[interview.metadata] with David Eldred, CFMP – Marketing Manager with Rivermark CreditUnion

David Eldred, CFMP – Marketing Manager for Rivermark CreditUnion responds to some timely questions from our teams.

A local marketer in the difficult financial services space, David also makes effective use of social media to promote content and his personal and intellectual brand.

Here are his insights:

Q1: can you tell us about an interesting way you’ve used data to drive your digital marketing efforts in 2018?

Eldred: For my company, Rivermark Community Credit Union, 2018 is the year we embraced Marketing Automation and went all-in.

A big part of scoping this project was identifying the data needed in order to power our vision for automating our prospecting, nurturing, and expansion strategies across four primary marketing channels: website personalization, email automation, direct mail automation, and call center outreach.

We selected Marketo as our Marketing Automation Platform and I’ve been blogging about our experience from the start. The most recent post may be of interest to your readers, as it explores how the effective use of data in marketing allows savvy marketers to add a sixth “P” to the marketing mix: Prediction.

Simply put, prediction allows marketers to finally prospect, nurture and convert customers using the equivalent of laser targeting instead of casting nets full of holes. Read more about my thoughts on the topic at the following link:


Q2: Where do you see companies wasting their digital budgets in 2018, and where are they wise to invest?

Eldred: The answer to that will vary from industry to industry and company to company, but in general terms, I believe that no matter what you’re doing, if it’s not driven by the strategies you’ve identified to differentiate yourself, you’re likely wasting half your spend.

One of my favorite quotes related to this came from Sun Tzu: “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” In digital marketing, there are so many tools from which to choose that the first mistake I see many marketing teams make is what I call “Magpie Marketing” where they flit from one bright and shiny marketing tool to the next, pursuing whatever is new in favor of what they’ve proven is already working for them. The weight of all those tactics drowns for lack of a strategy.

In my opinion, a great investment no matter what your strategy calls for lies in analytics.

Most metrics are really just vanity-metrics that make marketing teams feel good. But really, there are only three that matter: 1) How many leads did you generate? 2) How many new relationships did you win? 3) How many accounts/products/services did you sell? Analytics helps you boil all the data down to those three pillars of effective marketing. For more thoughts on the dangers of digital marketing, check out the following link:


Q3: What haven’t we covered that you feel is important for MBA students to know about the future of online marketing.

Eldred: Uncovering customer intent allows your marketing to be the most effective it can be. As Peter Drucker once wrote, “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

Data is ubiquitous, but analytics can help distill it down to an actionable strategy.

In today’s world, data is the new creative and the firms who will thrive, much less survive, will be those who tap into the intent of their prospects and customers most effectively — and then adhere to transparency and honesty in their marketing so as not to lose trust.

Intent allows you to be present at your prospects’ Zero Moment of Truth, and that is a beautiful thing. For more thoughts on Data as the New Creative, check out the following link: