This Detroit MarTech Company Is Recreating Brand Promotions

Lauren Zyber

By on 10/27/22

This Detroit MarTech Company Is Recreating Brand Promotions

If you’ve ever had FOMO (the fear of missing out) after hearing about a trip you can’t go on, or a concert you didn’t get tickets to, you know that FOMO is a powerful feeling. And next time, you’ll probably buy those tickets. 

The fear of missing out is just one of the emotions that Detroit tech company Quikly helps brands tap into in fun ways to drive sales. 

quikly sign“There’s a lot of noise right now for consumers,” said Kristy Sharrow, Quikly’s VP of Marketing. “It’s hard for brands, especially retail and restaurant brands, to get a consumer’s attention and motivate them to act.”

That’s why Quikly is building technology that uses psychology to cut through noise and motivate consumers in fun and engaging ways.

Think about the power of Cyber Monday or Amazon Prime Day. Quikly helps brands create that kind of hype every day of the year and takes it far beyond discounts. 

In addition to building software for marketers — they are a true MarTech company afterall — the company also uses their expertise to help brands strategize the best way to use Quikly’s tools. 

“From an employee perspective, it means we work very closely with amazing brands and amazing marketing teams,” said Scott Meves, Co-Founder and CTO at Quikly. “With those brands, we have a seat at the table, and that’s really exciting for anyone interested in marketing.”

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Scott and Shawn Geller, the CEO, founded the company in Detroit back in 2012. Since then, Quikly has motivated over 40 million customers with their technology for top brands like American Eagle, Domino’s Pizza, DSW and more. The marketing industry has rapidly evolved since 2012, and the need for Quikly has only become more important.

“It’s really about helping brands connect and build relationships with their customers and create enjoyable shopping experiences for them,” Scott said. “It’s not about manipulation or tricking people.”

“Part of our mission is to recreate brand promotions,” Kristy added. “To help marketers reach their goals faster, but also to create a great experience for consumers — fun, engaging, exciting, something they really want to be a part of.”

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To help even more, Quikly also provides educational resources for marketers, on everything from consumer psychology to DEI best practices. 

For Lindsay Keener, Quikly’s Brand Journalist, this is what really connects her to her purpose: 

“I love being able to educate people about DEI and help marketers do their jobs better,” Lindsay said.

So what is it like to work at Quikly? We got the inside scoop from Kristy, Scott and Lindsay. Check it out. 

 

How would you describe the culture at Quikly?

Lindsay: When I was looking for a career, I really wanted to find somewhere that could cultivate the things I was interested in, help me grow as a journalist, as a writer, and as someone who was just getting my feet wet with marketing. This has been that job. 

In my first year working here, I’ve never felt like I couldn’t ask a question or express a grievance. The team has supported my passions around DEI work, and I’m growing as a writer every day. 

Kristy: There are a lot of great things about the Quikly culture, but some that are most important to me are that we have a very authentic team and incredible work-life balance. As a mom of two young children, I genuinely couldn’t imagine a better workplace.

There’s this understanding that we put our health and our families first. I’ve never felt the pull of having to choose between family and work. 

Scott: For us it’s really about keeping the focus on the right thing: the work and the people. We really care about each other, and that helps us do better work. It’s not about being at a desk from 9am to 5pm, or getting permission to pick your kids up from summer camp. Everything stems from that core principle of caring about each other. 

On the engineering team, we have mutual respect for one another. If something goes wrong and someone has to respond, it’s not a big deal. Because we all care about each other, and there’s flexibility for the rest of the days. We keep focus on the work, not the time.

 

What does growth look like at Quikly?

Kristy: We’re a small team and there's a lot of growth. You will grow enormously here because we all have our hands in a lot of things, and we all explore what we’re passionate about. Anyone can walk up to Scott or Shawn, share an idea and start working on it. And each of us is directly shaping the company. 

Lindsay: Quikly really is a great place to grow. You might not grow vertically all the time, but you absolutely grow horizontally. In my short time here, I’ve learned marketing, psychology, journalism… I’ve gained not only a career but also learned two very strong skill sets that most people have to go to school for.

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What are some ways that Quikly is committed to diversity and inclusion?

Scott: When it comes to DEI, it’s really not enough for us to just say that we want to be diverse. We truly believe that everyone benefits from diverse perspectives and backgrounds. If we want to be the best at what we do, we need to surround ourselves with a variety of people and perspectives. We believe that will truly make us better. 

When we made it a defined goal to have DEI be a part of Quikly, we went through a process where we asked ourselves the tough questions. Is changing our logo during Pride Month just performative? What do we feel about this and why are we doing it? It’s an ongoing process. 

Lindsay: I graduated from Hampton University, an HBCU in Virginia, and during my time there I was surrounded by Black excellence, and got to know a lot more about myself and my own Blackness. When I left, it was very important for me to continue cultivating that. I wanted to make sure I worked with people who also cared about that. 

When I first interviewed at Quikly, I made sure that was really clear: that this was important to me and something I wanted to work on. And so we worked together to mold together my journalism work and my DEI work. I’ve gotten to create many blog posts where the main focus is DEI, like how can brands honor and respect the vision Martin Luther King Jr. had not just on MLK Day but throughout the year. It’s about helping brands be more inclusive. I get to help Quikly do that, too.

Kristy: And when we’re making these decisions about DEI and exploring that together and having conversations, it’s something that everyone owns. We have a meeting every month that’s open to everyone where we talk about what’s coming up and how we want to honor it in an authentic way. These conversations and decisions are open to everyone in the company. 



Why Detroit? Why is the city important to Quikly?

Kristy: It’s important to us that we do things in Detroit — it’s actually a big part of our mission. When we’re looking at social impact initiatives or DEI initiatives, volunteering, making donations, we’re also looking at how we can support Detroit organizations. We’re always trying to get more involved in the city.

Quikly 3

Scott: When I graduated college as a web developer, it really felt like my only opportunities were in Silicon Valley or New York. There wasn’t a huge draw to Detroit. But that’s the beauty of technology: it can exist anywhere. You don’t need any specific kind of geography or natural resources, like a river or a coal mine. And there’s really talented people here, so it’s awesome building those opportunities for developers and making a real impact on the city. 

The floor in our office building used to be vacant. Now, when the team is onsite, it’s where we work, and we all have lunch in the city, and go to happy hours in the city, and talk about how much we love being in Detroit and encourage other people to go there too. It’s cool, and it really has an impact.

 

If you’re interested in joining the Quikly team in Detroit, learn more about the company and their open roles. 

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