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Oct. 14, 2019

OOH Insider - Episode 001 - James Heller, CEO of Wrapify is disrupting Out of Home...find out how!

OOH Insider - Episode 001 - James Heller, CEO of Wrapify is disrupting Out of Home...find out how!

Wrapping vehicles as a way to advertise isn't a new concept.

BUT doing it in a way that creates measurable conversion definitely is.

Wrapify helps brands to disrupt markets with expert execution and an original reimagination of combining technologies.

James Heller is the Inc 500 CEO of Wrapify and a member of the elite, Forbes 30 Under 30 club and he joins OOH Insider - LIVE!

Also Featured:

Jonny Rowe, a 6-year old with a hand grenade 😉(it's not real...promise)

Check out Wrapify here: https://www.wrapify.com

And connect with James on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesheller1/

Connect with me on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/troweactual/

If you've found this information helpful, consider joining other OOH Insiders in our Members Only Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/oohinsider/

Support the show (http://oohswag.com)

Uh, we have some folks in LA. Cool. Cool. 

Oh, it looks like a, it looks like we're live. So everybody welcome to the very first episode of the out-of-home insider show. Got James Heller joining us here from ramify number 3 0 9 on the Inc 500. If I'm not mistaken. Is that right James? 

But that is, that is correct.

Thanks for having me. Cool. Thanks for joining 

us. So. I mean, let's learn about you, man. How'd you get in out of home. Is this a, is this a development for you? Did you start out a home? Did you come from another space? 

Yeah, that's a great question. I, uh, I did not come from out of home. I'm a marketer by trade.

I've been fascinated by out of home my whole life. You know, I think just, I've always thought big. And when you think of out of home and when you see an out of home placement for the most part, they're big, you know, and they're hard to ignore and they make an impact and I've always been really blown away by how lacking, uh, it was from media measurement standpoint early on.

And I think the industry is definitely. Huge strides in that since, you know, even when we start first started the company to now. And, uh, yeah, we've seen ramifies being a, you know, another, another advertising component, another segment in the out-of-home ecosystem. In fact, we saw the Nielsen 2019, uh, out of home industry report.

It's the first time I think, ever that they covered wrapped vehicles as a. A segment of, out of home advertising. And I think a big part of that is, you know, what we've done and also that, you know, that industry segment being created. Sure. 

So like the idea of a wrapped vehicle might, it's not anything new, we've seen buses for a long time.

We've seen out of home placements on top of taxi cabs. How'd you, how'd you get from that idea to creating a measurable form of out of home for brands like Alaska airlines, for example, how did you, how did the whole thing come together, making them better? 

Yeah. So, uh, there's a couple, I mean, first and foremost, um, you're right.

Wrap wrapping vehicles is not a new thing. Rapping, rapping cars and buses and trains, and pretty much any and everything. Uh, that's been around for a long time. Ratifies the first company to make it a measurable and scalable ad medium. So that's, that's the first to market advantage that we had. Um, But going back to like why I want, actually, this all started with me wanting to use a service similar.

And, uh, I was running, uh, I was, I was running a event that was taking place in San Diego, pretty big technology event. And I'm like, wow, this is the brain of the beginnings of Uber and Lyft and this sharing economy and the gig economy. And I'm like, why isn't there like an advertising component of the gig economy and how cool would it be for me to just draw a polygon on a map, select how many vehicles upload artwork, swipe a credit card, get, get out of home deployed, and then be able to have a dashboard like a Google.

Analytic style dashboard, where I could log in and see the performance metrics around that campaign. Like why, why doesn't this exist? And then we looked and all of the parts for the most part were on the table, you know, but nobody's really assembled them. And so I think part of like why that, why ratifies started as a, like my whole career has been spent using all these pieces for different digital channels.

Uh, And then also just the advent of the gig economy and, you know, the adoption of iPhone and mobile devices and the amount of ways we could pull a location data, and we could track an audience exposure and being able to put all that stuff in a really intuitive platform that allows brands to scale.

This type of advertising nationwide is something that, you know, has evolved over the course of the last five years. 

Sure. I love the idea of leveraging what's already there. Right? You mentioned the gig economy. So this in a lot of ways, is that just who you're targeting for drivers? Is it primarily Uber drivers, Lyft DoorDash?

Is it that sort of thing, or can other people get involved too? Like, I, I commute a lot for. 

Yeah, but all of the above, we actually started off just for just being a, what means to monetize your commute, uh, today about 30% of our driver base or rideshare gig economy drivers, uh, you know, for those types of platforms, as well as regular, everyday commuters that want to monetize their time on the road, about 200,000 drivers have either downloaded the wrap flapper, awaiting campaigns are active on active campaign.

And that number grows organically by a few hundred a day. Um, And then on the brand side, you know, we started off in, we came out of Jason Calacanis is launching debater for those who don't know who he is, he's one of the most prolific, uh, investors on the planet. He was one of the first investors in Uber.

Uh, he's made one of the most legendary, uh, returns on a angel investment, like ever because of that and several others. So he's been really good at picking winners and he picked us, which is awesome. So we went through. Uh, launch incubator. We came out of that. Uh, we patented a method for measuring and moving out of home object.

We did that in 20 16, 20 17. I was the feature honoree for the Forbes, 30, under 30 for marketing and advertising. Uh, we, that was a wild year. We had, uh, our first near death experience. We tried executing a sales strategy that didn't really work, uh, had to kind of go back to the drawing board on how to sell this.

And also just further pushing industry adoption, breaking into this market and in this industry is not trivial. And it's a, it's definitely one where you've got to put in the work to be a part of it. And you know, what's really cool about it is, uh, you know, 2019, we've got a lot more industry acceptance.

The. Um, out of home industry is starting to really embrace us because we're adding to the pie, you know, out of home advertising is a 9 billion. Market in the us. And we're not really pulling from that because the brands that leverage us, they're not, they're not going, oh, we're going to buy Raphi instead of billboards or instead of these other things, no, like what we do compliments all that.

We increase the region frequency for all of the traditional stuff, and we help bridge the gap between that traditional media and digital. When you look at kind of how we're positioned and also how we compliment traditional out-of-home and transit and digital and all those things, uh, makes a lot of sense.

But I think going back to. Where we're at today and how long it's taken to get into it. I mean, I'm also now in the, uh, the AAA innovations committee. So I'm actually helping drive innovation for out of home in general, uh, which is great. And that's something that really excites me because I think this is a really cool industry and I think it should be, it should be a 20 plus billion dollar industry in the U S and I think the only way we get there is by embrace embracing media measurement, embracing.

Uh, attribution and us coming together and creating a platform to make it so that we can measure this and have standards for measuring it. So. If we don't do it, somebody else is gonna do it. And, uh, uh, I want to make sure that, you know, the folks in the industry have, or at least do our w w we can to, to help grow that pie.

I think it's a great point that you're bringing up about adding to the total available market of, out of home. You saw this radical, uh, almost over dedication to all things digital and it created this bubble and you see that reversion now coming big brands. You see some of the brands featured there behind you is big brands that have.

Focused on top of funnel, maybe betrayed it for a little bit because digital was the hot thing. And now everyone coming back to out of home. Uh, so it is, it's an exciting time, exciting opportunity to talk a little bit about the challenges of breaking into the space. Is there anybody else out there doing what you do?

And if they're doing. Similar, like who are your competitors 

in this space? That's a great question. I mean, go early into your earlier statement about a top of funnel. You kind of, you kinda just touched on it. I think part of what rapid fire, what makes rapid fire really special is we're no longer top of the funnel brand marketing.

We're now like upper mid funnel, and we're starting to see out of home move more further down the funnel because of our ability now to attribute what that out of home exposure actually did in terms of driving, uh, And, and so that is what's going to make out of home grow. Right? The biggest gripe that marketers have had about out of home has been, it's really hard to measure, you know, we know works, we know does something, but we don't know how well or how much.

So it's really hard for us to put a bunch of. You know, add dollars into it, unless you're a huge, huge brand that has a dedicated top of funnel, brand marketing budget. So, you know, I think that's part of it going back to competition. We don't really have any direct competition today. There are other folks in the space that they're, that, that, that are emerging and we're starting to see a competitive landscape.

There's several folks that are putting digital taxi tops on rideshare vehicles. Now there's, uh, there's other folks that wrap cars, but we don't, we don't sell. Cars wrapping vehicles is how we deliver the out of home impression. Uh, but what we're delivering is a really measurable way of being able to drive really high, recall first touch, and then have that trigger retargeting across a bunch of different channels.

And then at the end result being a measured conversion. And that's how, and that's why brands love our apathy. And that's why that's how we sell. So I give you if you were to sit in a sales presentation with rapid fire, we're not talking about wrapping cars that much. 

Makes sense in terms of the retargeting and the other components that come into the campaign is that all managed through ramify or do brands do that?

Internally, do they retain their agency? Can it be any one of 

those? Yeah. So it could be, it depends on the size of the brand. It depends on what agency we're working with. Uh, so there's, it varies. Uh, we can do all of that. We could, we could push all the retargeting through our DSP. We're now integrated with the trade desk.

Uh, we have a really awesome integration with them. We can push audience straight into the brand's DSP. We have other ways of being able to push audience through like things like Lai ramp. Um, but yeah, it really depends on the brand and what they want to do, but typically, uh, they're handing us, they're giving us the assets that we use to build out all of the out of home creative, and then also all the assets for retargeting across mobile display, connected TV, audio streaming.

So a brand doesn't necessarily have to disrupt their process. They can adopt you and weave you right into their process, or if they wanted to transition everything over and keep it sort of turnkey, they could 

do that too. Exactly. Like if the, if a brand is a big global fortune 50, and they have a massive digital team and they want to just use the audience that was exposed to fire to segment their own retargeting, that's something that could absolutely.

And, and, and we love, we love that because that means that they're able to take the exposure audience and their first party data and make sure it's there, they're hitting the right audience with the right message. Right. You don't want to hit, you don't wanna hit somebody. Who's already a loyal, um, you know, brand a brand proponent or, you know, client or customer with, uh, uh, you know, learn more about this thing that you already have been using for 10 years.

Right. So I think that's, that's where out of homes becoming a lot more intelligent, like we're now able to use that first time. Or, uh, that, you know, that reaffirmation of the brand for different things, because now we can take the exposure audience and go, okay, well here let's retarget. The audience we know are not clients or customers with a, you know, here's more education, whereas maybe you're an existing brand that just isn't buying or existing customer, but you're not buying it.

The frequency they want you to. Um, or you're not aware of a new feature and like there's a new feature that you haven't used yet because, and they know this, and now it's a, an, uh, an opportunity for them to retarget you because now that brands top of top of mind. Sure. So, 

and is it exclusive to just big brands or if I'm a, if I'm a smaller, regional type business.

Can we wrap a fine makes sense for me to, 

uh, we do have lower cost options and we're actually going to be launching a product that really caters to the SMB lower mid market, uh, later this year. Um, but we have. We also, you know, typical brands are in that kind of upper mid-market to enterprise on our platform, just cause it really hard for a local brand to be able to, to, to be able to budget for something like this makes sense.

So ideally, it's really some of the big brands that we've seen. Pepsi-Cola Alaska airlines and the Alaska airlines case study really stands out to me. Um, cause we we've worked with a regional airline where I'm at in Eastern Pennsylvania, regional airport. How were you able to track? Cause it was San Francisco to Hawaii, I believe.

Was the route. Is that right? Yeah. Okay. How are we able to wrap a car in this brilliant piece of creative? We've talked about some of the things that we're able to do from the retargeting side. How, how are we able to say, Hey, this definitely is genuine. I say, hi, James, 

how's it 

going? You say what's up, man?

You like billboards, right? Well, he's got the NLP right there. I think he's got some for the mess. You worked with the Mets, right? 

You don't work with the Mets yet. Oh, okay. Padres, 

Padres, the Padres, you know, the Padres, um, Yeah. Betray the Alaska airlines in case I say this per a specific route. I mean, that's, that's pretty neat to be able to take that and be able to measure it.

Yeah, I think so. There's, there's a couple of reasons for why. Right? So there's, there's a bunch of different use cases for travel. And I think one of them is, you know, if they have a specific flight route, that's maybe underserved, they need to put them, they. Literally need to put butts in seats. Yeah. Which is awesome, which is like, what out of home helps without advertising in general at a very high level is what it does.

Um, so when you look at what Alaska did there, I thought it was really interesting because they're using, using this as a way to, to raise awareness for that flight route. And you also have, you, you, you might have a little bit of an apple. It's not real, you're just pulling the pin for this, uh, Um, so there's, there's also not only creating that consideration and awareness, but now able to retarget the audience exposed with, you know, multi-channel retargeting across a bunch of different channels.

Uh, and then we're able to, you know, pixel the conversion page, like, like the, the shopping cart, you know, the end of the, the buying funnel, the marketing funnel. We're able to get to that, you know, that checkout success page, where they bought a ticket and we're able to pixel it. So I, you know, it's a, it's a really interesting use case travel is, is an industry that is now starting to leverage a we've run campaigns for, um, Alaska airlines.

We ran a campaign or a couple of campaigns now for cheapo air, which is fair portal, one of the largest, uh, travel websites on the planet now. And then we have a. We currently have a campaign on the road for this really cool platform called TripActions, which is a, a B2B tech platform for measure for doing a corporate travel.

So they, they, they actually took a page out of another, actually probably our largest use case, which is B2B tech today ma makes up a big, big chunk of our revenue. And, uh, they basically combine the out of the, the travel and the B2B. Use cases, uh, in a really unique way. In fact, the platform we're using right now for this podcast, it's one of our largest clients, zoom video communications.

So it's, it's a really, uh, it's a really amazing combination of two amazing use cases. 

And James going to be out here on the east coast next week, and that's going to be a. Great by watching this recording, that's going to be the 13th 

through the 19th. Uh, yeah, I'll be out there on I'm in New York, the 16th and 17th.

And there's, I might be in Boston on the 18th. So we're still trying to figure out what's happened there otherwise. Yeah, the 16th and 17th are the two main days I'm in, in, uh, So a great 

opportunity for any brands catching this, maybe, uh, just in time for James to be out here, but you're back and forth often, right?

You've got 

I'm out there at least one week out of the month. So 

constantly accessible. He was gracious enough to make some time out here. I know it's the end of a end of a week there to eight o'clock here because I got an impatient little six year old is ready to probably go, uh, relax a little bit.

James, how can people connect with you? Obviously rapid.com Johnny, you got hanging out for five seconds. Five seconds. We sure. 

This is what happens when you record podcasts on a Friday night, man. It's what happens to be playing Friday night, 

snack down, go. Maybe they're on the east coast. That'd 

be, uh, well, I mean, that's actually my, what I want to do after rapid.

Uh, yeah, that's definitely, that's like the next, the next goal. Um, no, I, the best way to get ahold of me is LinkedIn and, uh, and, uh, Twitter. So I'm at, at James Heller on Twitter. Uh, if you find me on LinkedIn, that's where I'm pretty active on there and that's how we got initially connected. So, uh, and then also just if you, if you want to reach out to.

Uh, on rapid fire, just go to our website. There's a contact form. You can reach me there as well. Cool. Awesome. 

Well, James, we'll continue to stay in touch for getting to watch what you're doing. Thanks for taking the time out here this evening, man. We really, really appreciate it. And next time I'll only send one 

zoom meeting link.

It's all good, man. It was great. Great being on the show. Thanks so much. 

We'll talk to you soon. Already. Say why was seal out of