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InsiderInbox with David Daniels

Posted: October 17, 2016 By: Renee Chemel

Thanks for checking out the latest issue of Insider Inbox, where we get a peek inside the minds of some of the most influential digital marketing experts and their perspective on the state of the business, both today and tomorrow.

In our last installment, Jose Cebrian with Merkle explained how he believes cross-channel individual-level targeting at scale is both a blessing and a curse for marketers—it’s a tremendous opportunity, but putting the data and relevant content together across channels is a challenge. But we’re getting closer.

This time, we get to hear from David Daniels, a veteran industry analyst and consultant and arguably the most influential experts in email marketing. David is founder of The Relevancy Group and publisher of The Marketer Quarterly, a free digital magazine for marketers highlighting research, modern tactics and trends in the business. Since 2010, The Relevancy Group has delivered insightful, actionable knowledge and best practices in digital marketing and the connected economy cultivated by a renowned group of experts serving some of the world’s largest enterprises as well as startups and early stage companies.

The former VP and research director at JupiterResearch and VP and principal analyst at Forrester Research, David was the first to cover the Email Service Provider market and coined the phrase “ESP.” He is also co-author of “Email Marketing an Hour a Day,” a highly sought-after speaker and overall one of the most knowledgeable and connected experts in the digital marketing business.

It’s an honor to have David share with us his perspective on the current state and future of email marketing.

1. Why did you choose marketing, or maybe it chose you?
I fell into what, at the time, was the family business. My brother had the first Apple Computer mail-order catalog and “Internet store” on CompuServe. My operations and Internet marketing career started then, in 1988.

2. What is your personal mission statement?
Evolve, Educate and Elevate. I have evolved with the industry over the last 30 years and my passion is educating the marketplace and helping organizations elevate and optimize their businesses. Three years ago, I made a commitment to publishing a free quarterly digital magazine, The Marketer Quarterly, to educate the marketplace, which has also helped me to evolve and elevate. When all three happen for me and our clients, it is a win-win.

3. Tell me something about your job @RelevancyGroup that inspires you to keep working there.
Six years ago I founded The Relevancy Group and love leading it because of the amazing group of experts that I get to collaborate with. Also, we get to break new markets, define trends and measure the value impact of marketing. Over a decade ago, I proved that relevancy works through the ROI of email relevance research. That is the inspiring stuff, and again, it aligns exactly with my personal mission statement.

4. Offices or open work space?
We are a distributed organization with people working from home or in offices in Seattle or Boston. We are working with data and writing a lot, so the quiet space of an office can work well, but we offer a work-balance environment where people have and can write from the beach if that works best for them. I would imagine that is a new definition for open work space.

5. What is a skill that every digital marketer should have and why?
The ability to master change and be comfortable with that. Over my tenure I have seen a lot of change with digital marketing and to succeed people need to quickly adapt to new tactics, technology, channels and measures. This ability to adapt also necessitates being educated on the latest marketing techniques. Be flexible and embrace change.

6. What is the best part about your job?
Helping our clients succeed. That might be a successful webinar, product launch or, on some occasions, an effective merger of two companies or sale of a business. I love producing research, but when it benefits our clients in these ways, well, that is the best part.

7. If you could only use five (digital) marketing tools, what would they be? And why?
• Email Address Verification/Hygiene – Verifying the email address at the time of capture ensures that the address is valid and the data is clean. You can’t build anything on dirty data.
• Automation – Triggers, autoresponders, defined journeys. The ability to have the tech work for you in the background creates fantastic leverage. From a welcome series to triggering communications across different channels, this creates customer value and drives some of our efficiencies.
• Adobe Illustrator – We produce research and a digital magazine/app so, at the end of the day, we are really publishers. Illustrator is key to developing our products and creative elements for marketing regardless of channel.
• Identity Management – Recognizing the customer and tying anonymous data to known data. This is key for improving ad targeting across display, social and email.
• Tableau – We are data-driven market researchers and our data team loves Tableau to model our survey data. It is also helpful for measuring our marketing results.

8. Facebook or Twitter?
Twitter. We have pages on Facebook for our brands, but Twitter works very well for us. Next to email, Twitter is the second most successful channel for us.

9. What is the biggest digital marketing trend that will drive success for the second half of 2016?
The ability to utilize real-time data and react on it in near real-time. This trend is evident in your success at PowerInbox with adaptive content. When we asked marketers about their top priorities in 2016, 33% stated “utilizing real-time data”, which was number 3 just behind, “Improving Response Attribution” (#1) and “Improving Segmentation and Targeting” (#2). This real-time contextual marketing will improve the customer experience and drive the rise of “moment marketing” and people-based marketing, which will also be driven by the adoption of identity management technologies that match known and unknown data across channels.

10. Go-to Karaoke song? And why?
Any popular Beatles song because the audience will sing along with you and hopefully cover any bad notes.

11. What’s the one thing you can’t live without to get the job done?
While I have edited research reports on my iPhone, it would be difficult to do what I do without multiple monitors.

Thank you for sharing your insight, David!  And be sure to join David and PowerInbox for a webinar: The Value of Adaptive Content: Tactics to Optimize Email Marketing on Wed, Oct 26 at 1 pm ET. RSVP now!

Next, we’ll hear from Jordan Cohen, CMO at Fluent, one of the industry’s most widely-used people-based marketing and customer acquisition platforms. Stay tuned!

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