Finding a good agency partner is not an easy task, and there are many critical factors to consider when picking out a new vendor — from trust and honesty to quality of work and accountability. But in the end, it's your relationship with the agency that matters most.
In this episode of the YouShouldTalkTo podcast, our host Daniel Weiner welcomes Casey Terrell, the CMO of Krystal. They talk about why an agency should be an extension of your team, why you need to work with people you like, and how to build a successful client-agency relationship.
💡 Name: Casey Terrell, CMO of Krystal
💡 Noteworthy: Casey is a West Point graduate and has a Masters in Strategic Communications from Columbia and a Finance/Marketing MBA. He has a career track record of transforming B2C and B2B revenue, visibility, and operations for globally recognized brands in the retail, hospitality, restaurant, CPG, and tech sectors.
💡 Where to find Casey: LinkedIn
⚡Your agency is an extension of your team. Treating your agency as an extension of your team can significantly benefit your company. It allows you to focus on what you do best while your agency takes care of the rest. Casey says, "It's a cheesy thing to say again, but agency partners really should be partners. They should be extensions. They should really be part of your team. I hate when agencies pitch and say you should do this. It's 'we'; I consider you part of the team."
⚡Work with people you like. When you work with people you like, you are more likely to achieve better results. Casey explains, "It's much more on the human side because you can look at agency capes, PR capes, whatever it is, and say, 'Hey, we're digital agencies based on data, but do we gel well together?' That's one of the things that we liked about our current partner — the way that they actually briefed but also just their philosophy."
⚡ It's relationships that matter most. There are many factors to consider when hiring an agency partner, but one of the most critical is your relationship. Casey says, "A lot of it for me just comes down to what your relationship is like. What is your rapport like? Because they're going to do the work. You're going to get a good plan. You'll get whichever, but did you actually enjoy it? So really, the treasure was the friends you made along the way."
YouShouldTalkTo - Casey Terrell
[00:00:00] Casey Terrell: I think that brands really need to be much more focused on experience and making experience really good because I did see another nerdy stat, that word of mouth is by and by large number one for how to get a message out. It was something, like, 5% of conversations happen on social media because people talk to each other, we tend to think that all these conversations are only happening online, only happening on social when the vast majority are still people to people.
[00:00:26] Daniel Weiner: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the YouShouldTalkTo podcast. I am Daniel Weiner, your host and sponsor since no, uh, sponsors have ponied up the big bucks yet, maybe after today. YouShouldTalkTo pairs brands and marketers, for free, with vetted agencies and, or freelancers because finding great agencies is an enormous pain in the ass. Super excited to be joined today by Casey Terrell, who is the CMO at Krystal. Casey, thank you so much for joining.
[00:01:30] Casey Terrell: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
[00:01:32] Daniel Weiner: It looks like a little bit of a, uh, you're in the office today for a change, I think last time we talked, you were at home, so welcome to, uh, some level of normalcy.
[00:01:41] Casey Terrell: Yeah, it's, it's nice, it's one of those, I mean, not great commute today in Atlanta because if it rains here, then the world ends. So, took a little bit longer. It's funny, my children this morning, I have a five and a two-year-old, and they decided they just weren't gonna put their clothes on to go to school, so.
[00:01:56] Daniel Weiner: Gotta do that. That's one of the things you learned early, you gotta put clothes on to, uh, participate in society, you know.
[00:02:02] Casey Terrell: it was almost a work-from-home day because it would've been like, "You know what? What's the point?"
[00:02:06] Daniel Weiner: Well, let's dive, we can get back to the, uh, the nudity part later in the podcast, but we'll, we'll dive into the marketing stuff, uh, right away. What is an unpopular opinion you have in the marketing world, or a, or a hot take of sorts?
[00:02:18] Oh, man, I've got a hot take. Give it to me.
[00:02:20] Casey Terrell: I can go into, I can go into the, uh, third-party cookies thing, which I think we should talk about later 'cause I have a whole passionate diatribe on that. But I would say my unpopular thing is that we're replaceable, and we probably will be replaced in the next 50 years with machine learning AI. And that's not something I think that marketers
[00:02:37] Daniel Weiner: Fun, let's enjoy while we can, then.
[00:02:39] Casey Terrell: Exactly. That's it, I mean, I, I think it's, uh, I mean we've seen the stuff with, like, ChatGPT and, and some of the things that came out recently that it's able to take the humanities and, like, natural language processors and all these things, and you can, I mean, I put into it, "Give me a Krystal marketing plan for 2023." And it gave me a really good one, and I was like, "Uhoh." But, um, no, I think
[00:03:02] Daniel Weiner: You're not supposed, this, you want me to cut this part out when I, uh, when I post this, or?
[00:03:05] Casey Terrell: I'm extremely valuable. No, but I, I think it's not there yet, right? But I, I think that this idea that, you know, that was, was in Sapiens, the book Sapiens, and I think it's, you know, some of that stuff's been rebuked a little bit, but I still think this idea that we're moving towards the singularity with machine-learning AI, that it isn't, like, the old, "Oh, well, you know, when the car came out then all the buggy whip manufacturers, they didn't have a job anymore and they just, you know, it's okay because they just moved into the new automobile industry."
[00:03:35] Yeah, but the car couldn't build and learn itself, like, this is something completely new where, you know, maybe it'll be fine, and the old adage of, like, new technology just begets new industries and begets new jobs and things that we don't know about, but the idea that an algorithm can learn, update itself and get better and really get to some type of actual intelligence, you know, you start to look at those industries where you need a lot of kind of that formulaic,
[00:04:06] I'll give you a, a good example of media, right? So, you know the media world very well. If I'm trying to talk to you, Danny, at a certain time with a certain message on a certain channel, that's an algorithm, and we've already got that with programmatic and even direct on some other things in the media world.
[00:04:26] You won't need a human who, they don't really need humans right now other than to set some of the strategy, but that's just the taste, I think, of what machine-learning AI and some of these other things will be able to do in marketing. Now that there's this ability to write copy, to come up with creative ideas,
[00:04:39] I mean, there's some of the stuff they talked about in Sapiens about, you know, the great American novel and movie scripts in the next 20, 25 years you could have a machine do. Some of this stuff, I think, for marketers are, where do we go in the next 25 to 50 years? You know, you're always gonna need that human element, the human touch, for sure, maybe.
[00:05:00] Daniel Weiner: A super uplifting start to this podcast, I'm guessing we're all, we're all gonna
[00:05:02] Casey Terrell: That's my hot take on
[00:05:03] Daniel Weiner: be fired tomorrow. No, I think it's definitely interesting. I guess my only, uh, thing that I think of is if everybody does it, does it end up not working as well from a marketing standpoint, and the human element puts you 1% ahead of the AI, and I don't know the answer to that question yet, truthfully.
[00:05:21] Casey Terrell: Yeah, I mean, it's, it's funny, it's like, I think something that's analogous is, like, having machines and kiosks in a restaurant or retail store, right? Eventually, I think there is backlash, and people say, "I just want to talk to a human being." And then that becomes a competitive advantage, and it's about having a little bit more personal interaction because if everybody just has a bot and a kiosk, then the Neiman Marcus approach where they're not, you know, they're not paid commissions or anything, I was like, "I'm just here to help you." That becomes very valuable and maybe just shifts around, I mean, who knows?
[00:05:53] Daniel Weiner: No, that's definitely interesting. As it pertains to food and restaurant, you've worked in food a lot, uh, tell us a little bit about that journey and what you've learned along the way, landing you ultimately at the, uh, the mountain top of marketing roles here at Krystal.
[00:06:05] Casey Terrell: That's right. I'm, uh, looking down from, uh, from the heights of a
[00:06:08] Daniel Weiner: From a per, from a, um, yeah.
[00:06:10] Casey Terrell: Right. Yeah. So, I started after, uh, business school in 2011. And so, 3G Capital had just bought Burger King, there was about four or five of us that went from my business school program. They had really cut everybody loose that was existing.
[00:06:25] There were some people that stayed, that had been kinda legacy at Burger King. But, man, that was a crazy, crazy time. I learned a ton, I ended up working for 3G again, I worked at Anheuser-Busch, AB InBev, but, you know, we were, like, negative 200 or 300 million EBITDA or something when all of us first got in the building, and then none of us knew anything, right?
[00:06:42] We had to just kind of start, that's was an advantage, I would say, for the 3G model of, "Hey, we're gonna hire a bunch of young motivated people, if they don't figure it out, we'll just bring 'em in with new, motivated people and it constantly turns over, and we'll get better." It could be a little heartless, but at the same time, I do appreciate a lot of the stuff that they brought with data, you know, really focusing on, like, guest experience and operations.
[00:07:06] And so, that was my first foray really into food and bev, I'd always just been a customer before that, learned a ton, uh, ended up following a mentor of mine, uh, Patty Trevino, who's now CMO at Red Lobster, who's an absolutely fantastic person. Went to Outback with her after Burger King, and had just kind of been in food and bev and just found that niche, but,
[00:07:24] you know, when I first started BK, digital really wasn't a big part of our spend. Sure, there was apps, there was social media, all that stuff was out. But that inflection point where digital had taken over kinda linear and broadcast had, we were nowhere near that, it was coming, soc, paid social was kind of in, in its infancy, so it was really cool to see, to learn kind of traditional media, traditional marketing, brand activation field, all that stuff.
[00:07:48] And then in, as the years went by, see digital overtake it and start to see a lot of the, like, data-driven decisions and stuff that 3G had pioneered a little bit more in the food and bev side, just become ubiquitous, right? Just, like, mainstream. And so, I'd say food and bev over that time has really caught up a lot and has gotten more into that tech personalization side.
[00:08:11] But it's still, it still has some ways to go, it's not anywhere near, like, hotels and hospitality, or Delta Airlines, or any of that, but it's, it's getting there.
[00:08:18] Daniel Weiner: How do you think, to that end, how do you think Krystal, as well as, you know, uh, your, your friendly competitors in the space and other food and restaurant brands win in 2023 when there's, so, you know, you just described 20 million things that CMO has to deal with, especially at a company your size, with that many restaurants feel, you know, paid social, paid search, you know, the tactical stuff. How do you think you win in 2023 if you're, uh, giving somebody advice?
[00:08:42] Casey Terrell: Yeah, I think, uh, we, our battle cry here is about relevance, right? Like, relevancy within brands. So, you still have to have brand marketing, storytelling, what are you guys all about, I mean, Krystal's a 90-year-old brand. Our owner, you know, Jonathan Childs and Morgan McClure was at Fortress, that is one of the main reasons I came over is because they strongly, very strongly believe in that,
[00:09:03] yeah, awareness, consideration, trial, that typical brand funnel, yes, but if you're not culturally relevant, so, I guess that fits in more of the consideration side, but really the cultural relevance, if you don't have that, there's too much competition, there's too much going on, right? You have to be not only in a competitive set, but, you know, we were talking with a, a candidate for social media the other day, and he was like, "Man, Krystal's kind of cool now," with social and a lot of the stuff we're doing with, with 2 Chainz, and Ray J, and Vic Cruz, all these guys.
[00:09:31] So, that's been a lot of how we separate ourselves is getting more into the cultural side, I mean, taco Bell did a really good job with this, and brands have done a lot a good job. And then, on the tech side, we're trying to build out our, a really good working tech stack with a CDP where it all comes in, where I know whether Danny, whether you bought in store, you bought online, don't care,
[00:09:49] I see everything together, you know, I can really personalize a digital experience for you. We have a drive-through, right? I mean, QSRs with drive-throughs, it's the vast majority of your business, getting somebody to order through an app and then sit in a drive-through like Starbucks, it's kind of gotten people to do, it's still pretty hard,
[00:10:07] you know, that's not gonna overtake the experience, but if I do have any type of data, how can I, you know, tailor promotions to you, tailor products to you, you know, we've said this a lot, and we're focused that with loyalty, especially, we just spam people, right? Like, here's, here's a free cookie, here's an email,
[00:10:27] Casey Terrell: you know, send it out to the list, you know, unleash the dog's vore. Now it's more, I know exactly what Danny likes, I know when you came in, I know that you don't really care about a BOGO, you care about points, or you care about a free cookie or whatever it is. That's, I think, where brands are starting to separate themselves in the food space, being hyper-personalized.
[00:10:46] Daniel Weiner: I would be the free cookie guy, for sure.
[00:10:48] Casey Terrell: Yeah, I mean, I never understood the people that didn't go for it, I was like, "Come on, man."
[00:10:51] Daniel Weiner: I'm curious to that point, like, from what I see when I talk to brands, you know, of your size and stature, as well as smaller and bigger as well. Like, you mentioned, you're making these data-driven decisions, but you also have to be culturally relevant, which, when I think of that, I think of things like TikTok.
[00:11:05] How, I guess, for or against you are, like, what's your, I guess, risk tolerance for doing things that the data doesn't necessarily point to? Like, I would argue you probably have so much, but, like, there are just some cool ideas or things you probably want to try that may or may not work, or you may not be able to track for a brand like you all, which I presume has some, a playground or it makes sense for you to try, quote-unquote, cool things. Like, what's your tolerance for stuff like that, and how do you think through that If you're not able to measure it?
[00:11:34] Casey Terrell: Yeah. I'm gonna go back on what I said before about machine-learning AI taking over the world, I think that that is
[00:11:39] Daniel Weiner: You just let somebody out, you just put it in ChatGPT, and you ask if it's gonna work.
[00:11:43] Casey Terrell: Right. So, that, that's why I still think there is going to be human touch. Do you have a massive marketing team anymore? That remains to be seen, but I still think there's gonna be, have to have some type of that touch there of the data is blinking in saying this, but is that really what we think people want?
[00:12:00] There's still a bit of the art to it, right? So, I think there, there are some of the things that we did a side-chick promo with our, our chicken sandwich where we saw, saw a lot of the data, saw the, the cagers that were growing with chicken and everything else. It's growing faster than burger, we know we need to be more in the chicken space.
[00:12:17] I think you'll see Burger King, we, we're trying to do that forever, but it's hard when your name isn't Burger or King. But I think it's a little bit easier for us to be nimble here, but very real-world example of should we do this? And the whole side-chick thing was we're late to the chicken game,
[00:12:32] we know that everybody's got their fave, you know, Popeye's had this big cultural moment, right, in a lot of word of mouth. But how do we break through in the cheesy marketer way? And so, we thought, well, let's not try to compete and be the main, we're not gonna be the main chick, you know, but on Sunday when Chick-fil-A's closed, we'll come be your side chick, you know, come cheat on Chick-fil-A with us.
[00:12:54] So, it was a fun way to do this, and I don't know if there was any data really out there other than when we launched and had social listening and could see the sentiment analysis. Then we really knew, "Hey, we got a winner here," you know, that was something that 2 Chainz came up with that was a cultural thing.
[00:13:08] So, you need, you still need that art of it, of we think this is gonna resonate, it can't a hundred percent be based on data because I think, at that point, nobody takes any risks and nobody makes any, does anything that's, that's interesting.
[00:13:21] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, nah, I agree, that's a, a perfect example of that as well. I know you execute and use a number of agencies at Krystal, overall at Krystal, and, you know, beyond in your marketing career in general, what's your overall opinion of agencies? Love 'em? Big proponent of 'em? Hate 'em? An unnecessary thing in your world?
[00:13:40] Casey Terrell: Yeah, I mean, I think it depends on the, a lot of it is the scale because, you know, it's a cheesy thing to say, again, but agency partners really should be partners, they should be extensions, right? Like, they should really be part of your team, I hate when agencies pitch and say, "You should do this, they sh," you know, it's we, we, I consider you part of the team, right?
[00:13:58] But then, also on the brand side, we won't, like, share sales and traffic data with them, or like, how things are going as far as the business goes. So, if I'm pushing on, you know, Kaitlin is director of marketing on my team, she should have the same information if she's going to plan media with our agency, you know, they should have the, they should be working from the same, you know, amount of data set.
[00:14:17] So, that's a big thing for me is just having them really as an extension of the team. But there are some things moving forward, you know, it really depends on, I think, on the talent that you've got on your side and what you want them to do 'cause, hey, businesses and, you know, exercise and scarcity, right? So, like, where can I take
[00:14:34] my resources here, get the best return, and then what should I farm out? That kind of thing. So, on the tech side, you see it all the time, you know, do you buy, buil, buy, build, or partner? You know, if you buy, then you're going with a white label solution, you know, or something like that, and you, you would beholden to their tech roadmap, right?
[00:14:52] Like, if I wanna come up with some new gamification or something for an app, unless I built that, then I have to rely on, on that vendor to go build it, right? Or I just go buy the solution and try to implement it. You know, the partner's a little bit of the same, you know, so if you go with, like, a punch or cheetah or whoever, but if I build it, that's a huge infrastructure,
[00:15:12] you know, there's a lot of platforms on, on at InBev, we would just build on top of platforms, which I think is a good way to go. But again, it's the same thing in the agency model, am I gonna go, want to go out and buy media? I don't think that makes a lot of sense because even with my media spend, if I could go to an OMD or somebody in Y&R or whoever who's gonna go bring a billion dollars to market, I know I'm gonna get a better buys, better efficiency, better added value, all of those things, right?
[00:15:37] Creative on the other hand, you know, again, it does, it just kind of depends on how you deploy the marketing team, if we are just tech-oriented, if we're guest experience oriented, I think we're trying to find a good mix here. So, we have an internal creative director, Jax, who's incredible, and partners with the agency to come up with big ideas, concept and then bring them to life.
[00:15:57] So, you know, I think it just depends on the brands that you're at, you know, I was talking with a friend of Chipotle and, and they do a lot of stuff themselves, you know, is that a better way to go, or if you're a multi-billion dollar brand and you've got bigger spends, and you have more people, you still need to drive a lot of sales and traffic to a lot of restaurants. So, what makes the most sense? Should you, you know, I, I think it's very situational.
[00:16:20] Daniel Weiner: Are you getting hit up basically every single day, a million times a day, by agencies and vendors? I find typically, once you reach CMO and also just having a brand with name recognition, all day, every day from folks I chat with, is that similar to your experience?
[00:16:34] Casey Terrell: Yeah, it is. I mean, it's a lot of sales folks, and it's a lot of folks that I've worked with in the past, especially vendors and some other things that, you know, you have a relationship, you know what they can do, and you wanna bring 'em in over here, but, you know, maybe the tech stack 'cause there's already decisions that were made or, you know, contracts were signed and all these things.
[00:16:50] So, you, you know, a lot of the advantages and work, working with a, with a group right now, I would love to bring them in tomorrow, but I've got a partner, you know, for what they do. So, they're trying to come up with creative ways to, you know, do we test, do they buy the contract? I mean, there's all kinds of stuff, but I'd say in the agency side, for sure.
[00:17:08] I would love to give every agency a shot that comes in, give 'em project scope, see what you guys can do. That's just not reality, like, you just don't have that much time in your day, and you have to dance with the partner you brought, you know, and then it's one of those things where you'll know, I think right away, I mean, Danny, you've been in this world forever, right?
[00:17:26] Like, whether they're the right agency partner pretty quickly, and then, unfortunately, you start thinking about RFPs, and it's a massive process, and obviously, to give you a plug using a partner like you is a bit of an easy button because, look, we've both been around, I've got a lot of friends in this industry too, and I've got a text thread with a bunch of ex blooming folks, you know, that we'll just detect, "Hey, every, anybody got an agency for this? What do you think about this guy?" That's a lot very similar to kind of your expertise,
[00:17:53] Daniel Weiner: Need to figure out how to hack that text thread now, find, find some ChatGPT AI to get in that thing.
[00:17:59] Casey Terrell: Exactly. But it's funny because you, you end up doing the same thing and just asking for recommendations, but I don't know every agency under the sun, and there's folks that I would love to meet that I've never met, and maybe they would do a better job, maybe not, but at least knowing who's out there,
[00:18:15] Daniel Weiner: No, it makes sense, I mean, there are, uh, I would say, in general, folks with your role I talk to have a lot less willingness, truthfully. They're not looking to take new calls or, or, or, you know, unless the need is there, truthfully, which is good or bad depending on, I guess, the role that you're in, but, uh, no, I appreciate the free plug as well.
[00:18:35] Casey Terrell: It, look, I like ideas, I like new ways of looking at the world, like, somebody has something new, we have a coordinator, Maggie, on our team, and she came up with something brilliant the other day and I was like, "Let's go, let's do it, let's, let's at least try it." That can be a bad thing when you have vendors and sales folks calling all the time, 'cause you do see the value, but at the same time, you just, you gotta weed 'em out.
[00:18:56] Daniel Weiner: In general, what are you looking for from a partner? Are you, whether you're looking for an actual partner to sign an agreement with, or just in general, what are you looking for from a vendor or an agency?
[00:19:05] Casey Terrell: Yeah, I think somebody that really sees themselves as an extension of our team, that they understand that we're trying to derive traffic and sales, like, look, we're a franchise system, our franchise, you know, our FDDs are, are publicly available, you can see what, you know, what our system sales are, what's in our contract, and get to an ad fund, be like, "Oh, these guys have this much money."
[00:19:27] And kind of back into it and understand what the opportunity is here, that said, that is the franchisees money and our corporate partners' money. We are the stewards of it, we have to make sure we get a return on all of that. So, having partners that understand franchise and franchisees, you know, there's a good niche for a lot of agency partners in that they are not one-to-one,
[00:19:47] Casey Terrell: you can't just say, Hey, I, you know, I, we did creative, you know, media buying for a massive B2B. That is not franchise world, man, it just, there's just, there's little, there's small things that are in there that, you know, that to me is the first layer, or at least having somebody that's worked in, in that and understanding.
[00:20:05] And the other side is hyper localization, right? Like, how do you get, we're a regional brand, we have national aspirations, but does it make sense for us to go with somebody who's massive, you know, an Omnicom Group or something that really can do national and do a lot of national buzz, but that's not helping my guy in Chattanooga, Tennessee. So, the long story short, it is a little bit more about the personalization of our brand.
[00:20:31] Daniel Weiner: And you made some shifts at the beginning, like, towards the beginning of your tenure at Krystal. During that process, what ultimately led you, like, is there anything you can think of that stands out about, you know, what ended you or what made you, uh, lean towards whoever you ended up picking and, you know, moving dollars away from folks that you're not working with and, and reallocating and all that sort of stuff?
[00:20:50] Casey Terrell: Yeah, I mean, we, we outsourced a lot, we had outsourced analytics, and we have an amazing analytics partner who's, I mean, she's brilliant, but she always knew that, look, this is something that needs to be in-house. So, was able to recruit and, and bring over somebody I worked with in the past who's incredible, Mercy Grace.
[00:21:05] So, that, that was kind of an easy decision, the media side was a little bit harder, but at the same time, there were just certain things in the analytics side. So, I'd used other partners in the past that had pretty incredible dashboards with tagging, attribution, all of these things within Google Analytics, all of this stuff kind of together.
[00:21:21] And so, not seeing that day one, that was a bit of a red flag, I would say, but, look, they're a great shop, great partner, but it just isn't the level of detail, and that some of the things I wanted to see and that I wanted to train my team to look for and just to expect, right? Especially tagging, and just knowing, understanding how a campaign worked, you know, from that side, TV and radio and some of these other ones are a little bit more difficult, but some of the basic blocking and tackling stuff is just in an RFP we're looking for,
[00:21:49] it's just analytics have just become such a bigger part of agency partners in the in agency life, even stuff with, like, using Kantar to test creative, you know, this is stuff where's doing at old shop, you know, Alex Brown and I focus, kind of had a panic moment when we were doing a Cinnabon spot on the Schlotzsky's brand a year or two ago,
[00:22:08] but he was able to take that Kantar data and understand, hey, this is how it's resonating, this is how it's not, you know, we didn't have time to do edits, but at the same time, we knew what we had from a creative standpoint, we knew what the strengths were, so then we could build some other assets around that.
[00:22:24] So, again, not to go back to data, but you're flying blind if you don't have analytics or something coming in and telling you a story.
[00:22:30] Daniel Weiner: Sure. Totally agree. You've mentioned RFP a couple times, I'm curious, are you, in general, I know I presume at a brand like yours, you kind of, sort of have to go through an RFP process. Do you like that? I, I find in general, like, it's a very, uh, cold process, hard to, like, really learn the true colors of an agency, it makes it, puts them in a box a little bit. I'm just curious, your, uh, opinion of that process in general.
[00:22:54] Casey Terrell: Yeah. I mean, not to give you another plug, but I think that, uh,
[00:22:57] Daniel Weiner: I'm gonna clip this whole thing, this is great.
[00:23:00] Casey Terrell: just a jump, massive testimonial, you know, that's the funny part with my, my text group or, or having other friends in the industry and, you know, I was talking with somebody other day and, and he reached out cold, you know, or friend of a friend and it was, um, what are they like?
[00:23:15] What's their culture like? Not even culture, but like, how do you, how do you guys work well together? It's much more on the human side because you can look at agency capes, PR capes, whatever it is, and say, "Hey, we're digital agencies based on data, da, da, da." But do we ge, like, do we, like, gel well together?
[00:23:33] You know? That's one of the, one of the things that we really like about our current partner is the way that they actually, that they briefed, but also just their philosophy, but also they want to do things, every, every agency says, "We want to break shit, blow it up, blah, blah, blah." I think that they were able to show that they do have more of that side
[00:23:50] because as a culture, at least internally, we're not trying to be safe, we're not trying to be the everyman archetype, we don't wanna be McDonald's, we wanna go in a different way. But then also, like, how do you guys get along? You have drinks, I mean, it is a lot of these human things that you will not get in an RFP.
[00:24:05] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, you wanna do business with people you actually want to go get a drink with, I don't think you get to do good work if you don't, which I think is a part that is severely lacking the rapport building, uh, not just in RFPs in general between agencies and clients, like, they forget that part, uh,
[00:24:19] Casey Terrell: Yeah, I hate, I mean, it's not commoditization, but there's a lot of agencies, sometimes it feels that way, like, they show you their book.
[00:24:27] Daniel Weiner: I mean, 1,000-plus in the US alone,
[00:24:29] Casey Terrell: That's not that many.
[00:24:31] Daniel Weiner: Nah, you can meet, you can meet all those.
[00:24:32] Casey Terrell: Yeah, every single one of 'em. But to your point, I mean, you start to build a rapport and then, you know, you have friends in the industry or folks around and, hey, I love them, I hated them, or, or whichever, I mean, it does come down to that kinda relationship building.
[00:24:46] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, no, I mean, it's, uh, I hate to plug myself again, but the tagline I use is, "Finding an agency is easy, finding the right agency is hard." And if I had to be super honest, it's really fucking hard, truthfully, 'cause there are 90,000 agencies in the US alone. Uh, we also love a perfect segue here. I've seen a big shift in, uh, particularly since Covid, but a little bit before 'cause I was at a boutique agency of bigger named brands moving towards smaller, specialized, more nimble shops,
[00:25:13] call it, you know, as low as, like, 10 or 15 headcount to, like, a 100 or 200, something like that, moving away from holding company agencies. What do you think of that? Have you seen that shift in your world as well? And do you think smaller shops can handle kind of the scale of a Krystal?
[00:25:28] Casey Terrell: Yeah. I mean, I, I agree, I've seen the same thing, it does, some of it depends on the concept, I mean, if you're like young brands or something that's built, that's bringing a zillion dollars to market, that's still the one thing with the boutique guys, you know, not having, like, Trade Desk and some of the other stuff.
[00:25:44] That's hard on the media side, I think, you know, if they can, it's one of those things I think strategically they need to decide, "Hey, we're independent, we're gonna stay independent." That limits, you know, what we're gonna be able to do as far as media buying, planning, even stuff of just, like, having access to upfronts and digital upfronts and that stuff.
[00:26:03] You know, it's nice to go to upfronts with Omnicom or Starcom or one of these guys and have all of, like, all of this information and all of this, you know, inventory that I don't know if the smaller guys are gonna get access to, just be very blunt about it. The creative side, I think, is a bit different because you do, I think a lot of brands, the bigger brands especially, they want to have more personalized expertise, right?
[00:26:28] They want to have that relationship and, you know, this agency will jump through hoops for me, and food and bev is crazy, like, it, stuff changes all the time, it's based on human behavior and traffic and everything else, and, you know, with a blizzard hits in Iowa and you're like, "Oh, my God, I have to ever, you know, I have to make sure all my team members are okay and every, the restaurants are all right." And then, the day after, get everybody to come back, you know?
[00:26:48] So, like, that's an immediate plan, crisis, all of this stuff. So, having, you know, if you're not, if you're in with this massive group with an account director or maybe even a, a, you know, a VP that's looking after you, are you gonna get that type of, you know, that type of service that a smaller boutique independent, you know, is very, very happy to have your business and will jump through hoops for you.
[00:27:11] I think that's the advantage. The downside, like, we already talked about, is the scale, you just, you're not gonna, I just don't think you're gonna get, unfortunately. And media is, is that game. That said, you know, there are some great smaller shops that do, especially for what we need for performance marketing, sales and traffic, that kind of stuff, are they gonna get economies of scale with Google? You know, I mean, I think it's probably better to have the expertise with below-the-line performance marketing. So, it, a lot of it just depends.
[00:27:42] Daniel Weiner: Yep. I hear, uh, you kind of alluded to it, I hear when I ask folks in your role, typically, like, the most important thing to them if they have to pick one, it's usually, like, nimbleness, which again is, I would say sometimes the possibility, sometimes not when you lump scale into it and stuff like that.
[00:27:58] But yeah, I typically hear from folks who've worked with bigger agencies is, like, I can no longer wait three weeks to have, you know, creative updated, whereas a small agency we work with is gonna do it the same day and, you know, come babysit our kids if we ask them to, you know, if they're being honest.
[00:28:12] So, I think that just speed to everything, truthfully, and getting out of the big corporate machine is the biggest value of working with a smaller agency.
[00:28:21] Casey Terrell: Oh, hundred percent agree. And especially if you're asking your internal team and yourself to do that, right? Like, you're making these demands myself and, I mean, it's, it's, again, I feel like I'm, like, just this book of Proverbs or something right now, but if you're, look, if somebody got, it's something I learned in the Army, you know, was the lieutenant, like, if you've never dug a foxhole, then don't go tell somebody to dig one.
[00:28:45] If you're not willing to go out there and pick up a goddamn shovel, then you're not a leader, you're a manager, right? You're somebody that's just telling people what to do, and you're not in there, you're not in it with them. You can't be there all the time, right? It's not something, like, you do have to delegate and say, "I need you to get this done."
[00:29:02] But agency partners, there's really no difference with your team, right? If we are scrambling and doing things, an agency partner says, you know what? That's not in our scope, that we don't have time for that, you're out. And our, on our side, I would say that the, the delivery or the philosophy we need to have is to not put them in that situation, but shit happens.
[00:29:25] Daniel Weiner: I'm glad, I'm, I'm glad you said that.
[00:29:26] Casey Terrell: You know, like, we, you can't be a, I've been, I have been a terrible client, right? Like, I've been forced to be a terrible client, you know, Patty, especially, could tell you stories about some of the stuff with 3G, but, you know, they were, the agencies knew what they were getting into with that relationship,
[00:29:41] you know, like, we were driving costs down, that's what we needed, right? And we needed them to be nimble and all these other things. And I, and I don't mean bad client in a disparaging way, towards BK or anybody else, we're just a demanding, tough client, but
[00:29:55] Daniel Weiner: Yeah.
[00:29:56] Casey Terrell: agencies knew that when they took our business, right? And if they didn't like that culture, then don't work with us. So, at the same time, you know, we are data-driven, we try to be, you know, drive the business and do a lot of those things too. We need to not put an agency partner in the same type of situation where, you know, the day before national media goes, say, change it, we don't like it anymore. I mean, that's, that's the stuff that's just, you just can't do to people on your team, and you really shouldn't do to a partner either.
[00:30:23] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, I totally agree, I think it's interesting, I can think of in my own, in my former agency, one particular client that I had that, yeah, you, you skate the line of wanting to keep the business but also defending your scope and your team truthfully, and I was on that front line and having conversations where, you know, I would say at ten times a week of, we would love to do all of these things, but like, we've never discussed these things.
[00:30:43] Like, we have to, I can't just say yes to everything, although I'd love to, like, I'm also compensated by commission, like, I'd love to say yes to everything, we have to talk about that, and I can remember it got to a point where they were, I think they told the founder of our agency, if Danny brings up scope again, like, we're gonna leave or something like that.
[00:30:59] And I said, "I don't know what you want me to do in those scenarios, like, I can lie and just say yes." So, there's definitely some, some middle ground, I would say. But I have also been in that role for national media finishing something on a crazy deadline and being told this needs to be updated, I was sitting at a coffee shop in West Midtown that is no longer there, and I believe the exact words from the head of marketing from a very well-known brand was "Fucking figure it out." And hung up.
[00:31:22] And I was like, I don't know what to do, and it was video and editing, and it was a wild thing, I just remember sitting there, like, and the best part of this entire story, which I rarely tell, is we finished, I can remember, say it was due at noon, and I literally pressed in at, like, 11:59 and multiple seconds. Never heard from them.
[00:31:39] Casey Terrell: Seriously?
[00:31:40] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, it's like a decade ago, never heard, literally didn't hear, they ran with it, it, you know, did what they needed it to do and, uh, yeah, never heard, but it, I, truthfully, those are types of situations that made me better at what I do now, better at just everything I would say, but yeah, I wouldn't wish that upon, uh, folks early on in their career.
[00:31:57] Casey Terrell: That's the thing, I mean, it, it's one thing if you're asking for crazy changes at the last minute, but why, you know, did, I mean there had to have been something to happen, I think if you can loop in your partners a little bit better of, like, we just talked about, like, "Hey, there's a snowstorm in Iowa, like, we're talking about come, you know, cool off with this awesome hot treat or whatever,
[00:32:17] like, we can't run this, like, we, I'm sorry, but we have to change it, you know?" There isn't a lot of context I think, that comes with those, but again, I mean, if people are stressed, I get that. But I've just been part of a conversation, it's just, just like you were given the story where somebody just subjectively didn't like the plan, right?
[00:32:34] Somebody at the top, who is like, "No, change it," and you're like, "Change it just to change it, or change it because you really don't think this is gonna work?" You know?
[00:32:41] Daniel Weiner: No, it's tough, tough on both sides. To that point, can you think of a, whether a Krystal or in any of your other roles, what's been a really wonderful, positive agency experience and what made it so great?
[00:32:52] Casey Terrell: Yeah. It's funny you, you, you brought up scope, I mean, I had an agency partner in Tampa when I was running a brand down there, and we would have drinks at the end of the year to kind of, like, talk about scope for the next year 'cause they were more of a long-term partner and we, we, we loved them, but he was like, "Hey man, we did all this stuff that was outta scope."
[00:33:08] And I'm like, "You have to tell me." You know? I mean, it was, I'm not trying to drive, like, push you into the ground with all these additional requests and stuff, but even things of, "Hey, hey, we agreed to, like, three edits or three versions or whatever it is, and we got to five." You know, like, "Hey, you did me a solid, appreciate that." But if it gets ridiculous, then it's "All right,
[00:33:29] we need to cut from somewhere if it's a material need." Right? And so, he was always exactly like you were saying, towing that line of we wanna keep them as a client, but I can't just keep allocating resources and going hundreds of thousands of dollars over scope, you know, just with ours, but I would say that they were a great partner because they were very flexible.
[00:33:48] They weren't precious with things either, I think that that's a big thing now with agencies is that we're trying to figure out best returns, and talk with other friends in the industry as well of, like, we're not just gonna turn over a budget and say, here's a zillion dollars, and then more in production and say, go nuts.
[00:34:07] Casey Terrell: Right? I think if you're at, like, Estee Lauder or at Diageo or something, you know, I've heard the stories, I met a friend that run, runs an agency, and she gets these massive production budgets, and they just want turnkey, right? We are trying to look for more return, and it's to the order of, you know, a quarter of the cost because you can get scrappy and all of that.
[00:34:27] So, I'd say the agency partners that I've had in the past that had more of that mindset, but we're also just very upfront, honest of like, "Hey, rights cost this much, union rate card is this much." You're like, you know, they're, they would just tell you reality instead of, "We're just gonna need a million dollars."
[00:34:43] Casey Terrell: And you're like, "Okay." So, long story short, on the agency front, I also had a really great media agency outta Chicago years ago, and we just got along really well, you know, we just had the same mindset, and, again, a lot of it for me just goes down to what is your relationship like, what is your rapport like
[00:35:04] because they're gonna do the work, right? Like, you're gonna get a good plan, you'll, you'll get whichever, but did you actually enjoy it? So, really the treasure was the friends you made along the way, Danny, that's absolute treasure.
[00:35:16] Daniel Weiner: I, I set, I set you up for it, but I think this is the 18th or 19th episode, and it's 19 and, oh, undefeated. When I asked that question, no one ever really mentions the work, truthfully, which is my unpopular opinion, that the work doesn't matter, and what I mean by that is, of course, the work matters, but that's the cost of admission,
[00:35:31] like, you're gonna get fired if you don't do the good work, but you don't get to do any work if you don't get hired and if you're likable and stuff like that, and I think so many agencies forget that part, truthfully, like, they, they're really good at what they do, you can be the best at what you do, but if you're not a, a pleasure to work with or make your life easier in this scenario and stuff like that, those are, in my opinion, equally, if not more important on the front end of getting in there, you know, something like a Krystal and being a lifetime partner is, uh, worth, you know, infinity, truthfully.
[00:36:01] Casey Terrell: Yeah, it's funny, I mean it's, it's like you, when you go out and try to look for, for us, our world food style is in a photographer, right? And we're gonna change the way that we shoot food, you know, photographers, sure, they've got a few different styles they can do, but, you know, they generally have a style, right?
[00:36:16] And you look through their work, and you're like, I really like how he or she or they shoot this, or, and the same with the food stylist, like, they've got experience with these different formats, like, a fine dining person coming and doing QSR agency work. They'll show you a bunch of different, you know, clients, all the work that they've done, but they should be able to take the brand standards, style guides, all of that from the client, from the brand, and then have the creative horsepower, whatever, to, to turn it into what we want it to be.
[00:36:48] So, to your point, I think it's a little bit more ubiquitous, right? Of like, you gotta be able to do the work, you gotta be able to match my creative style, what I'm looking for, a stylist or a photographer, yes, but also we're looking for very specific things. I felt, like, in our, in my career, looking back, you know, there are folks that we've chosen because of the way that they just, their style we like, agencies are just different.
[00:37:11] Daniel Weiner: The work's also super subjective, like, you just mentioned they need to match your style, and your style's different than, you know, the next ten CMOs at other brands and stuff like that. So, I, too, like, knowing your audience is such a crucial thing in general, like, that's why when I'm evaluating agencies, or I hear brands talking, and they ask for, like, a portfolio, I'm like, they're gonna show you stuff that a bunch of clients liked, like,
[00:37:34] if you don't like it, I would argue that's not necessarily the bar for not hiring them, like, I'd want to know how they arrived at that if you don't like how something looked. I'd want to know their thinking, their process, how they worked with the client, 'cause I can almost guarantee it's not in the portfolio if that client wasn't happy or it's not being showcased on the website if they weren't happy with what they were doing.
[00:37:53] Is that, you, you kind of alluded to it, is that, you know, if, if you had to put one thing on it of how to get the best out of your agency partners, is it just an astronomical amount of radical transparency and communication, especially at the scale of a Krystal.
[00:38:06] Casey Terrell: Yeah, I think that, that really helps. If they're in the dark and we're unhappy, I think most people, just in general, customer service, everything else, they don't make a huge fuss, like, they don't go full Karen on Instagram, they just don't, they don't renew, they don't come back, right? So, it's just sort of, the relationship just kind of slowly dies because you'll, you'll say, "Hey, we need, we need this, we need this."
[00:38:29] And then, they don't, you know, agency partner doesn't understand the full scope of what's going on or the context or anything else. And you get unhappy, they get frustrated because they know you're unhappy, and eventually there's an RFP, and then you guys just part ways, right? So, I think that having more transparency definitely helps.
[00:38:47] At the same time, I feel like with a partner, when you know, you know, it's like breaking up with a significant other, you know, boyfriend or girlfriend or whatever, you're like, yeah, it's just not working anymore, right? And there's no amount of radical transparency that's gonna change that, unfortunately.
[00:39:01] 'Cause again, to what you've always said, it does come down to human relationships and just, you know, vibes, man.
[00:39:09] Daniel Weiner: You have to have immaculate vibes as they say. I'm gonna jum, I'm gonna ask the second part of this first question 'cause you just mentioned it. I'm gonna ask about a negative agency experience in a second, but once a, to your point, like, once you know, you know, once something has reached, you know, a negative point or the seed of doubt has been, you know, planted, do you think a bad or negative experience can be salvaged and, and gotten back on the rails or, uh, not really?
[00:39:34] Casey Terrell: Yeah, I mean, it depends on what it is, right? But yes, I think that if there is kind of a come to Jesus moment or whatever you want to call it of, "Hey, this is not happening, we need this," and you see how the partner responds, I think that, that kind, but that goes to the agency side as well of, like, this is not working for us because of this, you know, so, let's, let's just be honest about,
[00:39:56] and say, give you guys, maybe we're just not, we're not the right partner, but it's, like, when somebody, somebody resigns because they get a new job, right? And they come back and they expect a counteroffer, it's never gonna be the same,
[00:40:10] Daniel Weiner: Sure.
[00:40:11] Casey Terrell: right? I mean, even if there's a counteroffer is given, "Oh, well, I'm so happy." There's always in the back of your mind, you know, like, that whole thing happened, "You tried to leave me." That was a big thing there, the four connections, I can't, think it's Driven, the book's Driven and it's about, like, the four things that are just innate in humans, you know, from 250,000 years ago.
[00:40:31] And one of them is the drive to belong, and that for some people is the main drive. It was, like, the drive to belong, the drive to acquire, the drive to defend what you've acquired, and then the drive to learn and grow. And so, the, the whole premise is, you know, give my Columbia program a hook, is that you, you should be hitting those four things whenever you're doing anything,
[00:40:50] marketing, advertising, relationships. And that drive to belong is extremely powerful. And so, I think that people are absolutely devastated, and there's data that shows when layoffs happen, people rank that on par, if not worse, than getting divorced, right? It's just like your, yeah, your, your family is gone, like, your work family, whatever it is, even though that's not the way capitalism works in yada, yada, we're not a family, you're more of like a baseball team, but at the same time,
[00:41:17] Daniel Weiner: Everyone's replaceable and tradable.
[00:41:19] Casey Terrell: Unfortunately, and I hate that, I, I really do, but that's just not, that's not the setup that we have. But that, I think with agency partners and with your team, understanding those drives, like, if they don't feel like they belong, right, if they know that something is wrong in the relationship, it's extremely demotivating and unfulfilling just as much as, you know, learning and acquiring more knowledge and growing as a person, if they're not getting that, see ya. And I think it, that works not only for, for internal employees but agency partners too.
[00:41:52] Daniel Weiner: As with most marketers, I presume you've had a negative agency experience, uh, in the past, can you talk about one in particular or couple and, like, what made them so negative or what ultimately led you to, you know, think this isn't working anymore?
[00:42:05] Casey Terrell: Yeah, I mean, I'll give you more of, like, a nebulous answer 'cause I think everybody's had some stuff that's gone through
[00:42:09] Daniel Weiner: Boo, talk some shit, Casey.
[00:42:11] Casey Terrell: I know, right?
[00:42:11] Daniel Weiner: This is a, this is a con, this is the controversial podcast, you know, no, you can, you can give a fabulous answer.
[00:42:15] Casey Terrell: We're breaking through.
[00:42:16] Daniel Weiner: No, we're breaking shit here.
[00:42:17] Casey Terrell: Just because, look, I mean, just 'cause they were right for me and for my brand doesn't mean they're not a good shop, right? So, like, I'm not gonna pigeon and fly in and shit everything and fly away.
[00:42:28] But at the same time, there are some things, you know, I can give a specific example from, you know, a couple of brands go because I tend to jump around a lot, that's not a great thing. But I learn a lot, that's good.
[00:42:39] Daniel Weiner: You just like to, you just like to travel.
[00:42:40] Casey Terrell: I like to travel, exactly, uh, especially back to New York, but it was, there just was not a, a trust that it was on the media side, but they were really doing anything innovative, right? I'll give a very specific example.
[00:42:56] So, I'll talk about Alex again, you know, as a good buddy of mine from another brand, he and I were running media together, and we banned banner ads, I tend to ban banner ads, static banner ads wherever I go, and I will give that as, like, a very specific thing. If I hear you say,
[00:43:10] Daniel Weiner: Why do you, why do you ban those?
[00:43:12] Casey Terrell: if I hear you say efficient CPM, I'm gonna jump out the fucking window, right? But it's, it's more about, like, it's just a layup, right? You're like, "Oh, digital billboard," and it's a great efficient CPM, and it'll be everywhere, and he and I were
[00:43:27] Daniel Weiner: So, they're allowed to do it, they just can't bring it up?
[00:43:29] Casey Terrell: No, they're not allowed to do it.
[00:43:30] Daniel Weiner: Okay.
[00:43:31] Casey Terrell: I mean, it's one of those things where, look, we can get into billboard, or we can get into digital strategy and all that, but
[00:43:36] Daniel Weiner: There are gonna be so many agencies who slide in your DMs now who are like, "We would never in a million years recommend that."
[00:43:42] Casey Terrell: I'm not that cool, but no, we, we have this philosophy of we're a smaller kind of legacy brand that needed to break through and all of that, and I'm of the opinion, looking at data and some other things that, banner ads, especially, specifically static banner ads, like, the old school ones are on the side, and the header and nobody sees them, people ignore them.
[00:44:05] There's a stat that just came out on linear television that only 5% of brand messages people actually listen to and see, and the majority of those are on sports, right? So, like, we're doing all of this work and marketers talking to marketers and, "Oh, the logo needs to be bigger and this should be over here."
[00:44:21] And nobody even sees it, they just ignore them. So, it was more of a don't have that mindset of I just need efficient CPMs here because I'm grady, being graded on ROAS, okay, yeah, ROAS is important, but you need to actually have people engage with the media, engage with the buy, and we just never, you know, it's one of those things that just, we never got to terms with that.
[00:44:46] And they're great, they're great shop, love those guys, but that was just one of those things of, like, we gotta go with somebody that, that's not every damn time gonna throw me static banner ads, I mean, Alex even said, like, "Do takeovers, do something different, do something that's gonna catch my attention, not a billboard inside of the road when I'm doing 90 miles an hour," which I think billboard's even actually more effective.
[00:45:08] Daniel Weiner: Nah, I like that, and I also appreciate you saying, uh, just because they weren't the right agency for you doesn't mean they're not a solid shop. It's interesting, like, with the rise of communities online from Covid and stuff, I see often it happened literally last week, an agency that I don't have a relationship with, but I've heard of,
[00:45:23] and here they do good work, and somebody asked if, uh, folks had heard of them and, like, a group of people shit all over them for some, like, seemed like very personal things, you know, like, nothing to do with the work and like, I want, I'm like, man, nobody would ever hire this agency now from this group, and like, there's some pretty important people like this is, uh, I feel bad for them and stuff, but yeah, I mean, that's why I take it with a grain of salt.
[00:45:45] Like, when I'm looking for new agency partners, and somebody says, even you, if you were like, oh, this agency sucks, like, don't work with them, I would still have a conversation with them, I'd probably ask you, like, why, let's dive into that a little more and stuff. There are certain things that would presumably, like, if you were like, "Oh, the, they would ghost me,
[00:46:00] like, they wouldn't reply for a week." Like, there are certain things that I think are unforgivable, but yeah, that's the whole thing with 90,000 agencies, like, there's just inherently not gonna be a million agencies who are the right fit for you, so.
[00:46:12] Casey Terrell: Yeah, I, some of it too, man, like, working directly with creatives, you know, not having that client services layer is difficult, like, I understand that that's better for our spend because we're cutting out kind of a middleman, but it is hard to talk to a creative director on the client side and say, "We don't like this,
[00:46:32] you know, change this." Because, you know, they tend to, some, I shouldn't say all, some tend to kind of marry their designs, marry their creative, and it, and it is a whole skillset within client services to take what the brand or the client wants and translate it into, into, you know, positive feedback on something, it's not easy.
[00:46:51] Daniel Weiner: No, I agree. What, uh, what's something overall that you think agencies either get wrong or what's something that you wish more of them kind of got, quote-unquote, or understood, or what could you, if you could say something to all agencies, what would that be?
[00:47:04] Casey Terrell: Yeah. I think this, uh, obsession with a 15 and a 30 being the, you know, the kind of tent pole for a campaign, I think a lot of people go immediately to a video of some kind, right? Whereas that may not be right, it's not always gonna be that, " Hey, we have, we're gonna do a 15-second TV spot, and then everything will just cascade down from there."
[00:47:27] I know there, there are agencies that don't do that, but I think that every agency needs to be looking holistically at guest experience, customer experience, period. How are people interacting with the brand and not just, "Oh, this would be so cool if we did a video this way, right, and then we'll just make all the assets from there."
[00:47:45] Very specific example, you know, we talk about data being data-driven, and again, taking this back to the very beginning, thing with machine-learning AI and having this data set in front of you, that's not a replacement for getting out behind your deck, from behind your desk and going and ordering a Krystal, ordering a side chick.
[00:48:03] How did it go? What was it like? How did it feel? What were the smells, sights? You know, was the person nice to you? Did he call you an asshole? Like, whatever, right? Just experiencing the brand, you know, people say in the wild natively, that to me is if agency partners are not doing that, if they're just as guilty as we are, as marketers are just hiding behind a desk and looking at transaction data, right?
[00:48:26] Or, you know, data central's brand funnel, like, you have to go out and act. I'll give a very specific example, there's a lot of data here at Krystal that showed that, you know, our target was 25 to 54, you know, white males and females living in the suburbs, blah, blah, and then you actually went into a Krystal and that we never talked to the black community, for example, perfect example.
[00:48:49] And then we sub-found some other data that actually showed we way over-indexed with the black community, we just don't engage with them, right? Another example is, was the Hispanic community not really coming to us. Well, we don't offer anything, we don't talk to them, right?
[00:49:01] So, like, you could look at data and then go, actually go look at your experience, and if you're not doing that, then you're lost.
[00:49:09] Daniel Weiner: No, that's awesome feedback. I think your answer is gonna be AI, but I'll ask anyways. What are you most bullish on in the marketing space? We've got, I, I don't know if the NFT bubble has burst yet, we've got Metaverses, we've got AI, we've got events back, what are you most excited about from either personal standpoint or the brand standpoint?
[00:49:27] Casey Terrell: Yeah, I think a lot of the experiential stuff that was what was growing before and will continue to grow, I mean, I think experience is the currency of Gen Z and younger millennials especially, and it's always been, but, you know, the get-off-my-lawn folks look at social media and, you know, when we were younger, I mean I remember I had, my first phone was a flip phone, right, 2000. You couldn't carry around your entire friend group, right now you can with social media, and you can tell 'em exactly what's going on. So, a lot of it is unhealthy obsession, right? With Instagrams is other things in one upmanship, but it's also like telling everybody, "Hey man, I just went to this cool bar,
[00:50:04] or I just had this cool experience, I just, like, climbed the mountain." So, that to me is going to continue to, that'll continue to proliferate, but it, it's not so much based on, it seems like, with younger generations, the focus isn't as much on, like, the boomer drive of acquiring as much as possible, living in the suburbs, having a great life, and then re, retiring to Florida.
[00:50:26] You know, these younger generations seem to be, and maybe there are other generations throughout time that have had this, I imagine probably the World War I generation with Dadaism that was completely nihilistic after having a horrendous war and saying, "You know what, I'm gonna go live my life." And then you got the F. Scott Fitzgeralds of the world that went and did that, you know?
[00:50:45] But this generation seems to have a lot more in common with them, there's a lot of really funny things with, like, pandemics and wars and all this stuff and saying, "Hey, carpe diem, right?" I think that, that brands really need to be much more focused on experience and making experience really good because I did see another nerdy stat, that word of mouth is by and by large number one for how to get a message out.
[00:51:09] It was something, like, 5% of conversations happen on social media because people talk to each other. There's text, there's all this other stuff, we tend to think that all these conversations are only happening online, only happening on social when the vast majority are still people to people.
[00:51:24] So, that's a big thing, is like, kind of back to the future of don't forget the basic drives of a human being is that they want to be in a community with other people. So, I'm most bullish really on this younger generation that is much more into the non, it's like the anti-1980s, right? Like, this, like, Wall Street mentality,
[00:51:44] they, the movie, not the group of people. They're anti-that, they seem to be. And so, if you can tap into them and be culturally relevant and understand what they like, they will absolutely pick up a banner for you, but it's hard.
[00:51:57] Daniel Weiner: I agree. What is something that keeps you up at night from a marketing standpoint?
[00:52:01] Casey Terrell: Not driving traffic in sales and going bankrupt, turning into Kmart, I mean, seriously, it is one of those things of, like, how can we stay alive because I think as a marketer you tend to be looked at as a quarterback, right, on a team. And if you win, then it was the team, right? If you lose, it's that bum, Tom Brady, you know?
[00:52:21] Daniel Weiner: I saw him last night, not a good look for Tom Brady
[00:52:24] Casey Terrell: No.
[00:52:24] Daniel Weiner: He also slide-tackled a guy I saw this morning.
[00:52:27] Casey Terrell: But at the same time, was Tom Brady on playing safety when, you know, they scored 31 points on the box? No. Or whatever it was.
[00:52:35] Daniel Weiner: Yeah.
[00:52:35] Casey Terrell: So, I, what keeps me up in eye, honestly, is that of, like, turning into the fate of, like, a Sears or, you know, Kmart. My, my grandfather started at JCPenney in 1921 when they were based in New York, right?
[00:52:47] They had their offices in New York City. They ended up moving to Dallas after he retired, but he was there, he retired in 1970, you know, he stayed at one company his whole life and was able to, you know, he ended up, like, running real estate for the entire company as an EVP, he started as a secretary, you know?
[00:53:02] Casey Terrell: So, those guys, I mean, it was a must, I don't think that it's the world is that much different because he was dealing with the rise of the suburbs, right? People moving out of the cities, putting pennies into, you know, malls, that was totally new, nobody knew anything about how to do that, right?
[00:53:21] And trying to stay relevant as a brand and say, "Wow, the old model of going downtown is kind of starting to shift to going into the suburbs." And so, I take a lot of comfort in his experience, no, that, it's never easy no matter what time period, but that's what keeps me up at night is just not learning something new and staying on top of, like, what the future, trying to predict the future in a way, and not putting a brand in a, in a place where it's like irreparable damage where you just can't come back from it.
[00:53:51] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, I think the biggest thing I've seen in food in general, like, my first job after college was in an office park in, God, off Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth, Georgia, you know, we would, like, plan lunch, everybody in the office, like, either the day before, like, in the morning would be like, "Hey, like, we're gonna do this for lunch."
[00:54:07] You're, you had your group, and you did it. The thing I've seen with food brands of having worked with them a little bit, not at your level, and I'm sure you look at it from a different lens, is there's just so many options now, like, so to your point about relevancy, like, you could be the most relevant brand in the world, but like, there's timeliness that comes into it,
[00:54:25] there's location, like, there's just so many factors that go into it. And again, at the end of the day, you're just competing for attention. So, I, I hope you get some sleep, it's just a, I imagine a nerve-wracking thing just to think, like, you have, I don't know, a split second when somebody gets hungry and starts thinking about food to be even in the conversation when there's a million different brands out there. So, I don't blame you for losing sleep over that.
[00:54:47] Casey Terrell: Yeah. I mean, and they're, I mean, aside from, like, the usual family stuff and children and keeping your family alive, blah, blah, blah, but, uh,
[00:54:52] Daniel Weiner: Those are good things, yeah.
[00:54:53] Casey Terrell: yeah, those are definitely worries, but, but, no, you're a hundred percent right, I mean, there's just a lot of competition, and there's, there are concepts that we don't even know about, rights that are coming and they're gonna kick your ass.
[00:55:04] You know, Chipotle kind of came out of nowhere, and it seems obvious now, wow, that was a really cool concept, but then there's other ones, not to, like, hate on my Moe friends, but pretty similar,
[00:55:16] Daniel Weiner: Sure.
[00:55:17] Casey Terrell: they're not anywhere near a billion dollars.
[00:55:19] Daniel Weiner: Right. Nah, that's fair. That was my final marketing question. We'll rapid-fire a couple, and wrap up here, uh, what was your very first job?
[00:55:26] Casey Terrell: Very first job was the Army. And so, I grew up on military family, we didn't get paid for anything, we weren't allowed to go have jobs because my parents were like, "You will do sports, and you will go to school," which is a good trade, right? But then it also meant that we had to do, like, farm labor in Northern Virginia, you know, for free. So, my first actual job was a lieutenant in Army.
[00:55:47] Daniel Weiner: Thank you for your service, and I presume you have a good answer to this by normally, the follow-up is what have you taken from that experience into what you do now, and do you think it's made you a better marketer?
[00:55:57] Casey Terrell: Yeah, I think a lot of humility, honestly, I mean they beat into our heads at West Point that don't come out and be their, it's called a ring knocker who invented class rings in 1820s or something. And a ring knocker is somebody that would, you know, do this and knock their ring, and then you knew, hey, they're a West Pointer, there's a whole group of 'em,
[00:56:14] you have to do what they say, your opinion does not matter 'cause you're not in the club, and that is very much the detriment of a lot of other really good leaders and officers in the Army. And so, having that same mindset of you don't know everything just because you have this ring in your hand, you know, there were sergeants in the Army,
[00:56:29] Casey Terrell: it's a stupid, you know, thing that they say of, I have boots that have been in the, in the Army longer than you have, and it is true. At the same time, you are in charge, you're the legal commander, but you don't know anything, like, these guys are professionals. And so, taking that on, especially, like, being a younger person and leading teams that were mixed and maybe had older people, had a lot of experience. Having that same mindset of being open,
[00:56:55] I don't know everything, I'm going to make the decision because I have to, like, I'm the leader here, but a great example, very quickly, is that, you know, if you're a platoon leader, you got four squad leaders, you know, list of guys and a platoon sergeant, right? You're in charge of them. They have a hell of a lot of experience,
[00:57:10] they're very professional. You come back, you get orders. You're like, "Aight, boys or ladies," now, which is awesome. "This is mission, this is what we have to do. What are your thoughts?" Right? And it is one of those, like, everybody takes a knee and, "Well, sir, I think we should do it this way, da da da da da da." And you get this kind of consensus in a way.
[00:57:26] But also, they all know the mission, they all know exactly what they're supposed to do. So, if you get killed or incapacitated or whatever, any one of them can pick up the banner and keep moving, right? That's very different than other centralized armies like Soviet Army or whoever, kill the general, nobody knows what to do, right,
[00:57:44] there hasn't, they haven't pushed that kind of commander's intent all the way down. And so, that is a big thing that's always really stuck with me, and I didn't do really much in the Army, my classmates and friends did some pretty incredible things, but having that core nugget of leadership, of transparency, tell everybody what's going on to a degree, right?
[00:58:03] But more importantly, empower them that if stuff changes on the ground, right, they know what the intent is, what the big goal is, and then they can move and change. So, they always say, like, "Tell a soldier what to do, not how to do it." It's pretty similar with people on your team. "This is what I need you to get done, I will guide you on how to do it, but I trust you, I know you'll figure it out."
[00:58:26] Daniel Weiner: Good answer. I, you cannot answer Krystal, or you can answer Krystal, this next question, what would your final meal be?
[00:58:33] Casey Terrell: Final meal. Oh, man.
[00:58:35] Daniel Weiner: Krystal can be one A, I need one B.
[00:58:39] Casey Terrell: Oh, wow, uh, yeah, I was gonna say obviously a Krystal. I'm a big chicken cordon blue guy, but it's gotta be, like, a really good one, that or a beef wellington, you know, I've got like a, I've got like a gluten unfortunate thing, I, won't kill me, but I won't have a good day, but still chicken cordon blue when it's done really well,
[00:58:58] and I also have, like a, a really terrible sweet tooth, so I would say, like, just a badass chocolate chip cookie, if I'm gonna leave this earth, I need that badass chocolate chip.
[00:59:07] Daniel Weiner: I take the same opinion on, I have a terrible sweet tooth as well, after every meal, I have to have something. But I'm very anti-fancy desserts, so when I go to fancy restaurants, I either want a scoop of ice cream or, like, a chocolate chip cookie and, like, no one ever, they're like, "Oh, we have this, like, double chocolate ganache."
[00:59:21] I'm like, "No, I just want something simple." Nobody does it, that's my, that's my contribution to fine dining, they need to have, like, a candy bar menu, I'm being serious, would love if they would just walk out with the Snickers after.
[00:59:31] Casey Terrell: You should have a candy lineup like George.
[00:59:33] Daniel Weiner: That's right, costanza, I'll eat it with a fork and knife, that's what I'm saying. And then, my, my final question for you, who is somebody who inspires you personally or professionally, or both?
[00:59:42] Casey Terrell: Oh, man. I think there's a, I already talked about Patty, she's awesome. Ryan Sinclair was a, a boss of mine at, at Pac who was awesome. I've had a lot, Joe Mondello was a, a boss of mine when I was at, uh, Le Pain Quotidien, she's now a big wig of Papa John's. So, I've had, I've been pretty blessed to have some in the industry, have some great, some great folks.
[01:00:00] My chief at, at AVI, Panisa and, and Bruno was my boss, so they were awesome. But I look back, I mean, I'm a history person, right? He doesn't get enough credit, but US Grant, that guy was a hell of a, was a hell of a person, like, hell of a dude. The stuff that he did, basically saving the country, destroying a bunch of traders in this country, and they were traders,
[01:00:22] they fought the US Army, but also after when he was President, he bucked a lot of trends, the guy destroyed the Ku Klux Klan, unfortunately, came back, set up Department of Justice, really championed, uh, Friedman's rights and tried to actually help Black America, but just in general, he, he was somebody that came kind of outta nothing, was a, a bit of a failure,
[01:00:41] he had a really bad drinking problem in the Army when he was younger, didn't really do well as a civilian, and was the right guy at the right time to come back into the Army and win that damn war. And so, for me, I look back at, he's just not for the same ways, the guy just took a punch and just, would just get back up and eventually, you know, won. He made a lot of mistakes, but, you know, he did a lot of amazing things and we wouldn't be the country we are without him.
[01:01:05] Daniel Weiner: That's basically marketing, you try a bunch of shit and get knocked down, and then you get back up, hopefully.
[01:01:09] Casey Terrell: Right, I mean, there was this great thing I'll, I'll, I know that we're a little bit over time, but it was, it was at, I think at, uh, Shiloh
[01:01:15] Daniel Weiner: Casey, I run the podcast and sponsor, we could, we could talk as long as you want.
[01:01:18] Casey Terrell: We do whatever we want. I think it was at Shiloh, and they got, they got waxed the first day, right, they got taken by surprise, and Sherman came up to him at the end of the day and, uh, he said, "Well, Grant, we found the devil's own day."
[01:01:32] And Grant kind of looked at him and said, "Yep, look 'em tomorrow, though." And they did. So, that's just the mentality I think you have to have, you learn, you get your ass handed to you, you learn, you get better, you know?
[01:01:46] Daniel Weiner: No, that's great advice. I give it, like, roughly a week before you get a cold message from an agency or two talking about how big of a history and war buff they are. So you can thank this podcast for that
[01:01:55] Casey Terrell: I can almost
[01:01:56] Daniel Weiner: It's, guarantee it, I'm being serious.
[01:01:57] Casey Terrell: It's funny, man, that we, when you come over, we have, I think I've told you this, but we've got, you know, I've got a, uh, my parents had my, my parents are Vietnam vets and, you know, we got a, a painting over the mantle that they bought, it's, uh, Joshua Chamberlain who is, you know, was from Maine Civil War General,
[01:02:13] he was the guy in Gettysburg that brought the swinging gate that kind of knocked out the Confederate flank and really saved the Army at Gettysburg. But this painting is of him on his horse, and the guy went through literally everything, he went through every major battles, insane. And he's, they're doing the kind of the victory parade through DC, and the painting is this woman running out with, uh, a wreath to give his horse, and the horse flips out.
[01:02:39] So, the painting is the horse kind of rearing back, and Chamberlain and his horse were famous for always having stoically, you know, stayed in there, and it just, my parents loved it 'cause it showed, it spoke to them as veterans of, of combat, veterans of this is PTSD, right? Like, this horse had it, he had it, you know, something in non-threatening, somebody running out with a flower, you don't see them,
[01:03:02] and it, it, they, you know, it was a terrible experience, but it just shows the horrors of it. And so, we have that kind of sets the tone of, yeah, I went to West Point, da da da da da, but let's not forget how terrible this experience could be, you know? And then next to it is a picture of Grant at, uh, at Shiloh.
[01:03:19] And so, living in Atlanta, that is very much a clear signal that I'm not a lost cause person, and if you talk about the Confederacy, you can get outta my house.
[01:03:27] Daniel Weiner: That's great. We love to hear it. That's a fitting end to this podcast, uh, appreciate you joining, giving us a full hour, and look forward to hearing, uh, more from Krystal this year and what's next for him.
[01:03:38] Casey Terrell: Absolutely. Well, thank you, sir. Appreciate it.
[01:03:40] Daniel Weiner: We'll talk to you soon.