Interview with award-winning entrepreneur Kyle Kane

Kyle Kane is a thought leader in digital marketing and brand integration. He’s the CEO of 180 South Group and worked on campaigns for high profile brands such as LVMH, Universal Music Group, Piaget and Samsung. 180 South has received numerous awards and is one of the world’s premier brand management firms. Read the interview to find out more.   

Can you tell us about your motivation and the reason why you have started working in marketing?
I was inspired to work in this field mostly by my friends, who are artists and were thirsty for creative outlets; by my colleagues, whom are the geniuses behind the monetization models of sensory experiences; and most importantly by God, through learning the journey of the soul, and coming to terms with the fact that we don’t have much time on this planet. See in this new “world of the five senses”, experiences are more valuable than money. So to own and curate memorable experiences that impact the lives of those around me, and the lives of millions around the globe is my way of giving back, of efficiently using the gifts I’ve been given and honoring my commitment to culture.

What moments in your career have been the most influential ones for you?
My team would say that the first Emmy award was the most special, but to me, I was so proud when we ranked #13 Fastest Growing Company on the Inc 500 list, and #24 in Global Marketing and Advertising; not because it’s a huge accomplishment in itself, but because that moment signified the first time we were recognized for our thought leadership, and the last time we ever had to “market” ourselves. A close second is winning the Corporate Culture award alongside Russel Simmons and Ariana Huffington. Sharing the stage with those two giants was very humbling and inspiring so early on in my career.

What do you think online marketing will look like in the coming years?
The future of online marketing is in customized buying experiences. It’s not enough to own the competitive differentiation, you also need to own the venue in which the product is purchased through; and even more importantly, the experience surrounding the transaction. Brands that win in the coming years will do so as purveyors of culture. Finding niche audiences, pockets of fans, no matter how small, who care about you and your product or service, will be the single most important measurement of success. There are dozens of technologies coming to market right now to address this particular component, but many of them layer complex algorithms around look-alike profiles and geofencing or re-targeting tools. The digital marketing space will be revolutionized by a new look and feel that will combine Ai/Ar/Vr with practical consumer data science to match spending habits with new product releases. I’ve seen it. It’s glorious.

What are your recommendations for overcoming challenges and being focused on your goals?

  1. Do what you love. Life is too short not to do what you love. All the time.

  2. Listen to your body. It knows what’s good for you, and most importantly, what’s not good for you. LISTEN.

  3. Drink half your body weight in ounces of quality water each and every day.

  4. Get REAL rest. Important problems are solved while you sleep. Even if you don’t know it’s happening, it is.

  5. Don’t overthink it. Rely on your gut; it’s truly your second brain.

What is the best advice you ever received?
I’ve been blessed to receive so much advice along the way by some of the most influential tastemakers and thought leaders, ranging from complex stories and allegories to the most simple one-liners. However, I think the best advice I was reminded of today is: “never argue with a fool; from a distance, you can’t tell who is who”. It’s a Jay-Z lyric, but as usual, he’s quoting someone else: this time, Mark Twain. I’ve realized that most successful people who have experienced a downfall, did so because of their inner circle, and allowing the wrong ones to get too close. It reminds me to keep my inner circle tight, to cut the fat when necessary, and if something feels even just a little off, go the other way.

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