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Join Ron Callis, Owner & CEO of One Firefly and industry veteran, as he talks business development, technology trends, and more with leading personalities in the tech industry. Automation Unplugged (AU) is produced and broadcast live every week.
An AV and integration-focused podcast broadcast live weekly
Join Ron Callis, Owner & CEO of One Firefly and industry veteran, as he talks business development, technology trends, and more with leading personalities in the tech industry. Automation Unplugged (AU) is produced and broadcast live every week.
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Home Automation Podcast Episode #48: An Industry Q&A With Seth Evenson

Making it easier for more dealers

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Seth Evenson. Recorded live on Wednesday, August 8th, 2018 at 12:30 p.m. EST. 

About Seth Evenson

With nearly 20 years in the CE industry, Seth has built a career with both custom retailers and over the last 13 years at distributor AVAD. 

His career started with AVAD as Inside Sales at the Minneapolis branch and later became the Branch Manager, where he was responsible for leading every aspect at the facility and larger sales market at large and later transitioned into the District Manager for the Central Region, then the West, where he managed branch locations and outside sales across North America.

Two years ago, Seth was promoted to Director of Customer Experience Management. He delivers end-to-end customer experiences in the support of AVAD’s vision, strategy and evolution. 

Seth is accountable for designing and executing the customer experience roadmap and has a direct oversight of marketing and partnering with other functions, including project management, sales, customer support, supply chain and information technology.

Interview Recap

Here are some of the topics Ron had the opportunity to discuss with Seth:

  • Seth’s extensive career in the A/V industry
  • Strategies for staying ahead of the competition
  • AVAD’s presence at trade shows and events for dealers
  • Future predictions for technology in the industry

SEE ALSO: Home Automation Podcast Episode #46: A Custom Integration Industry Q&A With Kenny Kim


Ron:  Hello everybody. Ron Callis with another episode of Automation Unplugged. This is episode 48 and for those of you that are are avid listeners or watchers of the show, you'll notice that this summer has been a little less consistent than I would like. Been fighting some technology demons. For those of you that even watched the show last week, you'll know that we had a little bit of audio issues. I'm hoping we have all those details worked out. I know that we have some very avid listeners or folks that that love to hear what our guests have to say. And I appreciate your patience as we've been working through this. So today is Wednesday, August 8th. It is 12:30 or just a few minutes afterwards and we are gonna jump right into it. So I have a great guest. He's actually even scheduled a few times and due to errors or mistakes or challenges on our side, we weren't able to get him on. But we have him on now. And this is Seth Evenson from Avad. And his official title is he's the Director of the Customer Experience Management I think, Seth, how are you doing sir?

Seth: I'm good Ron. Thanks.

Ron:  I appreciate all your patience over the last attempts to get you here on the show. I know we've wanted to have you on and we've been fighting the software challenges, so thank you for your patience.

Seth: Glad we made it work.

Ron:  So Seth, what is a Director of Customer Experience Management over there at Avad? What does that mean?

Seth: Well that entails or what that means is that I'm ultimately responsible for all of the different interactions and touch points that we have with our customers. So that includes everything from our digital platforms such as, our mobile applications, our social media, digital chat as well as how we're interacting with customers at any of our 20 branch locations over the phone through email, through call services as well as the numerous trainings and events that we coordinate both nationally and locally and markets as some examples. I oversee, I directly oversee the marketing department with Avid, but I also work closely with the IT side as well as the sales side. And ultimately we're trying to converge all of those areas to support sales and really exceed our customer's expectations for how they do business with us.

Ron:  Well, there's a plethora of topics that I know I want to touch on and I know our audience is going to be curious to learn about. But before I go there and get into some of the meat of those various topics, I always love to learn about my guests and kind of, how'd you get your start in this business? And you and I were talking off camera and it sounds like you and I started right around the same time about 20 years ago in this industry. And so I'd love if you would enlighten us and just help us understand, you know, how have you spent the last 20 years in this industry?

Seth: Yeah, so I started in the CE business working part time while I was getting my degree. At the University of Minnesota. And I started working part time at a regional mid to high end retailer called Audio King in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I worked there through college. Audio King ultimately became part of the ultimate electronics chain which was based out of Denver. So I worked for them for a number of years and then I had the opportunity to join Avid in a sales role. And I worked in a sales role for a while. Shortly after I started at Avad, Avad was acquired by Ingram Micro. So I spent the next 10 years at Avid working in different sales management roles. I manage the Midwest market for Avad. I managed several region sales regions across the US for Avad. And then ultimately I was managing all sales and operations for the Western US and Canada for Avad. But two years ago Avid was acquired by the Kingswood Capital Group. And about that time I took on my current role as. Director of Customer Experience Management. So those are kind of the history of my work history over the past few years. But, you know, I will add, I, and I've had this conversation with so many people in this business, you know, how people get the start or what foraged people in this business. And I think a common denominator for a lot of people, myself included, is a love of music. I know that I've always been a music fan.

Ron:  Do you play music? Do you play any games?

Seth: Well, nothing, nothing that I would brag about, but..

Ron:  Nothing you'll do in public.

Seth: But I've played, yeah, I played instruments, I played with groups and you know, I just have that inherent love of music and that seems to inspire a lot of people and keep people passionate in this business.

Ron:  Is that what I mean? Like at the very beginning, is that what pulled you in? Was it your love of music or appreciation? Is that what pulled you into your first gig in the CI industry?

Seth: Well I think it certainly, it certainly has had an appeal because you know, where I was maybe more of a garage musician getting exposed to the world of Hi-Fi audio really added a whole nother element to how you can enjoy music. How people enjoy music you know, multichannel music as well as home theater. And again, this is many years ago and there's been an evolution in that, but yeah, it was enjoyable to begin with and it's still fun to this day.

Ron:  What were you studying in school? You said you went to the University of Minnesota?

Seth: Yeah. I graduated from the school of journalism and at the U of M.

Ron:  So a journalism degree. And you, you started working at a HiFi shop, is that correct? Yup. Where are you selling or what was that first job?

Seth: Yeah, I was a commission sales guy.

Ron:  Got it. And how did you find that? Like I'm always curious when there's people that enter this industry and few of them rarely leave this industry, right. And we all come in from different vectors and through different opportunities present themselves and we enter. So is it just that first job and it just so happened to be the job that really resonated with you?

Seth: Yeah, I knew people, I knew people in the business and I knew people that were working for, for the organization that I started working for. So it allowed me to kind of get my foot in the door there. And then, you know, the more time you spend in this industry, the more you realize how small the industry is and, and, you know, you see a lot of the same people, you forge a career long, lifelong relationships. So you know, that's, I think that's another thing that probably keeps people in the business so long is the people that you get the opportunity to work with. So, you know, for me, one of the things that I really appreciated working from the distribution side of the business is getting to work with the integrators and the dealers on the other side. So some of whom I knew from previous lives in retail working together on the retail floor or fortunately those relationships as a more of a distributor, a dealer partnership. But it's, it really is a two way business partnership and that's how we, that's how we view our relationship with dealer person. And ultimately I think that's what dealers are looking for cause they partnered with..

Ron:  No, I agree. And Seth, I want to address our audience here. I haven't addressed them. I'm a little out of practice so I if you're out there watching and listening, thank you for watching and listening. Please like this feed please share this feed. Feel free to do so. And if you have questions for Seth, please type those questions in and I'll do my best to field them as we go here. I'm going to try to touch on a few of the hot topics as it relates to avid and the industry. And of course we have CEDIA right around the corner. But again, I just want to thank each and every one of you that are watching, whether you're watching this live or whether you're watching this on replay you know, some days or weeks after the fact want to let you know that we appreciate you paying attention. Seth, what does a day in the life of Seth look like? Like I was just reading your bio and what you do and I'm like, Holy bananas, you have a lot of responsibility. So what is a typical day for you to look like?

Seth: Well, you know, one of the nice things is that no day and no week is really ever the same. So it certainly stays exciting. I do get to travel a fair amount. We've got obviously number of trade shows that we participate in nationally and through the or through various organizations. We also do a lot of different events and trainings in different markets for dealers. But as the direct oversight of the marketing department, I do spend a lot of time in crafting our marketing messages both on behalf of Avad and what Avad's go to market strategy is as well as partnering with our vendor partners executing our co-branding efforts, executing the messages, the content the products that they are they are relying on avid to get out into the marketplace. So it's really, you know, from there it's really a variety of different vehicles that we're executing that through social media, digital messages. We've reinvested pretty significantly in over the past couple of years to make it easier and more beneficial for dealers and put more content up there for them to find. But we're also very active at trade shows. We participated in InfoComm earlier this year. We also partner with Vivatech at the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago. In May we've got CEDIA right around the corner which we're in the middle of crunch time on. But beyond just those big national shows that, you know, we get great opportunity and work in speak with dealers at, we do a lot of small market events. And kind of bring the value proposition of Avad, bring the dealer, or I'm sorry, bring the vendor proposition product up to the dealers in those marketplaces as well. Sowe do a variety of different training opportunities. So that includes a lot of trainings that we're doing in the marketplace where we will partner with a vendor and dealers can come in and sit through a live training for an afternoon or for a day. We also do quite a few WebEx webinar trainings. The dealers can get on live and follow. They can interact with the vendor through that medium. And we also record all of those trainings. So you know, we recognize the dealers are busy. That time is money and not everybody has a day or an afternoon to invest in a training. So we record everything so that we can allow dealers to have access to a pretty extensive library of category and product and technical trainings that they can then access when they have an opportunity. So all of those things certainly keep me busy, but, you know, at the end of the day, what I'm responsible for and what I'm trying to drive through all of the different avenues of Avad is, are we meeting the dealer's expectations? Are we how are we making it not only easier to do business with, but ultimately how are we saving the dealer time in what they're doing? How are we saving them money? How are we introducing programs, products, and services that make them a stronger business?

Ron:  So I would imagine stating the obvious here that integrators have choices, right? So they can choose to do business with Avad or other distribution other distributors. And it is your job as a measurement of success that you're seeing? You know, dealers prefer to use Avad versus, I guess the other players in the marketplace?

Seth: Well, that certainly is a barometer of success for the organization overall. You know, how much retention do we see with dealers? How much are we able to grow our businesses together? You know, for me personally, that's absolutely a big measurement of success. So I'm always looking at we've got a very solid core group of dealers that we do business with. So a big focus for me, a big focus for the organization is you know, how do we move beyond the status quo? How do we really evolve for those dealers to present new features, new services, new products that that really benefit their business and grow our businesses together overall? And then how do we become attractive to dealers who aren't doing business with Avad or who are doing business with other avenues or maybe new within the industry? Because you're right, Ron, it's a crowded field in between the distribution options, in between the direct manufacturer options in between the marketing and buying groups. There's a lot of avenues for dealers to procure product and to kind of figure out what their go to market is going to be.

Ron:  So what are some of those primary differentiators, right? Maybe I'm giving you an easy softball pitch here. What, are the reasons they would choose to buy through you, through Avad, through a distributor versus all those other options? They clearly have.

Seth: Sure. Well, you know, there is going to be some gray area in terms of where there's overlap with things like buying groups or marketing groups. I'll talk about that a little bit, but you know, what I always tell people, especially if they're not familiar with who Avad is, is that Avad really is the premier solutions provider for residential and commercial applications in the CI business. And that we are really so much more than a typical distributor in that our value to the customers starts well before the transaction in terms of presale support and system design specification or personal consultations that dealers can have at not only any of our 20 North American locations. So we've got in the CI channel, we've got a very expansive footprint. We also have an outside sales force that covers markets that we may not have a physical presence in. So we've got a long tenured, highly knowledgeable sales staff as well as an award winning technical services group that includes system design. So we're able to work with dealers in specifying and scoping out projects ahead of time. We're obviously well known for our logistics ability and whether it be just in time inventory from any of our 20 branch locations. As well as the ability to get product anywhere within continental US within 48 hours. So that's a huge advantage for us. And that means the dealers really no matter where they're located in the US or Canada have the ability to access a very deep well of knowledge in terms of support a wide network of logistics to get product when they need it and where they needed. And then we're also big believers in our post-sales support. So for us, the sale doesn't stop when the transaction is over. We've got an award winning technical services department that includes technical support. So it's a free service that dealers can use to help walk through any issues that they're experiencing in the field or with programming. And we've also got the best return and exchange policy in the industry as so you know, the sum of all those things is that really what we're striving to be is an end to end solutions provider. And I think that all of those things and what dealers experience for us are testament to them.

Ron:  You guys have been doing. And I hear an echo and I hope it's short lived here. Do you hear it?

Seth: No. Coming through loud and clear.

Ron:  All right, perfect. Let me just click here. I think it might be just local. All right. We'll cross our fingers. Okay. So you guys are well known for this event called Venda Palooza as this is a big year, is it not? And what is the timing of that? And tell me the story behind Venda Palooza.

"We bring 40 of our best vendors under the tent and we set up basically a trade show and we've got vendors at the ready, we barbecue, we're giving stuff away all day. We hold classes during the event, most of which have accredited CEUs and it really is an all day affair."

Seth: Yeah. So what, what Venda Palooza, is for anybody that's not familiar is it's our traveling roadshow. And we go to a different market every month. So we do these once a month in different markets and we set up a big top tent. We bring 40 of our best vendors under the tent and we set up basically a trade show and we've got vendors at the ready, we barbecue, we're giving stuff away all day. We hold classes during the event, most of which have accredited CEUs and it really is an all day affair. Why this year is big for us is it is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Venda Palooza. So it's been going on for 10 years strong. It's still extremely popular. I get asked about it a lot from customers about when it's gonna come back to their market.

Ron:  How many markets do you do every year, or do you have that event or does it vary?

Seth: We only have the ability to do it in 13 markets a year. So unfortunately what that means is we have to kind of skip around the US in terms of where we're going. But we try and schedule it over the course and we've done this consciously over the last 10 years to get to as many markets as we can to bring the experience of the dealers. And you know, dealers love it not only because it's a great opportunity for great barbecue and some giveaways, but it brings that trade show experience to the dealers, especially in terms of knowledge base, vendor face to face interactions, and training opportunities. So, you know, there really aren't a lot of ways other than going to something like a CEDIA where a dealer can take advantage of that many different aspects of benefits. In one place, all in one day.

Ron:  What is the timeframe of these? Have these events already been going on or are they starting in the near future?

Seth: They have been going on, so they've been going on once a month, every month for the last 10 years. We are giving them, we were getting ready to do our big show in New York on Long Island in a couple of weeks here. And then we'll be going actually to your neck of the woods. We'll be in Fort Lauderdale.

Ron:  Is that an open invitation to come eat? Some barbecue?

Seth: Absolutely Ron. We'd love to have you down there. So please stop by. So yeah, we will once a month. We're doing these a minimum of once a month across the US and Canada. Okay.

Ron:  It's amazing how fast time flies when we do these interviews. We're always already 20 minutes in and I have a number of hot topics that I know are probably on the mind of a lot of our listeners. And so I'm going to jump to one of them right away if you don't mind. Some big news hit the media about a week or two ago in regards to you guys and Savant. Can we talk about that? What is the nature of this relationship and just fill us all in.

Seth: Yeah. absolutely. So we are very excited about this partnership. And this means it means a lot for Avad. It means a lot for Savant. And more importantly, I think it means a lot for dealers out there in the universe. So there's a couple of different aspects to this partnership that we think are pretty groundbreaking and are going to be beneficial to integrators. So first and foremost, what this partnership is, is it's bringing the Savant line into all us and Canadian Avad locations and marketplaces. So that means that dealers across these areas, across these markets are going to have the opportunity to begin working with the Savant line and working with some of the new platforms that Savant is introducing at the same time as this launch. So this coincides with Savant launch of their studio platform which is unique in the fact that it can be all programmed, configured and deployed from an iOS application on an iPad. It's extremely intuitive. It's extremely easy to use and it couples with their new Savant central management, which is a cloud based platform that allows dealers to store job files to access files that are active out there in the marketplace in their customer's homes. So they can view diagnostics, they can they can see and foresee, I should say, if there are any and help diagnose any issues remotely and virtually with their clients. They can reconfigure or reprogram where necessary and redeploy or the cloud. So this is in terms of what it means for dealers. And as far as time-saving, as far as ease of use in an automation software it's pretty revolutionary and we're excited to be the partner of choice to help really launched that to a large portion of the CI channel.

Ron:  So I've got bunches of questions about that. And first things first. What about the existing dealer network? So all of the existing Savant integrators are you guys now involved with them in any way or is it a separation of church and state? You have your dealers and then there's the existing dealer market?

Seth: Nope, no separation at all. And, and it's important to note that most of those dealers have existing relationships with Avad in some form or fashion. So while they may not have been procuring Savant through Avad, we more often than not have a relationship. But what it does mean in terms of the relationship between the dealer Savant and Avid is that the dealer direct Savant dealer has the opportunity to fulfill orders from Avad. So if they do have adjusted time need they can rely on Avad for that. As all of our 20 locations are going to be stocking warehouses for a large assortment of Savant product.

Ron:  Well that mean dealers generally will be able to get their product quicker than they were previously receiving it?

Seth: You know, I can't really speak to what the timeline of what their previous deployment, the time life was like. And it isn't necessarily meant to replace that. It's really meant to compliment that and be an opportunity for dealers. Should they be..

Ron:  They now have a choice. They can place it direct to the factory or they could place it through you. And it's the same.

Seth: What's important in that relationship is that those dealers, even when they do fulfill through Avad, will still get their program benefits through Savant. So we are working very closely with Savant to make sure that any direct Savant dealers coming through Avad for fulfillment are going to be able to get their benefits on the Savant side as well.

Ron:  Integrators that are adopting use of this new platform called studio? That's correct. It's called studio?

Seth: Yes.

Ron:  And that did not pre, I'm a little ignorant on the subject that did not previously exist. So that's a new environment to config program or slash configure a system.

Seth: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ron:  How does the dealer that maybe is brand new to Savant, how does Avad capitalize on maybe opportunities they have right in front of them? And what I'm focusing on really is the engineering side, the design engineering configuration side. How do you offer assistance in that way?

Seth: Yeah, we've always had our system design group on hand for the last several years and they have won awards in the industry year after year. But what is unique about employing them in this partnership with Savant is that when looking at the studio platform and the studio applications of Savant, which do trend more on the entry-level applications, single-zone environments what we are doing as part of this launch with sloppy with studio is dealers who do get qualified and do get access to the line through Avad will have the opportunity to rely on the Avad system design for configuration and programming support free of charge.

"A lot of integrators, maybe even smaller integrators don't have engineering departments."

Ron:  Is it always free Seth? That's like pretty astounding. You know, a lot of integrators, maybe even smaller integrators don't have engineering departments. And so in my opinion, and if people know my personal past and our past here at One Firefly, we've been involved in trying to help solve some of those challenges. And I know Avad has stepped up in a major way. Is it always free or is it just free with this Savant partnership?

Seth: It's free with the Savant partnership. It's not always free. It depends on the scope and it depends on what services we're utilizing with with the dealer. But for this launch of studio, it is going to be a free service. So programming, configuration help deploying help working through the central management is going to be free of charge. And when we look at going up a level in terms of what our design support means for dealers across the board you know, one of the things that I think was attractive to Savant about partnering with Avad is Avad already works with and already carries a number of the partners or vendors that Savant partners with. So we've got an inherent knowledge of how, you know, a multitude of different products and brands work across the industry. And so what that means is as we are bringing the Savant line in, as we are introducing it to a group of dealers, we know that dealers are going to have needs or questions about integrating it with other products with other applications. And so that's another opportunity where our design team can really be of service and that that speaks more towards the pro side of the Savant assortment. And yes, many dealers, especially dealers who are on the direct with Savant, they may have in house engineering and design services. That doesn't mean that they can't reach out and rely on our team. Our team is certified, they're trained up on both Savant studio as well as the Savant pro side. So we're extremely confident that we're going to be able to provide a wide array of support on Savant across different types of dealers and their knowledge base. So we think that and I think that this was what was attractive to Savant, is that we really are going to be able to help dealers grow the types of applications, the size and scope of projects that they're doing as well as offer a very easy to use, attractive entry level automation product that is going to be extremely easy to use. Not going to be a big time investment from the dealer side to get into customer's homes. And then with the post-sale support and the remote management that this offers can really cut that potentially on service calls and save dealers time and money in the end.

Ron:  What about programming? Are you guys assisting with programming on both at all? And if so on both the studio and the pro side or where? Where's that line in the sand?

Seth: We are absolutely offering programming services on the studio side. So for the entry level products for dealers that may be new to the Savant line or may not be new to the Savant line but are probably new to studio. We can and we will offer programming and configuration and deployment services and that is what is going to be included free of charge. We also have the opportunity to assist in programming on the pro side. But we don't necessarily see that, we don't necessarily see it as much of a need on that side of the business as much as on the studio side.

Ron:  When you say deployment.. Will Avid have personnel that will in fact go out to the job site and help turn the project on with the integrator or is it more of an in office level of support?

Seth: Yeah, so I am speaking about virtual deployment, but that is one of the benefits of what this Savant studio program offers is everything can be fixed, can be configured within the survive iPad application. It can be programmed from there. And then ultimately once the hardware, once the integrator has got the Savant host on the network in the end user's house, then we can assist with deploying the job information to that host which will in turn take the programming live and out to the field. You know, we don't plan on necessarily having agents out in the field. We're confident that any dealer that is going to be qualified for the line is going to be more than capable of doing not only the initial setup of a Savant host system in that application, but even possibly end to end.

Ron:  Well, a couple more questions here for you, but that's a huge news regarding Savant. So congrats to you Seth, and to Avad. That's terribly exciting. I'm sure you guys have your hands full. There's a lot to launching, something like that. But that's exciting. Nonetheless. CEDIA is around the corner. CEDIA is I think, officially in less than four weeks. What's in store for you and CEDIA here? Out in San Diego.

Seth: So we're excited to be back at CEDIA this year. We're in booth 3915. So this is where, hopefully that's flashing across the screen. Booth 3915.

Ron:  I'll do that in post production.

Seth: So you know, we're back for the third year in a row back at CEDIA. We've got a great booth plan. So anybody listening in any dealers Avad dealers or if you're new to Avad to come check it out we're going to have a lot of interactive displays. We'll have an interactive workshop set up with Savant. So anybody that's interested in Savant or wants to see what the studio software looks like, we're gonna have a great hands on workshop in our booth to check it out.

Ron:  And what was that booth number one more time? I'm typing out here to the notes.

Seth: 3915

Ron:  All right. There you go. So now it's officially in the notes. Everyone can just go below, look at the comments and you'll see that.

Seth: Yes, yes. So we'll be having a number of interactive displays from a lot of our top vendors. We'll have LG some of their latest and greatest, Samsung's latest and greatest. We're partnering with Yamo. We're partnering with Peerless partnering with JVC. So a lot of the brands that are popular with Avad dealers they are going to be able to get a chance and see not only some of the newest product, but we'll also have a number of factory personnel and our sales staff work in the floor. So it's a good chance to ask questions as well. We do try and bring a pretty wide group of vendors into the booth and do Q and A for the dealers that are in the booth. The chance to talk about what's new from the vendors, new products, new technology, kind of where it fit within the CI channel, where does it fit within the Avad assortment. So we'll have all those schedules up on all of our social media as well as for dealers coming into the booth. And then we'll have a coffee bar set up. So those can be long days..

Ron:  Doing any exciting giveaways?

Seth: No, we're going to be giving away thousands upon thousands of dollars of door prizes and raffle prizes. So I know last year we had a number of dealers walk away with product, some great product, including TVs and Q LED frame TV's from Samsung. So this year will be no different and even better.

Ron:  Well that's exciting. I am curious, I want to kind of ask a question that's out of left field here, Seth. I know you are in charge of Avad marketing and I know that you've worked for many years with a great marketing company. Marketing matters. I actually had Colleen on the show not too long ago. And I'm curious if you have an opinion or if Avad has an opinion in terms of integrator marketing, right? So the integrators in the marketplace, you are hundreds or thousands of customers. What are they doing right and what are they doing wrong? What can you give me your opinion on that?

"It's important to market your business and yourself as an integrator is with the customer that's in front of you because that customer is ultimately going to be the one that refers the next customer and the next customer."

Seth: Well, so first I think it's important to understand where integrator business more often than not comes from. And that's referral business. So what that means is where it's important to market your business and yourself as an integrator is with the customer that's in front of you because that customer is ultimately going to be the one that refers the next customer and the next customer. So, you know, we have obviously seen social media exploding, become a great tool for businesses and the integrators to help get their word out and talk about the solutions and services that they provide. But where I see dealers having success in terms of just a business practice but in particular a marketing business practice is keeping that book of business, their client book of business open and warm. So reaching back out to previous clientele to talk about how systems are working or using that as an opportunity to introduce new products, new technologies that they might be interested in keeps that relationship, keeps the dialogue open. And it doesn't, you don't want the relationship to be over when the job is done. So I think it's important to keep those past relationships warm and try and mind them for any future business referrals that they can. And that's ultimately where I think the best marketing for an integrator can be done.

"My observation for our industry is integrators have a tremendous opportunity to really focus on that and improve what they're doing, and that's a good way to stand out in their marketplace."

Ron:  I think that's a great sound bite. As you probably, Seth, we take the show video and we take your bio and we load it onto a page on our website for those that haven't been there and go to Learn in the menu. And you'll see Automation Unplugged, you'll see all of our past guests. But I think that little quote there around I'm going to go back and play the video and that's how we're going to capture it. But your quote about that person right in front of you is, is the source of your next project. I think that's really profound. And my observation for our industry is integrators have a tremendous opportunity to really focus on that and improve what they're doing, and that's a good way to stand out in their marketplace. So, Seth, on that note, sir, you've been very generous. We've been here for 40 minutes, believe it or not, and where can our audience learn more about you or even get in touch with you post show if they have questions or would like to engage you?

Seth: So I think the best route would be and that gives users information to find their nearest Avid branch location, which we've got 20 in the US and Canada. We're also on Facebook. We're on Twitter, we're on YouTube. We'll be in booth 3915 at CEDIA. And I think has got just about any information that a dealers perspective dealers would be would be looking for in regards to Avad.

Ron:  Awesome. Seth, thank you so much sir. Thanks for joining us here on episode 48 of Automation Unplugged sir.

Seth: Thanks Ron. Appreciate it.

Ron:  All right ladies and gents. There you have it. Episode 48. Thanks for joining me and hope you're having a great week and you're gonna wrap up your week strong and with positive focus and a positive attitude. And remember, you get to make that decision every day, how you're going to tackle your day and tackle your week. We're going to get back on the horse here of producing regular content for you folks. Got a lot of really exciting guests lined up. We're almost here at episode 50, believe it or not which is kinda hard to believe, but it's awesome nonetheless. And we are also going to very shortly be regularly updating the automation page, both on our social media, on Facebook as well as our website with up and coming guests. I know that's been a frequently requested addition to the page and we're getting very close to rolling that out. So on that note, have an awesome week for those of you that are attending CEDIA, San Diego. I'll be teasing about CEDIA every show here for the next three or four weeks. I look forward to seeing you out there. We just changed our booth number, so I've sadly, I can't give you our booth number, but I will be prepared with that. Next time I don't want to leave you waiting, but you know what I'll do, I'll put it down in the comments. So if you are watching the show, I'll put the One Firefly booth number down in the comments that we have. It certainly stop by and say hello. So on that note, I will talk to you folks later. Be well.

Show Notes

Seth has built a career in the CE industry spanning over 20 years with both custom retailers and over the last 13 years at distributor AVAD. Seth's career started with AVAD as Inside Sales at the Minneapolis branch and later became the Branch Manager, where he was responsible for leading every aspect at the facility and larger sales market at large and later transitioned into the District Manager for the Central Region, then the West, where he managed branch locations and outside sales across North America. In 2016, Seth was promoted to Director of Customer Experience Management and remains at the forefront of AVAD’s new initiatives, marketing, tradeshow support, and dealer focused touchpoints. Seth delivers end-to-end customer experiences in the support of AVAD’s vision, strategy and evolution. Seth has a direct oversight of marketing and partnering with other functions, including project management, sales, customer support, supply chain and information technology.

Ron Callis is the CEO of One Firefly, LLC, a digital marketing agency based out of South Florida and creator of Automation Unplugged. Founded in 2007, One Firefly has quickly became the leading marketing firm specializing in the integrated technology and security space. The One Firefly team work hard to create innovative solutions to help Integrators boost their online presence, such as the elite website solution, Mercury Pro.

Resources and Links from the Interview:

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