• Kirk Deis, CEO of digital marketing agency Treehouse 51, explains why workspace operators should stop trying to compete with WeWork’s marketing techniques.
  • Instead, focus on obtaining customer reviews — a known SEO Ranking Factor and a proven marketing strategy.
  • Retail giant Amazon requests reviews at multiple stages of the customer journey, yet over 75% of workspaces don’t ask for a single review. Kirk explains why this must change if workspace operators want to get ahead and challenge the competition in 2018.

Amazon has drones. Amazon can bring to my doorstep (within 24 hours or sooner) a very pretty six string electric Gibson guitar, which to be candid – I deserve. Amazon is focused on the customer journey every step of the way. Before you even load Amazon on your phone — Amazon has thought of a million ways to give you the best user experience possible.

I have spoken to countless business center and coworking space owners who compare their 10 page website to WeWork. Listen up: this year we’re putting and end to that talk.

This piece is not about bashing WeWork. This piece is about YOU, ME, AMAZON, and a Gibson brought to my doorstep by drone (with a little luck). Ready?


1. WeWork Spends Over $30,000 Per Month On PPC…


I can’t tell you the exact size of WeWork’s Adwords budget today, but I can tell you that in the last year they averaged over $30K per month on PPC (Pay-Per-Click) marketing. It makes sense, they have offices all over, they’re doing ads everywhere. Their skin is in the game, and then some.

But if you’re an independent center or a small brand interested in doing PPC, you’re going up against WeWork and their 30K budget. Let’s take a step back and ask what Amazon would do.

Amazon has a huge PPC budget as well. In fact, they are dropping around 9 MILLION DOLLARS per month.


Most brands can’t compete with either company. So don’t.

First, take 15 minutes and look up some Amazon ads and landing pages. Take stock of their entire conversion process. They have a marketing team that has spent a great deal of time, money and resources researching their marketing funnel and building it up.

Now, I know what some of you may be thinking, “Amazon is not in our industry. It’s not relevant.” They may not be leasing office space but they are marketing on an entirely different level. They are focused on the buyer journey, and anyone who is ignoring their proven multi-million dollar strategy is making a mistake.

A good portion of buyers / leads in this industry are shoppers, meaning they’re looking around for a deal. Amazon gives buyers deals.

2. Note: Please read this section chanting: “People First & Bring The Drones.”

After you make a purchase on Amazon you tend to fall into this marketing funnel:

A. Amazon reaches out for a review based on their delivery service
B. Amazon vendor reaches out for a review for their product
C. Amazon follows up for a review on the product
D. Amazon waits a couple weeks and shows you a similar product that others bought similar to yours.

Four very simple stages, that over 75% of coworking centers have never attempted. You can do this. You must do this. If you need a reason to tell your team to capture reviews, I’m going to give you three. If your team still isn’t game, dang it, reach out to me.  

A. Reviews are a known SEO Ranking Factor. “Say whaaaaat Kirk?” Yep. The more positive reviews you get, the more your site will crawl to the top of that Google Search Engine. That’s free traffic for your company.

B. When is the last time you bought something without doing basic research? And I answer, 100 years ago when the internet didn’t exist. Nowadays, most buyers do some type of research before making a purchase. Imagine how helpful it will be for them to rent a meeting room from you when you have 50 reviews that talk about your awesome staff and amazing views from your boardroom.

C. You can repurpose your reviews. Update your homepage with reviews, add it to that PPC Landing page, include it in a flyer. Don’t just let a review sit in cyberspace. Use it.

After you do this — it’s time to bring the drones. I don’t just talk about drones to be clever. I mean it. Look at that four stage Amazon process and see how you can automate it. The number one thing you can be doing — you should be doing — is email marketing.


My final point for this section… raise your hand if you have a Myspace account? Okay, didn’t think so. What about Tumblr? Hmmm, a bit better. Facebook? There you guys are. Now what about an email address? How many people do you know with one of those? Exactly. Amazon… the secret is out.

3. Your Brand Needs To Make Me FEEL.

I rewrote this section twice and after deleting my points I realized you’re never going to “get it” if I just say do XYZ. Not in the way that I want, at least. I want you to feel something in your core. I want you to take a step back, and say, “Hey, this is us.” It’s not just business.

Take a minute and watch this promo from a fellow industry colleague. Watch it to the very end. SPOILER ALERT: My ad agency www.Treehouse51.com produced this video.

I meet a lot of people interested in growing their brand. As an agency owner, that’s good. A lot of people think if you build a website “they will come.” That’s not the case. They need a reason to show up. They need a reason to buy.

Being the best priced, having the best staff, owning the best location – it isn’t enough. If a lead doesn’t FEEL it, they won’t buy it. To me, that is the purest form of marketing any brand can achieve.

Amazon is known for making their customers FEEL important, feel involved, feel needed. I shared this video to prove all of this is possible. You will feel at the end of the video. Signature Executive Suites customers will feel something at the end of that video.  

Don’t just do “marketing” to have something to do. Do it, because you want people to feel something.


Where do we go from here? Everyone is looking at WeWork. Don’t be like everyone. It doesn’t mean you have to ignore them. There is a different untapped proven way. I think part of being a student of this industry means looking at other industries and learning from them.  

Go Get Em.
-Kirk Deis

PS. Looking for more actionable marketing tactics? Get your hands on the Ultimate Google Ranking Factor List. If you need help, reach out to me. Together… we can also figure out how I’m going to land that Gibson.