Founder of Wildfire Strategic Marketing & Chief Blogger at (3i)
A city of Toronto native who answered the call of sun, beach & palm trees in LA for most of the ’90s, where I began my career in advertising… right as the dot com boom was happening. Wet my feet in the net at a pre-IPO ecom site which didn’t stay afloat past the crash, survived and thrived at EarthLink after the MindSpring buy-out, and headed back to Toronto in 2002 when it was a daily challenge to get clients excited about the internet again. But, fear not, I landed at Labatt/ beer.com with suds of brew in my eyes and a burning desire to integrate all channels, leverage the tech, and engage in a dialogue with the ‘consumer’. Luckily for me they saw things the same way after a fashion. :)
After beer the next logical step was cars, of course. And where better to learn a crash course in the Big 3 auto industry than at MacLaren McCann, on the granddaddy account of them all, GM interactive. To any alums out there reading this I have one word for you: refresh. ;)
At GM I led the development of the award winning interactive strategy & plan for a customer lifecycle engagement program, e-Interchange. The strategy was to use the online channel to supplement, complement, and provide intelligence for purchase motivating direct mail pieces. The program utilizes advanced modelling and segmentation techniques to build dynamic emails which provide GM owners and prospects with relevant and timely communications and offers… it’s a big undertaking and is still an on-going, living program. Props to MMDI for keeping the bar set high.
I’ve also managed to navigate the various US & Canadian privacy acts as Chief Privacy Officer at a online media company, specializing in third-party email campaigns & data management. I spoke about putting Privacy into Practice at the CMA Privacy Conference in 2004 after a tough year of educating clients, ensuring the data was clean and still doing all the typical marketing & biz dev stuff. My bottom line on privacy: do unto others as you would have done to you… pretty simple.
Okay, enough PR about me, now down to what I think… which, of course, is why you are reading my blog (I hope).
My philosophy with marketing is simple. The customer is in charge. No amount of spin, killer graphics, or positioning will change a bad product or experience. And no amount of ‘we’ve always done it that way’ will stop the train that is choice. Why should a consumer listen to your message or buy your product or service, if you aren’t listening to them? Find out what they need, what would make their lives easier, or more enriching, or stimulating and make it for them. Talk to them about it. Get their feedback. And while you’re at it, listen to your “internal customers” as well because, ultimately, we are all consumers, err, people.
And when you’re ready to launch make sure you’re reaching the people, err, audience, you need by integrating your message and letting the ideas ignite in our minds.
It all boils down to the 3i’s: innovate. integrate. ignite.
With that in mind Wildfire Strategic Marketing was born. As was this blog because, well, I’ve just got too much to say and my friends and colleagues are getting sick of hearing me pontificate.
… and the rest they say, is history ;)
By: Ted Demopolous