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“For decades, consumers have been victims of a torrential onslaught of messages and had no way to talk back. The advent of social technologies online has shifted the marketing paradigm.”

Matt Peters, Co-Founder & Creative Director
Brennan White, Co-Founder & Managing Director

Pandemic Labs is NOT just another social media company. This Boston-based social media marketing agency co-founded by Matt Peters and Brennan White, is dedicated to helping brands navigate the ever-changing world of new media to create marketing success.

What makes them different is that although technology is central to many of their
service offerings, they do not define themselves by any specific set of technologies.
Instead the theme at the core of their services is the belief that marketing is a dialogue not a monologue.

Matt Peters and Brennan White, Pandemic Labs - Co-Founders

MO: I love the statement that marketing is a dialogue not a monologue. Can you explain this concept further?

Matt: Traditional forms of marketing and advertising (print, TV, radio, display, etc.) have all been one-way transfers of information. The message is pumped out, and as a consumer, I have only the choice to see the message or not. I can watch the commercial or skip it, I can glance at the highway billboard, or not. For decades, consumers have been victims of a torrential onslaught of messages and had no way to talk back. The advent of social technologies online has shifted the marketing paradigm. Now, the flow of information is bi-directional. A brand can put a message out, but that message is then received, discussed, modified, and spread by the consumers. If old marketing was a lecture, new marketing is a dinner party.

MO: In a very saturated market of so-called social media specialists, how have you been able to differentiate yourself?

Matt: It’s been very simple actually. We do great work that is successful and therefore more brands come to us for help. Most so-called social media specialists spend 90% of their time talking about themselves and their theories, so they either don’t have the time or the ability to put a campaign into action and prove results.

MO: You mention that you excel at creating, executing and tracking campaigns. Speak to us about the “tracking” section of this. In what ways do you measure the success of your campaigns?

Matt: We are a very data-driven company. We track everything we can. Obviously, each platform has its own set of what can be tracked and its own tools for how to do it. Sometimes we use third-party tools, and sometimes we create our own tools that pull data we can’t get anywhere else. In terms of overall brand tracking, we have created our own system, called “Looking Glass,” that allows us to track mention volume, sentiment, topical association, and other criteria for our clients. Our reports are significantly more flexible and accurate than any dashboard-based solution out there. So, in measuring the success of a given campaign, we use a combination of our various tools to collect the data and compare against our goals and benchmarks that were laid out at the start of the campaign.

MO: You only spend 2% of profit on marketing because your clients are constantly referring new business to you. How have you been able to
create such a great referral response?

Matt: Success. I realize that sounds like an oversimplified answer, but we have achieved our success as a company because we spend all our time focused on the success of our clients. New business comes to us because we care so deeply about the success of our client’s efforts, and that shows through on many levels.

MO: Tell us more about your campaign with the Ritz-Carlton and the integration of foursquare into this campaign?

Matt: The Ritz-Carlton is a very strong brand and the fact that we get to work with them is a great opportunity.  As their social media agency, our campaign with them spans the full width and breadth of the social media space, and we’re proud to be entering our third year with them as their Social AOR. The Ritz-Carlton World Concierge on Foursquare was a natural move for the brand. It takes the collected knowledge and wisdom of the finest concierge staffs around the world and puts it in peoples’ pockets. The Ritz-Carlton was the first luxury hotel chain to do anything like this, and I really think it shows the kind of brand they are.

MO: You have already been fortunate enough to work with companies such as Dunkin’ Donuts, and Puma. Who would be your ideal client and why?

Matt: We have a lot of ideal clients because there are so many industries where social media is a valuable. But I think Lexus is an ideal client for us right now. First of all, when done right, social media can be extremely valuable for car companies. Secondly, we have an unparalleled understanding of social media and the luxury consumer, so there is probably no better social media agency out there to do this work for them.

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