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Interview with Daniel Jason, CEO of Material Impact Marketing and Communications

Updated: Nov 13, 2023

There is no denying the disruptive potential of new technologies – particularly for businesses across the board. Recent developments in data-driven applications are substantially changing how traditional industries have operated for several years now. Against this backdrop, the marketing and communications sector is perhaps the industry most affected by these changes.

Marketing experts seem to agree that there is no getting around the need to incorporate data analytics into any marketing strategy. Although good instincts and talent remain important attributes of a great marketer, they just won’t cut it in a world that is being led by data.

To discuss recent changes, current trends and the prospects for the marketing and communications industry, we had a little talk with Daniel Jason, CEO and founder of Material Impact Marketing Communications (MIM&C), a PR and marketing consultancy dedicated to helping businesses optimise their marketing and communications to develop and protect their brand equity.

Daniel Jason has over 15 years’ experience in marketing communications, working in-house and agency-side collaborating with large and small financial services and asset management companies around the world. His experience ranges from leading dynamic teams in top-tier firms to pioneering innovative marketing and PR campaigns.

He has recently taken a simple, but impactful mission: turn data into strategy. With MiData, the new digital marketing platform launched by MIM&C, the company is ushering in a new era of marketing – a perfect blend of creativity and analytics. Put simply by the man himself, the purpose of MiData is to “enable business to make informed decisions and fuel growth.” During our talk, Dan let us in on his views about the marketing and communications industry and drew from his vast experience in the business to sketch out the dos and don’ts of companies in relation to new data-driven marketing.

How has the marketing and communications industry changed from when you first started working in it to today?

When I first stepped into the industry, we heavily relied on traditional methods like print advertising, radio spots and long lunches with journalists. The internet was still in its infancy and the concept of data-driven marketing and PR was virtually unknown. Fast forward to today the landscape has drastically changed. The marketing and communications industry has evolved into a highly sophisticated, data-driven field, revolving around storytelling, building one to one relationships with prospects through account based marketing and bringing people together in interest-based communities. When I first started in the industry, the quote “one half of my marketing is working, but I don’t know which half” was thrown around a lot because there was no data. Today, many still can’t answer the question, not because of no data but because of too much data. Ironically, there’s so much data at our disposal, but we’re starved for time to distil it for meaningful insights. This is where MiData steps in, not just as a platform, but as a managed analytics service. MiData simplifies and refines raw data into a boss-ready format (even if your boss is the board), helping marketing and communication teams make informed decisions about their upcoming campaigns. By focusing on the essentials, MiData ensures that the wealth of data becomes a powerful tool, rather than an obstacle, paving the way for informed decision-making and impactful campaigns. Is the role of marketing and communications in financial services today different from what it used to be 10 years ago? Absolutely, the role of marketing and communications has seen a dramatic shift over the past decade. In the past, marketing and PR were often seen as solely creative fields, primarily focused on crafting compelling visuals and a coherent message. Today, while creativity and messaging are still essential, the role has expanded to include data analysis, strategic decision making, more direct lead generation for both disciplines and with the help of data, proving ROI has become easier. Marketing and PR both play crucial roles in driving growth and are more respected than they were.

How are financial services companies keeping pace with recent changes in the marketing landscape?

To keep pace, many companies are leveraging technology and data and using outside consultants like MIM&C. They are using platforms and managed analytics services like MiData to aggregate and analyse marketing data, identify trends and make strategic decisions. For instance, firms that enlist our help are doing so not only for marketing data management and insights that can help promote their brand strategy, but also narrative-based storytelling and emotional resonance. At some point we have to move beyond the numbers to establish a human connection with their audience. Additionally, companies are also upskilling their internal teams, fostering a culture of learning and innovation that goes hand in hand with digital transformation. This dual approach, integrated data-driven decision making and emotionally compelling narratives, keep companies ahead of the curve.

In your opinion, what are the most important trends in the financial services marketing and communications industry today?

There are several significant trends in the marketing industry today. The biggest trends are around account based marketing, marketing automation and artificial intelligence, data and privacy regulation concerns. Financial services businesses are now prioritising account based marketing, aiming to create personalised, seamless interactions across all touchpoints, reshaping customer journeys through the prism of empathy and understanding. This approach helps in nurturing individual prospects or accounts, fostering one-to-one relationships that result in better conversion – and retention. Complementing this is the increasingly sophisticated use of AI and marketing automation, which not only streamlines repetitive tasks but also enriches customer engagement with innovations like AI-driven content and chatbots. Data – understanding your prospects - plays into all parts of marketing and PR today. However, amidst this data-driven transformation, an increasing emphasis on privacy regulations like GDPR has created a balance between hyper-personalisation and respecting privacy, adding a layer of complexity to the marketing puzzle. The future of marketing lies in harnessing these elements cohesively, delivering value while preserving trust.

What should companies interested in updating their marketing strategies stop doing? And what they shouldn’t change?

Companies looking to update their marketing strategies should reconsider any over-reliance on traditional, one-size-fits-all marketing tactics. While intuition and experience still play a crucial role, they need to be complemented by a data-driven understanding of whether or not their website, PR or other channels and tactics are working. As such, siloed data practices should give way to integrated solutions that provide a holistic view.

However, companies shouldn't change the core of what marketing is all about: understanding and serving the customer. While tactics and tools may evolve, the focus on creating value for clients should remain the cornerstone of any strategy.

This means creating authentic, relevant value propositions that resonate with their needs and desires. This balance between data-driven insights and customer-centric value creation forms the foundation of a successful, modern marketing and communications strategy.

About Daniel Jason

​Daniel Jason is an experienced financial marketing and communications specialist. He has worked in PR, brand strategy and marketing for more than 15 years, with large and small brands in financial services, both in-house and agency side.


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