John Santeler - Expert

You could say John Santeler is "hard wired" for experiential marketing.

Setting the Foundation...The Ohio State University

Even as he was pursuing his Masters Degree in Computer Sciences at The Ohio State University, John saw computer technology as more than programming. Instead, he was interested in understanding the impact technology would have on the way business is run, the way people think and experience the world.

Making His Way to Silicon Valley---The HP Way

As John was graduating, Silicon Valley was really heating up. Companies like Fairchild, Intel and Hewlett Packard were the darlings of Wall Street. After interviewing with 11 high-tech companies around the country, Silicon Valley quickly emerged as the place John Santeler wanted to be. The tech companies were more on the edge. People were thinking about technology differently.

John decided to start at Hewlett-Packard. At the time they were pushing the envelope and HP would give him a chance to see and understand the impact mini-computer technology was having on businesses around the world.

At the same time Hewlett Packard had as strong sense of business ethics - The "HP Way", which had an incredible influence in John’s approach to doing business.

Catching the Entrepreneurial Spirit...Apple Computer

During his HP stint, entrepreneurial companies were sprouting all over Silicon Valley. In 1981, one of those start ups, Apple Computers, recruited John Santeler to work on their new project, the Apple III, which would put a true operating system on a desktop computer. Eventually he managed Apple II developer programs, merchandising and events.

Going Out on His Own...Santeler Marketing Group

By 1985, John caught the entrepreneurial fever, as well. He started his own company, Santeler Marketing Group, to help high tech companies brand their products by expanding beyond features and benefits marketing, to focus on the user experience.

Fueled by this vision, SMG began creating product introductions, industry conferences and tradeshow exhibits that dramatized the end user experience, creating product stories relevant to real customer experiences.

Designing His First Event Experience...Appleworld

During John's first year out, Apple president, John Sculley, asked SMG to design and produce a "mega-event", for 5,000 of Apple's most valued customers, worldwide. The event was to be a celebration of all things Macintosh and would introduce the first open, color Mac .

They called this first Macintosh fan gathering, AppleWorld.

It was a breakthrough industry event and a breakthrough for SMG, launching them down the experiential events path long before Experiential Marketing was the buzzword it is today.

Establishing a Track Record...The Fortune 500 Brands

By the nineties SMG was working with some of the biggest, hottest, and brightest Fortune 500 companies. They were designing and delivering break-through events and exhibits that were experiential in nature. Experiences that drove core brand identities for companies and alliances such as Apple, IBM, Motorola, Kodak, Sony and Disney. All of these experiences had the same focus — engaging audiences in a single, focused message and transforming them into brand advocates.

Creating The Experience Company...EXP

The year 2000 brought another big change. As we were working with Disney to develop interactive themed guest experiences for Innoventions Pavilions at Epcot and Disneyland, one of SMG's Disney clients suggested that the name SMG didn't communicate the what their core service: the ability to translate brands into highly entertaining consumer experiences that engaged audiences and informed them in the process.

As a result, in 2000, SMG became "EXP - the experience company." This new name better reflected the work they had been doing for more than a decade. They had always been walking the walk. Just not talking the talk.

Building the EXP Brand...Event, Exhibit & Mobile Experiences

EXP continued this focus, strengthening its partnership with Disney, building multiple entertainment marketing experiences for their key corporate partners. A primary focus was the design, development and staffing of the Kodak sponsored experiences at Disney Theme Parks in Orlando, Los Angeles and Paris. These include an 18 minute, pre-show for Honey I Shrunk the audience and the Post show for the Imagination Ride.

In addition EXP is staffing the Kodak Pavilion at Epcot and has expanded the design and theatrical staffing of branded experiences into the Intel Museum in San Jose California.

During this time, we extended into mobile marketing. During this time, EXP designed and developed major mobile tours for Kodak, Disney, New Century Mortgage and Adobe.

Introducing Santeler Consulting...Focus On Strategy

After decades in the experiential marketing trenches, John is expanding his focus to include more of an emphasis on consulting, speaking and writing. For years EXP has been constantly researching the best techniques, identifying best practices, and studying the successes and failures in the experiential marketing world.

Through consulting at the strategic level and offering a variety of workshops and labs, John helps clients apply real world experiences to assessing and designing strategic, breakthrough experiences for their audiences.

For John Santeler, Experiential Marketing is more than a business…it’s a passion.

Learn more about EXP and John Santeler.
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