August 10, 2017
PUBLISHED BY Ankush Gupta
SOURCE MarTech Advisor
Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer, CEO and Co-founder of AirPR talks about how PR technologies can supplement customers’ martech stacks. He delves into analytics and metrics that matter, and explains why PR tech is the last frontier in marketing. In his free time, Sharam enjoys barefoot waterskiing and has played NCAA Division 1 ice hockey
1. Could you tell me a little about yourself and how you came to be the Co-founder and CEO at AirPR?
Prior to co-founding AirPR in 2011, I was an Entrepreneur in Residence for Shasta Ventures and a Senior Associate at Sierra Ventures. Before that, I worked for Appian, a BPM software startup where I managed the first enterprise-wide tracking system for the Department of Homeland Security. All of these experiences gave me a front-row seat to entrepreneurship and made me want to solve problems with technology.
My co-founder Raj and I started a PR Tech company because we saw an industry that was broken and felt driven to use technology to fix it. Companies spend big on PR just like marketing, but the work (PR) is often undervalued and a bit misunderstood in terms of how it can help businesses achieve their marketing goals. PR attribution is our solution to that.
2. Are you happy with the buy-in for Marketing Technology that exists at AirPR? Do you think the investments being made are adequate or could be more?
For us, it’s not about the MarTech we have in place for ourselves. It’s about supplementing our customers’ MarTech stacks by filling in the gaps with PR technologies. Enterprise companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars or more on PR every year, and yet the overwhelming majority of them aren’t measuring PR like their measure their marketing and advertising efforts.
We have the firm belief that PR Tech is the last marketing frontier, and that once more people see that PR can be a driver of high-quality leads, more will invest in the PR Tech required to prove the worth of public relations efforts, beyond qualitative metrics like brand awareness.
3. What is the key problem you are attempting to solve with marketing technology implementation – could be 360 customer view, better customer experiences, crafting better journeys, full circle attribution?
We help companies see the real value of their PR efforts through PR attribution. For example, companies can see if they were mentioned or featured in an article online if there was a link back to their website. When there isn’t a link (more than 90% of the time on average), that’s where we come in. We’ve developed tech that crawls the web for mentions of your company, and then we pull all that information into one platform that includes data visualizations so PR professionals can see exactly which pieces of content drove the most traffic, prompted downloads, and so on.
Read the full interview on MarTech Advisor here.