Hey fellow CEOs and Marketers! On today’s episode, I had the pleasure of interviewing the CEO of King of Pops, Steven Carse, who has developed a brand that that everyone in the south has come to know and love.

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[00:00:00] Automated Voice : Welcome to the Ignite Podcast where we help week marketers and CEOs learn the latest tips and tricks to help ignite growth in their business. This isn’t your typical marketing podcast. We push beyond platitude to deliver you real-world stories from the trenches. Are you ready to learn? Are you ready to grow? Are you ready to have fun? Well, then buckle up because you are about to enter to the Ignite Podcast.

[00:00:32] Interviewer: Thanks everybody for tuning in to Ignite Marketing Podcast geared towards all your famous CEOs and marketers out there across the country. Today, I could not be more excited. I am super pumped to have the King of Pops himself. Steven Carse is in the studio today with us. We have never been talking to a more famous brand or CEO. Steven, I would love for you to tell all of our listeners, give everybody a little background. I doubt there’s anybody out there that doesn’t know what King of Pops is. Tell us a little bit about.

[00:01:07] Steven Carse: Yes. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there — King of Pops is basically a popsicle company. That’s what we started out doing. We started out on a single street corner in Atlanta, Georgia. Selling out of a cart like you would see if you’ve been to a Latin neighborhood in your hometown, or Central America, or Mexico. The little paletero carts that people are pushing around town. We started with a single cart like that. It’s expanded and grown the business.

We’re still in the South. We’re in six cities. We do a lot of events from 500 to 50,000 people. Whether it’s an event like Bonner Roll, or Governor’s Ball, or a fundraiser at a local school. Then we’re in whole foods and we’re in gourmet food stores. We do retail and catering too. The brand has expanded. I feel like we’re just along for the ride as well as we’re going through it.

[00:02:06] Interviewer: Let’s backtrack there a little bit. You’re into a lot of things. You’ve expanded in six states, we’re in whole food. I love that organic shit man. I’ve been in Kroger for a long time. I find that the people are more down to earth. I’ve got a little uppity lately. We’ve been going to Whole Foods and experimenting on some turmeric to get my gut health up. You guys have gone into Whole Foods. Wow, that must have been — did you call call Whole Foods? How did that connection happen?

[00:02:33] Steven: Yes. The way our story has been and we turned in the script a little bit in later part of 2017. What we focused on is creating a compelling brand. We have been blessed enough that people would come to us. Then when people do come to us, we really explore and go after an opportunity. Strangely enough, I was sitting on that very first corner. We started to create a bit of a cult following where we were running out of products basically every day.

I’ve developed a lot of relationships. When you’re sitting on a corner and everyone is in their shorts and T-shirt maybe on a Saturday, or the day they came out of work, or whatever and everyone was a regular old guy and you treat everyone as good as you can. Some of these people that were my regulars and I was a 25-year-old dude trying to figure some stuff out ended up having some pretty important jobs. One of them was the buyer for Whole Foods, just a store down the street.

It wasn’t really in our business plan. He was like, “Hey, we’re looking to pick up a frozen brand. You guys would be great. Would you be interested?” At that point, our wrappers were all clear, no nutrition facts, no labels, no nothing. “Yes, we’re interested.” We got to get that figured out. About a month or two later, we had a nutrition fact panel. We had wrappers figured out and we started with one store and did a really good job.

Then, that’s when the sales process starts where we started calling other stores and the original buyer and it went from there. You talk about Kroger, and Publix, and Proud and, Fresh Market, and the list goes on and on. All of these people are meeting in the middle a little bit. Whole Foods is trying to get a bit cheaper. If you see is the organic section in Kroger, it’s expanding. It’s an interesting time for sure in the grocery stores. I don’t know where we fit to be. Complete honest.

[00:04:27] Interviewer: I was wondering, you guys, do you consider yourselves organic? I don’t even know how all that works. It’s like I was eating a damn Teddy Graham the other day that was Annie’s that we bought at Whole Foods. It’s like non-GMO, certified, no preservers. I’m like, “I don’t even know. I think I like all that shit.” The more preserved I am, the longer I’m going to live.

[laughter]

We don’t know where exactly where you fit. We’re in Whole Foods? Did you mention that you guys are in Kroger and Publix yet or that next?

[00:04:55] Steven: We’ve tested in Kroger before but we’re not doing it right now. Basically, our price point is like $3 in the store. You extrapolate that out for the three or four pack and you’re getting to be a pretty expensive product. In order to do well in Kroger, there’s not many people that are buying per unit. That’s why we do really well with the Whole Foods. We’re at the counter room. It’s the impulse buying.

350 is a reasonable amount at that store. That same strategy just isn’t working that well at Kroger. For example, because they do a lot of volume but most people that come through are going to buy a dollar 29 Twix bar instead. That issue, if we ever get into putting together a box, then I think we would have to do it better. Maybe not Kroger, maybe Kroger but definitely like a Sprouts Fresh Market type store.

[00:05:47] Interviewer: Yes. You got too many of us cheap asses at Kroger.

[laughter]

[00:05:51] Steven: I love Kroger. [unintelligible 00:05:53]

[00:05:54] Interviewer: That’s great. We’re testing in Kroger, very exciting. Steven, of your top line revenue, you don’t have to share any number. That’s up to you. Of your top line revenue, how much is still coming from pushcarts at Piedmont Park? How much is coming from the B to B side, the distribution side?

[00:06:12] Steven: We sell about two or three million pops a year in this list. If you want to knock it to detail, into about thirds. Wholesale being a third, retail which is what you’re talking Piedmont Park, on a cart, selling directly to people is about a third. Then, catering is about a third which is when we come to a business or do an activation. We either come to a business as an employee benefit or do an activation. Programs like Delta, Mail Chimp, or something like that.

That part of our business is growing the quickest, the catering part. It’s a really exciting part where there’s a sales process that we can really focus on and improve. The retail is a lot of fun as well. It’s harder to play on that, to scale quicker. Just look for bigger customers instead of being at Piedmont Park and all of the local parks. Where we’re going try reaching out to stadiums, and convention centers, and some of these places that have huge built-in audiences. Yes, that’s the breakdown.

It’s basically catering growing the fastest, retail staying the same, wholesale staying the same unless we shift our focus from by the bar strategy to a park strategy. I don’t really see that changing super-fast. That’s where we stand right now. Then, I guess to throw into the mix, to further complicate things, we’ve opened up a few brick and mortars that are bars. We sell pops and then we put the pops — prepare them with a cocktail and call them poptail. That’s been going really well but we consider that as a different business. Even though they’re selling a lot pops too.

[00:07:50] Interviewer: We can get drunk on popsicles? Is that the stick?

[00:07:56] Steven: That the stick, yes. It’s more of you put the pop in it. We’ve tried putting the alcohol in the pop and there’s definitely companies who would do that. That’s getting back to your stuff where there will be a lot of chemicals in there. The truth about alcohol is that it does not freeze. The more you put in it, the less it can freeze. If you ever see there is alcohol ice cream and there is alcohol pops actually — If you ever see them, they’re either a really low percentage and basic flavoring or they’ve got a lot of emulsifiers and stabilizers that are allowing them to do some unnatural things.

[00:08:35] Interviewer: I got you. You guys aren’t infusing alcohol into the pop. It’s more of a separate, “Yes, sit down and have the popsicle. Go ahead and drink.” Is that the premise?

[00:08:43] Steven: Yes. It’s paired- like paired soda. You put ice and cocktails. The fun part to imagine is that of the pop melts into the cocktail. It’s adding another dimension. Let’s say it’s anything from old-fashioned, whatever you would think will pair well with that. Whether it’s the special honey and lime pop that’s more concentrated. We have a Raspberry Lime drink that we just [unintelligible 00:09:05] pop in. It just looks pretty and people like to take pictures of for Instagram.

[00:09:11] Interviewer: Steven, this is interesting is because that’s a divergence from your core business model. You’ve got two portions of the business. Two-thirds are growing really well. Then you open up a shop that’s pairing popsicles and liquor. Steve, are you bored, or you now want to grow to a 100 million, or is this just fun and you love this kind of stuff? Where does that idea come from?

[00:09:34] Steven: From my perspective, it definitely comes from, it’s fun and I love this stuff. I think you make a good point. My skill-set as an entrepreneur and co-founder is like this closer to the consumer strategy. I don’t yet know how to really scale. If I go talk to smart people, they would say, “I know what you’re saying. Let’s focus on one thing and really blow it up.” We’re eight years in. I think that’s the type of the discussion that I’m excited about having but it’s really hard to choose man. The bar concept is profitable and seems super repeatable but it isn’t what we’ve been working on the last eight years exactly. It definitely takes a lot of the lessons that we’ve learned into account and complements our core business.

[00:10:26] Interviewer: It’s great for brand equity in Atlanta. I mean, that store, is that the one in Ponce City Market?

[00:10:31] Steven: Yes, exactly.

[00:10:32] Interviewer: I wanted all my Atlantans to know. Is that the only one or is there others around Atlanta that we should know about?

[00:10:38] Steven: That’s the only one. We’re opening — There’s a development up in Alpharetta that’s opening either end of 2017 or early ’18. Depends on construction that we’re already- we’re in the works on. We’re looking at some spaces in Nashville and Greensville and around our markets. We’ve built the good will. It’s an interesting dynamic. People love the cart. There’s this feeling, it’s kind of like a food truck, there’s this feeling of is it going to be next time when I drive by? Even if we’re at the same spot, at the same time, every day for 10 months out of the year there’s still a temporality around that.

The brick and mortar people, they trust that it’s going to be open, they go there and they expect it. We do see a bit more of as you would imagine it’s a lot easier to project how our spot at Ponce is going to do than a cart. It could be that Pride Festival is in town and all of sudden that one’s spiking. Or, maybe it is eight degrees cooler that day so there’s less people outside. All of those things effect the indoor spots too but just a little bit less.

[00:11:51] Interviewer: I mean, I can count on you guys. Every time we go for a bike ride — every week my fiancee and son we go for a bike ride around Piedmont park. We’re hot as shit. We come around the corner by the dog park and there it is. It’s like a shining beacon of hope. My kid always says, “Dad, you broke ass, where’s my four dollars? I need to get a King of Pops.” Which flavor sells more than any other?

[00:12:14] Steven: Chocolate sea salt is definitely our best seller. We have a flat pricing model all the pops are $3. It should be $3. I hope it wasn’t $4. That might be my vendor [crosstalk]

[00:12:24] Interviewer: I tip them. Yes, he changed the signs. Well I was wearing Lululemon. He changed the sign as I was walking up.

[laughter]

[00:12:35] Steven: Anyway chocolate sea salt, we set the flat price when we started it seemed like the right thing to do, that’s our most expensive and best seller. Costs us the most to make and we sell the most of it. It all kind of evens out in the end. It would have been kind of annoying for one to be like 3.50 and one to be 2.25 and stuff. They’re all even. That’s our best seller. Raspberry lime and strawberry lemonade from the fruit side. We do all kinds of crazy flavors.The straight forward ones definitely sell the volume because you’ve got the people who aren’t too adventurous as eaters. Which is most people. Then the kids which are the big part of our demographic. They kind of go for the things they know instead of the things they don’t know.

[00:13:26] Interviewer: You guys have like a bread pudding. What was it? Was it banana bread?

[00:13:30] Steven: Banana pudding.

[00:13:30] Interviewer: Banana pudding, you guys still making that? I haven’t seen that around as much. I’ve been eating the chocolate sea salt, I’m not adventurous.

[00:13:35] Steven: It was a seasonal flavor. We changed it back to a year round flavor this year so you won’t miss it. That’s my favorite one.

[00:13:44] Interviewer: That one was my favorite. There was a shop, I think it was some Persian burrito place off of [unintelligible 00:13:51].

[00:13:52] Steven: Yes, Sheik Burritos.

[00:13:52] Interviewer: What was it? What’s it called?

[00:13:53] Steven: Sheik Burritos.

[00:13:54] Interviewer: Sheik Burritos where did that shit go? I used to talk to the owner. It’s where sprouts is now. They demolished my favorite place. That’s where I got introduced to your brand. I had a what was it called the banana — what do you call it?

[00:14:06] Steven: Banana pudding.

[00:14:08] Interviewer: I had the banana pudding after a burrito there one day. I was like, “Holy shit. There are like the two best things I’ve ever put in my mouth.”

[00:14:14] Steven: Yes, I miss that guy. He was a good dude. When they built the sprout he just didn’t work anymore. He is an entrepreneur too. I mean, he was talking about off builds all over the country he was going to start and stuff. If you’re listening should reach out and figure out where he’s at. I’d be interested in knowing.

[00:14:38] Interviewer: Yes and restarting that brand. Those burritos were off the chain man. That was awesome. I told him, “I want to franchise this.” I was like, “I don’t know.” I was 27 at the time. I didn’t know even what the fuck I was talking about. He probably saw I didn’t know what I was talking about, he passed on my offer but very cool. All right so we have the retail. We’ve opened up a stand. We’re going to go into stadiums. We’re going to start hitting more events. Talk to us about those two things? Are we doing outreach to the big events? How do you get into Mercedes-Benz stadium? Are we at the National Championship? How do we get in there?

[00:15:15] Steven: Yes, those are just conversations. Levy Delaware North these kind of big food service type people center plays that they want Aramark. They have relationships with several venues. It’s pretty rare for a venue to run its own food. You’ll hear about. Augusta Nationals are famous for doing their own stuff. You talk to them and you build a good relationship. Then they obviously affect all the venues. Then the venues have a say to — Mercedes Benz, for example, really wanting to have a lot of strong Atlanta brands. They got Fox Brothers and different stuff in there. It’s a two way street you don’t want to- you have to make both of them happy.

I think that’s a common thing in lots of businesses. You got two people that have similar but slightly different objectives. The food side they get a cut. They’re trying to have things operationally be really smooth. The venue wants to provide really interesting good options for their customers. Both of them want the other thing as well. It’s when your tailoring your sales process which we are by no means masters at yet. That’s our strategy right now.

[00:16:38] Interviewer: Are you talking to Aramark yet?

[00:16:40] Steven: We’ve talked to Aramark in the past. We don’t have a corporate relationship with them. They used to do the UGA stuff but I don’t think they are preliminary. I would say we’re at three months into our sale cycle for this. I’m learning. I’m learning a lot about it.

[00:17:00] Interviewer: Yes, I’m sure. Let’s get this in front of Aramark. If somebody listening knows somebody at Aramark that could put Steven in touch with them, please do so. Let’s hook this up. We can make this happen. We’ve got Aramark we need to get in touch with. What about the airport? Why not have a stand there? Introduce everybody flying in?

[00:17:17] Steven: The airport. All these things, you learn some lessons. Great idea. We’re in the Greensville airport which you might say, “Why are you in that and not the Atlanta airport?” That’s just because of things. Basically the way the airports work is like a bid for a concourse. You get on these companies similar to Aramark whatevers of the world but they focus more on train stations and airports and things like that. It’s so interesting.

There’s a company each of these specialties. There’s one that focuses specifically on zoos across the country. They’re like the guys that do food at zoos. If you get in with them you’re set. There’s proof of the pudding here in Atlanta which is a great company that does a lot high end stuff. They run from arenas and stuff. It’s a fascinating landscape as far as getting in front of these people but the airport it’s just a bid process. We’ve been a part of several bids. We’re in the cooking channel has a store. We’ve got a small presence in it. We’ve been a part of a couple of bids just haven’t been lucky enough to win one yet to be in the Atlanta airport. One day. I mean, we’ll keep trying.

[00:18:32] Interviewer: We’re going to get you in there. The airport needs you man. I like where the airports going with all the local flavors but we’re missing our favorite popsicle. You also mentioned that the B to B side is really big. Tell us about that. You’ve done some activations with cool companies like Coca Cola. Is there a bigger side to it where it’s just every Fortune 500 or every large company in town should call you in for their summer cook outs. How does that work?

[00:18:59] Steven: Definitely employee satisfaction and happiness. All of these things is at an absolute all time high. I mean, seemingly, I don’t really know but from what I’ve read and what I’ve seen first hand, people are really looking to do things that both differentiate themselves and take care of their folks. Where we fit in really nicely is there’s the most common thing which is the buy in lunch, or dinner, or something for folks for your people. That ends up being 10 to 20 dollars a head depending on what you want to do. We fit really nicely if like, “I want to do something nice. I’m going to do something that is going to show that I thought a lot about doing something nice for people but I don’t want to spend quite as much.” Our product is $2 a person. It’s a great way to take care of your people anywhere from 50 to — we’ve done a 12,000 person event at the World Congress Center when Microsoft was in town. It’s just a great awesome option. For property managers this is a creative one that I really like to pitch. You have to do these fire drills. The employees roll their eyes out all the time but we can move through a line so fast that we’ll be surprised to the bottom. When people come out and they line up in a little area that they’re getting accounted for, we’ll give them a pop. They’re sitting outside and it’s hot out. It’s a great way to do something nice where you’re going through a technicality that a building or a property manager has to do.

A lot of these things can be sold to literally everybody. Every business wants their people to be happy. Then, you’ve got the activation part which is a different one. On a smaller site, if you’re trying to get people’s attention in a booth. Pings aren’t working and you’ve got a spinning wheel that wins you prizes and that’s not working. There’s obviously everything in the book.

We’ve had a lot of luck just setting our cart up especially in the places in the South where we have drawn a recognition. That’s a good way to attract people in. Then you’re handing them a pop. They’re right there to come to — They would cheer about it. We can do custom packaging on those wrappers. We can put something on the stick to remind them to go check out our website or whatever afterwards. That’s been really successful for us.

[00:21:19] Interviewer: I love it. I love the promotional products. The tying with the company. That could be huge. All of my corporate marketers and event marketers out there, make sure to connect. Steven, where would we go to connect with you, kingofpops.com? Then, we’ll go through the lead funnel system. Then –?

[00:21:31] Steven: Yes. We’ve got a phone. We answer all the phone calls. We’ve got live chat and we’ve got forms to fill out. Whatever you’re into.

[00:21:45] Interviewer: Cool. Steven, I don’t have much time with you left. I want you to tell us you’re in a family-owned business. You have a lot of crazy dynamics. I’ve been in them too. I’ve my dad has quit, I fired a sister, a brother, everybody’s hated me. They’ve left me with bad reviews. “Who the hell does that?” I’m sure you’ve got a lot of crazy shit going on. Give advice to all the family businesses out there. You guys have made it work. You get along with your brother. I think your parents are involved too. What’s the single biggest thing that’s contributed to that success?

[00:22:15] Steven: Well, it’s easy I think to just realize that. When you start out and you’re three people, you’re talking all the time. They say that it’s about the company in general. As we’ve grown, we’ve done a good job of setting up recurring meetings that take as long as it takes for us to talk through everything that we need to talk through.

Obviously, getting in business with someone that you have faith in and you believe they’re bringing a ton of value to the table. Nick, my brother and I are different. I know that he brings things to the table and is 100% invested. That’s the lesson we’ve learned. When we get someone, we say, “Hey, go knock that out,” and they do it 12% differently than I would have. You take that with, “Hey, I didn’t have to do it. That’s great.” Then we decided this person will get along with it. That has been a good thing trusting the person. Then, family as far as beyond that. It’s the same as friends. You have to have — I’ll be honest, our dad is not such a productive worker anymore. We’re paying him about 10% of what he would get paid if he would have got another job. He can’t get what you pay for in there.

[00:23:31] Interviewer: Dad, pick it up.

[00:23:31] Steven: He wrote Nick, my brother a letter. If I started the business in about three or four months then we were blowing up. I was going to start hiring folks. I say that he had been helping me on weekends and nights and stuff. “If you want to do it 50,50, let’s get to it right now. Otherwise, I’m going to have to find some other people and who knows what will happen?” My dad wrote my brother a letter. He had just finished law school and all of that stuff. He had a good job. I got fired- I got laid off. I was different than him. He actually had something to give up. My dad wrote him a letter like, “Don’t do this. This is a huge mistake.” I think it’s fun to jab him about it. In reality, it’s like as long as you know your family, I wouldn’t get into business with him if I didn’t feel this way about the relationship. If you feel like you’ve got a good relationship with — which I do with my dad, and my mom, and my brother then, you’re going to be pretty good. If you have not had really a relationship — That exists out in the world for sure too. Maybe you shouldn’t be getting in business. It adds sometimes a dynamic that’s unnecessary.

The one thing for me that I repeat and it’s true for any partner that you want to get in business with, or in a very non-advisable 50,50 relationship. Whereas if we have a bad whenever we just — who knows how we’re going to solve it without it really happening yet. If you believe the other person is more than twice benefiting your company — I think Nick- without Nick on the team, we would have been maybe 20% the company we are. Us together we are way more successful. Then, it’s a good decision. If you feel bringing someone on just to have someone to talk to about stuff, then, you shouldn’t do it. You got to really believe in that person.

[00:25:26] Interviewer: Yes, I hear you. It really comes down to trust. I love the advice. Two times better. I love that. Do you take $100 bills and then just go make it rain on your dad every time you see him?

[laughter]

[00:25:38] Steven: [unintelligible 00:25:39] most weeks but we do.

[00:25:45] Interviewer: I love that. What a cool story? His own dad told his brother not to do it. [laughs] I love it.

[00:25:51] Steven: My mom does the collections. It’s a really funny dynamic to get her on the phone. She’s very, very sweet, nice lady. She obviously is trying to get us to get paid. She has an interesting strategy of being very nice and also very insistent that her two sons get paid some free. [laughs] At times, we like joking to her about it. She has an amazing recollection of anyone it is 12 days behind being paid. It is family, there is something about that. That almost no matter who we hire it would be hard to replace that maternal instinct she has on us. You know what I mean?

[00:26:41] Interviewer: Yes. She’s literally fighting to get her kids fed. Holy shit. Everybody should have their mom in collections. That’s awesome, that’s awesome. There would be no AR. Everybody would be getting paid net one. I love it. We have the fight man. I want you to help us out with one final question. We’ve got a lot of people out there. I thought about starting a brand, other people are starting a brand right now. You’ve created this aura around your brand.

It’s so cool to be associated with King of Pops. How can our listeners out there create that aura? What’s the one tip you could give us to go create a magical brand like you’ve made?

[00:27:19] Steven: I think what we did at first, because and now intentionally, is really let people in. There’s marketing letting people in and there’s really letting people in. That’s from physically letting people into our facility if they’re interested in seeing it. Then, also, from the marketing standpoint, telling them about what we’ve got going on. Then, trying to do interesting things. That’s probably why we got too much stuff going on. If you let people in and you’re keeping them on their toes with your new flavors, with your new business ideas. Asking them to help you solve an issue like you did about Aramark. People love to be a part of a solution. If a banker comes by the cart and says, “Hey, I got an idea for how you could get a line of credit or something.” Let them in.

That’s a great way for that person and that story to really have some legs and be a story that people want to hear about. It gets harder and harder as you grow. You have to really think and not accept the other side of putting out a story that people would, at least, be interested in reading it. When you’d be interested in reading the content you’re putting out is both incredibly, infuriatingly hard, but also worthwhile. I wouldn’t say we achieve it all the time. We should try.

[00:28:52] Interviewer: Yes. I love it. You really created what I heard there is a great deal of transparency. Then, you coupled that with innovation around new ideas and new things to keep people interested in the brand. Everybody here in Atlanta, we just feel this sense of community with King of Pops. Like, “That’s our shit. We help create that. We want to support it. We know that our Atlanta boys that created that.” Bringing people into your brand as much as possible. I think you do a really great job. You have your own blog, stevencarse.com. Check him out on there, he posts in like once a year.

[laughter]

We’ve also got King of Pops- we’ve got kingofpops.com where you can find Steven. Please, go check it out. We need to help him out with Aramark. We’re going to help him out with a couple other things. If you guys have enjoyed this, please, give him a shout out now.

[00:29:32] Steven: We’ve got a blog coming up. This should be posted by the end of January. Well, I don’t know when it’s going live. A company blog that I’ve been saving up my content for. That’s why my blog has been so terrible but [unintelligible 00:29:46] wonderful accent if you want to read that.

[00:29:49] Interviewer: [laughs] That was good. All of my popsicle lickers out there, I hope you guys have enjoyed today’s show. Steven is the man who’s got the best brand in the country. I hope you guys have enjoy today’s show. Steven, thanks for coming on. We’re going to find you at kingofpops.com

Steven: Thank you very much. I really appreciate it. Thanks. Far out.

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[00:30:45] [END OF AUDIO]

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Steven Carse, King of Pops

Steven Carse, King of Pops

Alex Membrillo

CEO

Alex Membrillo is the CEO of Cardinal, a digital marketing agency focused on growing multi location companies. His work as CEO of Cardinal has recently earned him the honor of being selected as a member of the 2018 Top 40 Under 40 list by Georgia State University as well as 2015 and 2016 Top 20 Entrepreneur of metro Atlanta by TiE Atlanta, Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2016 Small Business Person of the Year,and the Digital Marketer of the Year by Technology Association of Georgia (TAG).

Cardinal has experienced exponential growth under Membrillo’s leadership, being consecutively named on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing privately-held US companies for the last three years. Membrillo’s innovative approach to digital marketing has transformed the industry and delivered remarkable results to clients of all sizes and markets. He has been featured in leading national publications including The Business Journals, Entrepreneur, Search Engine Journal, and The Wall Street Journal. He has also served as an expert speaker for conferences including the American Marketing Association, SouthWired, and Vistage Executive Leaders, where he spoke on his unique approach to Millennial Management to over 400 CEOs.

Alex Membrillo Cardinal CEO