Most people love a good comeback story—and when it comes to business, the most recent example of this is WeWork.
WeWork went from a failed IPO worth almost nothing to a public company (via a merger with a SPAC) worth $9 billion in just two years. This would be a huge accomplishment for any company, but it’s even more significant when you consider how it came back during a pandemic.
“You’ve said this is a story with drama,” said WeWork Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure. “Sure, this is a story where a lot of people wrote documentaries that it was the end of WeWork. Well the resistance, the persistence of these people is incredible. This company is here, is stronger than ever, and no doubt that we’re going to be celebrating many more milestones.”
The shared office space company is finishing the year out on a high. How has this optimism and persistence impacted their advertising?
WeWork celebrates going public
If you’re unfamiliar with WeWork, WeWork is a company that leases out office space. When you walk into an office, you see modern furnishings and a comfortable space for freelancers, small businesses, startups and even large businesses. More than 50% of Fortune 100 companies have WeWork membership access.
In 2019, the company was planning its IPO when plans came crashing down. Concerns about unsustainably fast growth, along with the management style of eccentric and party-loving co-founder Adam Neumann and other red flags led to the implosion of the public offering.
Now, more than two years later, WeWork finally made it to the New York Stock Exchange.
“We got here on a different road than we anticipated, but we’re here,” remarked Claure.
Though the pandemic hit WeWork particularly hard, leaders feel optimistic about the future. The business has signed a $150 million partnership with commercial brokerage giant Cushman & Wakefield. Together, they will help provide flex-office setups for corporate service clients.
In the lead up to going public last month, how did WeWork advertise?
This year (Q1-Q3 2021), WeWork spent just over $2 million in digital advertising. Their spend is down only 7% from the same period in 2020.
To put this in perspective, in 2019 (January – September), though their valuation was set at over $40 billion, WeWork spent less than $1 million in advertising across formats.
When we look at their advertising spend month over month, we see that their spend has been concentrated in Q4 2020, Q2 and Q3 2021. These peaks coincide with their new partnerships with Cushman (Q4 2021) and in anticipation of their recent IPO.
Almost all of their spending is digital, with a heavy emphasis on Facebook and podcast purchases.
Their focus in social media (Facebook) and podcasting indicates that their target audience is millennial-aged working professionals.
The B2B working environment is in a significant time of transition. As businesses experiment with hybrid models of working and individuals eagerly seek some days out of their home office, WeWork is marketing itself as the environment in which people can thrive.
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