Marco Marini lends his email marketing expertise to Solid Branding
MEET OUR NEWEST STRATEGIC PARTNER
We are delighted to introduce Marco Marini –who recently joined Solid’s Strategic Partner Network. With 25 years in the business, Marco is a walking encyclopedia of all things email and digital marketing: best practices, technologies, trends and more. And, in a world that is relying more and more on technology to deliver effective marketing solutions – the timing could not be more appropriate. We’re very excited about the opportunity to start working with Marco and delivering more effective marketing campaigns for our clients.
We asked Marco to share some of thoughts about the industry. Here’s a snippet of that conversation:
QUESTION NO. 1
How did you begin your career in digital and email marketing?
I started my career at IBM Canada in database marketing, a field that combined my interest in statistics with marketing. When email started to become became a marketing channel, I naturally gravitated towards it because I saw the potential to reach targeted audiences with relevant messages in a way that was immediate, measurable and – if done correctly – it could also be extremely effective. It was an exciting time. Technology was radically changing the way that companies delivered marketing programs, enabling brands to accurately reach targets, measure and adjust based on data. And for a data nerd like me, it was a dream come true.
QUESTION NO. 2
Besides your new role at Solid what else do you do?
Besides consulting with Solid Branding, I am the COO of iPost, an email platform that was built for marketers by marketers. iPost is designed to be the easiest, most flexible and dynamic marketing automation solution for email and mobile marketing. The iPost platform allows marketers to create impactful emails in minutes with a drag-and-drop tool that offers responsive authoring and rendering so that emails will render correctly whether they are viewed on a PC, tablet or mobile device. Target segmentation is also as easy as drag-n-drop. The reports are nicely designed, easy to read, and very detailed. And more. I am very excited about it. Can you tell?
QUESTION NO. 3
What do you consider your biggest career accomplishment?
For the 13 years before I became the COO of iPost, I was the CEO of ClickMail, a vendor-agnostic reseller of email marketing solutions. During my tenure as CEO, ClickMail made the Inc. 500|5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America five times. The company was also included in the San Jose and San Francisco Business Journal’s Top 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies list. I am pretty proud of these accomplishments. But, most importantly, I have always believed that my biggest accomplishment is still ahead of me. Right now I am excited at what I may be able to do with the exciting iPost platform and with the talented people from Solid Branding!
QUESTION NO. 4
How do you feel about the future of email marketing?
I get asked that question often – and for the last 13 years my answer has been the same: “The future is definitely bright!” Regardless of the circumstances currently affecting the way that people connect and communicate, it seems obvious that the world is moving more and more to digital. For the last ten years, we’ve all read an “email is dead” article – but nothing could be farther from the truth. Although there are many other channels that should be considered when evaluating an integrated marketing plan, email continues to be an important component. Email marketing technology continues to evolve, offering better and better personalization, automation and data analysis tools – making it one of the most important and most effective elements of a strategic digital marketing program. Although I feel that Artificial Intelligence has not yet been integrated in a very effective manner, many companies are working on it, and it could be a game changer. Also, keep in mind that the market size of “Digital Marketing” (which includes email marketing) is predicted to reach approximately $50 billion this year, and it is projected to expand at an annual rate of 15.2% for the next five years. Companies that have systems in place to harness customer and prospect data – and know how to use that data in the most effective manner – will be best positioned to succeed in reaching their marketing goals.
QUESTION NO. 5
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned about email marketing?
LESSON NO. 1
Never, ever make assumptions.
No matter what “industry” statistics show, your audience might behave differently. Getting a good understanding about your specific targets, their habits, needs and drivers, will help ensure that email messages, frequency, length, structure, etc. are optimized for best results. And that’s why Lesson No. 2 is also important.
LESSON NO. 2
Test, test, test.
Unfortunately too many marketers are overwhelmed by their workload, there’s a growing pressure to move fast, and many email platforms interfaces are not optimized for testing. As a consequence, testing often gets skipped. An email that goes out without even the most basic test (eg subject line) is a missed opportunity.
LESSON NO. 3
Don’t follow the masses.
I always chuckle when I see studies that show industry stats like the best day or time to send an email. Once that is published, and let’s say the best day is Tuesday, that day automatically becomes a day to avoid since many people will be sending emails on that day. At that point, I remind people – again – about Lesson No. 2.
QUESTION NO. 6
Why did you join Solid as a Strategic Partner and what do you hope to accomplish?
I’ve always had a high opinion of Alfredo and the Solid team. They represent a new breed of branding agency. Just like me, Alfredo’s roots in Silicon Valley have influenced Solid’s approach to building the brands of their clients. We definitely share similar values when it comes to innovation, creativity, strategic thinking, and measurable results. When Alfredo invited me to become a member of the Solid Strategic Partner Network, he said “Imagine what we could do to help brands connect better with their customers and prospects if we combined our experience with branding and your experience with digital and email marketing?” The prospect of collaborating with a world class team of strategists and creatives to deliver marketing programs that achieve breakthrough results was certainly enticing. Doing work at this level is the reason I get excited to go to work every day, so I jumped at the opportunity. I’m very excited to be a part of this incredible team!