Normally I would introduce myself, but odds are you’re a marketer in one form or another, and you’ve looked me up already. But, for the classic few of you who prefer a handshake over a follow, I’m Dan, and I’m kind of obsessed with marketing technology. Heck, my first marketing gig was supporting electronic music artists! Fast forward a couple of very challenging (read wildly exciting) years, I’ve fine-tuned my approach here and there. Think about your entire marketing technology stack – you’ve got your database, demand gen, lead gen, content, engagement, analytics, and ROI models that you need to manage and keep in constant sync on top of coming up with new creative campaigns. Daunting? Suddenly, this is what it takes just to hold my attention. So why would I move from the fascinating world of #martec startups to a consulting role? Simply put, it’s a journey of learning.

My seat here at Perkuto gives me rare insight into the elaborate marketing structures built by some seriously creative companies. The fun doesn’t stop there – I’m positioned directly between my clients, and our genius architects who help design some of those marketing strategies. It’s not just about learning, it’s about sharing. You need to reach your goals and your business needs to succeed; your success is what drives me. It’s one thing to see a cool car, and another to design one, but nothing comes close to the feeling of flying down the Autobahn behind the wheel.

One true love: If you’ve been looking into marketing automation, give it some serious thought. At this point in the game, it’s become indispensable as the vast majority of companies that use it have anchored their strategies on top of it. Think of it as your backbone for all marketing activities – now you’ve got a way to deliver just about any campaign you want while accurately tracking ROI. Want to know what I love most? Remember when you bought your very first smartphone and downloaded your first app? Think of marketing automation in the same way – there are solutions out there that can do just about anything you want, and if you find it in the “appstore,” you can, in most cases, have it integrated and ready for testing by week’s end.

Takeaway: Stay away from siloed marketing: start ground up with a centralized approach that you can scale.

No rose coloured glasses here: “Ctrl+P” should print right? Sorry if I triggered any latent printer anxiety, but marketing technology isn’t exempt from the “user error” rule. I once designed a beautiful email; it had all the right copy, personalization fields, images, and the HTML wasn’t breaking. The campaign segments and flow were perfect and ready to be seen by over 900 of our contacts. I didn’t hit send, however. Moments before, my boss noticed that I hadn’t updated the subject line from “super awesome campaign segment numero 2,” and made sure I was abundantly aware of my oversight. I repeat: I’m not trying to scare you. Marketing automation has the power to control the journey of your entire database, but only if special care is taken to make sure it does so perfectly. Luckily, I’ve already made every noob mistake and now work off a tried-and-tested quality assurance model to manage risk.

Takeaway: Learn from your mistakes and build a detailed QA model that you’ll follow religiously with each and every campaign.

The coolest thing I’ve learned: Most marketers have visualized the standard marketing funnel, starting with unqualified leads towards the wide end at the top, with it slowly tapering inwards as you move down to the more engaged and qualified leads. Most marketers also know how that happens, but what about those finer technical details? I’ll give you a hint, it’s much more than knowing your lead clicked your PPC ad, or opened your email. Imagine collecting every detail about a them, what company they work for, the revenue, their title and industry. Then, combine those details with every step through your website and content. Now apply time decay to keep things relevant and track that entire journey. For the first time in your marketing history, you know more about your prospect than they know about themselves! Okay, you don’t know their obsessive theory on Kylo Ren, but you get the idea.

Takeaway: Good marketing is is the combination of business intelligence, and the power to execute – you can’t have one without the other if you hope to succeed. That’s the end of my interview?! Connect with me on LinkedIn and we can talk shop anytime you’d like. I’d love to hear all about your 2016 plans and how you’re going to change the world.