Upcoming Episode: Jen Mauerman of Wisconsin Distributors – 12/8/15

Matthew Gonnering, CEO of Widen, and Jen Mauerman, digital media manager at Wisconsin Distributors sit down and talk marketing technology in a Marketing Tech Talk

Matthew Gonnering, CEO of Widen, and Jen Mauerman, digital media manager at Wisconsin Distributors sit down and talk marketing technology in a Marketing Tech Talk

Episode 5 of Marketing Tech Talks will launch on Tuesday December 8th, and will feature Jen Mauerman, digital media manager at Wisconsin Distributors, a distributor of craft and import beers, water and energy drinks in over 22 counties in Southern Wisconsin with 2 warehouses located in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and Appleton, Wisconsin.

Jen sits down with Matthew Gonnering, CEO of Widen, to discuss how Wisconsin Distributors uses marketing technology to market to both businesses, and the end consumer. Plus…..it’s beer. Check back on Tuesday to watch the episode.


Episode 4: Kevin Kiser of 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.


Upcoming Episode: Kevin Kiser of SOLOMO – 7/29/15

Episode 4 of Marketing Tech Talks will launch on Wednesday July 29th, and will feature Kevin Kiser, Director of Marketing at SOLOMO Technologies, a social, location, and mobile based marketing technology company based in Madison, WI.

MTT4 - Kevin Kiser - Dir of Marketing at SOLOMO

Kevin sits down with Matthew Gonnering, CEO of Widen, to discuss how SOLOMO’s products and services can help organizations, and also how SOLOMO using marketing technology itself to promote it’s own brand. Check back on Wednesday to watch the episode.


Episode 3: Marketing Panel at 100state

Episode 3: Marketing Panel at 100state

In the latest episode of Marketing Tech Talks, Matthew Gonnering, Widen CEO sat down with a panel of marketers at 100 State, a co-working environment across from the Wisconsin State Capitol building in downtown Madison, WI. Joining the discussion is Taylar Barrington, owner and creative director at www.maverick-hill.com, Rachel Keranen, independent marketing strategist at www.rachelkeranen.com, and Matt Nelson of MadtownSEO at www.mattcnelson.com. These three marketing pros share a number of marketing and martech strategies and marketing technology solutions they use for their own businesses and for their customers.


At 1:30, we get to meet each of the marketing pros, and learn about their businesses and services.

At 5:05, Rachel talks about the importance of the “story.” She is a reporter by training and loves to figure out who the audience, what they care about, and what is unique about your business,
which helps her be more effective.

At 6:50, Matt shares information about his WordPress bootcamps and social media bootcamps through his latest company Grow Madison. Bootcamps allow professionals a chance to continue their education on new martech trends without going back to college.

At 8:27, Matthew dives back into the topic of storytelling. Rachel views herself as a journalist when she meets a new potential customer. The first question she asks is “why are you unique.” The main challenge is that there are lot of companies that do a lot of similar things. She tries to help her customer really dig in to be able to communicate their uniqueness.

At 9:54, Rachel defines “The 5 whys.” When you interview someone and ask them a question, you keep asking them “why” 5 times to get past the idealism that is contained in most of the initial answer. By the time you get to the fifth why, you’re closer to the real answer to the question.

At 11:00, Taylar talks about how she uses visuals to tell a story verses written content.

At 13:50, as a web designer, Matt looks to be able to tell a whole “story” on his customer’s homepage.

At 14:36, Rachel’s first step with working with new customers is to go over the personas of their customers. She wants to know what are their pain points, what do they do on a daily basis, and what keywords to they look for.

At 17:18, Matthew quotes the famous marketing joke “Some people claim that only half of marketing’s budget works, they just don’t know what half.” Matt quickly explains how that is not true and he can show his customers advanced keyword analytics to show where their strategies work, and where they need adjustments. Businesses focus on their solutions, but people search for their problems.

At 22:11, Matthew asks the panel on what reliable marketing technologies they use. For Matt, the answer is quick. WordPress! It has very low upkeep, it is open source, it has many plugins to extend it’s functionality, basically it levels the playing field between large businesses and smbs. As you can imagine, Google Analytics is mentioned often.

At 24:49, the topic shifts to analytics. Shopify is the ecommerce platform that Taylor uses. The analytics of the platform gives her visibility into the click path of her customers. She can see where they click, where they click off. She tries to impersonate her customers when she follows the analytics. This helps her understand what parts of the site she needs to change to increase conversion

At 27:32, Matt mentions cart abandonment being huge for ecommerce customers. He monitors those analytics closely, trying to identify what things need to be fixed.

At 33:40, Taylar encourages her customers to take original imagery rather than buying stock photos that your competitors are possibly using as well.

At 35:59, Taylar says it’s very hard to get people to connect with you. Video is the most powerful tool to help you make your audience feel like they’re present.

At 37:17, Rachel shares her opinion on some popular videos that are very successful with engagement because they tap into people’s emotions and values.

At 38:25, Matt says SEO is like an arms race. Whoever has more better guns, wins. Video is hugely important.

At 39:36, Matthew asks about finding the balance between visual and non visual content on your site and how that affects searchability. Matt talks about a photographer wanting a clean simple site that features his images, but how do you tell google what is there since google can’t read context in an image.

At 41:23, Rachel quotes famous philosopher Pascal who said, “if I had more time, I’d write you a shorter letter” to illustrate the complexities in being thorough, yet brief.

47:38, Rachel says that to be a good writer, you need to be a good actor. You have to “be” a person that is interested in the article you’re hired to write.

At 52:13, Rachel walks the group through how she would distribute a video proposed by an audience member. She walks through the different channels she’d publish the video to in order to get the most return.

At 55:55, the entire panel shares their views on how to handle situations when customers ask them for things that they know are wrong. A customer asks them to add a menu to their site, but when you ask why, it reveals that a menu is not needed.

At 1:00:35, Taylar and Rachel share stories of how they have actually worked themselves out of a job after going through a SWOT analysis with a new potential customer.

1:04:45, Influencers will vary for different industries. For her own book writing project, she is monitoring author Neil Patel as an influencer for the specific topic she’s writing about. She wants to look at what they’re writing about, and try to engage with them.

1:07:11, Matt pays attention to what Google’s plans are. He follows Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land, Rand Fishkin of Moz, John Mueller at Google. They all do weekly webinars and podcasts that keeps Matt up to date on how SEO rankings will change.

At 1:10:14, Taylar sites product placement with key influencers as her top trend in marketing. Consumers are going to trust the influencer before you trust the company.

Side note: We apologize for the lack of a fake fire. 🙁


Upcoming Episode: Marketing Panel at 100 State – 6/17/2015

Upcoming Episode: Marketing Panel at 100 State

Episode 3 of Marketing Tech Talks will launch on Wednesday June 17th, and will feature a panel of marketers that are all members at 100 State, a co-working environment across the street from the Wisconsin Capitol building in Madison, WI.

MTT3 - Marketing Panel at 100 State

MTT3 – Marketing Panel at 100 State

Taylor Barrington of Maverick-hill.com, Rachel Keranen, independent marketing strategist, and Matt Nelson of MadtownSEO sit down with Widen CEO Matthew Gonnering and share their thoughts on marketing trends and marketing technology. Check back on Wednesday to watch the episode.


Episode 2: Gregory St. Fort of LetsKeepBuilding

Episode 2: Gregory St. Fort of LetsKeepBuilding

We’re excited to share our latest episode of Marketing Tech Talks, featuring Gregory St. Fort. As you’ll see, Gregory is a multi-dimensional, welcoming, and funny talent in the event marketing space. You won’t be able to contain your smile as he breaks down his experience and knowledge of event marketing and attributes most of what he knows to his time as a youngster organizing parties with a clear goal of “meeting girls.” While it sounds young and fun, you’ll see how Gregory took a very calculated approach to the business and marketing aspects of the challenge.

At :04, we get a great story about Greg’s background. Prepare to laugh. He talks about the one basic form of marketing that you can do at a young age is throwing a college party. It was his real life intro to the power of networking, relationships and social media.

At 8:14, Gregory transitioned from parties to fashion events. As the party planning market became saturated, Gregory took his event marketing experiences and transitioned to hosting fashion based events, combining known influencers in the New York City fashion scene. Make sure you check out the part where he talks about being a “short guy with a bunch of girls….he must be good.” #classic

At 10:55, finding or creating your niche and speaking to it through all of your channels became a focus. You have to be real and true to your message otherwise it won’t work.

At 12:40, he gets into the power of influencers. Gregory made sure he partnered with the right fashion designers and stylists that were not only influential in the industry, but also had the same beliefs as his brand message. It wasn’t a random thing.

At 13:27, Greg has a great message about how he spoke to people that were more popular than him….speak like you have it and speak with confidence. Of course, there was a parallel between networking and talking to girls at parties in his younger years.

At 15:09, we’re introduced to LetsKeepBuilding, his current company. He took his marketing practices learned by hosting parties and applied them to other industries.

At 18:15, Greg talks about the power of the “story.” Storytelling is a big buzzword in marketing right now, but Greg’s companies have based all of their decisions on “stories” for quite a long time. They truly believe in it, they don’t just use it to make money.

At 20:05, we talk about 100 State, which is a co-working space off the Capitol Square in Madison, WI where Greg is now the events coordinator. The story of how he got the job is another great story of how networking worked for him. He also shares how he’s using event based marketing techniques to grow and retain membership at 100 State.

At 23:58, Gregory share is most important metric for event marketing. It is ENGAGEMENT, not attendance.

At 28:43, Greg talks about his influencer network being the most important thing to scale an event. When events get very big, the influencer needs to be a company, not an individual.

At 29:53, we realize it’s been awhile since we’ve tied event marketing back to girls, so Gregory talks about maintaining relationships with influencers and how it is like maintaining a relationship with a girl. You gotta call or text, or you’re in trouble.

At 33:20, we identify the biggest challenge with event marketing is making sure attendees leave with the intended message or takeaway. It’s not enough that just had “fun.” Having fun is important, but not at the expense of not remembering why they were there in the first place.

At 35:30, Greg talks about measuring engagement post event. If you haven’t noticed by now, Greg is a people person that relies on face to face interactions to get his “data.”  This is data anybody can get, you just need to analyze it differently. Most importantly, he solicits feedback from his influencers, and looks deep into responses to find hidden meaning.

At 39:02, project management software technology takes center stage. Gregory talks about using Podio as his project management software to keep all the details straight. He tracks attendance based on the appearance of each influencer so he knows how many people to expect based on their appearance.

At 40:15, Greg sites Ted Talks as a favorite content source for personal development. He also talks about his favorite book, “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek.

At 44:25, Matthew asks Greg about Solomo technologies (hint: future episode!), a beacon and location technology, and how he’d use it in event marketing. Greg would love to have the ability to see what part of the room attendees move to and when.

At 46:06, Greg talks about how he uses images and video in his event marketing. He currently uses SmugMug, but is looking at SmartImage. He uses images from the previous event to promote future events. Interestingly, he talks about how to use subliminal messages contained within the images, like “dress code.”

At 50:00, Greg talks about his Christmas wish for a full service event application. He talks about popular applications like Eventbright, how he uses them, automates with them with Mailchimp, and where they fall short. .

At 53:40, Matthew notes that Greg had used the term “good API” multiple times. As a web developer, Greg gives his definition of what a good API is, and some frustrations with working with “not good” APIs like Instagram’s.

At 55:48, Greg says “People don’t remember what you say, they remember how they felt.” He automates social media and/or email message for 30 days post event to remind people of how they felt at the event, hoping to remind them of the feeling they had and prompt them to attend the next event.


Upcoming Episode: Gregory St. Fort of LetsKeepBuilding – 5/27/15

Upcoming Episode: Gregory St. Fort of LetsKeepBuilding

Gregory St. Fort - Marketing Tech Talk - Widen

Gregory St. Fort is a freelance marketer that specializes in branding, web design and event production. He is the founder of LetsKeepBuilding, a marketing company that offers products and services to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Their mission is to create a worldwide community of entrepreneurs that provide inspiration, support and resources to creative leaders.

Gregory produces photo shoots, music showcases, fashion events and is also a public speaker. He is also the event manager for 100state, a entrepreneur community in Madison, WI.

He continues his mission to show the world that dreams come true. Let’s keep building!

Subscribe, or check back on May 27th to watch Greg’s episode.


Episode 1: Jenifer Barnum of Naviant

Episode 1: Jenifer Barnum of Naviant

We’re excited to launch the first episode of Marketing Tech Talks (hosted by Widen), featuring Jenifer Barnum of Naviant. Jen is an experience marketer and had some great stories and thoughts to share about marketing techniques, and marketing technology.

At 3:00, Jen explains how Naviant focuses on helping organizations understand their business processes and then simplify them. As Consultants, they focus on processes that are heavily paper or human decision-based, and then simplify and automate them with Naviant’s software.

At 5:44, Jen expands on the “80/20 rule.” She explains that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers. She discusses how Naviant’s marketing efforts were refocused around this rule. It allows you to focus and not try to be all things to all people.

At 11:14, Jen talks about how they are starting to use marketing automation by aligning the sales process and the marketing buyers journey. They call it the “demand waterfall” and it outlines what content they’re dripping to a prospect at the appropriate stage before they’re actually a sales lead and turned over to sales. She also talks about collaborating with sales people to help develop multiple pieces of content to add to the waterfall.

At 15:24, analytics becomes the focus. Jen would love to track everything but she talks about the 3 key performance indicators (kpi) she looks at to know if campaigns are working.

At 17:00, Jen lists out all of the different types of content she creates as a content marketer, why she creates them, and what they hope is the return for each type.

At 18:50, the topic gets techy. Jen states that marketing technology is huge and is becoming the most important thing in marketing. She lists of a number of different technology platforms Naviant uses and relies upon like Salesfusion.

At 21:15, Jen talks about a marketing technology that she wishes she had. They currently use Saleslogix as their CRM, but she sees other peers in Martech moving towards Salesforce with its huge list of plugins and integrations. She sees the power in that, and also in marketing automation.

At 25:15, Jen talks about how OnBase’s CEO became a great influencer for her, on how to grow a company and get people to buy in.

At 28:58, Jen talks about the best and worst service experience she has ever had. The best was with Powderkeg, a design firm in Madison, WI. The worst experience was…..humorous.

At 33:10, Jen talks about their strategies to get people to attend their flagship live event. 60% of the attendees are prospects. It has become a huge deal closer so the sales team has really bought in to helping drive attendance.

At 36:30, Jen talks about what marketing trends she follows, and the answer is “content is king.” She is mainly focused on content marketing strategies for managing and distributing content they’ve already created…and help in consistently creating new relevant content. She sees so much value in it that If she could only hire one person, she would hire a content writer.

At 40:38, Jen talks about the marketing partner program Naviant uses in it’s own software. Providing a menu of services to their partners really helps smaller organizations that often times may not even have a marketing department. Jen finds great value in being able to have conversations with their team of subject matter experts for content generation.

At 44:28, Jen talks about how they have recently made video a priority and have allocated budget to increase it’s creation and use within their content mix. They hope to capitalize on the “storytelling” buzz that is apparent in marketing today.

At 46:45, Matthew asks Jen what she thinks innovation in marketing is. She quickly responds with “simplifying processes.” On customer facing side, innovation will be harnessing the ability to break through the clutter.

At 48:48, Jen was asked about Naviant’s executive breakfast events. She talks about how they harness the power of small regional live events. Its a small intimate setting with the right people, focused on an industry topic where the attendees are more likely to open up and participate.

At 50:26, Jen was asked how she justifies her job…or marketing in general. It all revolves around metrics and customer experience. She tells a story about specific conversations with customers that do not happen without marketing.

At 55:17, she talks about the value they get from social media. They are B2B so they feel that LinkedIn is one of the most powerful social tools for them. They also use Facebook as a cultural recruiting-based tool.


Upcoming Episode: Jenifer Barnum of Naviant – 5/6/15

Welcome to Marketing Tech Talk.

We’re excited to announce our first episode!

Jenifer Barnum

It will be with Jenifer Barnum of Naviant and will post on Wednesday May 6, 2015.

Jen is a passionate marketing professional with strong track record of delivering top performance and a strong customer experience. She develops online B2B marketing strategies with organic search engine optimization (SEO) techniques and relevant web content to elevate web presence to the next level. In her role at Navient, she empowers the sales and service teams with the tools, strategies and collateral they need to be more effective and efficient.

Naviant provides enterprise content management (ECM) solutions that drive process efficiencies and insights into business data to empower executives to make better decisions. As a nationally-recognized ECM solutions integrator and BPM consulting organization, our “process-first” approach brings focus to the importance of process improvement prior to implementing best-in-class ECM solutions and technology.