The capital of Alabama doesn’t usually rank among cities considered tech incubators. But that could soon change thanks to David Mowery.
The longtime campaign consultant, who’s worked for Republicans and Democrats, has teamed with Brent Rosen to launch FIXR, a digital marketing firm. While he’s hoping the Montgomery-based shop can help enhance the city’s image, Mowery also wants to change the impression of digital that many of his potential clients have.
“Some campaigns still think, I can get a kid to do this,” he told C&E. “But a kid doesn’t know how to do sophisticated targeting, and isn’t able to gauge what your budget should be.”
The partners met when Mowery wrote a travelogue about a visit to Cuba for MADE Paper, a publication covering the local culinary and arts industries that Rosen edited. Those contacts will help the new firm expand its client roster beyond just campaigns and associations, according to Mowery.
C&E: Why launch a digital firm outside the Beltway?
Mowery: There are people who do this great at the national level on both sides. But somebody here isn’t going to look to a D.C. firm to run a mayor’s race or a state senate race, or even help their store or business with marketing. We saw a gap in the market. This isn’t the type of thing you think of as coming out of Montgomery, but it’s a forward-thinking look at communications.
C&E: Is there a D.C. office opening in the future?
Mowery: I can’t say no to that, because it makes sense, but I get so much of my business via local origination. The dream is to make it as big as we can and open an office anywhere that’s cool — D.C. or San Francisco or New York.
C&E: What’s the price point for a campaign?
Mowery: What we really like to do is figure out what the client’s needs are and then make recommendations. It’s a lot like making a TV ad. Do you go on cable or network? It depends on the audience. Are we making the creative or just placing it? Does what you want to communicate fit with what we do? Right now our clients are associations, small businesses and even some larger local businesses.
C&E: Is FIXR a subsidiary of your existing firm or a new entity?
Mowery: It’s essentially an offshoot of Mowery Consulting Group, but we have an office in New Orleans, which is where Brent’s located. My partner has very strong ties to the cultural, arts and culinary communities. That’s really a market where we see us jumping in.
We’re an ad agency, but we have a focus on digital and that helps clients who can’t make a $100,000-month TV buy. It’s a niche ad agency. The big misnomer is people think of digital as a different class of communication, but it’s the same as mail or TV.
C&E: Will you keep managing campaigns?
Mowery: I’m going to have to do both. But eventually I’d like to get out of being the day-to-day campaign manger type and be more the 30,000-foot-adviser type.
C&E: Where did the name come from?
Mowery: We wanted one like a tech company and I have this joke that [Silicon Valley firms] just take vowels out of words. It’s also a tribute to this guy who was my mentor, Mays Jemison, who passed away in October. He was a fixer. This dude just knew what to do, who to talk to. We’re fixers. We’ll fix your communications, we’ll fix your targeting.