Patrick McKenna is the Founder & CEO of Strike Social. He co-founded and sold telecommunications company WCI in 1996. He was recruited by Microsoft as part of a 50 person team to develop the internet audio and video industry. By the end of Patrick’s 12 years at Microsoft, the department had developed into the Windows Entertainment Division now employing 40,000 people. Patrick has spent his career mentoring and investing in startup companies and in 2013 founded Strike Social, which was named the No. 17 fastest-growing private company in the U.S. for 2017 by Inc. Magazine. Strike Social develops AI-powered software and services for digital advertisers across industry verticals with over half of the Fortune 500 benefiting from its solutions including brands like Beat, Xbox, Honda, Mattel, Lionsgate, and large financial institutions.

Podcast Highlights

Who is Patrick McKenna?

If Patrick were a superhero, he would be Batman. He’s always learning and has a ton of great gadgets to help him get things done. Curiosity has always been a major driver in Patrick’s life and he loves figuring out how things work. That includes early computers, technology, and the beginnings of the internet.

Patrick started off as an entrepreneur in the telecommunications industry which is where he became immersed in the idea of being his own boss. One of the small startups Patrick became a part of were teaching corporate training via videos over the internet. Microsoft noticed what they were doing and snapped up the team that Patrick was a part of and that’s how he ended up at Microsoft.

The Bleeding Edge of Advertising

While working on the audio and video technologies at Microsoft, Patrick’s team was on the bleeding edge. It was a time before broadband, before YouTube, before a lot of the technologies that we know today. Now his focus is on using machine learning and AI to make the internet experience even better.

Labor costs will be 80% to 90% of your business in most cases. If you’re not building processes and automation, and you’re not using the software and technology that’s available, your company is not built to last.

Strike Social

Strike Social helps large organizations through video advertising reach their audience. Machine learning plays a major role in that by optimizing and customizing the types of ads that are shown to people.

Data science is largely misunderstood, meaningful data that will help you make informed decisions can’t be done with just a spreadsheet. For smaller businesses and entrepreneurs, there are many different companies and technologies that are heavily invested in AI and data science that they can take advantage of. As time goes on the technology will become more accessible and affordable, similar to the way audio and video tech has evolved.

The best thing you can do if you want to grow is to find someone who is really good at the social media platforms and bring them on board, the challenge with that is your company will only be as good as that person’s knowledge base.

Machine learning is how companies avoid diminishing returns to some extent in their paid advertising, but you will never be able to really escape it. You should test every aspect of your ad, but just one at a time.

When it comes to creating a video, working with existing creators and influencers is one way of testing your creative efforts.

Patrick’s Takeaway

You have to understand what the platforms are good for. If you’re just starting out, you should start with search, Facebook, and Instagram, and then look to your competitors. Study what they’re doing and see what resonates and then go test it out. Try to get an immediate return so you can start building on your results and scaling your efforts.



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