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An Interview with Dave Chaffey

by | Jan 18, 2022 | Interviews,

Dave Chaffey

Dave Chaffey

Co-founder and Content Director at Smart Insights.

Key Topics:Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, and Digital Marketing Strategy
Location:Derby, UK

Dave Chaffey is the co-founder and content director of Smart Insights and author of several bestselling digital marketing books including 'Digital Marketing: Strategy Implementation', and 'Practice and Digital Marketing Excellence'.

His passion is educating students and marketers about the latest best practices in digital marketing and helping businesses to get the most of the amazing opportunities available from integrating online marketing into their businesses.

How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?

I was fortunate to be invited to be a trainer in Strategic Internet Marketing for the UK’s Chartered Institute of Marketing in the mid-1990s. They were looking for someone with a technology background who had worked within marketing-related jobs.

I developed my expertise through consulting and training with large B2B and B2C international organisations and their partners including 3M, BP, Barclaycard, HSBC, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, M&G Investment, Nokia, O2, and Royal Canin (Mars Group). I’ve also worked with many smaller companies like Arco,, and Euroffice and micro-businesses and startups.

I distilled much of what I learned into my books and the Smart Insights templates which help structure the process of planning and implementation. Explaining to others is an enjoyable way to learn since you have to decide what matters and create the best visuals to explain the concepts and practices – I have created hundreds of these visual learning tools.

What sub-topics are you most passionate about?

Almost all applications of Digital marketing! It helps that I’m regularly updating my books… I have just updated the 8th edition of Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation, and Practice (with Fiona Ellis-Chadwick) which runs to nearly 600 pages, so there’s a lot to be passionate about.

But since you asked, Strategy is important and often gets neglected because of a focus on tactics. Data-driven marketing and analytics are part of the power of digital and I have attended probably more conferences on this than anything. But I love following and discussing the evolution of content, search, social, email marketing, and user experience too.

Who influences you within these topics?

Again, I feel fortunate that I have learned from a lot of different specialists, too many to name. Through speaking and discussions at many conferences focused on different digital channels, I’ve learned from and with lots of specialists.

What do you think the future holds in this space?

In my experience with B2B influencer management, influencer activity is often ad hoc and based around individual campaigns, content assets, or events. That’s why I’m a big fan of the reports Onalytica has published on assessing the maturity of Influencer Relationship Management. These give a practical framework for reviewing strengths and weaknesses and improving digital PR more broadly. As this space matures I think we will see improved integration and more long-term thinking. A focus on IRM encourages a more strategic approach for developing longer-term relationships with influencers and using them across always-on digital activities.

What brands are leading the way in this space?

Through working with HubSpot as a content partner for several years, they seem to have cracked many of the issues of strategy, measurement, and process. They have built a machine with team members focusing on co-marketing activities with publishers and individual influencers to reach many audiences in many countries.

If a brand wanted to work with you, which activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?

Across the years, I have enjoyed collaborating on a range of content asset formats, in particular reports, whitepapers, webinars, and offline events.

What are your passions outside of work?

I’m an outdoorsy sort of person, so enjoy walking, running, orienteering, climbing, and traveling across the UK and beyond. Also, indie guitar music and gig going.

What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?

Via LinkedIn.

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