Wes Nichols '85
Randolph-Macon College invited Wes Nichols ’85, co-founder and
CEO of MarketShare, to campus as part of its Executive Speakers Series. Nichols’
lecture was presented to R-MC students, faculty and staff in the college’s Copley
Science Center on Wednesday, April 20, 2011.
Economics Professor David Brat introduced Nichols to the audience.
Economics Lecture to view a slideshow of photos from the event.
Nichols explained, using case studies and demonstrating MarketShare’s unique software,
how micro and macro economics are used in marketing and advertising. His talk also
explored econometrics and its relevance in today’s market.
Nichols told the audience, “The market is a lot more complex than it’s even been.
The power has shifted away from marketers and is in the consumers’ hands.”
MarketShare, the leading analytics company, helps companies grow more efficiently
by identifying what drives demand. These analytics have significant impact on optimizing
resource allocation and marketing investments. Half of the Fortune 50 companies
have benefited from MarketShare’s tools and analytics.
Nichols stressed the importance of moving away from “gut decisions” and instead
using science-based tools to project market conditions. “MarketShare uses econometrics
to isolate variables and understand how they impact sales volume and revenue,” he
Students were given solid advice on how to increase their chances on finding good
jobs. Nichols encouraged them to learn statistics and Chinese; to network; to act
with integrity; and to think globally. “Work hard,” he said. “The opportunities
are huge if you’re ambitious.”
Nichols is a respected change agent in marketing and an industry authority in accountability,
marketing optimization and measurement, with over 20 years of experience working
with Fortune 500 companies. Prior to starting MarketShare, he was with Omnicom Group
as president and CEO of TBWA\TEQUILA, the direct and interactive marketing agency
group of TBWA, the global agency group with 12,000 employees in 77 countries. Marrying
innovation, marketing and analytics with creativity and digital solutions, TEQUILA
served global brands with Nissan, Sony PlayStation, Pfizer, Mars, Adidas, Nissan
and numerous other key brands.
Nichols was the founder and managing partner of Direct Partners, building the agency
from scratch to one of the largest and most respected digital marketing agencies,
with offices in three countries and over $400 million in billings, selling to Omnicom
Group in 1999. Direct Partners worked with firms such as EarthLink, Pfizer, Nissan,
DIRECTV and Disney. A winner of the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies award and
the Cisco Technology Innovation Award, Direct Partners is still known as one of
the most innovative digital marketing firms in the industry.
Nichols serves on the Advisory Board of Canoe Ventures, the technology company founded
by Comcast, Cox, Time Warner Cable and others to develop and deploy advanced advertising
solutions. He also serves on Wharton's Future of Advertising Global Advisory Board,
as well as the MASB Board, an organization focused on marketing accountability standards
and practices. An active Young Presidents Organization member, Nichols earned his
bachelor’s degree from Randolph-Macon College and his master’s degree from The Johns
Hopkins University, with degrees in psychology and business, respectively.
A question and answer session followed Nichols’ presentation.
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