Danni Eickenhorst is a CMO at ReachDynamics – a St. Louis ad tech startup, where she utilizes advanced remarketing technologies to convert leads and sales. Danni is also a former UMSL Digital Adjunct Professor, and she still teaches marketing methods to achieve business goals for both – businesses and non-profits.
In her session at MDMC18 called “Data + Direct Mail: The Renaissance of a Traditional Marketing Tool”, Danni will talk about the tools and methods to combine direct mail and data in order to convert more sales and generate leads.
In the Q&A session below, Danni shares her insights on digital marketing.
Q1. What are some big mistakes a business could make when it comes to digital marketing?
D.E.: The biggest marketing mistake I so often see businesses make is putting a lower priority on retention marketing and reputation/referral marketing. In my mind, this should be a top priority in every marketing strategy because it’s easier to sell repeat services and products to someone with whom you already have a strong relationship. One important aspect many marketers don’t pursue is to seek out reviews from those happy customers as well. Some businesses choose to ignore this side of their strategy because of a misguided sense that they need to be humble and asking for a pat on the back seems too self-serving, but in my mind, there is nothing more valuable than these reviews and referrals. They are certainly self-serving, but the benefits far outweigh a momentary moment of discomfort in making that ask.
Q2. Share your favorite digital marketing case study. What did you like most it?
D.E.: In my work with ReachDynamics, I had the pleasure of recently writing one that demonstrates the power of utilizing cutting-edge technologies like email remarketing and direct mail remarketing to convert sales and leads. In this particular case study, one brand realized a 200% increase in lead conversions – and the best part is that their approach is easily replicable by other brands.
Q3. Which are your three favorite digital marketing tools?
D.E.: As someone who does a lot of coaching with small businesses, start-ups, and non-profits, I tend to gravitate toward marketing tools that make marketing possible for everyone. With that in mind, three of my favorites are:
• Canva – A beautiful, versatile, FREE graphic design tool that just about anyone can use.
• SEMRush – An extremely powerful SEO keyword monitoring and research tool, SEMRush keeps adding capabilities that make it more valuable in my day-to-day work. Just when I thought they couldn’t be more amazing, they added content research tools and gap analysis tools that help you realize what content you’re missing when compared with your competitors. I’ve used SEMRush daily for about 3 years, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
- ReachDynamics – I’ve been working with the team behind this tool for a little over a year, and I’ve implemented them for some of my clients as well. This tool allows companies to identify the website visitors who have left their site without converting, then to follow up with them via email and direct mail – even when they haven’t provided contact information.
BONUS – Almighty.Press – This is a newer tool in my arsenal. It allows markets to identify, curate and distribute trending content, before it’s trending. This allows me to cut through the clutter and identify quality content that will perform well.
Q4. If you were looking to hire a digital marketer, what are the top 3-5 skills you would be looking for in a candidate?
- PROBLEM SOLVER: I’m famous for telling people to “Google it!” when we’re identifying problems and looking for solutions, but seriously, having someone on your team who can identify a problem and at least do some cursory research to present some solutions to you? That’s a MAJOR asset in my mind.
- WIDE BREADTH OF CAPABILITIES: This one always gets me in trouble when hiring – but because marketing is such a varied and flexible practice, an employee that can create quality content, a graphic to go with it, add it to the website on their own, promote it, optimize it, and then track their own analytics is an INVALUABLE ROCK STAR to me.
- LIFETIME LEARNER: I seek out employees that are always learning the newest and latest on their own – from active attendance at conferences, to daily listening to marketing podcasts and reading blogs. A person that keeps their ear to the ground for what’s next will prove a constant value.
- EYE ON THE PRIZE: When hiring digital marketers, my primary concern is that they approach marketing with business goals in mind. Let’s not make noise for the sake of making noise. Let’s strategically craft a message and a campaign that provides our clients and companies with a return on their investment.
Q5. Who are three people you respect when it comes to digital marketing?
- Chris Reimer (@ChrisReimer) – Not only is he an all-around GOOD guy, but he’s also someone you can look to as a consistent presence on social media. While the rest of us go through periods of burnout, this guy keeps tweeting and snapchatting and Instagramming – and he does it well.
• Caitie Metz (@Caitie_Metz) and Victoria Emanuela (@victoria.emanuela) – Caitie is an artist, an activist and an all-around inspirational human being. Victoria is a counselor and meditation teacher. Together, they’ve found ways to utilize Instagram to start some really important stories, and to push forward a message of embodied empowerment, body positivity and emotional healing. They do this through a shared account and project @OnBeinginYourBody. While note solely digital marketing, they provide me with marketing inspiration. They’ve done an incredible job of building a following and a successful project – all through some brilliant uses of Instagram.
• Mike Spakowski (@MSpako) and the entire team at Atomicdust would have to be on this list. I’ve had a professional crush on their work much of my marketing career. As a professional marketer, I keep an eye on what agencies I respect are doing. Mike and Atomicdust have been on my radar for years, and as I’ve watched their insights and their work, it’s been clear to me that they are solidly bringing their A-Game to every project and a mind for strategy as well. When they write a blog, I read it, and I’m always looking forward to what they do next.
Q6. What’s the industry buzzword that annoys you the most these days and why?
D.E.: Activation! Because I didn’t come up in the agency world, there are plenty of acronyms and buzzwords that seem superfluous and unnecessary in my mind. I always prefer to speak plainly and to work plainly – focusing on the work at hand and the business goals.
At the end of the day, the “targets” you’re looking to “activate” are PEOPLE and I want to always be mindful of that. Every PERSON has many reasons why they’ll buy a product or engage with a product and many reasons why they may not.