Marketing Tech Talk Andrew Foxwell

In the latest episode of Marketing Tech Talk Widen CEO Matthew Gonnering sits down with Andrew Foxwell. Andrew is the co-founder of Foxwell Digital, a social media advisory firm based in Madison. He collaborates and consults with Fortune 500 companies, globally recognized nonprofits, e-commerce entrepreneurs, and local startups on Facebook and Instagram advertising, online fundraising, and digital marketing strategies. He has been advertising since the start on Facebook and has spent over $100MM through the platform. He’s also a doodle dad.

At 2:14, Andrew tells the audience about his background. Before he started his successful company, he was a windows server engineer and worked as a new media director for a U.S. Congressman. This was at a time when politicians knew what social media was and had accounts, but they weren’t using them successfully. Afterwards, he started a social media agency in a government contractor and this was how he got into the social media business.

At 8:40, Andrew shares who influenced and inspired him along his journey. He mentions Mark Johnson, CEO of 451, the congressman he worked with and one of his colleagues. He says he’s also a big fan of Guy Kawasaki and Brian Solis. He recommends reading the book Art of the Start, however, he says you might want to quit your job after reading because it will start an entrepreneurial fire in you.

At 11:44, Matthew asks Andrew how we should think about marketing strategy in a social media context. He gives an idea from Brian Solis that storytelling happens over time. So we watch movies and read stories, and the story just keeps progressing upward until the conclusion. As marketers, we feel that we need to start with the conclusion (BIG SALE!), and then it fades away over time. So that’s backwards, but social has the opportunity to tell the story over time.

At 14:46, Andrew talks about managing his clients’ expectations with social. The expectation he sets for a typical e-commerce company is that they will break even on spend and revenue in the first 45 days. This can be hard for certain clients to stomach because they want to see a quicker return.

At 19:09, Andrew describes how his company only does social media work that is ROI based. He drives millions of dollars of revenue everyday for his clients on Facebook and Instagram. So social media can and will drive conversions and it can happen in a shorter period of time if you do everything right. However, this might not work as well as playing the long game with social media. He says lately he’s been influenced by the book Essentialism by Greg Mckeown, which talks about the value of long-term success.

At 25:15, Andrew believes that Facebook’s pixel is smarter than ever and in many cases you will benefit from letting it decide how to place your ads. Last month he was at Social Media Marketing World and sat down with his friend Kerry Fitzgibbon and he asked her what’s going on in the social media space. She said that she had a client who targeted all women in Australia and she’s getting four times return on ad spend. So it really worked and it was super easy, but it might not be a long-term strategy and it’s probably not going to last forever.

At 30:30, Andrew says his company spends time with his clients for the first couple of weeks sitting down and talking about the social media plan to make sure they understand it. Not only does he make sure they understand the plan, but also why they are doing what they’re doing. He acts as a fiduciary and wants to make sure there’s a certain level of trust between him and his clients.

At 32:08, Andrew shares the metaphor he likes to use with his clients. At the beginning of their relationship, he tells them that they are going to be standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon together. It’s very majestic and they can take any path they want to down the canyon. The quick path, the sightseeing path, or whatever path suits the client best. He likes using this analogy because it sets people up for what they’re looking for.

At 34:09, Andrew discusses the role of technology in social media. He says the first thing that comes to mind is connection because the technologies that exist connect us to each other. He then talks about where Facebook is going technology-wise.

At 38:51, Matthew asks Andrew why he thinks VR technology will inspire more creativity. Andrew’s answer is that as competition and costs go up, a company has to invest more time in being creative. This is because they have to be more creative in getting people to know and see their product.

At 44:44, Andrew says he can’t believe how far the internet has come considering it was invented during his lifetime. It’s astonishing to him that he can run a business from his home. He thinks the internet has come extremely far, and due to that, it’s difficult for him to say where technology will be in the next 20 years.

At 46:47, Andrew takes audience questions. The audience asks about emerging technology, ROI, Facebook ads, LinkedIn advertising, and other marketing-related questions.