As A Sole Founder Here Are 5 Things I Can Never Tell My Employees

As A Sole Founder Here Are 5 Things I Can Never Tell My Employees

As the Founder and CEO of PK4 Media since 2009, I have had many employees over the years.  Some have been good, others great, and there have been a handful of bad apples to be sure.  In certain cases, I have made great friendships and on rare occasions those who have worked for me have become family.

However, as the leader of an enterprise, I have learned to be careful with what I tell my employees no matter how close we are.

It is a simple reality that my entire life is staked in the success of this company.  Equally as important is that the financial well-being of my employees and their families whose entire livelihood depends on the success of my creation, my company.

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Cosby Show's Geoffrey Owens Just Took Entrepreneurs To School

Cosby Show's Geoffrey Owens Just Took Entrepreneurs To School

As an entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of PK4 Media, the former Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens story hit me like a ton of bricks.  If only Bill Cosby was half the man that Geoffrey Owens is.

In some respects, being an entrepreneur is not dissimilar from being an actor.  In both cases, you are chasing a dream with no safety net and not much to fall back on if you fail.

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Bootstrapping Secret: Spend Every Day Trying To Make Money, Not Save Money

Bootstrapping Secret: Spend Every Day Trying To Make Money, Not Save Money

My father was an entrepreneur and like him I always wanted to start my own company. When trying to build a business from scratch, one of the most important lessons he taught me is that you must spend every day trying to earn $1, not trying to save $1.

While I heard him growing up, I never quite understood what he meant until I started my own company.

After years of working for others in the burgeoning digital advertising space, I made the leap right after the great recession and launched PK4 Media

After some contemplation, I made the decision to bootstrap so I would have complete control of my vision and destiny.  As a result of that decision, I began to better understand what my father was trying to tell me.

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Travel Tricks Every Entrepreneur Needs To Know

Travel Tricks Every Entrepreneur Needs To Know

I have always spent extensive time traveling for business over the past 15 years.  Even prior to starting PK4 Media, I ran national sales teams with five U.S. offices and our parent company was based in the United Kingdom.

Since launching PK4 Media in 2009, I have spent at least one week per month on the road.  In the process, I have learned every travel trick in the book to help make the trip comfortable and successful.

For many entrepreneurs, business travel can be stressful, expensive, and cause problems to the company’s bottom line if missteps are made.

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The 20% Rule: The Guiding Principle For Startups

The 20% Rule: The Guiding Principle For Startups

Back in 2009, I was about to quit my job to launch PK4 Media and like most entrepreneurs I sought advice.  I grew up in Silicon Valley and was fortuitous enough to chat with several high-profile pioneers in the technology industry who told me about the 80/20 rule.

The Pareto Principle suggests that 20% of my efforts would produce 80% of my results and I must remain focused on high ROI activities and avoid distractions.

This was very sound advice that helped PK4 Media become the advertising industry’s first omni-channel media company.  As we approach our 10-year anniversary – including three acquisitions – aspiring entrepreneurs now seek my advice, which, aside from making me feel old, I am humbled to give.

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The Ingredients Of Success: How El Bulli Chef Ferran Adria Shaped My Company

The Ingredients Of Success: How El Bulli Chef Ferran Adria Shaped My Company

As an entrepreneur who founded the advertising industry’s first Omni-Channel media company, I often get asked how I got my business off the ground.

While there are many factors that lead to success, one reason is not related to advertising at all.  Like everyone else these days, I am a foodie seeking the ideal culinary experience from Michelin star rated restaurants and chefs.

In the summer of 2002, a sequence of fortuitous events allowed me to be the only non-chef to ever work in Chef Ferran Adria kitchen at El Bulli.

Most people do not realize that a world-class Chef is also an entrepreneur, owner and CEO.  Working at the chef’s table in El Bulli allowed me to learn from one of the best CEOs in the world.

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Super Bowl: Why $5 Million for 30 Seconds May No Longer Make Sense

Super Bowl: Why $5 Million for 30 Seconds May No Longer Make Sense

In a world with an ever-growing number of touchpoints, does spending $5 million for 30 seconds still make sense?

Back in 2011, a handful of brands began to pre-promote their Super Bowl television spots on digital and social media. It was an unprecedented concept to “build buzz” in the lead up to the game. The groundbreaking tactic received national coverage in the New York Times. Companies such as Best Buy, Coca-Cola, and Mercedes-Benz realized that if they were paying $2.8 million for 30-seconds of TV time – or approximately $100,000 per second – that they needed to maximize return on investment by leveraging platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

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3 Digital Advertising Trends to Help Challenger Brands Become Champions in 2018

3 Digital Advertising Trends to Help Challenger Brands Become Champions in 2018

In 2017, Advertising Age reported that digital advertising spends surpassed TV for the first time. The explosion of digital – including its rapidly changing opportunities and challenges – will give challenger brands more than a puncher's chance to become champions in 2018.

Companies such as Coca-Cola, L'Oréal and Nike are the current heavyweight champions of their respective industries. Does that mean all other brands should concede and head home?

The answer is an emphatic no. Challenger brands that leverage cutting-edge advertising trends and technologies will be able to overcome deficits in infrastructure, budget and manpower on unprecedented levels in 2018.

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Knowing When To Exit: Why I Turned Down a $30 Million Offer

Knowing When To Exit: Why I Turned Down a $30 Million Offer

I launched PK4 Media eight years ago as the advertising industries first Omni-Channel media company.  Having worked in the industry for many years, I saw pain points and opportunities to solve them.

After several years, we became a multimillion dollar business. Our proprietary XPS technology was serving, monitoring and collecting data on ads across all platforms.  This was when everyone was focused on migrating from websites to mobile content.  We knew that the ability to provide a seamless customer journey across all platforms was the future.

I was not seeking an exit but had regularly received offers through the years of up to $30+ million to buy PK4 Media.  After some deliberation, I turned down those offers.

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Don't Freak Out: How I Stopped a Fortune 500 Company From Stealing Our Intellectual Property

Don't Freak Out: How I Stopped a Fortune 500 Company From Stealing Our Intellectual Property

Back in 2012, my digital advertising company PK4 Media had several clients.  We were bootstrapping and had positive cash flow but I was ready to take it to the next level.

In the rapidly evolving digital advertising landscape, new ideas and cutting-edge technology are what separate those who succeed and those who fail.

There were two instances, where our technology was nearly stolen -- once by a Fortune 500 company and once from my own protégé.  Here is how it happened, how we prevented it from happening, and what we learned about how to protect our intellectual property.

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5 Reasons to Ditch Programmatic for Private Marketplaces

5 Reasons to Ditch Programmatic for Private Marketplaces

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said it best: “If humans are to survive, we must merge with machines.”

As a long-time CEO in the rapidly evolving digital advertising community, what I am about to say may be seen as sacrilegious by some of my contemporaries: Advertisers need to spend less budget on programmatic.

This is not a war on programmatic, it is a necessary and nuanced evolution to avoid certain pitfalls.

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Digital Video Ad Effectiveness: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and More

Digital Video Ad Effectiveness: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and More

“Digital is more effective because it’s trackable. We’re able to see in real time if users are engaging with the brand. We know exactly what that’s worth and we can make actual decisions on it, so there are many benefits to having that digital video component.” —Tom Alexander, PK4 Media

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How PMP can help prevent fraud and programmatic lawsuits

How PMP can help prevent fraud and programmatic lawsuits

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk summed it up best when he said, "If humans are to survive, we must merge with machines." What I am about to say may be seen by some of my contemporaries as sacrilegious. But advertisers need to spend less of their budget on programmatic as we know it. This is not a war on programmatic. It is a necessary and nuanced evolution to avoid certain pitfalls. 

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Why Different Video Ad Channels Require Different Success Metrics

Why Different Video Ad Channels Require Different Success Metrics

Completion rate is often considered the reigning king of success metrics for video content, but it’s not always the only—or best—way to measure campaign effectiveness. Tom Alexander, founder and CEO of video advertising platform PK4 Media, spoke with eMarketer’s Sean Creamer about why the best metric for measuring success depends on the channel.

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PK4 Media: Omnichannel Platform Digitally Tracks Consumers at Home & at the Mall

PK4 Media: Omnichannel Platform Digitally Tracks Consumers at Home & at the Mall

Digital marketing has been a game-changer with marketing attribution and judging success rates. Now PK4 Media is working to bridge that digital verification with tangible results from marketing in the physical world.

PK4’s founder and CEO, Tom Alexander, discussed the company’s progress, process, and prospects with Open Mobile Media’s Robert Gray.

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Automatic Ads: An Invitation For Fraud?

Automatic Ads: An Invitation For Fraud?

Advertisers are spending billions of dollars on ad campaigns that human eyes never see, and understandably, they’re not too happy about it. Google is issuing platform fee refunds after discovering that the advertising tool DoubleClick Bid Manager had placed campaigns by hundreds of its marketers and ad agency partners on websites with fake traffic.

It’s called ad fraud, and according to PK4 Media CEO and Co-Founder Tom Alexander, it’s a way bigger problem than people realize. PK4 Media is an omni-channel private marketplace (PMP) company serving ads across desktop, mobile, in-mall, in-theater, and VOD channels, among others.

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Bots Don’t Buy: 5 Tips to Avoid Advertising Fraud

Bots Don’t Buy: 5 Tips to Avoid Advertising Fraud

President Ronald Reagan once famously said about the Soviet Union, “Trust but verify.” While digital advertising is not as much of an existential threat as the Cold War was, the principle of verification very much applies.

Since bots don’t buy products or services, brands looking to increase revenue through digital advertising campaigns must demand transparency and understand how campaigns are measured.

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4 Reasons Business Leaders Should Support the Paris Climate Accord

4 Reasons Business Leaders Should Support the Paris Climate Accord

Whether you live an environmentally-conscious green lifestyle or just like green in your pocket, there are myriad of reasons why business leaders must act swiftly in support of the Paris Climate Accord.

Recently, the U.S. Conference of Mayors became the latest political group to pledge support for the Accord independent of the federal government. American big businesses have also come out in full force. Apple, Google, HP, JP Morgan and many other large companies took out full page ads in the New York times and Wall Street Journal urging the president to reconsider withdrawal from the Accord for business reasons that included strengthening competitiveness, creating job growth and reducing risks that come with an unstable and erratic climate.

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