Marketing Leader Interview: David Meerman Scott

No one knows more about using the new tools and strategies to spread ideas, influence minds and build business than David Meerman Scott. His books and blog are must-reads for professionals seeking to generate attention in ways that grow their business. He is the best-selling author of titles that include The New Rules of Marketing and PR to World Wide Rave which are changing the world of public relations and influence marketing.

I am truly honored to have David share his insights with us in this interview.

1. What company is an example of good marketing today? Who do you admire?

I admire HubSpot very much. They started the company in 2006 and today, less than ten years later, they have 650 employees. There growth is all attributable to the content they create online, a strategy the teach others in the HubSpot Marketing Blog.  I admire them so much that I joined their advisory board.

2.Did you have a mentor or a person you learnt the most from? What was a key lesson?

Not one person. However I admire musicians like Phil Lesh, Charlie Musselwhite, B.B. King, and Keith Richards who are still working the stage and making people happy half a century on.

3. What story of a successful marketing strategy could you share?

I love the concept of Newsjacking — the art and science of Injecting your ideas into a breaking news story to reach buyers directly and generate tons of media coverage

Mitch Jackson is a senior partner in the California law firm Jackson & Wilson with the fantastic pointer URL . Even though they have plenty of business, Mitch writes a blog where he comments on the legal aspects of stories in the news and shares via social networks. And he gets tons of attention as a result. His popularity has resulted in more than 18,000 followers of his @MitchJackson Twitter feed.

For example his post Michael Sam is Gay and the NFL Team That Drafts Him Will Face Major Litigation Exposure resulted just a few hours later in being invited to appear on a Fox Sports show with @Seth_Everett to talk about the NFL and Michael Sam.

Mitch’s post Who Is Responsible for the Death of Philip Seymour Hoffman? was written soon after the death was reported and gave people a different way of looking at the sad story.

“My goal is to continue enjoying an expanded sphere of influence through sharing my expertise on social media as opposed to needing to get the phone to ring,” Mitch says. “Although the phone does ring with these efforts, that’s not really the focus. And this is also a nice and enjoyable way to break up the day.

4. What is your marketing superpower, the most important skill that makes you a great marketer?


5. What interesting book have you read recently?

The Wolf of Wall Street. But I have not seen the film yet.

6. What new, modern tactic, tool, or aspect of marketing should marketers pay more attention to?


7.  What good aspect of basic marketing have marketers neglected in recent years?


People want to do business with people. That’s been true since the beginning of time. A hundred years ago our great-grandparents knew the people who sold them hardware or shoes or chickens. There was a personal touch. If there was good service at a fair price and maybe a kind word and a smile, you had a business relationship that lasted for many years.

However in the past several decades the idea of huge companies selling identical products to millions of people via mass media advertising on television has meant that many companies have lost the human touch. Many smaller companies adopted the mass approach model in their own markets. Advertising agencies are hired to develop “messages.” Salespeople memorize scripts. Top executives fret about financials but not about customers.

The best organizations have an organizational story that underlies everything they do. For these outfits, that story and the resulting culture it builds means that everybody—from the CEO, to the executives, from salespeople to support staff, even the person who answers the telephone are all delivering the same information.

By story, I don’t mean making up a fairytale. No, rather a real and authentic account of what the organization is all about. Stories that people associated with the company know by heart might include how the company was founded. It could include tales of how employees go out of their way to help customers, or it could be how the company’s products are the most expensive in the market and why.

8.  What skills will marketers will need in the future? How do you stay sharp?

An immensely powerful competitive advantage flows to organizations whose people understand the power of real-time information.

The real-time mindset recognizes the importance of speed. It is an attitude to business (and to life) that emphasizes moving quickly when the time is right.

Developing that capacity requires sustained effort: encouraging people to take initiative; celebrating their success when they go out on a real-time limb; cutting them slack when they try and fail. None of this is easy.

9. What was the turning point in your career?

When I was fired in 2002 and could not find another full-time job. It was the best career move I ever made because it allowed me to start writing books and delivering speeches for a living.

10. How do you increase marketing’s relevance and influence in the organization?

Marketers need to focus on the needs of buyers, not on what their products and services do. Nobody cares about your products. They care about themselves.

11.         What blogs do you read/ would you recommend?

In no particular order and with apologies to many people I’ll forget:

  • Ann Handley  –
  • Seth Godin – http://
  • Bob Lefsetz –
  • Dharmesh Shah –  and
  • Brian Clark –

12.  What experience in your past has best prepared you to be a marketing leader?

Working for ten years in the real-time media business.


Thanks again David!

You should immediately subscribe to David’s blog  and follow him on Twitter at @DMScott

David has made many of his eBooks available for free. There is no registration required. There is no reason not to download all of them right away. You should then check his entire set of books on Amazon  The kindle edition of World Wide Rave is free right now.

David Meerman Scott Books

Take a look at other great CMO and Marketing Leader interviews on this link.