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Jeremy Weisz 4:58

Yeah. Craig. I want to hear about I want to We’ll dig deep on use cases because people love hearing use cases. But, you know, it’s famous last words, I guess of an entrepreneur is like, what if, and, you know, whatever you’re about to say you’re gonna spend countless hours and you know, sleepless nights. What made you decide when you thought of that, that this was a, something that you actually should execute on? Because I’m sure there’s a lot of stuff that you think about, and there’s a lot of stuff, you’re a bit you’re busy at the time to what what were you? Why did you decide to move forward? And do it?

Craig Hagopian 5:34

What a great question. I’ve never been asked it that way. So I’ll give you the answer that that’s clearly what what drove it. So at the time, we were at GroundTruth xAd, which is a more of a traditional technology platform, heavy on sales, people who work with agencies to run a campaign. And we were always confronted with having enough staff and enough operations. And it’s very expensive to set that up. And so when I saw that chalkboard, and I thought, well, everybody’s posting today, like everybody have a podcast, well, everybody should be posting and creating content for social media 100%, nobody can do that. So I said, What if we took those two pieces and put them together, and that’s really what the birth was about. We even we have an app today that you can actually take a photo of anything, a mug, a cup, and broadcast it to hundreds of people. In fact, we just finished working with Dog TV. And Dog TV is a channel for pets, not for humans. When you go away, and your dog will sometimes get anxiety, because their masters or the family is gone. They’ll kind of start to you know, act, you know, crazy and maybe chew on something. And so Dog TV, actually you put it on, and it pacifies them. And that makes really good. And if I know, there is blurred to their eyes, I mean, you and I watch that TV, it looks a little off. And the colors are weird. But for a dog, it’s beautiful. And so what we did with the Dog TV kind of side there, what we did with dog TV is we built an app using our platform, and we’re giving it to all the local shelters in the United States. So they can take a picture of a pet, and broadcast it to 1000 families nearby all free a service, because it’s our social give back has been, you know, a pet adoption. And so it’s really neat, because what happens is, you know, people who have no technology background, I mean, not to pick on shelters. But you know, the the pet loving people that run shelters are not usually your most technically advanced folks. And they get this app they put on their phone, Android or Apple, they can take a photo of the dog, add a couple things about, you know, where the dog is, how old it is, what its name is, and then that creates the ad. And then we take it into our system in real time and throw it out to, you know, nearby households. And that’s a great way to accelerate getting the pets into great homes. And it’s good for the dogs, it’s great for the shelter. And it’s obviously good for humans to have animals around. I’m a big believer in that. So anyway, that’s awesome. That’s just kind of an aside, but also the whole vision of what we were trying to work on. And still we’re not done. yet. I’ve been working on this since 2013, I’ll probably be doing this in 2023, a decade from then. And it’s all about just continuing to refine and make that process easier. And, and more powerful as anyone who’s listening to your podcast today, especially an agency. They know how difficult local advertising is, it’s hard to set up, it’s hard to get some scoring, it’s hard to get, you know, results sometimes, especially when you’re talking about offline or linear things. And so my big believer is that, you know, you need to combine both online and offline to make the best program and so hopefully we give those tools to a agency who’s in supporting their client.

Jeremy Weisz 8:47

Yeah, we’ll talk about some of the business applications and I love the the component of offline, online online offline. But you mentioned that the dog channel the Dog TV, there is I was when I was doing research about Chalk Digital there is, um, you know, people have used it for lost dogs for neighborhoods, right. And so, you know, instead of putting, like, you picture that picture of the dog, I’m like the telephone poles everywhere, which is Chalk Digital, right, like you people have used it for that application as well.

Craig Hagopian 9:19

Totally. Yeah. Yeah, it works both ways. I think it’s, it’s, for us, it’s always been, let’s go to where we have an organized group of people who we can actually educate or, you know, get them in their hands. It’s harder when it’s what we call CtoC consumer to consumer, because then I have to educate an individual consumer and how to download the app. It’s all easy to do is just, you know, it’s it’s very what I call total that we’ve got, we’ve always gone where one one webinar with 30 agencies at once all, you know, spread the capabilities on much faster way But absolutely, it does work for what I call consumer to consumer. It’s all advertising.

Jeremy Weisz 9:55

Yeah, I mean, it’s interesting, the different applications because even with Groupon, like great Groupon when, you know, it was the point. And it started off as like just trying to gather large people for advocating for moving that parking meter or whatever. And there’s so many different applications and obviously, same thing with with Chalk. Right. Um, so before we in the business applications xAd, okay, so if people don’t know what xAd is, it’s, it was a, you know, tooth established in 2009, the largest mobile, local advertising network in the US and offered targeted search display and in a lot of other things, probably billions of business listings and requests every month and everything like that. Take me back to Ziad for a second. And because there was some personal stuff that went on with x add that I think it’d be interesting to talk about,

Craig Hagopian 10:49

yeah, definitely was going back to the original discussion about where did Chalk come around. I was in San Francisco at that time, as I mentioned, I was also the co founder of xAd, which now today is called Ground Truth. And we were growing just enormously and in this space, you really need to be anchored in New York, Cisco’s great, it’s a it’s the mega city for advertising and, you know, growing businesses on the west coast, but you’ve got to have an East Coast presence. And so it was a decision made by the team, that we need to move our business to New York, and I was one of the older guys on the team, with a family and to move nothing against New York or you know, living in New York, but at that time, it was a really hard thing to do. And so I had to actually kind of parachute out. And that’s a really difficult thing to kind of give up one of your babies to move across the country. And so that actually, you know, was a good, good thing for my family. Because, you know, I was traveling constantly anyway. And probably if I kept on that path, who knows?

Jeremy Weisz 11:52

Your family looked like at that time with a

Craig Hagopian 11:55

wife and two kids that were in there. Like one was like nine and the other one was 12.

Jeremy Weisz 12:02

Yeah. Right. They you’d be ostracized from your family, if you took them. And you made him go to a different school and make new friends.

Craig Hagopian 12:09

And not only just the move, and everything else. And, you know, I was already commuting three, four days a week anyway, right? Traveling everywhere. And to go to New York, it’s hard. It’s tough. And so that’s one of those forks in your life, did you make a decision, but then then allowed me to take some time off and kind of reconsider what I was doing and seeing how, you know, we had built GroundTruth and said, Well, maybe we can build a different way. And lo and behold, that all kind of moved together didn’t happen overnight, right? That year, after, you know, not going with GroundTruth or xAd at the time, to the east coast, we’re kind of painful, you know, there’s a separation among your, your colleagues and friends about what they’re doing. And, and you’re kind of spinning in a different direction. And so anyway, was great, you know, kind of self gave me like a mid career hiatus for a year. But then I just couldn’t get myself out of the ad tech world. And that’s where, you know, checking back in. But yeah, tough to do that.

Jeremy Weisz 13:08

Craig, you know, tell me a little bit more about the internal dialogue, maybe with just in your head or with your family, because I’m sure there’s people right now listening who maybe are at a crossroads, they have to make a decision. And when we all have been with COVID, right. I mean, it’s changed a lot of things. But, um, for you, when you were starting to it’s a strain, personally on the family to be traveling that much, especially when you’re used to being close. When you came to a decision to go, Okay, I think I need to change, it’s also tough, because this is your baby. So what, what, what were the options for you, in your mind of what you were going to do?

Craig Hagopian 13:53

Yeah, so the options were, you know, not to, you know, separate the baby, right? We could say, Well, why don’t we have a, you know, a different organization on the West Coast or something like that? I thought that would actually kind of the old adage, right, where, you know, you have a, you have a bike and two people that you know, you both want to split in half, well, then both people don’t have a bike that runs right. And so sometimes you somebody, you know, for the bigger love has to give up the bike and let the other person be able to ride it around. And that really was the decision for me is that I thought, I cared so much about the company’s success and future that for me, it was it was the right sacrifice plus I had I was blessed with a great family and I didn’t want to disrupt that in the long term. You know, work is important. But I think you know, if you look back on your you know, your life and your and your last few days and you say, wow, I I moved my company, but then I lost my family. I don’t think that would be the right thing to say. You know, your epitaph, I think it’d be better to say, I started something else or I did something else but my family and I You know, were together, at least for me, that was the way to look at it more,

Jeremy Weisz 15:04

when you laid out the options you go, okay, we could do we could keep a branch here in San Francisco, I can run it. At that point, was there an option just to be virtual, or it’s just not possible

Craig Hagopian 15:17

in 2012, I don’t think a lot of people were thinking virtual right. Plus, it was such an intensive face to face business still lives, right. And we decided that we were just gonna leave engineering there. And I wasn’t part of the engineering, I was the sales and marketing team, I had to be at the headquarters with the, with the, with all the salespeople. So that’s kind of, you know, taking a different path. And I didn’t want to change what I was doing, um, you know, plus, I don’t want to be running engineering, when that’s not really my skill set, or even, you know, we have very capable people running engineering. So that wasn’t a fit. It was it was actually, you know, maybe a blessing. The neat thing is that, you know, we had investors, and we had boards that I had to, you know, we sat with everybody, and we went through, you know, how do we do this, and I think, actually, you know, ended up being great for them, because everybody can, you know, get stronger, in some ways, because they’re not relying always on Craig, or whatever Craig was bringing in or doing. So I think it was, it ended up being really great. And I love doing Chalk, and I still talk to my GroundTruth, friends. Those are still there. So it ended up being a blessing, I

Jeremy Weisz 16:22

think so yeah. So you just said, okay, it’s got to be in New York, I need to be present or not at all, type of thing. And then you decide, well, cuz you could, I guess, also just stay on as like an advisor. But it sounds like, you know, how do you decide to then part do you, okay, you can buy my shares, because you could have probably stayed on as a, as just like a advisor to I imagine,

Craig Hagopian 16:48

yeah, I actually did for about maybe six months or so I had, you know, an advisor ship kind of thing. And, but it’s, it’s weird, where, you know, for a while, they continue to just talk to you about things, right. And because you still know what what’s going on, you can give some advice. But after maybe six months, if you’re not in the business every day, or talking to the same accounts or whatever is going on, they lose touch, you lose touch in it, it just kind of naturally goes through an organic, you know, all sudden, the phone doesn’t ring as many times that you are whatever it is. So that kind of just takes its own path. But the interesting thing about the stock you brought up was that there’s, you know, in when you start a company, there’s usually what it called founder shares, which are kind of given to you and those are kind of granted. And then as you’re you’re there for a while, or you’re, you know, employees that weren’t part of the founding team, you’ll get options. And so I had a combination of those two over the years. And what I was able to do is work and this is something maybe everybody should think about when they you know, exit, if they especially if they have good relationship with the management company, they’re talking about, hey, give me six months, or give me a year to make a decision about my stock. Heck, if you if you, you know, go if you go public, or you get bought, well, then everything’s kind of easy to take care of, because everything transacts, and there’s a change of ownership. But I’ll give me a year to buy, especially when you knew you’d have a decent amount of stock that you’ve compiled, you know, you just can’t write a check, especially now, when you don’t have a, you know, new salary coming in. So I asked for some time to make a decision. And therefore, let’s just say there was a pot of stock, and I ended up, you know, grabbing more than half of it, I just didn’t get all of it. Because there’s only so much money, you can try to cobble together on a shares. So that was kind of go, I definitely suggest that for entrepreneurs and those that get in this situation, about working with the management team, especially when you have a good relationship with them and the board and say, Hey, I don’t want to do anything disruptive, I want to actually help the company out from the outside, but just give me time to make decisions about my stock. And, you know, usually you’ll end up returning some unless you want to buy them all, which is great too, for the company, right, they get a little, they get a little liquidity of the strike prices. But for me, it was taking some off the table. And I still consider Ground Truth kind of like I call it my 401k because I still have shares there and I wish them well. And I really don’t run into them. And in what I do today, we’re such at a different point and how we access partners and work with them. That, you know, I’ve never had anyone come up and say, okay, it’s between you and GroundTruth I’ve never heard that in a, you know, agency discussion. They know that I have that background, which is kind of cool, because it gives me some credibility instantly walking in, say, Oh, you guys, you helped start, you know, that company, which is really a masterful, large network. Ours is not as large but it’s based on how to get things done in an easier way. So anyway, hopefully that’s kind of a a nice animal. It’s interesting read about how to kind of work with your founders. And again, you know, at that time GroundTruth had outside investors. So you had institutions that were sitting on the board, right so it’s not like they’re the most friendly gentlemen and ladies because they’re all about the investment, but they understood the importance of the team and and how you treat somebody like me well Then reflect on the rest of the company. And they don’t want to be working for a company that looks like an ogre, right? Or doesn’t have compassion for people who put in years and years of service or do things, right. So those are the kinds of things that you know, if you’re an entrepreneur and you are, you’re faced with that, you need to kind of bring those to the forefront say, Hey, listen, I wanna do everything I can to help the companies just a change in life, or there’s a different road I need to pursue, how do we work this together. And as soon as you get that, going with your team, or with a couple keyboard people or, you know, advisors, I think it really goes much smoother.

Jeremy Weisz 20:33

That’s really interesting. I was not even thinking about that. But ultimately, they you can, you know, a company could say, Okay, well, I’m gonna, I want to retain something, but then they will buy you out of whatever you don’t want, so that you get some, you know, kind of cushion to what your next thing is, but you also keep some of the sweat, blood and sweat and tears you poured into it. And you keep that for the future.

Craig Hagopian 20:57

Yep, absolutely. Yeah, and I think that’s, you know, for most stock plans I’ve seen, I mean, it’s not like there’s some, you know, special thing, I think most companies are set up with this, you know, a common and some options, and, and they all have time bases on how long you take to make a decision. So, you know, stretch on it, even if it says in your paperwork, you know, you have to make a decision within 60 days of leaving the company, you know, you can sit down and talk and work with the board, and especially if it’s a large amount of shares, and I encourage you to do that, because you can also say, hey, I want to be the biggest advocate for the company, and I want to help you guys grow, even though I can’t be part of it every day, you know, there’s a lot of things I can still do. And for me, I even you know, said I won’t work in your space for a year. So another reason why I kind of took my hiatus in my sabbatical, mental, physical and otherwise, was to just stay out of that space for a year. And really just separate. And they also gave me time to think about Chalk and other things I wanted to do. So, you know, it’s, it’s not like a bad thing, it’s actually ends up being a really healthy thing, if you can kind of clearly separate and have, you know, some rules about how you want to be treated after you leave. And again, I’m not saying this is for, you know, somebody who comes on board for two years or a year and a half. And they’re, you know, they’re a operational clerk, I’m not, I’m not looking at those kind of people. But we’re all the founders on the call, and the entrepreneurs that really are ground floor, people, you have a lot more leverage than you think. Both coming into the business and also leaving the business.

Jeremy Weisz 22:27

Really interesting. So let’s talk thanks for sharing that, it probably was a really tough decision to make.

Craig Hagopian 22:35

You really just, you know, it’s one of the things but the more I do in my new business Chalk, the less I even think about those kinds of things, right, for the I’ll tell you for the first year, or those, you know, early months, right after leaving GroundTruth, or having that separation, you know, you go to bed thinking about that every night, you know, like, what’s going on here, is I make the right decision, or this is the right thing, and, and I couldn’t really you know, I don’t think I slept well for those first two, three months after that. And then after, after a while, you kind of get your own cadence back, and you know, the compression is different. But everyone, everyone will try it out. I just don’t think you should look at it as a, as a black environment of you know, what bad might happen to you, you’d look at as the good thanks.

Jeremy Weisz 23:18

Talk about I mean, some of the, the leadership and team at Chalk, when you decided to start this, and then who’s involved now, because you tend to have these companies, you build a really good team around you. So it’s not just you.

Craig Hagopian 23:36

Yep, I can’t do anything by myself, right? Or at least nothing of great importance or consequences. I believe that, you know, teams are the foundations, especially early on with entrepreneurs. It’s the team that most people you know, bet on, or invest in, forget about the slide where whatever you’re present presenting, it’s usually 80% team is the weight that investor makes. So to answer your question about what I did, I was very fortunate to have a good network, I did make a decision with the GroundTruth or xAd team that I wasn’t gonna poach anybody, even after I take my year off, I’m not here to cause issues. But if somebody I knew at GroundTruth is already gone to the left, that’s fine. Nobody has an issue with that. So to kind of look at that. And that way, you know, you have trust, especially today where you’re working virtually. And you you know, you may not be seeing each other every day in the in the the hallways or the office, you really have to you know, I think it’s a there’s a paramount importance on working with people you already know, or you have some trust with. And so for me, the leadership team ended up being that the former head of technology for Ground Truth, he also had a had a couple of kids and, and though he could stay back in the San Francisco area and not have to worry about New York, there was you know, there’s always just kind of a divide and so he decided on his own accord after a while that he wanted to make a break. And he said, Craig, I do like your vision about Chalk and democratizing advertising. And so I was very blessed that I had the engineering horsepower very early on at Chalk. And so the co founders Chandra Kholia, who was also the head of engineering for GroundTruth ended up being my co founder at Chalk and I helps a great deal. The other you know, I have a three legged stool. The other component is a gentleman that I met back in the 90s, who helped Sony get into a bunch of different businesses, his name is Satoru Yukie. And again, going back to people you know, and trust, and you’ve done a lot of things with. And so Yukie runs all our international business, which today is actually dominant in our company. And for those that run a smaller company, you know, on your call, or listening to us on a podcast, you know, a lot of them just never think about outside of the country they’re operating within. And if you can find the right partners, going global is a really smart thing. And I’ll tell you a real case here with Chalk in the last two years with the pandemic, you know us in still today is, you know, you know, kind of diving and moving and trying to navigate itself through COVID other parts of the world, especially in Asia, they’re more used to these pandemics than wearing masks is not a statement of, you know, political sides. Either way, I don’t want to get into that part of it. But because we had a lot of our business outside the US, we wait, we really navigated through COVID, and actually end up with one of our best years in 2020, because we weren’t just in one market. And therefore if that market catches cold, you know, you get a cold here, even though us was down maybe 15 25% depend on the on the sector of advertising. We didn’t experience that at all in other parts of our business. And so it really helped us, you know, and again, we didn’t set up our business because of COVID. That way, it just worked out that being you know, kind of global, even though you’re a small company, is actually a smart thing.

Jeremy Weisz 27:01

Yeah, I love that Craig. Everyone goes to you see there is Chalk Japan and the dashboard. And, and it is smart, because a lot of people I think myself included definitely is like we’re not thinking international at all. And there’s a big opportunity,

Craig Hagopian 27:19

Right. And that’s also why I said you, you can launch a campaign anywhere in the world, I have to do put a little asterisk qualifier for you this on that Jeremy, we don’t run any advertising today or don’t have access to North North Korea.

Jeremy Weisz 27:35

I’m not sure what I would advertise. Personally, but

Craig Hagopian 27:39

no, but most of the partners we work with, we’ve got Global Access, we have servers, you know, all across the planet, in servers, edge servers that allow us to run advertising in all parts of the world. And which actually is end up very kind of cool. Give me another anecdote, we have some average advertisers actually real estate agents in Mexico. And obviously, they do run some advertising in Mexico, but they also really want to bring down folks that live in, you know, the US and Canada and other parts of the world, especially when they live in these resort cities where the homes are more for, you know, business travel or for families that you know, maybe are on a different spectrum of purchase. And they’ll actually have us run their campaigns in different parts of the world, just to kind of say, Hey, have you ever thought about living in this part of the world or look at this, you know, beautiful, exotic home, which you’d never afford, maybe, let’s say and you know, California, it’d be very affordable in other parts of the world.

Jeremy Weisz 28:35

I’ve totally seen those, like, come to Wisconsin, or whatever. Um, let’s go through a couple business applications. I don’t know if you want to share your screen, because I like the visual you’re showing me before you hit record. And so if you want to share your screen and let walk through a couple scenarios on how I think we’ll use Chalk Digital,

Craig Hagopian 28:59

yeah, I think it gets a little bit of what I call visual with the audio here, let me do the screen share. And we’ll go for it. Here we go. That’s perfect. So I have, you know, four or five vignettes, really quick little thumbnails, I would say all of them had an agency component, meaning that the agencies involved in either creating the creative, or they were the ones that wanted us to bring in the tool. So I think everybody can relate to you know, them being the kind of the central part of any campaign. So wonder front, I’ll just use this as the first one. And because of the nature of our campaign, or our platform being so real time, you know, things like this where you’ve got a live event, we’re actually kind of a nice way to kind of promote it. This case because we knew about, we had time to kind of schedule this wonder friend is a festival probably ran 20 30,000 people in back in 2019, obviously 2020 it was canceled. going to come back on 2021. And where Chalk comes in is that we were able to, you know, they told us who they thought their customer would be, or who would be as somebody likely to come to this event had over 100 artists 10 stages. I mean, it took over downtown San Diego. So what we did is we flooded about a 200 mile radius around the festival grounds. And we went on apps that had a lot of music centric, you know, like, the Pandora is in a Spotify eyes. And we served based on those kinds of signals that said, you’re probably you’ve got that on your phone, you’re probably more likely to be interested in music, and you like music. And so we use that. And then we looked at the engagement levels. And because our platform is real time, we can actually collect those users. So next year, or this coming year, when we do the, you know, second inaugural event, we are going to go ahead and go back into our archives and pull out those consumers that we saw at the event, as well as those we reached, and let them know that wonder funds back on back on stage. So it’s kind of an interesting use case. Closer to home, maybe not as big in scope. But you know, local restaurant, especially today, where you know, a lot of people don’t know, hey, is my restaurant open yet or not?

Jeremy Weisz 31:13

We’re regular amounts of Chalk Digital.

Craig Hagopian 31:16

Exactly right. And that’s that was probably the, the root of it was that that sign that tech chalkboard with the daily special. Here, we actually partnered with a MSI company, meaning a standalone insertion company that did you know, like a printed flyer to homes. And so we took their printed flyer made it into an ad unit. And so now in a neighborhood where you’re canvassing, you know, hundreds of homes, you’re not only reaching them digitally, but you’re also reaching them on print. And I’m a big omni channel believer, I don’t believe digital is better than Lego, you know, offline, I think both of them together, you they make them work better together. And so here, because they had a flyer being delivered, you know, to the resonance of right. And then we were able to overlay that with our channel, you got really good for 14,000 impressions on top of the delivery. And we were only like 5% of the spin, right? Because the print is much more expensive than 14,000 ads, we drove great engagement, which in our world we call CTR, or click through rates of 78, which is half a percent, that’s really good. And then we got a lot of secondary actions and coupons were downloaded and phone calls and allowed them to introduce it. They’re you know, they were brand new restaurant in the area. And obviously, I do recommend that you know, have a compelling offer. And you can see here that it was a free lunch buffet. that’s compelling. That’s pretty good, right? I think the idea was that you have to go in there, buy a lunch, you’ll get a lunch for free. But again, that’s how they did the execution today, it’s kind of a neat way to do it. Really

Jeremy Weisz 32:49

quickly, Craig on that, on that example. Um, so your platform, and you can take that physical data and make it in serve up digitally?

Craig Hagopian 32:59

Yeah, yeah. So two things we do to kind of translate that offline, or the physical world to the digital virtual world, is that we can take the creative, lift the key aspects and the look and the color and whatever the photos are. Because that way, you’re being consistent about your you know, your messaging and your branding across the offline, the online, that’s the first thing we do. The second is we’ll ask you, well, where are you serving today, you know, maybe you can actually show me your zip code list or your mail list, or whatever it is, we’ll bring that in. And then we’ll we’ll match that list to a digital household level. And so we’re actually overlain are digital in the same home that you’re trying to serve? Physical. And I’ll just give you some examples. What happens is, if you did one or the other by themselves, they’re both going to be fine. But when you put them together, there’s this kind of a more of a air and ground attack. And they both do a much better job. And what we find is that homes that only get one piece, let’s just say it does x, but what we find is if you do both, you get x plus point three, so you get a 30% bump, when you kind of bring them both together. So things to think about, you know, you know, agencies, how do you coordinate different media’s together is really key. And we think our platform helps you do that?

Jeremy Weisz 34:21

Oh, yeah. I mean, with any marketing, I don’t know what the stats are. I’ve heard various things you need. People need to see something five to 10 times before they take an action. So the more we see it, especially then there’s more credibility, because you’re like, well, I’m seeing them everywhere. They’re on my phone. I’m getting the mailer. And you feel like there’s more credibility there as well. So I love I love the the multi channel,

Craig Hagopian 34:46

and I think also all of us consume content in different ways, right? If I’m in a household, there might be some people who do pick up the mail and they’re the one that will maybe see that flyer, but the rest of the family didn’t see that flyer. Right. So You know, other people in the home might see the digital and not the other way around. So it’s really smart to kind of combine the two are mine, three or four? Love it. So what was the next one? Oh, yeah, sorry. So next one is a kind of a, again, still very local in nature. That’s one of the core pieces of our companies that we like to have a local component, though we’ve run national campaigns for folks, at the end of the day, we all think that everything’s still local at some level. Here, what we’ve done is we’ve built a whole suite of ads, there are templates for Berkshire agents. And so when they log in, we already know what their their headshot looks like, we already know all this specifics about them. So when they go to launch a campaign 90% of that campaign is already built before they even did anything. And all they need to do is kind of paint or enter the location they want this ad to run in. Like, maybe it’s a farming territory, or, you know, it’s consistent with a mail list again, and these just overlay, and then we give them a dashboard, it gives them all the reporting. And so it’s it’s kind of what we call a franchise, use of our platform. So any agency that’s working with a franchise, they’re always trying to figure out, well, I can work with, you know, corporate on the national campaign, but how do I, you know, help the rest of the network out. And so we actually can help them bridge those kinds of solutions by giving them a tool that they can actually give to their client, leveraging the creative they did for corporate. And now it’s kind of a brand consistent kind of game because, as you know, real estate agents or maybe you don’t know, but real estate agents, even though they might have a business card that says, Berkshire or Coldwell or whatever they say, they’re still really independent operators. And so there’s only so much that the brand can do, they can they can say, hey, please use my tool, and please don’t mess up my logo, and please use the right color. But at the end of the day, if an agent goes down the street to one of their friends to run a, an ad, and they kind of squish the ad or they screw it up, it’s running,

Jeremy Weisz 36:49

it’s still representing still representing.

Craig Hagopian 36:51

So you know, the brands are kind of always perplexed about how do I keep my brand consistent, which helps everybody, but also allow them to have their own autonomy. And so our platform, I think, walks that fine line, where it’s been set up by the brand, folks and the marketing people. So they know what’s going to look great. And you can see here, it’s even in different languages. So they don’t have to be an expert if they want to run a campaign in a different part of the world they can. And so, you know, this is a really good example of how we kind of go in at a very high level, but also it waterfalls down to the local agent to run their own business.

Jeremy Weisz 37:25

Yeah. I guess the question I have with that is who’s using the platform? So an agency could use it for franchises? And do the real estate companies sometimes come and use it? Or would the individual what some of the individual real estate people use it? Or at what level? Is it? Okay? No, no, Jeremy is the agency and in the larger company in the real individual real estate, people aren’t really not using it on that level? Who’s who’s typically using it?

Craig Hagopian 37:56

So for I answer the question, but at the highest level, then I’ll give you exactly how the Berkshire pieces don’t. So with Chalk, we have a platform that it’s actually comes in two different flavors, one for an agency, where they have that there is a centralized platform just for them, and all their clients live in there. And they can actually open up any client they want and do the work they need to do. The other product we have as an enterprise product, which we then drop into a company like Berkshire, where the selling is to the company, the corporate entity, and we set everything up, and we make it walk and talk the way they want. And it goes inside of their toolbox for you know, where their commission checks are and where all the other tools are. There’s a button that says chalk on it. And therefore, it’s been set up for by corporate, but it’s for the individual agent operated. So it’s it’s been dumbed down. Like the way the workflow works is very simple, like a, you know, I say, a fifth grader could read and understand what the screens are trying to do. So that you don’t have to be an expert, the agency product, or platform, very sophisticated, or, you know, we dial it up and allow them to have a lot more tools, because that’s their business and they understand it. And so you’ll see a lot of, you know, a lot more levers and buttons and it’s a lot more technical. I would never try to have an agent or any small business, get interfaced with the agency product. It’s just overwhelming, not because it’s technical or hard. It’s just it’s, you know, giving them things that only an agency can appreciate. You know, so anyway, that’s the way we go to market. So in this scenario, we actually have two customers, I’ve got corporate who’s set the table, I work with them. And we actually do some things for them that you know, at a corporate level too, but the real bulk of the business is allowing you know, the 50,000 agents plus in the United States and brokers have to access to their own tools.

Jeremy Weisz 39:44

I love it. Craig, I think we have time for one more case study. I love you to share it and I just want to point people towards check it out. This has been great. I really appreciate your time and sharing This that what’s the last one we should last one?

Craig Hagopian 40:04

Okay, this one is to me actually the perfect, full circle of the beginning of Chalk, which I mentioned to you like, take a photo of something like a chalkboard on the front of your business and propagate it out. So we’re working with a huge recruiting firm, top three in Asia. And this is not the recruiting firm that maybe all of us on this on this podcast would want meaning an executive recruiting firm trying to find your job. This is actually a team of about 1000 salespeople that goes door to door to local businesses and says, Oh, I need a cashier, I need a clerk, I need a waitstaff, your your hourly, seasonal part time workers, it’s a very different market. And what they do is they go in there with their phone, and they can actually take a live photo of the business or the team. And these ads, you can see that you know, you probably can’t read them all. But these ads are basically saying Come join us come work for us. And some actually even say it’s $12 an hour. And it’s flexible time. And what we’re doing is because the business is actually trying to find these staffs, we’re putting a very tight what I call circles or bubbles around these businesses, because it’s doing two things. One is letting local people know, hey, if I need a part time job, I’m not going to go across the country for a part time job, right? I can’t even get there transportation wise, this is local, part time. And on top of it, it also if you’re not interested in the job, it makes you think about that business again, you think about them and, and so it’s actually doing a little bit of double duty, it’s helping the business grow by promoting its product or service. Because usually you’ve got a picture of whatever you’re selling in there, you know, like the sandwich or the food or whatever. But you’re also letting people know, hey, we’re growing, we need staff

Jeremy Weisz 41:45

does double duty,

Craig Hagopian 41:46

double duty. So this is a perfect, you know, I couldn’t have dreamed of a better use of Chalk, which is it’s local, you can personalize it. Some of them like the McDonald’s one here in the middle, you can see it’s a corporate stock photo, which is fine, we allow you to put that in, but the other ones and so and so is Musburger in the bottom, but the other three are donkey at the top, Amazon and Costco those are real life photos. Those are actual, you know, authentic photos of the team and the business saying Come on in and work for us. And I think that’s a really kind of a powerful story about how local advertising kind of bonds you with your community. So anyway, that’s what we’re doing here. And this is I think, hopefully a nice one to kind of put a cherry on top for where we’ve been in what we’ve done. And here’s a large company using us both at a corporate level but also at the local ground level. You know, trying to find jobs for people today which is a huge thing because of all the disruption from the last year.

Jeremy Weisz 42:44

Craig I want to be the first one to thank you everyone check out check out more episodes of the podcast check out Rise25 and Craig Thank you so much.

Craig Hagopian 42:54

Hey, thank you, Jeremy. Love to follow up with anybody who has questions and love your podcast I think you’ve convinced me I need to do one of these every couple of weeks

Jeremy Weisz 43:03

100% so people can contact you through through contact us or any other better places

Craig Hagopian 43:10

it actually I’m you know, I’m an open open book here. Just reach out to me at [email protected] that’s my email. happy to follow up with any of your your audience in your your business.

Jeremy Weisz 43:24

Thanks, Craig.

Craig Hagopian 43:25

Thanks, buddy.