I am beyond excited to begin the second chapter of my working life in Atlanta at BrightWave Marketing. The two questions being asked of me is, “What will you be doing at BrightWave?” and “Why BrightWave?”
Great questions. Let me try and provide answers while sharing some insight about the milestones and events of Chapter One that set the table for Chapter Two.
Chapter One probably actually started when I married my better half in 2001. From the day we said ‘I do,’ she was telling me how great it could be to live in Atlanta (she grew up in Columbus, GA and went to Emory). As it turns out, she wasn’t wrong. 8 years of experience in a small family travel business and 3 more in the non-profit world taught me how to solve problems, against all odds. Making something out of nothing was more than a motif – it’s just part of my DNA. It turns out that this was great preparation for what awaited me in Atlanta.
When we arrived in Atlanta in 2006, I had the great fortune of being recruited by an 8-year old digital agency called Spunlogic (now Engauge). I still remember an early conversation with the recruiter at the time where I was told that with my experience, I could be slotted as a designer, a developer or a project manager — take your pick.
Project management was where I wanted to be because I felt like I could play the proverbial ‘quarterback’ — leading a team in executing the ‘plays’ that spanned websites and email projects. Account management responsibilities soon followed with opportunities to work with brand names bigger than I’d ever imagined possible, adding even more experience with analytics, mobile websites and social media.
In 2010, I was given the opportunity to take what I’d learned about email marketing and drive excellence around the discipline within Engauge. I had the distinct privilege of assembling a team of rockstars who could help carry the email flag to all of our clients.
[Insert Fred Savage interruption of Peter Falk from ‘Princess Bride’] “If you had such a great team at Engauge, why did you move on?”
In the two years that I had connected with other email marketing industry experts and met other marketers responsible for their email programs at conference after conference, one nagging truth was impressed upon me that makes chapter two make so much sense:
More marketers need help with email marketing than I had ever imagined.
Now, substitute the word ‘email’ with ‘mobile’, ‘social’, ‘location-based’, and you get a glimpse of the enormity of what’s possible for marketers and, at the same time, what seems like a monolithic learning curve. I see an outsized opportunity to help more marketers strategically navigate the digital currents (as intimidating and as fast as they may seem) to benefit their customers and their companies.
A big part of my formula for helping more marketers involves partnerships with technology trailblazers (especially Email Service Providers) who provide the tools that can empower marketers to efficiently and effectively execute campaigns across multiple channels that include email.
Now about the ‘Why BrightWave?’ question, I can share the two biggest reasons.
Authority: If I remember correctly, I used Simms’ book as a training manual for one of my first campaign manager hires. (Yes, I read it, too.) The opportunity to collaborate and combine forces with Simms and the BrightWave team was something I honestly hadn’t thought of but not unlike peanut butter and chocolate, I knew it would be a win-win situation to be here.
Opportunity: I believe that marketers who understand email marketing are well-poised to tackle every other emerging 1-to-1 communications channel. Relevancy, value and the ability to measure impact to the bottom line are critical ingredients in marketing, regardless of channel.
I know that the team at BrightWave gets that and I’m prepared to help our clients win in the always-exciting and ever-evolving digital marketing arena.