Albany Business Review | Serial entrepreneur starts new market research firm | MadAddie Marketing

admin | Saturday April 9, 2016

Albany Business Review | Serial entrepreneur starts new market research firm | MadAddie Marketing

Kariann Wolf Morris, a long-time marketing executive in the Albany, New York, area, has started a new digital market research firm — MadAddie.

MadAddie does intensive market research, including looking at competitors, target audience and industry, and creates a strategy and design from there. The firm is targeting five industries: cybersecurity, data analytics, fiber optic networking, health care and LED companies.

"We're looking to work with industries that are naturally going to grow nationally and internationally," Morris, 45, told the Business Review.

The business is Morris' third startup.

In 1999, she founded Virtual Flow, a web design, hosting and software development company, from her bedroom. She sold the business when Wordpress was starting to get popular in 2005 to start Tech Valley Creative Minds, an online directory for the region's artists to sell their art.

She's also worked in online strategy and sales for Fingerpaint, a marketing and advertising firm based in Saratoga Springs and one of the area's fastest growing companies, according to the Albany Business Review List and the Inc. 5000 list.

After working as a marketing consultant for several years with Albany Medical Center, Saratoga Hospital and others, Morris wanted to grow a more scalable business and rebranded as MadAddie.

At MadAddie, Morris and her five-person team start off by doing detailed research. That includes competitor analysis, looking at brand, message and tone, where the company is selling and at what prices. From there, the firm develops a marketing strategy and design — putting an emphasis on optimization.

"We're not a normal 9 to 5 company. We work when we need to work to make deadlines," Morris said. "It makes us really fast. Everyone is unique. We have a designer that works whenever and hands things in at 2 a.m. and that works for him and it's fine. It allows us to be flexible and organic."

Clients include Saratoga Hospital, Glens Falls Hospital and Bay State Elevator, an elevator installation, repair, maintenance and remolding company with locations in Albany and throughout New England.

It's the first time Bay State has done external marketing. The company is looking to expand to other states and hired MadAddie to figure out the best places to expand its service.

"We also do market research and that helps us build the strategy," Morris said. "It's customized toward the target audience and from there we design, implement, analyze and optimize it to determine what marketing channels are giving our clients the biggest bank and deliver a return on investment for them so their marketing dollars are becoming more strategic."

MadAddie works virtually and out of Morris' home in Ballston Lake.

Morris, who grew up in Saratoga, studied fine art at University at Albany and interactive media at the Art Institute of Seattle.

Chelsea Diana covers technology and money