An Interview with David Quinlan, Marketing Director for IABBB

interview series on suttida yang's blog

Something I’m excited to bring to my blog are interviews. In the past twelve years of my career, I’ve met a lot of great people, worked with some, and have become friends with many.

One of the reasons why I wanted to start interviewing other working professionals and feature them on my blog was to give my readers (that means YOU) a different perspective as well as outlook on how you can approach your own work/life.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, you are an entrepreneur, a blogger, or a side hustler, my hope is that these interviews will help inspire you and motivate you to live your best life doing what you love.

For my very first interview, I reached out to David Quinlan. He and I met back in 2014 when I first brought on BBB Pacific Northwest + Pacific (BBBNWP) on as a client. What’s been amazing to me is that we not only work incredibly well together, we have also become friends in the process. David is someone I can easily bounce ideas off of, geek out about the world of marketing and business with, and turn to for some pep talk.

When I first started working with David, he was new to digital marketing and new to taking over the entire marketing department at BBBNWP. We quickly bonded over getting up to speed with the digital marketing landscape and resources he could turn to in order to stay up-to-date.

All of this transpired naturally into our conversations around BBBNWP’s marketing initiatives – strategically what we wanted to do to develop alignment organizationally, how growth hacking would be integrated, and how we’d ensure a solid content strategy played a role through it all while driving business results.

David’s Bio

David oversees the international marketing efforts of Better Business Bureau. He understands the challenges of brand relevance as well as value of accreditation for consumers and businesses.

He is a digital marketing enthusiast, storyteller and passionate customer service provider. David recently earned his Executive MBA at Boise State University. Prior to his years of service with BBB, David worked as a television reporter and investigative journalist for more than a decade.

When not working from his laptop he is hanging out with his partner Dan and their black lab Lucy. The three are outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers. David is also an avid sports fan and amateur photographer.

david and dan

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing marketing professionals today?

As a marketer one of the biggest challenges I face today is staying ahead of the curve. Between all the marketing lingo, digital products, new technology, blogs, webinars, videos and infographics– marketing can be a daunting task to navigate through. It is easy to lose site of your core purpose and end goal.

So, as marketers we need to be able to adopt to the changing landscape and always keep the target audience in mind. What are their pain points? How can your product or service alleviate those pains? What job is your customer hiring you to do?  By answering those three core questions – you’ll be able to focus in, deliver compelling content and turn a prospect into a brand advocate.

How do you see content playing a role in a business’s ability to compete and thrive?

Creating relevant content that works for your audience is certainly a crucial step in the customer journey. Where I would caution people is to not just create content for the sake of creating content – but developing a strategy or blueprint on how it will help reach your goals.

That goes back to my previous point of understanding who your audience is. At BBB we’ve spent years producing consumer facing content around education and scam prevention. And while there is tremendous value in that type of information – it did not necessarily speak to our paying customer (business owners) and it definitely did not translate into sales.

Instead we should have asked how can we help businesses be better and more successful? What can BBB offer to help reach your business goals? Having those answers and creating content and strategy around it could have ultimately help drive performance and differentiate the brand in the market.

People over profit or profit over people? What’s your take on this?

Hands-down – people over profit. Sure, it’s nice to work for an organization that is performing well and generating massive profits. But at the end of the day, one must remember that it’s the employees and customers who really drive success. Perhaps it’s my time at BBB where I’ve learned to put people first, be transparent, lead with trust, and create a culture of excellence and courage. It’s this mentality, in my opinion, that make good organizations great. 

What’s more important to you when it comes to chasing your passion and monetizing it?

Having deep passion about an idea is obviously a key element of success. But where many people fall short is their inability to pivot and re-group when that idea isn’t working.

In my opinion, you must embrace diversity of thought and welcome new ideas and feedback especially if you want to monetize your passion. Bring the customer along for the journey. Listen to them. Create buy-in. There’s no such thing as no new ideas – so be willing to grow with your passion even if it looks much different from where you started.

Work/life balance or integration? How do you make this work for yourself?

This has always been a difficult area for me to balance. It’s easy to get caught up in a project or “crisis” that you ignore what’s most important. You and the people around you. No matter how many hours in the day you may have, there is never enough time to get everything done.

david quinlan and lucy

I try to establish boundaries and block out time in my calendar for me to reflect on the week and plan ahead. I try and remember that I have two full-time jobs – my 9-5 job and the job of making me a better person.

Being the full package allows me to not only succeed at work, but it enables me to present with family and loved ones. Tough to do – but if you respect the boundaries, you’ll be a better person for it.

Favorite motivational quote and why?

“Have more courage to explore what your purpose is all about.”

-Rich Raimondi, President at Bishop Kelly High School.

I heard Rich talk during a lecture in 2018 in Boise and remember him telling us to find our passion. What is it that lights you up inside? I think we can all use more courage when it comes exploring what our purpose is. It’s scary – it’s uncertain – but ultimately, it’s what makes us whole. 

Check out a couple of the webinars David and I ran together:

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