Kum & Go's Digital 'Driver' Shows the Way

Templeton hosting "Hashies" to honor Iowa social media successes

Mike Templetom Kum & Go Hashies Social media (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores)

Mike Templetom

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Mike Templeton, convenience store retailer Kum & Go LC's digital marketing manager since 2010 and a founder in 2009 of the Social Media Club of Des Moines, will serve as the host of the inaugural Hashie Awards.

On Aug. 21, the club will recognize Iowa businesses (B2B and B2C), organizations and agencies that have demonstrated outstanding social media marketing brilliance on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social-media platforms.

Social media is "becoming increasingly pervasive in terms of consumer use (and expectations), but not enough businesses are doing a great job with it," Templeton told The Des Moines Register. "There must be a steward for literacy and ethics in this medium. SMC has that role. We are recognizing others to show it's possible to do."

He added, "Social media isn't easy; it takes work. But when you get it right, people love it. And that's what Thursday is about: celebrating people that 'get it right' when it comes to truly connecting with customers through social."

As an example, he discussed some of his work at Kum & Go.

"We co-developed a promo with Waze [a GPS GPS-tracking app that uses real-time information from drivers to provide up-to-the minute services] that wasn't just slapping up logos," he told the newspaper. "We targeted people in their cars and changed driving behavior as a result of messaging. People liked it because we drove value for them. People were already on a trip somewhere, but they altered their destination--ultimately coming to see us--based on the integrated ad. … We've also used social media to gauge and guide feedback for things like our own mobile app, helping us steer future development."

Templeton, who has a decade of digital marketing experience, is also the founder of Aisleside, a digital marketing, shopper engagement and technology resource.

West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go has approximately 425 convenience stores in 11 states (Iowa, Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming). In addition to a wide selection of merchandise, Kum & Go provides customers a proprietary mix of products under the Hiland brand. Other proprietary product offerings include Java Ridge Premium Coffee, Napa Creek and Sea Ridge wines, Go Fresh Market sandwiches and Nuclear energy drinks.

Part of CSP's 2014 Convenience Top 101 retailers