If You Don't Know Them You Should: Rob Williams

Position Title:
VP, Global Brand Development

A description of Kaseya:
Kaseya allows IT professionals to monitor, manage and control IT assets remotely, easily and efficiently from one simple web-based dashboard.

Responsibilities at Kaesya:
Managing the internal creative agency and any outsource creative or production assets. Monitor and engage audiences directly through social media platforms. Direct the Kaseya brand's personality and how we engage with the market.

What technologies are exciting you currently?
Obviously Twitter and all of its offshoots are exciting right now. I can get lost in Twitter with all of the interesting info scrolling by - I follow people who Tweet good fodder. Still love Facebook, but for a brand it's still mostly a pay to play to see any worthy results.

What technologies are you keeping an eye on? And Why?
The continued expansion of Twitter and its usage is very intriguing - love that it's making the world an even smaller place. Measurement sites like Hubspot, Radian6 and the Twitter analytic sites are on a good track. The latest iPhone (LOVE) apps I'm playing with are AudioBoo, Reportage and iCam - but I'd still like a good Fantasy Football app. Google's OS will be VERY interesting to see what happens there.

As a member of the human race, I look forward to concerted efforts in creating Earth-friendly, energy-efficient and affordable alternatives for mass usage.

What technologies are the plague on mankind? And Why?
Anything that Microsoft makes I loathe having to use because it's always a horrible usability experience. And MySpace just hurts my eyes.

Are you surprised that social media has taken such a dominate role in the mind of the advertiser? And Why?
Not at all, it's perfect for instant gratification. People can bitch and be heard by thousands, which makes brands pay attention. People like to have a more open forum where they have a voice too and can respond to what brands are putting out there. As a marketer, I appreciate that also, instant feedback to measure whether you're really on the right track with what your market wants.

How do you use social media at Kaesya?
We use social media to engage the customer. It's about starting a conversation rather than another place to push marketing messages to the audience. We try keep things as one-to-one as possible. No one wants to listen or talk to you if you're always selling. Social media is the personality that keeps your audience interested.

Has social media superseded design? If so/not why?
Design still has its place, but it's always been the lipstick on the pig. If you were lucky enough to combine a good make-up artist and a useful product, life was a lot easier. However, now being able to better define the personality of your brand through social media gives the audiences experience with your brand more depth. It's no longer a one-way street.

Define essential brand components.
Obviously, marketers should strive to create a consistent, recognizable personality for their brand where there's no question who can benefit from it and how. Social media has broadened the ability to do that by adding in new traits such as character, likability and responsiveness. Your audience now wants you to be a part of their community, instead of just lobbing pitch salvos at them.

How do you extend those components in your position?
We engage daily directly with people talking about our areas of interest. We don't pitch and preach but discuss and even ask their advice. Brands often believe they know what's best, but they usually live in a vacuum and the audience is the one with the real-world experience - that makes them the experts.

Fundamentally in the advertising spectrum what do you feel is broken? Beyond repair?
I think the connection between lead-gen and measurement is flawed right now. The improved measurement from traditional media to online was a tempting lure - but now you have more numbers and metrics and many that don't understand what to do with them OR that place too much emphasis on them. They are valuable tools but you can have great Google campaign numbers that you're paying a lot money for and not seeing the conversions in the end. Marketers may soon look at online marketing's inflated costs and industry standard poor results and realize that though efficient, it's ineffective. They'll have to learn to engage not just throw banners and Adwords - Google is not the pied piper.

Create in your mind what the future of the advertising agency is. Agency 3.0 if you will. Describe.
The focus is going to become more about the product or service. Agencies won't be able to rely on just a flashy campaign or catchy message - the proof will be in the pudding because now it's too easy to be exposed if you're a fraud. So, I think the Agency's job should become easier if they focus on credible brands. The benefit for the consumer will be greater available knowledge about the brands that deliver on their messages and the ones that do not.

Product Launch: If a client is burdened by budget for marketing (say $25,000), what do you feel is the best ROI today?

That's a tough question - there's no magic bullet and really depends on the product or service. Demographics - global or local only? There are too many variables that predicate whether you go for mass marketing tactics or direct lead gen, etc. Need more of the scenario to comment.

What agencies are doing it right? And Why?
Mostly the big ones. That's where the best creative thinking seems to be coming from right now. I see less boutique shops with the creative chops - maybe it's the economy driving the boutique creatives toward the big boys with the consolidation that's going on. I love everything that CPB's Bogusky puts out - brilliant!

If I wasn't here, I'd be doing?
I'd love to do charity work with children, but domestically, I still like to return to the comfort of my home and broadband connectivity - now if that were on an island with a boat, that wouldn't suck either.

Create a new superpower for yourself.
Right now, I'd appreciate a greater ability to GTD! So much to do and so much more I want to do, but time is too limited. Heroes' Hiro's ability to control time would be a very useful trait.

Bio and Social Media Links you wish people to connect to at.
Personally connect with me here:
Follow on Twitter: http://tr.im/krow272_tw
Friend on Facebook: http://tr.im/krow272_fb
Connect on LinkedIn: http://tr.im/krow272_li
Subscribe on YouTube: http://tr.im/krow272_yt
Watch on Vimeo: http://tr.im/krow272_vim
Listen on AudioBoo: http://tr.im/krow272_ab
See on Flickr: http://tr.im/krow272_flkr
Taunt me to Blog more:: http://tr.im/krow272_blog

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Thanks for thinking of me.

Posted on July 15, 2009 and filed under Interview.