Tell us about yourself ...
How long have you worked at R2i? Who are some of your clients?
I’ve worked at R2i since May of 2017. My clients include The Hershey Company, DSM, Koch, Quinnipiac University, MicroStrategy, Grace, and Constellation Energy.
What is a recent project that you’ve really enjoyed working on?
DSM is one of my favorites so far, though it’s very hard to choose one. DSM was by far one of the more technical implementations that we have done; it leverages almost every Adobe technology and contains numerous other integrations. The fact that it was challenging is what built the excitement in me and the team. But the fact that it evolved DSMs business and brought on a full digital transformation are what drives us.
What makes R2i different from other digital agencies?
We convey to clients that we don’t work just to get the task done; we also partner with them and help bring their goals to realization. I have been on both sides of the coin, working for Fortune 500 companies and R2i. While I worked for enterprise businesses, utilizing agencies was commonplace, and so was the proclivity for failure. The problem with most digital agencies is they look at client goals as a single problem, not a holistic solution. R2i is different because we look at the full picture, identify problems, create holistic solutions, and work as partners to see client goals through to realization.
What inspires you about digital?
One word: Evolution. You can use your past experiences to clear future obstacles, but you must evolve your skills and knowledge to stay ahead of the curve. That’s exciting! Let’s face it, no one wants to be “pressing the same button” for years of their career. Digital provokes you to create whole new strategies and technical designs every single day—if that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is.
Tell us about your professional philosophy.
As a Solutions Architect, my first commitment is to the user, both internal and external customers. No matter how perfect of a solution we can dream up, if it doesn’t work and make sense to the users, the solution isn’t valuable or elegant. First, we must work with clients to understand the whole problem, end-to-end, and dig until we do. Then, we must understand the needs of users, internal creators and external consumers alike. Finally, we iteratively improve the proposed solution until it is elegant and user-centric. Open and honest collaboration is at the core of this philosophy—that’s where we start and end.
If you could have a dream client, who would it be and why?
There isn’t a single company or industry that would be my “dream” to work with. I think this is more of a concept for me: A dream client is excited about technology, driven to evolve their business, wants to learn, and is open to new ideas. I’m happy to work within the grey confines that some businesses are required to work within, and we will still make it exciting. However, clients that yearn for transformation and welcome technology are the “dream client.”
What are you passionate about outside of the office?
Learning new skills—I love projects and working with my hands. Current projects include finishing the build of my weekend-warrior, Twin Turbo 350z race car; house modifications; retro gaming builds; and planning/building for next year’s Halloween Haunt Party. For as much as I love digital, I try to keep my off-hours away from a keyboard so I never burn out on the things I’m passionate about.
In a Hollywood movie about your life, what actor would you want to cast as yourself?
Russell Crowe—I occasionally get a “Hey, you look like that actor!” Plus, he happens to be a good actor, so why not? Just don’t cast Carrot Top!
Tell us about a major digital marketing trend that businesses should be paying attention to. Why is it important?
A.I. learning. This applies across organizations, including but not limited to…tagging assets, targeting segments, predictive buying patterns, inventory allocations, and campaign management. Imagine true, end-to-end automation based on aggregated data. Predictive recommendations are just the cherry on top. This takes patience to incorporate and isn’t a “Day One” or even a “Year One” task in most cases. But as with most things, persistence pays off. This is where the market is heading, and organizations can either be in front of it or chasing it.