In marketing we’ve been all in a froth about mixed reality for some time. But as consumers spend ever more time on mobile devices that are increasingly sophisticated, tech companies are offering brands new ways to exploit the confluence of the real world and the smartphone.
Seth Jackson is CEO at Landmrk, one of those tech companies. We caught up with Jackson to find out more.
Please describe your job: What do you do?
I’m CEO of Landmrk, a technology platform that enables brands to place digital content at physical locations in the real world. We do geofencing a little differently: there are no apps, meaning the entire experience is supported through a weblink and is accessible via a single click.
In a company our size, being CEO means that I’m doing everything from fundraising and leading on overall business and marketing strategy, to running the larger pitches and worrying about the bottom line.
Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
As CEO I report to the board and our shareholders. I’ll also support the leadership-team running successful campaigns for various clients and making sure we deliver exceptional results.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
It’s certainly a mixed bag. For my role, I’d say it’s important to have a good blend of leadership, creative marketing vision and good old-fashioned sales and presentation skills.
What’s absolutely essential, however, particularly in a small team where it’s so easy as CEO to get bogged down in the details, is to learn to step back from the everyday goings-on and challenges, in order to see the bigger picture. We have brilliant people who can worry about technical or project-based details, and I trust them to do their job well, and to do it better than I could. Instead, it’s my job as CEO to think around the problems they face and offer a fresh way forward.
Tell us about a typical working day…
I split my week between our London and Bristol offices and both days follow very different patterns. If I’m in London my day will be focussed on sales and marketing. I get up crazy early, make sure I’m on a train working by 4.45am and into the office by 6.30. Once there, I try and get all of my desk-based work out of the way by the 10am team meeting.
That leaves the rest of the day for what will typically be a morning of internal sales and marketing meetings, followed by lunch with new or potential customers or partners. The afternoon is when we typically run new business pitches or assess the marketing strategy and progress, and this is also the time when we look at how our clients are using the platform and see how we can support what they are trying to achieve. We normally wrap the day up around 7pm and all go for a drink and a debrief; we are a very tight team.
The two days a week in Bristol are a little less frenetic. I usually focus on working with the CTO and the technical team, helping troubleshoot any problems they may be having, exploring new features and working on the roadmap. It’s a great balance for my brain.
What do you love about your job? What sucks?
Pioneering a relatively new marketing channel – mixed reality and geo-location – and really pushing the boundaries of what can be done is incredibly fulfilling. We are lucky enough to be working with amazing clients such as Universal, Google, Sony and a host of other ground-breaking companies that are all helping us move the platform forward. That is a great feeling. And I love it when someone sees our platform and thinks of a use for it that we had never even imagined. It’s always a good day when that happens.
What sucks? Waiting for decisions. I’m quite an impatient person, and when I’m on a creative streak with a lot of energy, its difficult to wait for big businesses to go through the processes of internal sign-off.
What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
I really love looking at the goals our clients set themselves on the platform. Understanding the normal metrics around engagement time, click-throughs, brand recall etc., but then also transposing that into our idea of Kinetic Currency. We’ve coined the expression “kinetic currency” to refer to how you get someone to move to a physical location for some kind of reward.
A question we always ask is: How far is someone willing to physically move to engage with a brand? Is the offering compelling enough to actually get people to move off their backsides and go and get it? Well, we’ve seen that if the campaign is right, you can get over 2 million people moving.
What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
Slack. How did we function before Slack? A total mystery.
How did you end up at Landmrk, and where might you go from here?
I’ve been working in marketing tech startups and agencies for a long time. I did my first geolocation campaign in 2004, and ran an augmented reality campaign the following year. From that point I was hooked, but for years I didn’t like what I was seeing from the technology: 3D objects on screens with no hold on reality.
But then the hardware upped its game, which opened the door for potential mass adoption. From there, I knew I wanted to build the platform that gave marketeers the opportunity to capitalise on that potential, and that it would enable brands to offer immersive experiences by placing mixed reality content in the real world.
In terms of the future, I’m focused on growing Landmrk into what I know it can be. We will embarking on Series A funding towards the end of the end of the year. That, as well as some really cool projects we’re working on to develop contextual features of the platform, will hopefully lead to Landmrk scaling up and expanding its presence across the world.
Which brand campaigns have impressed you lately?
Burger King and the milkshakes. Brave, risky, brilliant.
Dear people of Scotland.
We’re selling milkshakes all weekend.
Love BK #justsaying
— Burger King (@BurgerKingUK) May 18, 2019
Any advice for marketers trying to join up online-offline and gauge their success?
I would actually suggest that marketers avoid thinking about it as online and offline. Instead, the future lies in merging these channels. Think about augmenting the consumers day, and how you can produce real scale to your idea.