Dale Imerman is mad about technology and marketing. He's a travel seeker, photo taker and enjoys the outdoors.
Started my first business during school - a home automation company called Stylus Audio - offering sales and installation of home audio and video solutions like cinemas and multi-room sound systems. My partner and I skipped class by coercing our bus driver into dropping us off at our high net worth customers during school. It was so much fun and we loved what we did. We installed tech like home cinemas, outdoor sound systems and automated lighting.
When I completed school I began working for Arthur Goldstuck at Media Africa (Now World Wide Worx) where we created a number of web sites, conducted research and published several online magazines including the longest standing online consumer technology publication, Gadget.co.za. I also wrote some articles, learnt a fortune and participated in the construction of a customised content management system still used today.
I then worked at HealthBridge, in a marketing role, where I learnt the intricacies of using technology to automate and reconcile medical aid claims over the Internet. I left on a quest for further professional development and to follow my passion for cars by starting an online video web site called SA Racing. Together with a friend, we filmed and uploaded car videos for South African enthusiasts and built an online community exceeding 15,000 subscribers.
SA Racing was the catalyst for the start of South Africa's largest automotive aftermarket event in 2004 - The Xtreme Auto Show. I learned how to handle all aspects of running an event, including sponsorship, sales, marketing and operations, while growing attendance from 12,000 to 44,000 visitors in four years. Had the time of my life and worked closely with motoring media and a number of sponsors including Castrol and over 80 other brands.
I then joined Creative Rides as marketing and operations director where we built, renovated and modified classic cars, had a car audio dealership and held the agency for renowned automotive paint brand House of Kolor. We had a lot of fun while managing complex projects, building a brand and working with big agencies like The Creative Counsel - we built radical custom tech into Hummers for KFC to activate consumers.
In September 2008 I joined a software vendor in the financial markets, wealth management and market data space. Peresys was later acquired by Austrlian-listed IRESS in 2011. It's been incredible to work on projects such as a large-scale office relocation, the rolling out of numerous software solutions to customers and the formation of a Corporate Social Investment initiative for the business.
Technology and marketing are clearly the reoccurring threads in my broad background. This has helped me pull off a number of change management projects and the execution of numerous holistic marketing strategies for local and international customers.
I like to read business books (several of which I'm currently summarising and re-writing from a modern marketing and technology perspective,) eating unhealthy amounts of sushi and spending time with my closest friends.
I agree with your implication that companies are measuring social media success with the wrong metrics (followers, likes, etc). I'm not so sure that the "quality of followers" is necessarily a or the right metric either - how do you really measure that effectively?
I do 100% agree with you that the best visitor is one who is triggered by a social discussion (word of mouth really.)
On the other hand I totally disagree that sourcing "ambassadors" is the most effective way to create quality traffic. Traffic can be built with adverts, billboards, people, references, etc. But it's worth zero unless it's leveraged with genuine value for the people visiting a brands context.
And the key to real value for consumers in my opinion is great content. Not marketing related content and product info. Real brand content that speaks the language of the target market and offers them value in the form of entertainment, education, etc.
In your last paragraph, I think whats important to note is that people can choose to IGNORE one way advertising like magazines, billboards, etc. They can do the same with crappy Facebook pages. And worse of all, if they are really crappy they can go out and do as much damage to the brand as good.
You've got a better chance of achieving the latter if you offer genuine value in your context with the use of original brand content.