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 with original content weekend and week out? Start a podcast, interview your ideal clients, let them talk about what they care about most, and never run out of content ideas again. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the B tob growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping betb executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BB growth show. We are here today with Gavin Finn. He is the president and CEO of Kon Interactive Gavin, how you doing today? I'm very well, James. Thank you. How are you doing? Kn Am a wonderful Gavin. I'm really excited about the topic we're going to be covering today. We're going to be talking about using digital applications to engage with our customers, and you are definitely the guy 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 our listeners 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 applications that 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 by a prospects and customers who are interested in understanding how these companies can help them solve their business or technical problems. And the companies delivered these applications through their global sales teams channel partners on the Web, online and offline. Gotta. And so, just to give a little bit of a picture, are there any particular stories that you could share, either of you guys doing this or maybe your customers, just so we can paint a little bit of a picture going into this interview of what it looks like. Absolutely keep sort of two areas of sort of personal stories that have...

...been effective in the way that allows us 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 and solutions, and what they came to us with was the challenge that their sales teams were very, very good at answering technical questions about their products, the feeds and speeds, the use cases, how the products work. But what was happening in the world is customers were much more interested in solutions rather than just the products. How do they they engage with a company like Ge to help them meet their challenges and solve their problems. So, rather than just talk about specific problems or even categories of products, what g wanted to do was to help their sales people become solutions oriented, and so we created an application for them. It started out in one very small, focused area to help their sales teams deal with refinery managers, to help refinery managers operate their refineries better. And what this was it allowed them to connect with the refinery managers in terms of what the key challenges were and then to present the right GE 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 different as a consequence of having this application. Rather than just talking about how their products were better, what was happening was they were connecting with these key customer leaders in a way that allowed the customers to really see GE as a partner to 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 and it was so successful that they asked us to expand it to all of the different constituency in the oil and gas world, which include offshore and subside and Petro Chemical Land facilities and all of those. The application grew horizontally to a lot of different solutions and then vertically also to be able to address lots of different kinds of challenges within those and that became so successful that they asked us to expand that two different verticals beyond oil and guests, so aerospace and manufactory and others and power. So that's an example of an engagement application that's used to create a collaborative environment where customers talk about their challenges and they use these applications to discover what the value of the partnership is, as opposed to the specific individual features and functions of the product, which are still available but they come much later. In that time and and Gavin. Where does this interaction typically happen? Where we're a sales and marketing team is interacting with a prospect in 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 kinds of engagements, you really have to be able to deliver this experience everywhere. So it happens at trade shows, for sure, but it also happens at sales meetings in a facetoface environment and rather than presenting a powerpoint presentation or showing videos or hanging out brochures, these engagements are not transformed into a bidirectional dialog that 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 same sort of interactive engagement on their own before...

...or after having some interaction with a marketing or salesperson. So the key is today able to deliver the same level on the same kind of application in exactly the same format, no matter how you touching the customer, whether it's online or offline. facetoface or just the customer alone, gotta and so Gavin, you talk publicly a lot about you're speaking conferences and doing a lot of talks around, you know, around using digital applications. What are some of the big things that you touch on that the folks at these events that are hearing you talk about this, what tends to stand out to them the most as you're engaging with people, that hear you 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 listeners here today? I think the most important sort of transformative element of these kinds of applications is that they are best used and most effective when it is a change in the way that the company is interacting with their customers, the typical sales 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's a very ineffective way to communicate because most people, particularly today, have short attention spans, are very used to interacting with digital devices and the world have become much more complex and the pace of change is so fast that people don't really have a lot of time to sit in a lot of meetings and have presentations and they're not very effective anymore. So the most sort of transformative element is when these applications are used to stop presenting and start engaging, and change that happens is when the sales teams and the marketing teams are not talking to their customers, but they're engaging with their customers and it's much more of a dialog. So rather than showing them a video that everybody gets, exactly the same video no matter who you are,...

...or the same powerpoint, everybody who engages 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 series of slides. So they're going to different sections of these applications that are important to them. They're diving into the right amount of depth based on how interested they are or how relevant piece of detail is for them. And what's happening is each time a different user is engaging with the application, they getting a very personalized experience and what happens there is that allows that person to have a resonance with the company that's based on the value proposition to them, as opposed to the same feel that everybody gets every time. So the the message of these conferences that are talked at or when I'm with groups of marketing executives and sales leaders, is to turn the process from a presentation into a bidirectional engagement and use these tools as a way to facilitate that. As people are kind of designing these experiences that are meant for engagement and not to be this kind of one way pushing of information. What have been some things that you've seen that have been effective, that actually draw out that engagement? Is it at 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 think one of them, James, would be to start with the customers context, not the company's context, so not your product portfolio, but the customers constant context. I think about the world that they're living in, what their challenges are, and you know there's is notion of the buyers journey that I'm sure you'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 goal is 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 use these 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 environment is, what their constraints are, what their competitive landscape looks like. So the visuals for these applications need to be very specifically direct towards showing customers their world as opposed to, you know, the company's products and solutions. That's the first thing. The second thing is that they need to be completely nonlinear in the way that their navigation works. We just touched on this a while back, but this the most effective engagements work, when the individual customer gets to decide how they want to traverse these applications, where they want to spend their time, almost like a website in a way, where you don't have to follow a particular sequence. And what's important about that is that it's the individual connection to the information that that person is learning about and the way that the animations were or how the visuals are being presented. That makes an emotional connection and that's very important, because everybody thinks about bedb buying as sort of an analytical process, but you know very well, based on the work that you've done and the work that you do in content, is to deliver an emotional connection is equally, if not more, important, and the way you do that is to make things relevant to people and to give them the sense that these people understand my challenges and they understand how we're going to solve them together. So to do that you need to present useful, relevant information that the user gets to decide rather than you're telling them you know what the next step 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 the environment that they're presenting, in the products that they're showing, look and behave just like the physical products to and when you have cartoons or cad like products and those pet visuals, it tends to...

...have a psychological impact of removing that sense of realism. Is kind of connectedness, and I think those are the kinds of things that you want to make sure you're doing when you're designing these experiences. And then there's one more thing, and I think people need to take an account of this is sort of a lesson learned, is you're never done when you're building these applications, and this is different from, say, a brochure, but these digital applications need to be living organisms. So as the product portfolio expands or, as your case, study portfolio grows, or as 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 they need to grow as well. And you know from your experience that the more you can create a sense of currency, that is, you know, things being up to date, the more they going to be used. So to be effective, these applications need to continue to be expanded and enhanced and updated so 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 I let you go to day, Gavin, related to these digital applications that you guys are are creating every single day for for clients. Anything else that you think listener should understand before before we close it down? Yeah, I think everybody is very interested in Stet of the latest technologies and we're doing a lot of work with augmented reality and virtual reality today able to deliver very powerful experiences, and so one piece of advice I would give is to think about how those technologies can be used to be effective, as opposed to just having a 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 in a way that creates an emotional connection. So we think of it as and I think just so. The last lesson is absolutely you know, follow the latest technologies and be aware of what's new and innovative, but also make sure that when you're delivering those experiences and spending money on building them, make sure that 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 experiences and 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. Those are 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 appreciate your time. If there's somebody listening, they want to stay connected with you or they want to learn more about K on interactive, what's the best way for them to go about doing that? The website is Koncom. That's Kao NCOM, and my email address is g fin at Kncom, gfi Nn at K Oncom. I look forward to Tota who's interested. Wonderful. Thank you so 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 the Huffington post social media examiner and chief marketer. Every week we send that a question related to be to be marketing. We use the responses to those questions to feel the content we write for really popular websites. So head over to sweet fish Mediacom slash questions and sign up today. Thank you so much for listening, until next time,.

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