Meet the Influencers: Tink Taylor
Tink Taylor is Founder and COO of dotDigital Group PLC.
How did you get started in Email Marketing?
Via being a windsurfing instructor! I’ll explain… I started my career as a computer programmer working for an organisation in the UK called Sequent Computer systems that were later acquired by IBM.
During my time at Sequent I worked in team who experimented with new technologies. As the company was growing fast our brief was to look at emerging technologies and how they could improve internal commutations. One of the first projects I was involved with was to understand how the concept of a new entity call the ‘World Wide Web’ could possibly help! I am showing true my age here! A big part of the work we carried out was focused on electronic messaging, we built and rolled out numerous intranets globally that were powered by some of the first Content Management systems to be built. We of course looked at email and other forms of communication.
Having left Sequent I worked for a few web companies at the back end of the first dotcom crash. I was interested to see that many of projects carried huge price tickets for what I thought was relatively clunky and difficult to use systems. So before long I had with a group of friends set up my a web agency called Ellipsis Media with the intention of building quality easy to use software with a much lower entry price point. Or as we coined it ‘We will build Nasa technology with Fisher Price interfaces’ and make the difficult things easy.
One of our first clients were the largest Windsufing school in the world. I have previously instructed there during my summers when at University. Having built their online booking system (surely a first for any windsurfing school in the world at the time) word got out to my former pupils, many of whom were Marketing Directors.
Before long we had built many content managed websites for these new clients, building user databases as we went, and it wasn’t long before one of these clients, the BBC, asked us to build them an emarketing system as they were struggling with their internal IT infrastructure, the rest is history!
Tell us about your current role and what a typical day is like.
Over the last 15 years my role as Founder as developed and changed significantly almost on a daily basis! From being directly hands on with the code, to working with business development and Account Directors helping prospects and clients achieve their goals.
More recently in a more presidential role I do this by interacting with our operational board members to ensure they are up to speed with the latest developments in the industry, ensuring we as a business are always looking forward in terms being able to offer the right product features, integrations, consultancy and level of services.
I am still an active member of the UK DMA’s Email Marketing council working on some of their hub sub committees having stepped down from the main council as I find myself mostly overseas helping strategically with our global expansion plans. I also participate on the Members Advisory Committee for the Email Experience Council.
As the business is now listed (on AIM) on the London Stock exchange I of course have to spend time with our executive and non-executive boards making sure we are planning for the future and keeping the business compliant in terms city regulations.
What do you see as the future of email marketing?
Right now is an exciting time for email! Marketing automation has really brought email back in vogue for many who have tried to put our industry down for many years. We’ve all heard the mantra ‘email is dead’ how many times!?
As more automation is deployed more messages will be sent than ever. Email will of course be part of any cross channel strategy. In fact whilst working at the DMA in the UK, we put on annual cross channel marketing event, there was not one case study submitted that didn’t have email as a central part of the marketing mix.
The future will be interesting as we have seen several big players make acquisitions in the email space with the intention of offering an Omni channel cloud solution.
There a definitely clients who will make use of this and there will definitely be clients who will not like the cross sale approach by these organisations. Equally some clients will not be in a position to rip all of their systems at once and replace them with something new.
I see a potential in the technology space for the market to split into two groups the one size fits all cross channel tools and best of breed tools in each channel that integrate and form an ecosystem of great technologies in their own right that work together. In either case we will see deeper and more sophistication in CRM and ecommerce platforms allowing users to further predict customer intentions and automate and segment as a result.
Why should anyone choose email marketing as a career?
A great question and if I may I will steal a quote from another influencer Andrew Bonar.
Andrew was recently talking to a contact of mine, and I think his response absolutely nails it:
“As for your move to the email industry, it was a smart one. Congratulations.
The reasons I can be so sure? Not only is there phenomenal growth still happening in this space, incredible new opportunities opening up every day and a mass of untapped markets yet to come online - this is also possibly one of the friendliest, most supportive and closest knit international business communities that you can possibly find.”