Dennis Yu on How to Become a Technical Marketing Expert
Dennis Yu started out studying Economical and Political Science and ended up being a great technical marketer. Political science “is ultimately about pricing and distribution—who gets what and for what price. Isn’t that where marketing is going?”, says Dennis.
His technical marketing expertise makes him a very important asset for any company and team. If you want to find out all about how Dennis made his way to the top don’t stop reading because you’re in for a treat. And don’t forget to follow Dennis Yu on beBee!
1. Given that you started out studying Economical and Political Science, how did you wind up in the marketing world?
D.Y. I’ve always been fascinated by market forces —why certain things cost more, why pretty women date ugly men, how smart people often can’t find jobs, and how incompetence can persist in what should be an increasingly efficient, transparent marketplace.
There’s the rational view of markets, where the “invisible hand” orchestrates transactions with zero friction. Yet, the behavior of emotional, irrational actors in the market is fascinating.
The key to being a great marketer is to not be perceived as a marketer.
2. You are the all-in-one professional that every company would love to hire when it comes to online marketing. What does it take to actually keep up-to-date and constantly evolve in this profession?
D.Y. The key to being a great marketer is to not be perceived as a marketer. I don’t read marketing books and don’t hold marketing positions.
The same is true for sales— how much credibility do you ascribe to people who tell you they’re in sales at first contact? People buy based on authority, which means instead of calculating the perfect option among many (which takes effort), they choose what’s most plausible. They do what their friends do.
So a great “marketer”—someone who drives interest and revenue, must understand human psychology. I read a lot about these topics as well as certain forms of science fiction. For example, two of my favorite books are Snow Crash and Down and Out in Magic Kingdom —for a view of where we’re heading in 20-30 years.
Good science fiction writers are really just terrible entrepreneurs —they are 20 years ahead of the current market, which is too far for viable monetization.
3. You’ve also been a speaker at marketing events all around the world, so you must be really skilled at it by now. Do you remember the first time you spoke at a conference?
D.Y. I got my start by practicing in Toastmasters (yes, you should join, since it’s amazing and nearly free). My first “real” speaking engagement was a keynote in front of nearly 2,000 people at a software conference back in 1999 —the height of the bubble. As the Internet marketing guy from American Airlines, I was supposed to wax eloquently about the future of CRM across the enterprise.
I knew the buzzwords, had some decent connections, and could speak without notes or saying “uh” all the time. The fact that I could pause for 3 seconds at a time in a speech and look across the audience was thrilling. I found the longer I paused, the more powerful I appeared—especially if I asked questions. And then I realized that most of the “experts” on stage learned how to do this—it wasn’t some magic skill– not that I’m one of the best or would pretend to be a motivational speaker.
I met so many authors, speakers, and coaches– all who sought the stage to become famous. They had a book, would do anything to speak on as many stages as possible—yet didn’t have expertise, since they were too busy traveling and self-promoting. And that struck me as super hypocritical. I discuss the implications here.
The idea of Learn > Do > Teach is that you should only be able to speak from your direct experience. Competence creates confidence, not public speaking tricks. Build a model that is not about you, but a repeatable, step-by-step process that you’ve documented that others can follow to reap the same rewards. That’s why all our team members are coaches and teachers —not people who are trying to broadcast their face everyone and fleece the masses as “influencers”.
Competence creates confidence, not public speaking tricks.
Click here to go to hiveBlog by beBee and read the second part of the interview "WHAT TECHNICAL MARKETING IS ALL ABOUT".