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Marketing strategist, speaker and bestselling author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR and the new book World Wide Rave


My Wikipedia entry

I didn’t plan on becoming an online thought leadership and viral marketing strategist. I came upon it accidentally.

At the height of the dot-com boom, I was vice president of marketing at NewsEdge Corporation, a NASDAQ-traded online news distributor with $70 million in revenue. My multi-million dollar marketing budget included tens of thousands of dollars a month for a public relations agency, hundreds of thousands a year for print advertising and glossy collateral materials, and expensive participation at a dozen trade shows a year. My team put these things on our marketing to-do list, worked like hell to execute, and paid the big bucks because, well, that’s what one did as marketing and PR people. These efforts made us feel good because we were doing something but the programs were not producing significant, measurable results.

At the same time, drawing on publishing experience I had gained in my prior position as Asia marketing director for the online division of Knight-Ridder, at the time one of the largest newspaper companies in the world, I quietly created content-based, “thought leadership” marketing and PR programs on the Web.

Against the advice of the PR agency professionals we had on retainer (who insisted that news releases were only for journalists), we wrote and sent dozens of releases ourselves. Each time we sent a release, it appeared on dozens of online services such as Yahoo!, resulting in hundreds of sales leads.

Even though our advertising agency told us not to put the valuable information “somewhere where competitors could steal it,” we created a monthly thought leadership newsletter called TheEdge, with articles about the exploding world of digital news. We made it freely available on the home page of our Web site because it generated interest from qualified buyers.

Way back in the 1990s when Web marketing and PR was in its infancy, I ignored the old rules, drawing instead on my experience working at publishing companies, and created thought leadership strategies to reach buyers directly on the Web.

Guess what? The homegrown, do-it-yourself programs we created at virtually no cost consistently generated more interest from qualified buyers than the big bucks programs that the “professionals” were running for us—and resulted in millions of dollars in sales. People we never heard of were finding us through search engines.

Wow. I had stumbled on a better way to reach buyers.

In 2002, after NewsEdge was sold to The Thomson Corporation, I started my own business to refine my ideas, work with select clients, and teach others through writing, speaking at conferences, and conducting seminars for corporate groups. The subject of all this work: Reaching your buyers directly and driving more revenue using online thought leadership.

Since then, many new forms of online media for delivering thought leadership have burst onto the scene, including blogs, podcasts, video, and virtual communities. But what’s the same about all the new Web tools and techniques is that together they are the best way to communicate directly with your marketplace.

I’ve written over 100 magazine articles and three books:
> The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to use news releases, blogs, podcasts, viral marketing and online media to reach your buyers directly (2007)
> Cashing in with Content: How innovative marketers use digital information to turn browsers into buyers (2005)
> Eyeball Wars: A novel of dot-com intrigue (2001)

I’m a graduate of Kenyon College, and have lived in New York, Tokyo, Boston, and Hong Kong. I’ve presented at hundreds of industry conferences and events in over twenty countries on four continents.

The thought leadership programs I have developed are responsible for selling over one billion dollars in products and services worldwide.

My work has been recognized in a number of awards competitions including selection into the Viral Marketing Hall of Fame (MarketingSherpa), a Platinum PR Award for excellence in a one-year communications campaign (PR News) and a Gold Quill for Business Communication (International Association of Business Communicators)

What’s the deal with Meerman?

Many people ask me why I use my middle name in my professional endeavors. Well, it is certainly cool that the first-born son in my family going back many generations has Meerman as a middle name. Part of my family came from Dordrecht in the Netherlands and, you guessed it, Meerman is a Dutch name.

But the main reason I use Meerman is that there are so many David Scotts out there that it can be confusing which one of us you are communicating with. I run accross other David Scotts often. Once, the Boston Red Sox sent me tickets that I hadn't ordered -- they had been intended for another David Scott. Alas, I felt compelled to return them.

Some of us are famous -- one David Scott walked on the moon as commander of Apollo 15 another David Scott is a six-time Iron Man Triathlon Champion and another David Scott is a US Congressman. Certainly good company, but for clarity and search engine optimization purposes, I chose to become unique among my fellow David Scotts.

Contact information
I’ve modified the details to foil unscrupulous people who electronically harvest email addresses and phone numbers to add to questionable lists. You’ll need to type in the email address manually – I’m sure you can figure it out.

Email: david at davidmeermanscott dot com
Phone: area code 617 number 513-9548
David Meerman Scott
32 Turning Mill Road #200
Lexington, MA, 02420

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