Interview with John Lim, Founder and CEO, linknexus

John Lim
John Lim

“Marketers don’t need to understand the tech but need to understand the power of what the tech can do.”

Tell us about your role at linknexus and how you got here.

Starting and growing the digital agency, Life in Mobile, over the past 5 years made me realize that there was a great opportunity for a marketing intelligence platform like linknexus. This linknexus technology was tested and proven with my digital agency for clients like Pepsi, Heineken, and EXIT Realty with the goal to give marketers the freedom to control their own destiny. After we tested the platform, I decided to spin-off the technology to be its own company, which I am currently the CEO.

What’s the most fascinating aspect of leading an online customer-focused company in a tech-heavy industry?

The challenge of disrupting a billion-dollar industry. There is a lot of competition out there that is creating a lot of noise. Developing and executing plans that separate us from the competition has been fun. The timing is also exciting. With mobile-forward consumers, our technology is in a perfect position to succeed.

How is the American tech industry different from when you first started?

The tech companies have become much more arrogant. You could say that they’ve reached the summit and are using things like GDPR and other policies to take down the much smaller companies trying to disrupt their businesses.

Given the changing dynamic of marketing analytics and customer insights, where do you see linknexus fitting into a CMO’s tech stack?

From our standpoint, it’s the most important platform they should be using. We believe in the saying that “Knowledge is power, only if you can react to it.” At the current moment, we are in a data-driven and programming engineer world. We are at the peak of our knowledge with more data than we can currently handle and easily process. linknexus is built so marketers can understand the data and react to the data available whether it be to trigger an email or insert a custom pop-up.

What is the ‘State of Customer Data and Analytics’ technology in 2018?

Cluttered and confusing. Those who own the data like the duopoly keep marketers running around in circles by not giving you the true transparent information you need. If you really think about it, the company that is providing the analytics is the same company that is taking your media money. Did you know that 67% of spend goes to Google and Facebook? The even scarier thing is they own 99% of the growth.

What does your ‘Ideal Customer’ Profile look like? Which new geographies are you currently targeting?

Our ideal customer is anyone who cares about delivering a good experience to their customers. You have to care about the bottom line, not just the impressions. If you are a brand (big or small) with a website and want to treat your customers in a meaningful way, then you are an ideal customer.

What are your predictions on the most influential disruptions in mobile advertising and app technologies for 2018-2022?

I will humbly say that linknexus is the most influential disruption. Back in 2010, when programmatic was just starting out, I realized that there was be a huge problem in that humans were becoming too dependent on the machine. I believe that true disruption will take place when we start treating humans like humans and not data points.

What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now?

I try to not to focus my attention on any other companies. To truly build something great, you have to stay laser-focused on what you are building and developing. Some of the other stacks that we are replacing were built during the internet days, so I am mindful of the competitors, but focusing on linknexus.

What marketing and sales automation tools and technologies do you currently use?

Hubspot is a great system for startups and small businesses. We are a practice what you preach company so we use linknexus heavily to help with automation and to create real-time interactions.

Could you tell us about an outstanding digital campaign at linknexus? 

The “Internet Lacks Common Sense” was our biggest and most successful campaign. The campaign breaks down a complex world and explains how linknexus is a simple, easy to use tool that provides big results. We wanted and needed to stand out from the crowd. Typically, you don’t hear about startups until they raise money. This campaign is a simple way to grab attention, get a reaction, and get marketers to think. It’s led to over 50,000 views on LinkedIn. It also afforded us the opportunity to present on eMarketers Digital State of the Industry webinar with Geoff Ramsey, and as a result, it has helped expand our sales pipeline.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a business leader?

Embrace AI with open arms. At linknexus, we focus on the micros and believe that micro-AI can help bring our clients a lot of success. We want to use AI to enhance the micro-moments that occur throughout a customer’s journey.

How do you inspire your people to work with technology?

I don’t feel I need to inspire anyone because technology has become such a huge part of your life. The mobile device is your 6th sense, an extension of yourself. Technology is now part of your humanity. “Humanizing” marketing truly means to understand what the human is going through in the physical and digital world and giving the marketers the ability to react to that human based on that knowledge. Marketers don’t need to understand the tech but need to understand the power of what the tech can do.

One word that best describes how you work.

Hard.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Obviously, Microsoft Outlook email is my biggest asset. While I travel, I become a little more dependent on technology using TripIt and Uber.

What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?

The right chemical balance which is 4 shots of espresso! In order to stay focused, I don’t touch emails throughout the day. I need to stay focused on linknexus- the platform and growing the business. If I do happen to read an email, I answer the email immediately, so I don’t spend time thinking about it later.

What are you currently reading?

My reading list consists of articles and short headlines, but for the most part, I consume my information from people.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Learn something from every person you interact with.

Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?

I am able to read people really well from their body language and what they are not saying. Ultimately, I listen, analyze, and respond which allows me to have more meaningful conversations with people.

Tag the one person whose answers to these questions you would love to read:

Elon Musk

Thank you, John! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

John Lim is a voracious entrepreneur, impassioned educator and visionary innovator in mobile, technology, and consumer engagement. His endeavors are motivated by his desire to find new ways to empower others. Everything he does is driven by his passionate belief that marketers and tech professionals should create for the human being and forget the device. He has successfully launched four companies and is the holder of multiple patents, patents pending, and trademarks.

He is the Founder & CEO of his newest company linknexus™, the real-time cross-channel marketing platform that enables brands to react at the speed of today’s “always connected” customer with actionable insights. His Life In Mobile multi-million-dollar global company specializes in consumer engagement, ensuring brands achieve the highest engagement levels by Humanizing their digital marketing. His knowledge and accomplishments have been featured in Mobile Marketing for Dummies, Leveraging Your Links, as well as various industry publications including Forbes and Business Insider. The Fairfield County Business Journal honored John with a 40 Under 40 Award recognizing emerging business leaders. Fairfield County was ranked sixth in the U.S. in per-capita personal income and houses the headquarters of over 25 major multinational corporations, giving it the third largest concentration of those companies in the United States after New York City and Chicago. Life In Mobile has been recognized with awards such as one of the 2017 Inc. 5000 List companies and one of the top 100 private companies by Always On 100, On Media 100 and Red Herring. He has traveled on tour with Google and continues to speak at events both domestically and internationally, further solidifying his position as a leading expert in mobile marketing and technology.

linknexus
linknexus, a cross channel marketing platform, redefines the speed and customization of digital data to enable marketers to connect with customers as they move moment-to-moment between different experiences and locations in both the physical and digital worlds.

The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.

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