612: How to Share a Complex Story in a Visually Compelling Way w/ Gavin Finn

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Gavin Finn, President and CEO at Kaon Interactive.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gavinfinn/

Are you struggling to come up withoriginal content weekend and week out? Start a podcast, interview your ideal clients, let them talk about what they care about most, and never run outof content ideas again. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening tothe B tob growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping betb executives achieve explosivegrowth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you'vecome to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let'sget into the show. Welcome back to the BB growth show. We arehere today with Gavin Finn. He is the president and CEO of Kon InteractiveGavin, how you doing today? I'm very well, James. Thank you. How are you doing? Kn Am a wonderful Gavin. I'm really excitedabout the topic we're going to be covering today. We're going to be talkingabout using digital applications to engage with our customers, and you are definitely theguy to be talking to about this. So, before we get into it, I'd love for you to just give a little bit of context to ourlisteners and explain to us what you and your team are up to it.K, I'm interactive. Thanks very much. What we do is we create applicationsthat are used by BTB sales and marketing executives to deliver their value propositions, their competitive differentiation stories directly to their customers, and these are used bya prospects and customers who are interested in understanding how these companies can help themsolve their business or technical problems. And the companies delivered these applications through theirglobal sales teams channel partners on the Web, online and offline. Gotta. Andso, just to give a little bit of a picture, are thereany particular stories that you could share, either of you guys doing this ormaybe your customers, just so we can paint a little bit of a picturegoing into this interview of what it looks like. Absolutely keep sort of twoareas of sort of personal stories that have...

...been effective in the way that allowsus to sort of deliver the message and your audience will be able to understand. I think at least you know the context for these different use cases.The first one is General Electric, which has a lot of complex products andsolutions, and what they came to us with was the challenge that their salesteams were very, very good at answering technical questions about their products, thefeeds and speeds, the use cases, how the products work. But whatwas happening in the world is customers were much more interested in solutions rather thanjust the products. How do they they engage with a company like Ge tohelp them meet their challenges and solve their problems. So, rather than justtalk about specific problems or even categories of products, what g wanted to dowas to help their sales people become solutions oriented, and so we created anapplication for them. It started out in one very small, focused area tohelp their sales teams deal with refinery managers, to help refinery managers operate their refineriesbetter. And what this was it allowed them to connect with the refinerymanagers in terms of what the key challenges were and then to present the rightGE solution in an interactive way that would help the refinery managers solve their problem. And what happened was the sales engagement in the marketing engagements became very differentas a consequence of having this application. Rather than just talking about how theirproducts were better, what was happening was they were connecting with these key customerleaders in a way that allowed the customers to really see GE as a partnerto solve a bigger challenge than a flow problem or a motor or a pump, and that transformed the engagement from a...

...purchase engagement to a collaboration engagement andit was so successful that they asked us to expand it to all of thedifferent constituency in the oil and gas world, which include offshore and subside and PetroChemical Land facilities and all of those. The application grew horizontally to a lotof different solutions and then vertically also to be able to address lots ofdifferent kinds of challenges within those and that became so successful that they asked usto expand that two different verticals beyond oil and guests, so aerospace and manufactoryand others and power. So that's an example of an engagement application that's usedto create a collaborative environment where customers talk about their challenges and they use theseapplications to discover what the value of the partnership is, as opposed to thespecific individual features and functions of the product, which are still available but they comemuch later. In that time and and Gavin. Where does this interactiontypically happen? Where we're a sales and marketing team is interacting with a prospectin this application? Is this primarily a trade shows? Are these happening virtually? What does that look like? In order to really be effective today,because of the way that the digital world has sort of taken over all kindsof engagements, you really have to be able to deliver this experience everywhere.So it happens at trade shows, for sure, but it also happens atsales meetings in a facetoface environment and rather than presenting a powerpoint presentation or showingvideos or hanging out brochures, these engagements are not transformed into a bidirectional dialogthat uses the application as a way to conduct the interaction. This this engagement, and it also lives on the website so that customers can use that samesort of interactive engagement on their own before...

...or after having some interaction with amarketing or salesperson. So the key is today able to deliver the same levelon the same kind of application in exactly the same format, no matter howyou touching the customer, whether it's online or offline. facetoface or just thecustomer alone, gotta and so Gavin, you talk publicly a lot about you'respeaking conferences and doing a lot of talks around, you know, around usingdigital applications. What are some of the big things that you touch on thatthe folks at these events that are hearing you talk about this, what tendsto stand out to them the most as you're engaging with people, that hearyou talk and think, man, I've I've never thought about it that way. Or is there anything from your talks that you could share with our listenershere today? I think the most important sort of transformative element of these kindsof applications is that they are best used and most effective when it is achange in the way that the company is interacting with their customers, the typicalsales process or even presentation at a conferences. You just talked about, James,was I'm talking and I'm presenting and everybody else is listening, and that'sa very ineffective way to communicate because most people, particularly today, have shortattention spans, are very used to interacting with digital devices and the world havebecome much more complex and the pace of change is so fast that people don'treally have a lot of time to sit in a lot of meetings and havepresentations and they're not very effective anymore. So the most sort of transformative elementis when these applications are used to stop presenting and start engaging, and changethat happens is when the sales teams and the marketing teams are not talking totheir customers, but they're engaging with their customers and it's much more of adialog. So rather than showing them a video that everybody gets, exactly thesame video no matter who you are,...

...or the same powerpoint, everybody whoengages with these applications is navigating in a way that makes sense for them.There it's nonlinear, it's not as sequenced, you know, just stepping through seriesof slides. So they're going to different sections of these applications that areimportant to them. They're diving into the right amount of depth based on howinterested they are or how relevant piece of detail is for them. And what'shappening is each time a different user is engaging with the application, they gettinga very personalized experience and what happens there is that allows that person to havea resonance with the company that's based on the value proposition to them, asopposed to the same feel that everybody gets every time. So the the messageof these conferences that are talked at or when I'm with groups of marketing executivesand sales leaders, is to turn the process from a presentation into a bidirectionalengagement and use these tools as a way to facilitate that. As people arekind of designing these experiences that are meant for engagement and not to be thiskind of one way pushing of information. What have been some things that you'veseen that have been effective, that actually draw out that engagement? Is itat the most practical level, teams that are creating these types of experiences,I guess, what do they need to do to ensure that there is engagement? There several elements of that success. Correct those success criteria. I thinkone of them, James, would be to start with the customers context,not the company's context, so not your product portfolio, but the customers constantcontext. I think about the world that they're living in, what their challengesare, and you know there's is notion of the buyers journey that I'm sureyou're very familiar with. Really what they're on is a problem solving journey.They buy things as a part of that problem solving journey, but their goalis not to buy something, the goal...

...is to solve a problem or two, to opportunities. So what we want to do is we want to usethese applications to create a context that they understand and that dates with them,and it's all about their journey, what problems they have, what their environmentis, what their constraints are, what their competitive landscape looks like. Sothe visuals for these applications need to be very specifically direct towards showing customers theirworld as opposed to, you know, the company's products and solutions. That'sthe first thing. The second thing is that they need to be completely nonlinearin the way that their navigation works. We just touched on this a whileback, but this the most effective engagements work, when the individual customer getsto decide how they want to traverse these applications, where they want to spendtheir time, almost like a website in a way, where you don't haveto follow a particular sequence. And what's important about that is that it's theindividual connection to the information that that person is learning about and the way thatthe animations were or how the visuals are being presented. That makes an emotionalconnection and that's very important, because everybody thinks about bedb buying as sort ofan analytical process, but you know very well, based on the work thatyou've done and the work that you do in content, is to deliver anemotional connection is equally, if not more, important, and the way you dothat is to make things relevant to people and to give them the sensethat these people understand my challenges and they understand how we're going to solve themtogether. So to do that you need to present useful, relevant information thatthe user gets to decide rather than you're telling them you know what the nextstep is. And then the third thing is is to make it very realistic. The thing that we've found is that interactive applications work extremely well when theenvironment that they're presenting, in the products that they're showing, look and behavejust like the physical products to and when you have cartoons or cad like productsand those pet visuals, it tends to...

...have a psychological impact of removing thatsense of realism. Is kind of connectedness, and I think those are the kindsof things that you want to make sure you're doing when you're designing theseexperiences. And then there's one more thing, and I think people need to takean account of this is sort of a lesson learned, is you're neverdone when you're building these applications, and this is different from, say,a brochure, but these digital applications need to be living organisms. So asthe product portfolio expands or, as your case, study portfolio grows, oras your value propositions develop or companies make acquisitions or the competitive landscapes change,new products are introduced, these applications need to be updated and refreshed and theyneed to grow as well. And you know from your experience that the moreyou can create a sense of currency, that is, you know, thingsbeing up to date, the more they going to be used. So tobe effective, these applications need to continue to be expanded and enhanced and updatedso that that they are thought of as a continuum rather than a discreete deliverable. The Gavin. This is incredibly insightful. Is there anything anything else before Ilet you go to day, Gavin, related to these digital applications that youguys are are creating every single day for for clients. Anything else thatyou think listener should understand before before we close it down? Yeah, Ithink everybody is very interested in Stet of the latest technologies and we're doing alot of work with augmented reality and virtual reality today able to deliver very powerfulexperiences, and so one piece of advice I would give is to think abouthow those technologies can be used to be effective, as opposed to just havinga cool factor and who factors work well for a very short period of time, but the investment that typically is required...

...is only yielded in terms of,you know, feels results when you combine that experience with a relevant message ina way that creates an emotional connection. So we think of it as andI think just so. The last lesson is absolutely you know, follow thelatest technologies and be aware of what's new and innovative, but also make surethat when you're delivering those experiences and spending money on building them, make surethat you're including not just the latest interactive technology like augmented or virtual reality,but that you're delivering useful information at the time that people are having those experiencesand that you're creating sensory experiences so that you can create that emotional experience.So the emotional experience of sensory experience in the intellectual transfer of knowledge. Thoseare three key ingredients and if you focus on combining those you'll have a very, very high effectiveness and very, you know, substantial return on your investment. We gaven, again, this has been incredibly insightful. I really appreciateyour time. If there's somebody listening, they want to stay connected with youor they want to learn more about K on interactive, what's the best wayfor them to go about doing that? The website is Koncom. That's KaoNCOM, and my email address is g fin at Kncom, gfi Nn atK Oncom. I look forward to Tota who's interested. Wonderful. Thank youso much again for your time today, Gavin. I really appreciate it.If you're a BETB marketer, we want to feature you on sites like theHuffington post social media examiner and chief marketer. Every week we send that a questionrelated to be to be marketing. We use the responses to those questionsto feel the content we write for really popular websites. So head over tosweet fish Mediacom slash questions and sign up today. Thank you so much forlistening, until next time,.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (1636)