. James Wagner: President of Emory University

Amy Thompson: President of ATM Artists & Management

Neil Gillis: President of Round Hill Music

Brett Matteson: President of Columbia Hospitality

Jonathan Reckford: CEO of Habitat For Humanity

Phil Harrison: President/CEO of Perkins+Will

Chef Bill Telepan

Tony Horton: Founder of P90X

Beth Weissenberger: Co-Founder of The Handel Group

Michael Fertik: Founder/CEO of Reputation.com

Dana Cowin: Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine

Bob Proctor: Chairman of Proctor/Gallagher Institute

Dennis Turcinovic: Owner of Delmonicos

Vittorio Assaf: Co-Founder of Serafina Restaurant Group

Shafqat Islam: Co-Founder of Newscred

Matt Williams: CEO of The Martin Agency

Bruce Rogers: Executive Chef at Hale & Hearty

Caleb Merkl: Co-Founder of Maple

Candy Argondizza: VP of Culinary at ICC

Neil Sazant: President of The Sagamore

Matt Straz: Founder/CEO of Namely

Terry Couglin: Managing Partner of Marta/Maialino

Andrei Cherny: Co-Founder/CEO of Aspiration

Ronen Nissenbaum: Managing Director of Waldorf Astoria NY

Patrick Godfrey: President of Godfrey Q

Sarah Berman: Founder/President of The Berman Group

Michael Schwartz: Owner of Genuine Hospitality Group

Stephan Aarstol: Founder/CEO of Tower Paddle Boards

Peter Shaindlin: COO of Halekulani Corp.

August Cardona: Founder/CEO of Epicurean Group

Nick Kenner: Co-Founder of Just Salad

Tuesday
Jul242018

Roger Wu: Co-founder, Cooperatize

My NativeAdVice:

Bio:

Roger Wu is the co-founder of the sponsored content marketplace, Cooperatize. Prior to Cooperatize, he started Giftfinder.com and Klickable.TV and was an “intra-preneur” at Bloomberg’s BLAW group. He started on Wall Street at investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. He’s been published in a variety of outlets including Forbes, Quartz, and Mediapost. He holds three degrees from the Management and Technology Program of the University of Pennsylvania.

How did you get into the industry?

I was at a WeWork space working on another business when I noticed all of the other small businesses there.  Curious as to how they attracted customers, I asked a number of them and consistently received three answers: Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and “reach out to bloggers.” I wanted to figure out how best to automate the “reach out to bloggers” process that would be as easy as Google and Facebook are. We landed an upscale resort as a test customer and decided to fall down the travel rabbit hole as a focus. Today, we help close to 50,000 bloggers find sponsored content opportunities while working with destinations, hotels, airlines, and tour operators on five continents attract travelers and tourists.

Any emerging industry trends?

Influencer marketing is growing by leaps and bounds as more brands find value in having true voices discuss the experiences with their goods or services. Brands desire to know more of an influencer’s reputation and history, since the trend is moving toward more micro-influencers (those with less than 100K followers), but with some type of domain expertise. In addition, brands are looking for more concrete metrics than just followers, likes, or shares.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

The EU’s GDPR (Global Data Protection Regulation) has made it much harder to track and cookie readers for measurement purposes. Since influencer marketing is a top of funnel touch point, finding true conversion metrics and signals are challenging. Our partnerships with a few data providers helps us understand how a reader reacts to a product after they read a story, but typically the sales cycle is long and immediate sales are not achieved.

The other challenge is the fragmentation of the market: Some influencers work with agencies, platforms (like ours), independent managers, or sometimes all of the above. Pricing is all over the place and because there are no standard IAB units it is difficult to compare apples to apples or to execute a buy across multiple influencers. We try to remedy this by having a standard offering that can translate into what media buyers are used to.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

Our inspiration is in helping small businesses execute an integral part of their marketing in a quick, inexpensive, and measurable manner. We have no minimums, which allows even start-ups to participate in having content created about them. While we are currently focused on the travel space, we believe that once we have cornered travel, we can expand into other adjacent verticals since the process is nearly identical (the subject matter is different, which is the domain expertise of the influencer).

What's next for the Business in the near future?

We are continuing to focus on the travel market. We next set our sights on Asia, especially the growing Chinese outbound tourist market. We continue to integrate new existing technologies like artificial intelligence and natural language processing to make content creation and approval more efficient. In addition we are exploring more ways for influencers to drive the traffic they need in a more effective and efficient manner.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

As the millennial continues to prioritize experiences over things, the cost of travel continues to drop, and transportation technologies improve, travel and tourism will continue to be a solid growth industry. A key driver of success has been our decision to stay focused on travel, as we have been able to build a critical mass of brands and influencers in the space.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

Getting the business up and running was a challenge. When operating a two-sided marketplace, it’s hard to get one side without the other and vice versa. To overcome this initial hurdle, we manually cobbled the marketplace together in real time. We would get customers and then find relevant influencers for it. Over time we built a platform to replicate our manually efforts.

However, building the platform also was not trivial. Having a computer science degree is much different than being a web developer, where one (computer science) is much more theoretical versus web development which sometimes is just finding an answer that may or may not be the best one. We struggled to build the site but eventually did; building and debugging the website as people are using it feels like laying down track as the train is coming at full speed. That was very stressful and now we have multiple staging servers to pass through for the various aspects of bug testing and quality control.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

My personal preference is to be able to go to a website and sell myself on the good or service being sold. I despise having to talk to a salesperson since there is typically a level of salesmanship, undocumented promises, and other inefficient means of communication. From what I’ve seen, customers either want to do it all themselves 100% or have you do it for them 100% of the time. Any hybrid solution is unacceptable because it forces the customer to spend time to learn something new which might detract from their already precious time. Thus, we built our solution with this in mind, whereas you can use our tools directly, have complete interaction with all of the bloggers, and be able to control your own timeline without anyone from our side interfering. Or we can do the whole thing for you; offering you the moments where your input is needed (influencer selection and draft approval) in our simple to use web interface.

How do you motivate others?

I take a laissez faire approach to management. When you treat people like adults they either step up and do so or do not. At the same time, I think having them set their own goals to either meet or exceed is much more important than you setting goals for them. Finally, I believe that if you have people that are properly self motivated (carrots) that is much more powerful than management by fear (sticks).

Career advice to those in your industry?

No one really knows anything. I just gave you my thoughts and predictions but in no way are those set in stone. We are all just making it up as we go along. Don’t be intimidated because your thoughts and ideas with a fresh set of eyes are as valuable as the weathered ones.

https://www.facebook.com/Cooperatize/

https://twitter.com/cooperatize