Alex Nocifera Podcast Transcript

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Headshot of Founder Alex Nocifera

Alex Nocifera Podcast Transcript

Alex Nocifera joins host Brian Thomas on The Digital Executive Podcast.

Welcome to Coruzant Technologies, Home of The Digital Executive podcast.

Brian Thomas: Welcome to The Digital Executive. Today’s guest is Alex Nocifera. Alex Nocifera is the co-founder and CEO at LOMA. LOMA is Alex’s fourth venture capital finance technology company, helping multi-unit enterprise brands drive last mile results with over 30,000 branded stores acquired as customers, including brands such as Starbucks, Ace Hardware, Walmart, Panera Bread, and more.

Alex’s 20 years of experience is all about driving last mile success into storefronts by activating timely, local, relevant advertising.

Well, good afternoon, Alex. Welcome to the show!

Alex Nocifera: Good afternoon, Brian. Thanks for having me!

Brian Thomas: You bet. Appreciate it. Appreciate you making the time hailing out of the great state of California there in LA.

Some of my old stomping grounds went up to LA. I lived in orange County, by the way, but I just wanted to throw that random fact out there to you, but I appreciate you jumping on. Appreciate it. And we’re going to jump into your first question, Alex, with Loma being your fourth venture capital finance technology company.

Could you share what initially drew you into the technology sector focused on last mile solutions for storefronts?

Alex Nocifera: Sure, Brian. I, felt when you think about us commerce, you know, storefronts still control about three quarters of all dollars spent, you know, all, all those restaurants and all those car dealerships, et cetera.

And technology felt like a disruptive way to create more efficiencies and more scale and more validation. And it was a good 20 years ago where I wanted to create a TV network for storefront multi-unit brands, you know, brands that have actual physical stores and really felt that having that impact on offline commerce, leveraging technology would generate meaningful value to these type constituents, to these type brands, you know, it would help them get more customers, keep more customers.

Drive a happier experience, et cetera. So that’s how, that’s how my story got started 20 years ago of leveraging technology and everything from hardware innovation, you know, this was at the beginning of plasma screens, thinner hardware, you know, consoles, and then to you know, distributed information.

So just the internet. Becoming more of a thing. This was before smartphones. And so just leveraging, you know, sort of Moore’s law of things were on the up with hardware, with software, with connectivity. And that’s how I’ve sort of woven in technology into my sort of journey as an entrepreneur and, and very sort of acutely focused on offline brands.

That’s, that’s where I’ve spent my 20 years driving value to brands that have stores.

Brian Thomas: Thank you appreciate the backstory on that. And obviously, you’ve had to roll up your sleeves and do a lot of that work before we had this, you know, all the, all the gadgets and all the tools and an AI to help us do some of that work.

Really do appreciate that. I can appreciate it for sure. And Alex Loma has successfully acquired over 30, 000 branded stores as customers, including major names like Starbucks and Walmart. What strategies have proven most effective in attracting and retaining such high-profile clients?

Alex Nocifera: I think having researched and data on focusing on value, you know, I think the, you know, the lessons for all entrepreneurs is just, you know, You know, finding a constituent and in this case, it was a marketer for these multi-unit brands, specifically in the local marketing and sort of dimension of their world and finding a value to help them drive acquisition and retention on growing their businesses.

And with multi-unit brands, it’s a very modular sort of value problem. You know, you’ve got a box that box, there’s an average of, you know, a certain amount of revenue every year. And what I put an acute focus on was helping them drive more customers through a local lens. You know, so if you think about even a Starbucks, they have to sign a lease in a neighborhood.

And that neighborhood has schools, and that neighborhood has apartment complexes, and it has churches and temples. You know, the fabric of, of all communities. And what, what my journey over the last 20 years and acquiring that so many of these type storefronts and brands has been putting a focus into the value of how to drive local.

Acquisition and retention. It’s been pretty thematic, pretty consistent over these 20 years, different iterations of how you can acquire and retain customers. But really the anchor behind it all is. Every storefront in the United States has a budget that goes to local marketing and they’ve, you know, some brands are obligated.

If you’re a franchise operator of a certain brand in your franchise agreement, there’s a, there’s a stipulation or an obligation to spend local marketing. Money usually is a percentage or it’s a percentage of your annual sales. So, if you do a 1,000,000, they typically want 1 to 3 percent spend on local market circulation.

So, you know, that’s 10 dollars every year that gets spent on local marketing. And when you add up, there’s three and a half million storefronts in the United States that creates a large pool of money that needs to go get put to work, find a home. And I, and again, you know, my priority is always the customer as a constituent that we’re going to drive value towards.

So that is, that is that is how I’ve been fortunate to acquire so many branded locations over these years.

Brian Thomas: That’s awesome. And thank you for sharing, you know, some of the successes, obviously we know a lot of work goes into that, but. And I didn’t know that they do have a local budget for some of the communities.

That they’re going to be established in, so appreciate that highlighting that, of course, and Alex, how does Loma utilize technology to activate timely locally relevant advertising? And maybe you can give us an example of how this technology works in a real-world scenario.

Alex Nocifera: Sure, Brian, thanks. So, LOMA, which stands for local marketing, created a platform to help marketers of multi-unit brands scale and validate their local marketing budget.

So, I think the first point of our disruptive solution is to help clear out the confusion or mystery of how your local marketing budgets are performing. If I put in 10, 000 What did it do to impact sales at that storefront level, that singular storefront level? Loma’s technology ingests their point-of-sale data.

So, we integrate with all flavors of point of sale systems. And then we layer on top local marketing spend and our 1st product we went to market with is an always on solution. And the analogy I’d use here is think about for consumers, a 401k, you know, you take a sliver of your paycheck and you put it to work with an always on investment vehicle.

That’s objective is to grow your wealth over time. Well, Loma has an always on similar investment solution. Where we take a percentage of your stores, annual sales. And we go put it to work and we’re driving, we’re sort of investing frequently in local marketing channels to try to hit local consumers across different diversified channels.

Again, totally akin to like a 401k. They’re not just investing in a single equity or a single index. They’re diversely investing it based on your needs to grow your wealth over time. And so, Loma’s initial product. And technology turns on that investment frequency and diversification. And then it measures it against sales and performance to attribute how it’s driving returns on investment and early indications with our first cohort of customers has proven by turning on this discipline, it’s always on discipline, it yields anywhere from five to 15 points of growth based on when you didn’t do this, when you didn’t have that always on voice.

You know, if you just put your consumer hat on for a minute and think about how many advertisements you see a day now, you know, while you’re on your phone, or you’re driving around, or you’ve got the TV set on, you are just fire hosed. With messaging at this point and Loma helps brands really cut through that noise and make sure you’re aware that that brand exists most importantly in your local area and, you know, Loma is not in the local media business.

We’re agnostic, you know, we work with direct mail partners, you know, vendors that are nationwide. We work with brand ambassador networks. We work with. Displayed advertising companies, social media networks. So it’s a real diversified network and we’re agnostic. You know, we’re not here to pump one channel or the other.

We look at the brand’s objectives. We look at the geographic sort of composition of what their storefront and areas look like. And then we turn on and this always on investment strategy and our, our platform, our technology helps attribute that return on investment and yield and performance of how that investment thesis is going and discipline is going.

Brian Thomas: Thank you. Love that. Really do. You broke some of that down for us. I learn a lot from these podcasts, especially from the guests, but I appreciate you sharing that analogy of the 401k that helped me absorb and understand what you actually do in your space. So, thank you, Alex. And Alex, last question of the day from your perspective, what are the current trends shaping the future of last mile technology and local marketing for multi-unit brands? Alex. And how is Loma staying ahead of these trends?

Alex Nocifera: Sure. Disruptive. You know, obviously it’s hard not to look at AI as a contributor to the, to the, to the needs and disruption of local marketing technology to help multi-unit brands and how AI gets woven into this story is by looking at the context of how brands talk to consumers, no matter where they are on the planet.

Right? So, if you’re in Kansas City, and I’m in Los Angeles. Well, I think that brand should be talking to us a little differently. The weather’s different, the sports landscape different, you know, you’ve just got different seasonal elements, different cultural elements. And, and even when you consider the different spatial elements, you know, maybe the store for Starbucks in your area of Kansas City is very different than this, the Starbucks that’s right down the street from my office in LA.

And so, context is king. And when you think about that relationship of a brand trying to sort of catch your attention, get you to try something, maybe to come back again, you know, that, that, that involves some layers and dimensions of creative. You know how that ad looks. What’s the copy on that ad? Maybe let’s consider a limited time offer.

And so, all those layers have an opportunity to be assimilated based on a real time contextual opportunity, right? You know, I’ll give a real-time one. The Lakers are in the playoffs. And tomorrow night they’ll play game three and a lot, you know, millions of Laker fans will turn on the tube to watch them play Denver.

And there’s a big contextual opportunity to ride as a brand. But if you didn’t know that game was on the schedule, which wasn’t out until, you know, the playoffs showed up, you didn’t know the context of the Lakers being down 02, it’s in sort of a must win game, but there’s all sorts of contextual waves.

You can ride there as a brand and AI can do that. And that’s where I will play a huge role in how Loma enables and activates brands to speak contextually to consumers, no matter where they have storefronts. And then that sort of plums into Loma’s technology of being able to then attribute how that performed and impacted sales transactions.

How much consumer spent inside the store, all of that. And I think it’s a, it’s a powerful way. To for multi-unit marketers and brands and executives, and even the private equity funds that own by the bulk of all these storefronts throughout the United States. Is to think about. An always on utility that really contributes to that growth that they need to really scale and, and build out, you know, a system.

You know, Starbucks was 1 unit at 1 point, right? You know downtown Seattle and then, you know, now it’s got, I believe, over 25,000 storefronts, right? So, it’s, you know, they’ve really cracked the code on how to. Identify and sort of, you know, be the chameleon of each area. And that’s how they’ve built such a successful scaled out business.

And so yeah, that’s, that’s how. Technology can and the trends that we’re seeing. I’d really kind of lay it out. There is contextualization and an attribution are the big disruptors that that marketers need with these type enterprise brands.

Brian Thomas: Thank you. Alex. Appreciate that. Really do. You’ve shared some great examples of how technology is applied in your space.

And also, where the trends are headed in the future and AI is going to play a big part of that as well, as you know. So, I appreciate that. And Alex, it was such a pleasure having you on this evening. And I look forward to speaking with you real soon.

Alex Nocifera: Brian. I really appreciate your time. Appreciate the questions.

And it was nice meeting you and have a good evening.

Brian Thomas: Go Lakers. Bye for now.

Alex Nocifera Podcast Transcript. Listen to the audio on the guest’s podcast page.

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