Daniel Incandela joined Return Path in January 2015 and serves as Chief Marketing Officer.

Prior to Return Path, Daniel has held various marketing leadership roles where he set new standards for digital marketing excellence.

Daniel is a frequent speaker at digital marketing events. He’s also included in the Indianapolis Business Journal’s “Forty under 40.”

He’s sharing insights for our third installment of “What I Want Marketers to Know.”

Daniel Incandela

Location: Indianapolis… with a lot of travel.
Current Role: Chief Marketing Officer at Return Path.
One word that best describes how you view the state of marketing today: Change.
Tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today.

I’m not entirely sure. I have an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and have worked in the museum field, auto racing, and now SaaS. I will say that the common thread between anthropology and marketing is that I’m a storyteller. This has served me really well and helped me discover other areas I’m passionate about, such as branding, content, and digital. I love marketing. It lets me use a cultural approach to developing stories — or in our world, customer journeys.

What do you wish marketers knew (but you’re pretty sure they don’t)?

You have to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. Today’s marketing is all about rapid change. Change can be hard, but if we don’t embrace it, we’ll be replaced with someone who will.

What do you see as the biggest challenge faced by marketers today?

Using data smartly. We have never seen this much data. But that doesn’t mean it’s all actionable.

How can they overcome this challenge?

Invest in the right people and systems to report accurate data. It will make or break your strategies.

If you could tell all marketers just one thing, what would it be?

Please remain authentic. Customers want to connect. This can only be done through meaningful experiences.

Technology has already transformed marketing in so many ways. How do you see tech continuing to revolutionize the marketer’s role?

I’ve mentioned change. The strategies we use successfully today may not work in 3-6 months. We need to keep a pulse on emerging technologies, and map that directly back to brand and demand generation activities. This will be primarily driven by data, automation, and some aspects of machine learning/AI, but it’s on us to figure out the right tools for our obstacles.

What are you currently reading, or what would you recommend for marketers?

My wife is expecting, so I am currently reading Parenting the Sh*t Out of Life. I just finished Ready Player One (great for any self-proclaimed geeks and video game junkies). But, I always recommend Creativity, Inc., an all-time favorite.

Daniel Incandela

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see ________ answer these same questions:

Brent Turner, my mentor and friend.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to marketers?

If you work in marketing and you’re not having fun, something’s off.

Daniel IncandelaConnect with Daniel: LinkedIn@danielincandela

Special thanks to Daniel Incandela for his time, energy, and insight.

Know someone who would be a great fit for this series? Email Michael.Becker@Emarsys.com.

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