About Matt Kuzak

Matt Kuzak brings years of marketing and sales management experience to his role as an Account Executive for Nth Degree’s Event Marketing Services team. Matt is responsible for new business development activities and managing key client relationships for the Event division. Prior to this role, Matt spent 6 years in the pharmaceutical industry managing successful brand marketing and promotional campaigns, experience he now applies to the development and management of client event marketing programs. Matt graduated from California State University in Sacramento, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing.

Lessons from the Event Marketing Summit – A Customer-Centric Strategy

Last week I had the opportunity to attend my first ever Event Marketing Summit. It was held in bustling Downtown Chicago at the Sheraton, a picturesque location, overlooking the Chicago River. The three day event seemed like a great opportunity to get a pulse on the current status and forward-looking direction of the event industry, and of course an opportunity to network with other event professionals.

Each day began with a keynote on various topics, followed by a full-day of breakout sessions, with a few breaks in between to visit the exhibit hall or network with co-attendees over meals and snacks. While it would be impossible to describe everything I learned at the conference, a few noteworthy presentations were:

  • Making A Commitment To Experiential ‘Platforms’
  • General Motors Case Study: Redesigning The Experience and
  • Creating An ‘Emotional Footprint’ At Tradeshows

After reviewing my notes and taking some time to reflect on all of the information I had gathered, I began to see a consistent pattern between the presentations – a pattern that is applicable to both B-to-B and B-to-C events. The concept: customer-centric marketing – allowing your customer to tell your story for you, to develop their own connection, and share their story with you and others around them.

In the past, a brand had a story to tell, and would push that story on their customers. Described in the General Motors case study presentation, imagine a circle…in the middle is GM, and all around them are their various customer types. A marketing campaign would be developed and was then pushed to the customer without regard to a key insight…did the customer actually understand the story being told? Were they even connected to the message? Today, those very questions are considered. Instead of GM as the center of the circle, the customer is the center, with all of GM’s car types and various divisions as the outer ring. Instead of  pushing a story to customers, GM now focuses on pulling those stories from their customers to build the most effective marketing campaigns to date…campaigns that the customer has helped create from their own experience – Customer-centric marketing.

Another example of this customer-centric, “pull marketing” was described in Creating an ‘Emotional Footprint’ at Tradeshows, presented by Intel. Their tradeshow experience came in the form of a large, technologically-advanced booth called, The Intel Connect to Life Experience. It was a 3-D virtual life simulation where attendees could create shapes using their hands (or just about any object) to create a bioluminescent life form on a towering 168-foot projection screen overhead. Instead of using the space for product advertising, they chose to allow customers to create their own unbranded experience, just for fun. In turn, attendees developed an emotional connection to the brand, creating their own individual Intel story. Pulling from customers, rather than pushing the story to them, with remarkable results and glowing reviews from attendees.

I left the Event Marketing Summit with some real food for thought. How will I implement this customer-centric approach to my future marketing strategies? How can I apply this to my day-to-day marketing activities?  How will I move into this new direction?

RSA Conference Closing Notes from Nth Degree Newcomer Matt Kuzak

As RSA Conference 2012 came to a close last Friday afternoon, attendees were sent off with some final thoughts by former Prime Minister, Tony Blair. His inspiring sentiments asked each of us to do our part in making the world a better and safer place for everyone – a key takeaway that took shape throughout the 5-day security-focused event. The closing keynote also included a hilarious and fun segment called, The Hugh Thompson Show, where bestselling author Hugh Thomson, Ph.D., interviewed political consultant, Frank Lutz, with hilarious results! You can see a video of this keynote presentation here. The packed room was fully engaged and seemed to be enjoying it very much.

After the keynotes, the crowd disbanded onto the sunny streets of San Francisco, ready to apply the practical solutions they learned during RSA into their daily lives. Looking back, it was quite an exciting and informational week-long event and I can’t wait for RSA Conference 2013!  Now I am headed to Las Vegas for Exhibitor 2012 and as I write this post from my smart phone, I am reminded again how important internet security is as we disseminate sensitive information from a variety of technologies and places. RSA Conference is and will continue to be an important platform to share and collaborate on ideas that will keep us all safe in the technology age!  More to come…

Notes from Behind the Scenes at RSA Conference 2012

With the last day of RSA Conference 2012 here, I have finally had a chance to reflect on all of the amazing things I have seen and heard throughout the week. As a new employee to Nth Degree, this was my first time experiencing the event and seeing directly all the work Nth Degree and the RSA Conference team put into making it a dynamic experience for the attendees. The first thing that made an impression on me was the sheer energy and enthusiasm of conference attendees. With so much to see and do at the conference, from informational sessions and seminars, to panels, keynotes and debates…not to mention the high-energy expo floor, it seemed the activities were endless. What a week! As a first-timer to the conference, I thought one of the most impressive, and highly attended activities, was the Innovation Sandbox, a half-day program where game-changing new technologies were explored. This seemed like such a great opportunity for collaboration and conversation. The other component of the conference that really struck me was the expo floor…it was amazing! The booths looked incredible and had some great design elements – feedback from the attendees was positive as well. I’m really looking forward to the final day’s activities, especially the closing keynote delivered by former Prime Minister of Britain and Northern Ireland, Tony Blair! To learn more about Nth Degree’s work with RSA Conference, click here.