With the digital marketing world evolving at such a fast pace, it’s hard to catch up with IgnitionOne’s SVP of Client Services, Dave Ragals. In my interview with Dave, we explore his professional role and background, discuss his insights on IgnitionOne creating the new frontier in a space where technology and marketing come together and much more.
Mary Baldwin: What do you do?
Dave Ragals: I oversee our client-facing teams, including the Account Managers, Bid Scientists and Media team. I’m also responsible for our global SEM offering. My day to day varies wildly and includes anything from meeting with existing clients to supporting sales efforts to coming up with new solutions for our search product.
MB: How did you get into this field?
DR: My career took me from Broadcast Journalism to Online Journalism (both at CNN) to Online Marketing. Ultimately, it was building out paid search from scratch for the American Cancer Society that got me hooked.
MB: Looking back, how has the digital marketing industry changed in the last 5 years?
DR: The change has been incredible, focusing more and more on the user, which is why I think IgnitionOne is in the right place. The rise of data, real-time bidding, profiling — all put the focus squarely on getting the right message to the right user at the right time. Hey, I think I’ve heard that somewhere before.
MB: Looking forward, what are your predictions for the digital marketing industry within the next 5 yrs?
DR: I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.
MB: How have digital solutions evolved since you started working with them?
DR: As with most enterprise platforms, a big part of the evolution has revolved around usability. Of course, a lot of the evolution is driven by the publishers who drive the media. But the really interesting part is how different providers have developed unique feature sets on top of that. It’s really about building the better mouse trap.
MB: What do you enjoy most about working in our industry?
DR: The pace and the excitement. There are constant opportunities to innovate and solve new challenges. People often ask me what a typical day is like. It’s impossible to answer. No two days are even remotely the same.
MB: Who is your favorite superhero and why?
DR: Batman, hands-down. He has no super powers but yet he accomplishes incredible things. He’s completely human, just a guy dedicated to his cause who doesn’t let anything get in his way. And he has the most incredible toys.
MB: Favorite author?
DR: I can honestly say I don’t have one, although I’m always reading something. I read everything by Dennis Lehane and really enjoy Don Winslow. But I also read a fair amount of non-fiction, usually focused on the first half of the 20th century.
MB: Favorite musician?
DR: That also changes from day to day. My iPod varies from The Grateful Dead to Green Day, the Beatles to the Beastie Boys, Steve Miller to Surfjan Stevens.
MB: What do you enjoy most about working for IgnitionOne?
DR: I love that every challenge is an opportunity to create something new. Basic tenets of technology and marketing apply, but outside of that, much of what we’re doing here hasn’t been done before. That’s exciting.