Steven Leeds – Systemax

Pro Interview Steven Leeds Image

In today’s Pro Interview, we sit down with Steven Leeds to speak about marketing in the tech world. Based in Miami, Steve has a knack for creating marketing promotions that’ve a positive impact on the bottom line.

Pagezii — Steven, please tell us a bit about yourself.

steve-leeds-pagezii-pro-interviewSteven — While I’ve not always considered myself a marketer, in the traditional sense. I have spent the last decade and indeed much of my career, exploring how to reach and capture the attention of people in the digital age.

I’ve been involved with everything from consumer brand experience in digital marketing to business development, customer acquisition, and social media marketing. I currently oversee the growth of Systemax’s Rebate and Payment Gateway Processing subsidiary, Afligo Marketing Solutions. While it’s rare in today’s day and age, I have spent most of my marketing career with Systemax since I joined in 2012 as brand manager and then moved on to be director of marketing for Systemax’s retail electronics subsidiaries; TigerDirect, CompUSA, and Circuit City.

Prior to joining Systemax, I used to create and produce viral branding campaigns for private clients. Some of my work, many of which got over 100 million views, has been featured on The O’Reilly Factor, Anderson Cooper, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and Funny or Die.

Pagezii — What got you started in marketing?

Steven — I actually started my career as a comedy writer and was fortunate to be working in the entertainment industry during the birth of YouTube.  I wrote videos and branded content for several different internet sites, the most notable being Funny or Die. It was my fake commercials that started getting me attention and led to writing and producing campaigns for real companies.

Pagezii — And what does Systemax do?

Steven — Systemax is a Fortune 1000 company that deals in consumer electronics, personal computers, and industrial products. Using both eCommerce and traditional Operating in over 16 countries, with over 3,000 employees, it is sold on the NYSE under the ticker symbol SYX. Our two most notable brands are Global Industrial and Misco.

Pagezii — What is the most memorable marketing campaign that you ever worked on?

Successful for all parties involved…

Steven — I’d say that the two most memorable campaigns that we did were with “intertainers” Rhett and Link for their “Epic Rap Battle: Nerds vs Geeks” video that had over 32 million hits, and our Roman Atwood  “Orphanage Robbery Prank” video that had over 10 million hits. Not only were these videos a lot of fun to produce, but were actually very successful for all the parties involved. The Epic Rap Battle won a Webby for People Choice Award in 2015 and the Orphanage Robbery Prank was a finalist for the 2015 IRCE. By utilizing YouTube influencers to create and distribute content, we’re able to get our brand in front of over 40 million viewers at $1.50 CPM. We paired the videos with custom landing pages and calls to action that drove over 300,000 unique visitors, 19,000 new to file customers and over $3 million in attributable sales.

Pagezii — So that brings up the next question, what are important KPIs to track in digital marketing?

Steven — First and foremost, the more important KPI is sales, followed by sales, sales, and sales.  I like to look at which forms of engagement allow me to reach the most amount of customers for the lowest amount of costs.  Being able to manage your costs down, while attracting the right type of customer is key.

Pagezii — And finally, what are the new digital marketing apps you’ve come across?

Steven — Content marketing is the most affordable and easily digestible form of marketing in an advertiser’s toolbox.  Paired with retargeting, it is a powerful way for a brand to identify the interests of a consumer and then tailor their offers to them. Hubspot offers a great platform for content distribution and tracking that I would highly recommend a marketer check out.

Pagezii — Thank you, Steven, for the informative and entertaining interview.