In today's interview series, we talk to David Amerland. David Amerland helps multi-national clients and start-ups to organize their SEO and Social Media strategies. He is a business journalist, author and international speaker. He blogs about social media and search engine optimization, writes for a number of prominent websites including Forbes, and advises a handful of corporations on their social media crisis management techniques.

His books on SEO, Social Media and marketing demystify the complexity of the subjects they cover for readers around the world. Each book provides an accessible blueprint to better understand and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the connected economy. His latest book is "The Sniper Mind", a deep dive in the world of business decision-making."

  • What separates you from your competition?

The answer to that depends on what people are looking for. I am not selling a brand or an image so the "competitive advantage" that comes with differentiation is that I am just me. I share marketing industry insights that excite me and which I find practical. I don't think any one else is doing anything different so it comes down to the style of connection the audience is comfortable with, hence the dependance on what they are looking for.  

  • What problem are you trying to solve?

Why is marketing so hard? The answer to that lies in many parallel verticals: tools (that define market analysis and determine marketing), channels (such as social media, search, direct marketing, websites), product or service (and how its value is determined), communication and pricing. All of these form a dynamic that changes with each cultural shift. Through my writing and speaking I try to provide as many ways as possible to make this easier.

  • What sort of research have you done? Do you have any available data?

For most of my insights I use propriety data shared with me by large, global clients. I also spend up to three hours a day catching up on the latest studies in neuroscience, behavioral psychology, marketing and search. All of these, now, impact branding, selling and buying. The insights I draw find their way into my books.

  • What’s an interesting trend you’ve observed in your industry?

As technology becomes better and more reliable the human elements of relationship building and trust play an ever increasing role in business and marketing.

  • What are you most proud of?

I find each day an adventure. It is easy to get jaded in marketing.  

  • What kind of books do you read? What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

I read books on maths and science, psychology and neuroscience. The best one I've read this year is "Beyond Weird" by Philip Ball (it's about Quantum Reality).

  • Who are your role models or mentors?

If I were to aspire to be like someone else it'd have to be Richard Feynman.

  • When you’re considering partnering with another person or business, what factors are deal-breakers for you?

Do I like them as a person?

  • How do you keep your employees (or team members) keen and motivated?

These days my team consists of me and my dog, Bennie. Bennie likes lots of attention, excitement and play and I find that works for me too.

  • What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

Deciding to be me and talk openly about my beliefs, values and approach to life (and business).

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