PYA graduate co-authors digital marketing book

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

Whether you’re talking about sports, romance, debate or business, it’s hard to argue with cheering for the little guy in a battle against a dominant force. And when the “little guy” is a hometown kid, the successes are even more sweet.

A 1991 Penn Yan Academy graduate and Yates County native, Kevin M. Ryan, has taken on some of the big players in business marketing, and now he has co-authored a book that will help more small businesses develop a digital marketing strategy that can put their business in a competitive position.

Ryan’s work is frequently found in industry publications, and he writes in the the Concur travel blog, and his byline can be seen in top industry trades such as Marketing Land, MakeGood, iMedia Connection and MediPost.

He coined the term “Apology Marketing” in a December 2014 post that could be a handy resource in the upcoming Presidential campaign season.

Taking Down Goliath was published in November, and has received a number of positive reviews from various experts.

The marketing middle classes used to get left out in the cold. Big brands attracted all the attention and the highest priced agency talent, leaving everyone else stuck in a marketing no-man’s-land.

Ryan and co-author Rob “Spider” Graham say the ground has shifted — and evened — beneath everyone’s feet, and it’s time for the big guys to learn from the little guys. Thanks in part to the digital revolution, there has been a tremendous transition towards a more democratic marketing world, one in which you don’t need a huge budget to get a lot done.

Success now goes to advertisers who understand how to best leverage what they have, investing in smarter strategies rather than just bigger or more expensive campaigns. Taking Down Goliath profiles the tactics needed to optimize the potential of digital marketing and realize its promise of a more level playing field.

The book combines case studies from Bugaboo, Wendy Davis, the Daily Meal, and every day entrepreneurs who are taking down Goliath on a daily basis—brands that emerged using tactical outlay and overarching strategies that their Goliath competitors couldn’t see coming.

Readers learn, through step-by-step guides, how to identify their target audience and create points of engagement between brands and consumers. Drawing on their years in the trenches, working with some of the world’s top brands and teaching mid-sized companies how to compete, Ryan and Graham outline how to build a sound digital strategy in creatively cost-efficient ways. While most books focus on one medium (such as social media or search engine optimization), Taking Down Goliath takes a holistic approach—explaining each digital marketing channel in detail and teaching readers how to combine them synergistically.

Taking Down Goliath provides a toolkit to make that investment.

Ryan is the driving force behind the successful digital advertising firm Motivity Marketing Inc., ( and his current and former client book reads like a “who’s who” in big brands: Rolex Watch, State Farm Insurance, Farmers Insurance, Sony, Samsung, Toyota, Panasonic, Aramark, and the Hilton Hotels brands, to name a few.

He has earned the respect of marketing leaders who return to him for support and collaboration. Ryan is a popular speaker at interactive marketing events around the globe and has appeared on CNN, been featured in The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, ABC News, The New York Times, Forbes, Advertising Age, and has published hundreds of articles on search and interactive marketing in MediaPost, ClickZ, iMedia, AdAge, Marketing Land, and iMedia.

He has guest lectured at Columbia University and USC Annenberg, and is a member of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), Microsoft Search Advisory Council, Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), 212 Interactive Club, and Direct Marketers Association (DMA).

Prior to launching Motivity, Ryan founded Kinetic Results, an Advertising Age Top 20 performance marketing firm, served as VP, Global Content Director for Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Strategies and VP of Interactive Media for the Interpublic Group agency, Wahlstrom Interactive. He serves on the board of advisors for Ad:Tech, iMedia Communications, Search Insider Summit, and UBM’s Online Marketing Summit.