Dennis Yu’s Advice for Digital Marketing Rookies

I am new to the digital marketing scene and know there are many hurdles to grasping the concepts, strategies, and tactics involved. Dennis Yu is the Co-Founder and CTO of Content Factory and a leading expert in digital marketing. He was welcome enough to share with us his thoughts on changes in the fickle digital landscape.

Jimmy: Hey, Dennis. Again, thank you so much for doing this Interview with me. First, tell a little about yourself in your own words.

Dennis Yu: I’m just a data geek that builds tools to optimize campaigns. Another prime aspect of myself is in our mission at Content Factory to create jobs for students, so they can help companies drive leads via Facebook. We partner with universities to provide training and the projects, while students get paid and certified.

Jimmy: What is your opinion about the digital marketing world today?

TC2018 31Dennis Yu: Marketers are confused by a growing number of channels and technologies. Their audiences are living in more places and they need to manage a fractured set of communities with no increase in budget or people, but an expected increase in performance.

The solution is not more software but helping digital marketers get trained up on how to manage multiple channels with less time. There is no single channel marketer anymore.

Jimmy: What are your thoughts on the digital consumer?

Dennis Yu: The idea of a “digital consumer” is not valid anymore.  Consider that nearly everyone has one type of primary device and often multiple other devices they use for different things. The car and TV are now computers, so is that digital? Consumers expect their devices, apps, and brands to be smart enough to know what to say to them when. The personalization burden is on you!

Jimmy: Now let’s acknowledge some of the many tools available in digital marketing. What tools do you think digital marketers are missing out on?

Dennis Yu: There are standard tools from Google, Facebook, and other networks you should start with. We rarely recommend 3rd party tools, though we build such tools ourselves. Understand the basics before you increase complexity.

Jimmy: What tools do you think are being overused or abused?

Dennis Yu: There is a special place in the underworld for social media tools and anything in the realm of “analytics”. Generating charts is not the same thing as understanding what’s going on and taking action!

Jimmy: What is a favorite tool you use? And do you have a preferred social network?

Dennis Yu: I don’t have a preference since it depends on the client and where their customers are. In general, Facebook has the biggest audience in developed markets with the greatest targeting capabilities.

Jimmy: What inspires you when you build a campaign?

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Dennis Yu: You can’t fake passion, so work only on campaigns for companies that you actually love yourself. Inspiration comes from that brand’s mission, not my love of various technologies.

Jimmy: Looking back, what for you is the best digital campaign of 2017?

Dennis Yu: Hard to narrow it down to just one. But off the top, I’d recommend Jack Daniel’s launching Tennessee Fire against Fireball. They leveraged the great strength of the Jack Daniel’s brand while being highly attuned to their market. Brown-Forman, their parent company, is in my opinion, the best storytelling company on the planet– more than Coke, Old Spice, or Nike.

Jimmy: We have seen a lot of scary headlines about the recent Facebook data controversy. Could you shed some light for us on the issue?

Dennis Yu: Cambridge Analytica bought data from 80 plus million Facebook profiles from a quiz app. While that sounds scary, the reality is there’s little they could have done with that data. A few years ago, Facebook prevented advertisers from loading up user data from apps that aren’t yours.

Jimmy: How do you think the digital marketing will evolve in 2018?

Dennis Yu: Marketing automation and social media will merge– the intersection is mobile.

And while a lot of people are saying “mobile first” and cloud out of fashion, or even building mobile apps for no good purpose, what underlies this is having a single view of the customer across all channels, devices, and experiences. No company does this, so expect the merging of analytics, app, and advertising companies. Expect that most companies will fire their agency to take this in-house since agencies can’t produce content that enthralls the top customers. Only actual customers and zealous employees can do that.

Jimmy: Who do you follow and why?

Dennis: You should check out Logan Young! He is a visionary in digital creating jobs for young adults while selling and training Facebook Ad packages. His work on “The Standards of Excellence” is something to look out for.

J: What is your best advice for marketers? dennis speaking pic l2eDennis: Stop marketing and start getting customers to do your marketing for you. This is another way to say word of mouth marketing is now measurable. Customers can do the work for you, gladly.

You just need to find them and reward them in a non-incentivized way.

J: Thank you for the advice and for your time.

Engaging with Dennis brought us some perspective that has led to my educating others about the basics of the digital marketing field. You too can reach out to the experts in your field of interest. You never know! It may bring you bits of wisdom like this!

Now we have covered some great advice from Dennis Yu:

  • Ground floor marketing tools to dive into!
  • The future in analyzing audiences across all platforms at once.
  • The reality of the most recent data controversy is that consumer data collection is designed for the safety of the consumer.
  • The value of crafting campaigns with passion! As well predictions for the future of campaigns.
  • Knowing when to Delegate tasks, Communicate, and teach others!

Now I ask you, the reader: What do you think will come next for social media marketing? Think about the user experience and the strategies of the digital marketer in the ever-changing digital realm. Follow along with the Content Factory blog and social media pages for more!

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads.  He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations.You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.