People crave authentic relationships and nothing will ever fill that need except true community engagement.
Kathy Hartman has led Local Store Marketing (LSM) for McDonald’s Corporation on both the agency and corporate level—supporting over 44,000 locations worldwide. She is now Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer for HubKonnect, a cognitive SaaS platform that suggests customized local marketing ideas based upon an analysis of the specific customers and opportunities within an individual retail location.
Kathy Hartman is a trading area expert and a builder of technology solutions supporting sales building and local marketing efforts. In addition, she has worked with start-ups, multi-unit organizations and local businesses—all of whom depended upon LSM to drive their sales and customer counts.
Training thousands of local marketers throughout her career, her passion and knowledge of LSM is unsurpassed.
Where did the idea for HubKonnect come from?
I have spent my career training and building sales and transactions for local franchisees from companies like McDonald’s and Krispy Kreme. I’ve done this through Local Store Marketing (LSM) and technology. The new world of AI, CRM and data analytics has opened up opportunities for incredible local marketing innovations. HubKonnect is the combination of powerful technology and years of LSM expertise. It creates customized, tailored marketing plans for individual franchise locations that maximize opportunities with their specific customers and their community. It is the silver bullet for LSM.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I begin my day with an early morning workout, a healthy breakfast and then I’m deep into work. I’m a connector, so responding to emails and social media gets work rolling. Next, I focus on the day’s commitments… a lot of my work involves writing, creating ideas and architecting strategic plans, which requires solitude and intense thinking. Late afternoon I’ll get a second workout in and then wrap up any emails or outstanding project reviews.
How do you bring ideas to life?
One word, imagination. It helps to visualize your idea in action. This type of focus brings energy to the idea and helps you run through options that keep making the idea bigger and better.
What’s one trend that excites you?
It has to be Artificial Intelligence and Continuous Learning systems. I’ve always loved logic, as a kid I loved word problems…. so technology that analyzes, deduces and learns and that can then potentially interface with other systems that also learn is simply amazing.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’m a talker and I’m generally interested in people. It’s very easy for me to call upon that genuine authentic interest, talk with customers and understand what that really need and want.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Keep winning dance contests.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Anyone can do a triathlon and it really doesn’t take that much training.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
When you leave something or someone, always leave a door or window open.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I spent my career helping others, taking time to listen to people’s challenges, help them network or bring an idea to life. Now those same people are helping me grow HubKonnect.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
When I was first starting my business, I made the mistake of working with a client who did not understand the time or monetary investment needed to grow a small business. I left her in the best shape I could possibly leave her in, but quickly told her that I wasn’t the one to help her.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Even though I’m in the technology business, technology will never replace human relationships. Relationships build loyalty and loyalty builds business. Customers, employees, investors…. they all crave connection. So, no matter what business you’re in, you will be way more successful if you connect with your community constituents. This simply can’t be done from the national level, it has to happen locally. The key is to use technology that supports creating these connections at the local level and complement national strategies.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Took a small plane ride over Mt. McKinley in Alaska. I arrived on one of the rare beautiful clear, blue sky days. It was breathtaking and inspiring. Alaska is the closest thing on earth to what the world must have looked like when it was born.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Google. It keeps me connected in so many ways. Email, sharing docs, storing files. Everyone should maximize Google Suite.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Julie Foudy’s Choose to Matter.
What is your favorite quote?
“Work just for money and you’ll never make it. Love what you’re doing and always put the customer first and success will be yours. “ Ray Kroc
HubKonnect is a technology like no other. It not only thinks on behalf of franchisees, it also suggests strategic ideas based upon specific local opportunities.
AI and continuous learning are being used by many companies at the national level…it’s time to bring access to these tools to the local level.
Customer loyalty feeds off of human connection. People crave authentic relationships and nothing will ever fill that need except true community engagement.
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.