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Rick Mills | CEO | Creative Realities

Creative Realities: The Creative Technology Company

With the intent of distributing content from a centralized location, to any end point, Creative Realities was founded. In 2008, the company expanded its offering to include front-end environment, technical design and app development services.
In an interview with Insights Success Rick Mills, the CEO of Creative Realities, shares the inception story of the organization.
Below are the highlights of the interview;
Give a brief overview of your company, its uniqueness and its vision. 
Creative Realities is a creative technology company, combining the technical know-how of a digital integrator with the design and consultative prowess of a marketing services partner. We design, develop and deploy marketing technologies that solve business pain points either by inspiring action or by bringing branded content to life across the journey – always in a way that’s contextually relevant, and appropriate for virtually any commercial environment.
What makes us different is our ability to deliver end-to-end solutions – from problem definition and design thinking – through to deployment and day 2 support / service level agreements. What makes us desirable partner is our ability to do this with scale. Whether it be for one massive LED wall at JFK, to 1,000 menu boards for Circle K, we have the ability to be the single point of contact for our clients to easily and successfully bring digital engagement solutions to market, across virtually any commercial environment.
Describe your company’s cutting-edge Signage Solutions to address the needs of your customers? 
We are a technology-agnostic, digital marketing services organization that is solution focused, vs. product focused. We recommend a set of technology experiences that are grounded in behavior-based requirements that can be measured and tracked, and tie back to ROI metrics. In doing so, we can better justify the role of technology for commercial purposes vs. than just for the sake of doing something new, different, or as a gimmick.
This allows us to make the right recommendations based on unique requirements of the client: whether it be digital storytelling, endless aisle, a way to distribute advertising content for ad-based revenue, connected fitting rooms for retailers, or geo-location.
Describe for us of your impact at Creative Realities, and influence across the digital industry over the years: 
Rick Mills has over 30 years in industry: IT, telecommunications, staffing, and digital media. He’s an accomplished founder and executive, acquiror and integrator of more than 20 acquisitions during his career tenure in the technology space:

  • 2x founder, both resulting in successful strategic sales
  • History of driving organic and acquisition growth
  • Turnaround and rollup expert

Experienced small and large public company executive with proven results

  • 10+ years with publicly-traded organizations
  • COO & board member of Pomeroy Computer Resources (PRMY)
  • CEO of SARCOM – drove revenue to >$1 billion and profitable for first time in years
  • CEO of Cyberswap, Inc. – increased revenue by 5x to >$100 million
  • President & Director – Beacon Solutions (BEAC), successfully integrated 4 acquisitions in a short time span

With the escalating number of Signage Solution providers, how is your company driving to create an impact on its customers? 
We bring a level of insight, strategy and design thinking that is not always associated with integrators or resellers of our kind. Our ethos and approach to digital solutions can be summarized in this way:

  • We put humans at the center of the technology, not the other way around.
  • Our strong design DNA yield digital experiences that are organic to the space and beautifully integrated to virtually any environment.
  • Solution-centric means if it must solve a client or consumer paint point
  • Remaining Technology-agnostic allows us to the solve the problem, not sell a product.
  • We work seamlessly with other vendors and partners
  • From pilots, to flagships, shop-in shops to digital signage networks that scale, we have size covered
  • Committed to ROI and map success according to our Clients’ requirements

What are the challenges faced while providing Signage Solutions and how is your company serving to tackle them? 
The biggest challenge is not in the solution itself, but in guiding our clients on how to justify the CAPEX and being able to bring advanced analytics to provide acceptable return on investment, return on objective, and return on experience to the full stakeholder teams.
What are your company’s future aspirations? What strategies are you undertaking to achieve those goals? 
Our vision is to become one of the top 3 enterprise-level, digital signage / solution providers in the marketplace. We expect to achieve that goal in 2019. Our definitions / success drivers include:

  • Be recognized as an industry thought leader
  • Drive in new referrals and repeat business
  • Be a go-to partner for our suppliers
  • We’re obsessed with the Consumer. We follow consumer, digital, and technology trends through primary and secondary research materials as well as thought leadership created by Deloitte, L2, Accenture, Pew Research, Gartner, Forrester, Bazaar-Voice. From this, we can create informed, insight-based considerations and recommendations for design thinking and technology solutions based on existing data and use cases.
  • We’re students of the Industry: we keep close track on new innovations, the digital signage product pipeline, the new applications of software, design applications and ways to transform environments through connected ecosystems. We take advantage of thought leadership opportunities through panels and speaking engagements that allow us to put forth our ethos, point of view, and perspective on the business of the business.
  • We embrace the value of our partners: Our volume and relationships with our manufacturing community allow us to go to market from a position of strength, as well as capitalize on PR and marketing opportunities that come from designing solutions to our clients’ challenges.