Building a Whopper of a Customer-Engagement Platform: Bill Magnuson of Braze

How do you get fast-food consumers to order Whopper sandwiches from Burger King when they’re physically near . . . a McDonald’s? And, at the same time, use that marketing ploy to drive increased user engagement with a specific mobile app and a big, consumer brand? It’s just one of the marketing challenges tackled recently by Braze*, the company formerly known as Appboy, a New-York based, customer-engagement platform.

In this episode of Powered by Battery, Braze CEO Bill Magnuson breaks down the role his company played in the innovative Whopper campaign but also talks about what it’s like to run a fast-growing tech company in New York; how to manage a company re-branding and name change; and how a highly technical founder can build a seasoned management team and a diverse board. Have a listen.

Key Takeaways:

  • The best marketing today—particularly mobile marketing—is not about providing a point solution but, instead, offering a broader technology ecosystem to understand and engage customers on their terms. The Braze-powered Whopper campaign, for instance, helped transform an app that had been primarily a coupon-delivery service into a mobile-ordering system that also offered a deeper connection to the Burger King brand.
  • Be very careful and methodical when doing a company rebrand and choose a great agency to help you. Also, be prepared to not get your first choice of name, given the complex global web of trademarks and other legal restrictions.
  • Technologists, in some ways, have advantages in CEO roles, because they work in environments that are constantly changing, and the tools they’re using are shifting as well. CEOs are in some ways in the same boat: They’re constantly solving a new set of problems as their companies scale, as well as building new business capabilities and new frameworks and processes.
  • Building diversity into boards of directors and leadership teams creates stronger, more durable and more creative companies.
  • Building a company outside the “Silicon Valley echo chamber” can pay dividends. These include taking advantage of different, and often more diverse, pools of talent to draw from and the ability to attract a more diverse customer base.
  • Marketing companies can still thrive in this era of GDPR and other online-privacy regulations. The largest tech players also will likely face more regulation going forward.

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The information above may contain projections or other forward-looking statements regarding future events or expectations. Predictions, opinions and other information discussed in this video are subject to change continually and without notice of any kind and may no longer be true after the date indicated. Battery Ventures assumes no duty to and does not undertake to update forward-looking statements.
*Denotes a Battery portfolio company. For a full list of all Battery investments, please click here.