October 31, 2005

Digital Marketing - An Interview with Paul Westhorpe

With over 15 years experience in digital marketing, Paul Westhorpe is considered a thought leader in the space. As CEO for Digital Connexxions (www.dconx.com) he runs one of the most successful digital marketing companies in the world. In my opinion a company's ability to use online means to acquire and retain customers is a key success factor in any industry. This is why I think this interview will add great value to your efforts.

Background:
As the founder of Digital Connexxions Paul's leadership has been the key to the company being listed on the
Deloitte Fast 500 List since 2003. The Fast 500 is a ranking of the fastest growing technology companies is North America. Prior to Digital Connexxions Paul managed and consulted to the publishing vertical for FloNetwork (a leading direct marketing and email software/services ASP that was later acquired by DoubleClick). He also founded Cityscapes.net, an online advertising company and co-founded Atlantic Connect Inc. Within one year, that company grew to become the largest Internet Service Provider in Atlantic Canada. He is a recognized speaker in the area of e-marketing focusing on subscriber acquisition and retention and data management.

Q&A:

Q: Why did you create Digital Connexxions?
A: Acquisition and retention marketing campaigns used by magazine publishers and other subscriber-based businesses have traditionally been paper-based. With the advent of the internet and the ubiquitous nature of email, there was a golden opportunity for Digital Connexxions to move these campaigns online.

Q: What strategic advice can you provide about digital marketing to senior business executives?
A: I would recommend that senior business executives embrace digital marketing, and make it an integral part of their marketing strategy. They should have a big picture of how they want to market their company, products, or services, then visualize tactically how digital marketing can enhance their marketing efforts. For example, if attending a trade show is one of their marketing strategies, they can promote the show attendance on their company website, get the attendees’ list in advance of the show to do a pre-show email campaign to direct traffic towards the booth at the show, conduct a post-show follow-up email campaign to all those that provided contact information so that continual regular communication can be sustained well after the show is over. Who know? One of these prospects may one day become a client.

Q: What is predictive personalization? What value does it provide?
A: In a nutshell, predictive personalization is an automated way of predicting business rules based on user responses and profile information, then applying that prediction to personalize the message to be delivered to a customer. In Digital Connexxions’ case, artificial intelligence is used to perform the intelligent prediction as the system learns more about the customer with each additional interaction. Digital Connexxions’ offering is unique in that it is applicable to both email as well as the web. Digital Connexxions has received a patent from the US patent office for this innovation.

The value that predictive personalization provides are strategic. Relevance is now the number one goal of most companies’ marketing push, and personalization is the foundation block for delivering relevant content. From an operational perspective, capitalizing on the system’s ability to select the most appropriate content to deliver to each customer based on each customer’s profile means significant reduction in effort to prepare and set up email campaigns to deploy. From a customer service perspective, delivering the most relevant content means higher click-through and conversion rates, increased customer satisfaction, and greater up-sell opportunities.

Predictive personalization equips organizations with the right tools to conduct a smart marketing campaign, and to uniquely market to a “segment-of-one”.

Q: Do you only work with large companies? What can small and medium businesses embark on Digital Marketing?
A: Traditionally, we have been introducing our advanced enterprise wide solution SubscriberWorx to larger companies. However, based on requests from many of our smaller prospects, we saw a real business need for a simpler digital marketing solution. To that end, we created ClickUp, the pay-as-you-go email marketing solution. The application is in its final stages of beta testing, but people are welcome to sign up for a free trial for a limited time. For people who are interested in taking it for a test drive, they can go to
www.clickupmail.com and sign up.

Between SubscriberWorx and ClickUp, we are now able to offer companies, big or small, with the right digital marketing solution that meets their specific business needs.

Q: Congratulations for making the Deloitte Fast 500 two years in a row. What were the top 3 things you did to achieve this?
A: Thank you. As a company, we are very proud of our achievement. I would say the three main things that helped us get onto the Deloitte Fast 500 list are:

1. We have an innovative technology. The predictive personalization technology is helping us differentiate ourselves from our competitors. We have a good story to tell when we present our solution to prospects.


2. We have bright and hardworking people that make the difference. Our technical and service staff are among the IT industry’s best. They have the deep technical expertise, the vast business experience, and the right attitude required to make each project a success.

3. We address our clients’ real business needs. Our application is not a commodity. It is a necessity. It is used by our clients to meet real business needs. That makes us work harder to ensure that we provide the right technology and the right level of service to help our clients succeed.

Update - October 4, 2006 - InfoUSA Aquires Digital Connexxions

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