Kevin Kiser - Dir of Marketing at SOLOMO

In the latest episode of Marketing Tech Talks, Matthew Gonnering, Widen CEO sits down with Kevin Kiser, Director of Marketing for SOLOMO Technologies. SOLOMO is a location based marketing company that does location analytics. It’s like google analytics for indoor physical spaces. Then they use that information to then deliver relevant content.

At 1:15, Kevin shares the background of SOLOMO. Liz Eversoll founded it in 2011 after growing CDW’s software business to a couple of billion dollars. SOLOMO now uses analytic data of physical spaces from beacon technology to deliver relevant and custom content to consumers via a mobile app at the appropriate time and place.

At 2:30, Matthew asks who their typical customer is. Kevin says they focus on three areas: retail, events and smart buildings. Knowing where consumers, attendees or visitors are within a space allows them to collect data, and push out content relevant to where they are at (accurate to within three feet.) On the mobile side, you can send a customer a coupon for an item they’re standing next to. On the retailer side, they can sell location data back to the consumer packaged goods companies, or exhibitors, etc.

At 6:00, Kevin explains how SOLOMO can turn every square foot into a channel. The inventory of advertising locations is expanding faster than the amount of content. Organizations that feel like they’re saturating their normal channels with their current content now have almost infinitely more channels to reuse that content.

At 8:00, Matthew asks Kevin about his marketing philosophy. “Intelligent Adventure” helps Kevin push the boundaries of traditional methods. He likes to understand all of the elements that are available to him, and then mix and match them in ways that are new in the industry. He also has a great quote “Businesses don’t buy things, people do.” So even in the B2B space, we should focus on B2C techniques.

At 10:30, Kevin likes to use news aggregators like Flipboard to help him filter his news and information. It’s better for him to shove it all into one pipeline and filter from there. But networking is still a very powerful learning tool.

At 11:33, Matthew asks Kevin about buzzwords in marketing. He states some of the big ones like “Inbound marketing” and “content marketing” but them twist them up by adding “location based marketing” as a new delivery method.

At 14:27, Matthew asks Kevin about the different channels SOLOMO uses for their marketing efforts. Kevin says that webinars, and social media help them to look bigger than they actually are. Social media allows them to tack on to the social handles of their partners and get their message out to a broader audience.

18:43, Talks about how brands like Patagonia found a way to tell their brand story through
marketing campaigns for something different than just their product, but it fits within the culture of their brand, and more importantly, inspires their customer base. Verbalizing that, or making it tangible through communication is very difficult for brands to do.

At 20:55, Kevin shares an example of how Marketo, the marketing automation company, tweetjacked business marketing events across the country. They used all the hashtags used by all the events, they purchased promoted tweets and then had a team of people that would start conversations with different folks, injecting links to landing pages with more information.

At 23:20, Kevin explains how current location based marketing is the evolution of older versions like billboards. SOLOMO is just getting more granular. It’s currently accurate within 3 feet. But location is just one aspect. The evolution will continue as they also tie in CRM data to get full context of the customer and where they’re at.

At 27:43, Kevin talks about “Attention Economy” and how they use video to help capture someone’s attention is the shortest amount of time.

At 32:40, Kevin talks about what his minimum marketing tech stack would be. At the bare minimum, he would require a tool for communication with current customers, and one for communication with prospects. He quotes Seth Godin and his term “permission marketing.” Build up the frequency of your content so your customers come to expect it. When they miss it, then you know it’s valuable.

At 37:04, Kevin talks about how they need to create the demand for their product since the industry is in its early stages. They do this by generating marketing content and building up the pool of prospects until they’re ready to talk.

At 47:53, Matthew asks him what he would do with $100k in marketing budget. SOLOMO is unique in the sense that they wouldn’t do a big media buy. They would most likely approach agencies that have key customers in the event industry, and offer to fund a pilot with that customer. They would then build case studies around the results.

51:48, Matthew notes that Kevin is a one-man marketing team and asks him if he could add more people, who would they be? Kevin stated he would add 1) a marketing technologist, someone who can customize marketing automation tools and websites, 2) a creative, someone to create content and has a design background, 3) a nurture specialist, as quoted by the pedowitz group, someone that hangs out inside your tools and analyzes your tools and how it matches up with the sales funne, and. 4) an events coordinator, especially since their tool is centered around the events industry.

At 1:00:12, Kevin uses the “Mavens, Brokers, Masses” analogy to explain how he addresses how he targets prospects. He’s not worried about not being able to talk to the masses, because the industry is so new, that he can concentrate on having better conversations with the mavens and brokers.

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