Shane Skillen

Mar 1, 2021


Episode Summary

Technology exists within every aspect of our lives, whether we like it or not. Shane Skillen sees technology as the pendulum that never stops swinging. His rich experience in business leads him to state that technology makes everything cheaper, faster, and better. Therefore, he suggests every marketing department should continue to implement new technology.

Can a company survive without technology?

Shane Skillen, CEO at Hotspex, talks about technology’s role within marketing departments and breaks down the role of artificial intelligence (AI) and its wide use among firms seeking performance improvement.

In this episode of the Through Your Looking Glass podcast, you will learn about a range of ideas around product design, development, and launch new products in the market. Shane also talks about clients’ involvement in product design as a key marketing strategy. Tune in to the conversation and see if these strategies always work, and how technology can facilitate a company’s workflow.


Name: Shane Skillen

What he does: Shane is the CEO at Hotspex Inc. He focuses on helping clients understand new possibilities for success, especially the concept of “why behind the buy,” which is critical for improving performance.

Organization: Hotspex Inc.

Noteworthy: Shane Skillen leads Hotspex, which focuses on working with 200 leading global brands to help them find their emotional right space, which leads to brand growth and loyalty.

Key Insights

  • Technology makes everything cheaper, better, and faster. According to Shane, technology is what leads to significant changes in the business world, and it is one of the core concepts that fostered the development of his company, Hotspex. But is technology “a driver of disruption” at the same time? Will software eventually eat the world?
  • Humans vs. computers. Who will rise? Being one of the leading research companies, Hotspex appreciates the use of game-changing technology, artificial intelligence, and solutions, such as ResTech, which may help marketing departments increase their efficiency. Are human skills inferior to technology? Should they work together to deliver valuable results?
  • Insights are a potent weapon in product design and development. Shane claims that people’s opinions can be crucial for developing a new product. The use of surveys or potential clients’ actual involvement in the product design can increase sales and product use, but can these strategies deliver long-term results? How else can companies use the quality insights to create a better product?


I think any marketing department that’s not using ResTech to make better, faster decisions is not going to be able to compete against their competitors.”


Episode Highlights

Consumer Involvement Technology – From Brilliant Idea to Failure

How to define the term consumer involvement technology? Shane says that the idea involves picking up clients and including them in the future product design. Their first client was Schick Razors, and about 25,000 people participated in a future razor design. Pros – “Eighty percent of them [people] have switched the razor usage from Gillette to Schick.” Cons – “The problem was we couldn’t get enough people to do it, so we couldn’t make a meaningful impact on brands.”

Hotspex – the Amalgam of Human Brains and High-End Tech Solutions

As the company’s CEO, Shane encourages his clients to embrace technology while the overall company appreciates the employees’ hard work and devotion toward delivering top-notch services to their clients. “That’s the line that we’re trying to walk, where do our human brains at Hotspex play, versus where does the technology play. And we’re trying to get that balance right now because I care deeply about our staff. We’re a big family at Hotspex. One of our core values is that we have each other’s back. And I view a tremendous responsibility to make sure that we’re growing the careers of our team in such a way that they have resiliency in this industry because I do think that to your point in 2021, major changes are coming.”

Will Software Eat the World or Make World a Better Place Where Everything is Faster, Cheaper, and Better?

“And, where can we use AI and machine learning to start to do things cheaper, faster, and better, because again, that’s what clients are demanding, and that’s how to best help them.” Using technology in any business is a must, not only for increasing the company’s internal efficiency but also for client satisfaction. On the other hand, “technology is a driver of all disruption,” meaning that technology has a huge impact on how the companies operate. For example, “we’ve got a massive grocery client that considers themselves a technology company that just happens to sell groceries, and they’re right.”

The Importance of Asking the Right Question

“To quote Einstein, ‘It has been 98% of my time trying to ask the right question about it, and then it would be easy to solve it’.” One of Shane’s mottoes is “to understand the why behind the buy,” so, according to him, asking the right question may open new horizons in approaching clients and delivering them the product or service they actually need.

Post-Pandemic Future of Hotspex: Predictions and Current Position

“What’s keeping me awake at night is the pandemic. It has been great for us. We just had our best year ever. Clients are trying to figure out how to make sure their brands are hyper-relevant and understanding, all the different flux of consumer needs that are changing.” Although the pandemic has affected the companies’ workflow, sales, and providing services, Shane claims that he is “less worried about it for Hotspex.”


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