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Advertising alumnus dominates the digital realm for over a decade

Newsroom authorby Olivia McLeodMay 18, 2023

It's hard to believe, but back in 2012 the idea of creating a marketing company that catered specifically to the digital needs of businesses and corporations seemed like a risk - print media was somewhat declining but definitely not obsolete. Fast forward to today and the idea for this type of service based business is in high demand —however very few can say they got into this business on the ground floor.

Kirk AllenEnter Kirk Allen (Advertising, ’82) and Reshift Media. As the Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder, Allen has spent the last 11 years of his marketing career, alongside his business partner, Co-Founder and CEO, Steve Buors, building Reshift from a humble startup of six marketing professionals, into an award-winning digital marketing firm that develops digital marketing strategies, processes and technology custom-tailored to the specific needs of franchise organizations.

The company’s in-house team provides support to more than 200 clients in 22 countries across all aspects of digital media including software development, social media, search and website/mobile development.

Allen, Buors and the senior management team were fortunate to already be experts in the field of marketing, as many of them worked within Canada’s top newspapers as advertising executives. Allen himself built his career at The Montreal Gazette, National Post, Canwest and Postmedia, the largest national media company in the country. That’s where they saw the shift to digital media begin.

“I saw the budgets being reallocated and heard customers say, ‘We're putting more money into social media, Google and our website.’ So, we actually had confirmation that this was a real shift away from traditional advertising and the early days of explosive growth for digital marketing,” Allen explains.

After securing investors with their business idea, Allen and Buors began building Reshift Media as a one-stop digital marketing agency specializing in social media, SEO, SEM, software and website design/development services. The team prides themselves on innovation and this has led to building products such as their Brand Amplifier platform for localizing Facebook and Google advertising for multi-location businesses.

“Sheridan prepared me - and anyone else graduating from Sheridan - very well to go into the workforce and immediately hit the ground running.”

Their excellence in delivering these services turned 2023 into a golden year for Allen and his team. Back in February, Reshift Media became the first Canadian company to be named the Best Franchise Marketing Firm by the 2023 Global Franchise Awards at the 2023 International Franchise Association convention.

Shortly after, Allen was individually recognized with a Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) recognition award for Volunteer Leadership Excellence. The award recognizes his decade-long work with the CFA as a volunteer ambassador, board member and key advisor to both established CFA members and new members, being the point of contact for many new entrants.

This fostering of talent is something Allen, and his team, have strived to do since day one. They often provide recent graduates with employment opportunities but also meaningful mentorship. It is always a treat for Allen to employ graduates from Sheridan, as he has a personal understanding of the high level of education they have received.

“Sheridan prepared me - and anyone else graduating from Sheridan - very well to go into the workforce and immediately hit the ground running,” he says.

This level of preparedness has continued to stay with Allen, as highlighted best by the most recent Reshift Media award of both the North American and Worldwide Golds at the Mobile Marketing Associations (MMA) 2022 SMARTIES Awards, in the category of Marketing Impact, Lead Generation. Together with their long-time customer Dogtopia, they won for their cross-platform digital advertising campaign that generated exceptional results for Dogtopia’s local dog daycare franchisees.

Looking toward the future, Allen says, "We will continue to be leaders in the digital marketing space. Our mission remains to relentlessly innovate and develop solutions for our customers."

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