The year is coming to a close, which means it’s time to look back over the last year and remember our favorite things. Here at CEO Exclusive that means remembering our favorite shows. We have amazing guests every week, which makes it very hard to choose my favorites, so I asked my team for some help. They’ve each picked a favorite from the past year and today we’re going to share those choices with you.
First up is Angi, my Assistant extraordinaire. She chose a show from March featuring Kit Hughes and Paul Sternberg, the CEO and COO of Look Listen, which is a full-service digital agency. Look Listen was started by two lifelong friends, who teamed up in 2007 to start the agency, which appeared this year on the INC 500 list.
Here’s what Kit had to say about CEOs involvement in digital advertising:
“Digital advertising brings a tremendous amount of technology and targeting to a business, which brings a lot of complexity. The level that a CEO needs to be involved is, he needs to hold the agency that they work with, as well as a CMO, or VP of Marketing, hold them accountable to not just speaking in advertising terms, like CPC and CPMs, but truly to help translate it for a CEO dashboard view of what these metrics actually mean for the business… Some CEOs that haven’t done a lot of work in digital, they have this traditional mindset of, ‘Well, when I work with my marketing team to set budgets, the budget blend needs to be, 85% media buy, and then 15% for the agency fees. It doesn’t work that way in digital…it costs more for agencies in the digital space to be able to do everything that they need to do, to build out these complex campaigns, to target them, and to optimize them. What the CEOs need to understand is there is a different class of agencies that work in the digital space, and they need to sort of be treated appropriately.”
They also talked about the changing world of digital agencies. Here’s what Kit had to say about that:
“We focus around our own brand promise, which is, ‘make ideas matter’. A lot of agencies out there are just focused on making ideas, and making ideas is boring. This new generation of ad agencies aren’t going to sort of stand for stopping there. We’re focused on not just making ideas, but making them matter, and mattering means mattering to the end-user, to the consumer and to the people in the client organization so that we make sure that we are taking it beyond the nice creative ideas, and that we’re actually weaving in how they matter, and how we can test it to optimize it.”
The Nolan Transportation Group
Our producer, Ryan, chose the August showfeaturing Nolan Transportation Group. This is one of my favorites as well, and featured CEO, Kevin Nolan, and the General Manager of their Atlanta office, Luke Tauscher. Nolan Transportation Group is one of the fastest growing companies in America, and our conversation covered how talent and technology are driving the growth of their company.
They had amazing insight on how building a great team is at the core of their successful growth. Here’s what Kevin had to say about what makes working in the trucking industry so attractive to new grads:
“I think that there are a few reasons. One is, I see it as one of the last frontiers in an industry that you can come in and make a splash immediately out of school. You know, we talk to our guys and girls during training and say, ‘Hey, you know, it’s like you’re about to be freshmen that have to play on the varsity team.’ Because there is so much freight out there and these truckers do have a need to find loads. If you walk in their office for instance, it’s not like anywhere else you walk into…it is loud, it is obnoxious and you picture a chaotic environment. It’s a Wolf of Wall Street type of thing and we call it the Redneck Stock Exchange.”
Prime Technological Services
This show was the choice of Stephanie, who is both a former CEO Exclusive guest, and a CEO Exclusive listener. She chose the October show featuring Greg Chesnutt and Jerry Stern from Prime Technological Services. She loved the look into the future we received from Greg and Jerry, as they talked about ways that technology is changing our everyday business practices, and our everyday lives.
Here’s what Greg had to say about gene-sequencing:
“I think up until the time that the first human genome was sequenced it took about $3.7 billion of research to get us to a point that we could do that. As recently as 10 years ago, it cost $100 million to sequence a human genome. Today, 10 years later, it costs $1,000 and the projections for the next five years are that with the application of technology available, it’s going to cost $100. So, what’s happening is the cost of that technology has declined, price elasticity of demand is taking over, which is just a fancy economic term for the cheaper something is, the more of it people will demand. And so I believe the projections are, that by 2019, we will sequence over 2 billion genomes, and 50 million human genomes. So, if you think about what that enables, in terms of medical research, and the utilization of that research for therapy, for treatment, and from our perspective in business, it points to two eventual outcomes. We should see a significant proliferation in the device market, whether that’s delivery systems for medication, whether that’s treatment technology, and really that trend is going to, over time, take us to a much, much more personalized healthcare system because of the application of that technology.”
The Dragon Army
Andrea is the writer for CEO Exclusive. She chose the June show featuring Jeff Hilimire and Ryan Tuttle, the CEO and COO of Dragon Army. Dragon Army is a mobile experience company comprised of both a game studio, which creates and launches original digital content, and an agency side, which creates mobile experiences for brands like Coca-Cola and Home Depot. On this show, we talked about how virtual and augmented reality are closer and closer to becoming a big part of the way we experience the world around us.
Here’s what Jeff has to say about the future of augmented reality and the impact on privacy:
“The more comfortable with the goggles we get, the more people are adopting them. Contact lenses will be a thing, but they will get to a point where some people will want to wear them, and some people won’t. I think we’ll absolutely get to a point where people are embedding artificial parts, chips, or whatever, in themselves. It sounds scary for us right now, but another theory I have around just looking at the next generation of the workforce, and my kids, and looking at social media, I think it’s going to be more normal for the generations coming, that information is more readily available, and their sense of things like privacy, they may have a completely different concept of privacy than we have. So, as far as them sharing information, or being scared to share information, they will just assume, ‘I can know everything about a person I want to, so what really is privacy?’”
Our Assistant Producer, Kerry, chose CATMEDIA. Catherine Downey and Scott Dixon of CATMEDIA joined us in June. CATMEDIA covers a range of creative services, and the company has been on the Fortune 500 list two times so far. They offered powerful insight about the importance of having a social media plan that ties in with your overall marketing plan – rather than floating off in the stratosphere by itself somewhere.
Here’s what Catherine had to say about trends in creative services:
“In the creative services world, some of the big trends in creative services, and in advertising right now, are in digital media, where social media is really taking over, and I have noticed that a lot of mid-level managers, mid-level companies they don’t really take it very seriously, but it’s something that companies need to start taking seriously because their customers are using social media….They may not have a social media plan that is actually geared towards their target market, and they may not be doing social media at all. So, smaller and midsize companies tend to, in my opinion, and what I have seen, not pay a lot of attention to necessarily branding and marketing, and social media and digital media. They’re not really doing a lot in those areas at all, and they might be using more traditional marketing.”
Trax Image Recognition
Last, but certainly not least is my favorite show of the year, which featured Trax Image Recognition’s CEO, Steve Hornyak, and their VP of Customer Success, Terrell Tuten. Steve and Terrell offered powerful insight into the way technology is changing the retail world, and they also, as in the clip here, had great input on how to build a strong company culture in a global organization.
Here is Terrell talking about company culture and hiring processes:
“One of the first things Steve said to me is, ‘My responsibility to you is to allow you to do your job and get out of the way. I’m here if you need me, but you own this, and it’s your responsibility to make it successful, and I’m going to depend on you to go do that, and I’m not going to hover over you and expect status reports.’ So, I did my job. I feel that the people that are part of the customer success organization – ultimately I’m responsible for it – but it’s not just my team. It’s our team, and we’re a collaborative group, and that’s why I ask everybody to take part in the interview process. Ultimately it’s my decision of who gets hired, and I understand that. I’ve had group feedback that came back and said, we want to hire this individual for whatever reason, and maybe I had a different opinion, and I made sure that I challenged them on every point that I thought was a no, and we came to a conclusion on whether or not we’re going to hire that person”
For more on these shows, or on any of our shows and guests throughout the year, go to ceoexclusiveradio.com. Thanks for joining us today as well as throughout 2016. Happy holidays and have a very happy new year.