For the AdAction Interactive team, it’s hard to believe that only six years ago, the marketing tech firm was just getting started.
Alone at the helm stood CEO and founder Brian Fox, a marketing expert with an impressive background and network, a concrete business model and the bootstrapped resources to lift AdAction off the ground.
After hand-selecting these early employees, many of whom remain at AdAction, Fox and his emerging team sought to optimize the reach of brands through custom, performance-based and data-driven mobile marketing campaigns.
That first year was no walk in the park, but the challenges and wins set the foundation for AdAction’s current success, which includes growing a team to nearly 50 employees, adding a sister office in Austin, as well as the adoption of a “can’t stop, won’t stop” company mantra that continues to live strong to this day.
We caught up with CFO and COO Kevin Fox, a member of AdAction’s founding cast, to learn more about how their “can’t stop, won’t stop” practice has led to some of their biggest milestones.
What inspired the “can’t stop, won’t stop” motto?
It may have been our now VP of Business Development, Andy Norwood, who first used this phrase early on to describe our team culture. It was the perfect articulation of our team's mentality, and quickly stuck as the AdAction mantra.
How was this mantra best exemplified during AdAction’s first year?
At the time, we were building our network from the ground up. Every action in a day by each team member could have a significant impact on that day's performance. One more offer created, one more publisher live on a campaign, meetings in the middle of the night with international advertisers or publishers – every extra effort had an effect on our daily numbers.
We literally couldn't stop, because if we weren't hustling, then we weren't going to establish ourselves as a legitimate player in the space. We weren't going to stop either, because it was exhilarating working with like-minded hustlers with a shared vision, and seeing our collective hustle result in success and growth, literally on a day-by-day basis.
We literally couldn't stop, because if we weren't hustling, then we weren't going to establish ourselves as a legitimate player in the space.”
Six years later, how has the culture and work ethic that powers the “can’t stop, won’t stop” attitude evolved?
The underlying tone of our mantra has never changed, but it has evolved alongside AdAction. From our very first day we’ve been client focused, assisting with user acquisition and digital marketing. As an established media company, our “can’t stop, won’t stop” mantra has evolved into an even greater version of itself. Now the meaning is rooted even more so with our people.
Our challenges are different than in year one, but our team mentality still propels us forward. We can’t stop, and won’t stop, working together to be the premiere media company in our space. We genuinely care about our team members first, so we work hard for each other. Now, we can’t stop and won’t stop being our best because we do it collectively with each other.
What company milestones has your team celebrated over the past six years?
There are tons, but the ones that stand out for me include the first time we received a six-figure payment from a client, circa 2014, and the first time we hit $100,000 in gross profit in one day. Those high-five moments were as pure as they come — and we’ve had many of those over the years. In Austin, a great milestone for us was moving into our new, current office. We progressed from my home office, to shared spaces, sub-leases, and have finally grown to a point where we needed to find the space we’re in now.
We all seem to adhere to this unwritten rule that we work hard for each other, because we believe in each other...”
What are some of your favorite team memories, big or small, that stand out to you?
There are truly so many; I am so happy and proud to be part of the team. Achieving success together has been thrilling. I can recall specific times that we were finally going live with a big publisher after months of work, or landed a client for an exclusive burst that we monitored closely to find that we’d achieved, or in most cases, exceeded their goals. My best memories over the last six years are from personal moments shared with our team here — like that time we saw Icona Pop together at ACL, or when we raced BMWs together, or did karaoke onstage in Orlando. The connection the AdAction team has with each other is unique. We all seem to adhere to this unwritten rule that we work hard for each other, because we believe in each other, respect each other and want to do our best to represent each other.
What’s one thing about your team or company that would surprise people?
I’m not sure if people understand how dangerous we would be in a competitive water volleyball competition.