I would also rely more on my intuition and put results in front of the rhetoric.
Alexander Kesler is the Founder and President of inSegment, Inc, a Boston digital marketing agency specializing in web marketing, B2B lead generation and consumer acquisition through search engine optimization and online media campaigns. The basis of inSegment’s successful SEM tactics is Conversion Architecture system that was created by Alex more than a decade ago when he started his first company at 22 years old, zTrace Technologies. zTrace is a security software company that became the second largest company in its industry sector under Alex’s leadership, with sales in more than 50 countries worldwide before a strategic acquisition by Absolute Software (TSX:ABT). Alex embraces new ideas, is passionate about technology and has 10 plus years of experience in turning concepts, intuition and methodology into business solutions and marketing strategies. Alex graduated from Babson College in 1999.
What are you working on right now?
We are working on a new service for our banking clients which will allow them to improve their marketing ROI through better marketing channel attribution and improved account opening process.
Where did you get the idea to start inSegment?
inSegment grew out of a combination of tactics that I used to successfully launch and sell a security software product in one of my previous ventures, zTrace Technologies, which I started in 1999.
What does your typical day look like?
I wake up at 6, get kids ready for school, work from 7-10 at home with no distractions, drive to the office, meet with key managers and employees, attend client and prospect presentations, then go home at 7:30/8 pm. I have dinner; spend some time with my kids, and then work some more before bed.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I make a detailed plan, assign resources to it, set milestones, deadlines and then execute it with my team.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
John Wanamaker famously said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
This statement used to hit the nail on the head of what was wrong with advertising. But, as time passes, this statement becomes less and less true for how businesses make advertising decisions. People are now paying more attention to metrics, performance and advertising ROI. They want to do what is effective, what is cost-efficient, what is successful.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I have been an entrepreneur since graduating from college. At this point, I imagine not working for myself would be the worst job I could ever have.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would focus more on people in terms of getting high quality people involved earlier on my team and as my partners. I would also rely more on my intuition and put results in front of the rhetoric.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else to do?
Review priorities as the situation changes and reprioritize accordingly.
What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Competitive Price Pressure. I overcome it by taking the conversation with prospects to a different level – by changing the discussion about price to a discussion that highlights our value proposition, which is aligned to their business needs. For example, when a competitor is offering a prospective client a website project for bargain basement pricing, we explain that our focus is not on website development but on creating a lead generation machine.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
An iPhone app that allows you to store and deliver message to a future generation – be it video, audio or a written message. Imagine, your great-grandchildren could log on a hundred years from now and download a personal message from you…
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
I want to give talented people who don’t have access to resources help to realize their potential. I would provide them with high quality distance learning and a marketplace for businesses to connect to talent – to meet individuals that would typically be beyond their geographic or socio-economic reach.
Tell us a secret.
I love anything chocolate, but I love white chocolate a little bit less.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
1. TestUP – a tool we built called TestUP.com helps us assess potential employees and makes sure that we hire the best qualified
2. Google AdWords – I’ve seen it help businesses double their revenue in a month
3. Lynda.com – great resource to quickly get trained on hundreds of subjects, tools and software programs
What is one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
GTD – Get Things Done by David Allen. It is productivity and time management system that I have been practicing for years and find very effective for running both my business and personal life.
Three people we should follow on twitter and why?
1. Guy Kawasaki – he’s on top of the latest trends, great technology acumen, smart insight
2. Seth Godin – because you’ll learn all about purple cows and why they are important
3. Simon Sinek – receive insightful research on what works and what doesn’t in business marketing
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
Just now when I was thinking about all the secrets that I couldn’t tell…
Who is you hero?
Richard Saul Wurman, the founder of TED.
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inSegment on Twitter: https://twitter.com/insegment
inSegment on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/inSegment
Alexander Kesler on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kesler/