Name: Dan Monheit
Title: Co-founder and Director of Strategy, Hardhat Digital
Qualifications: BBus (Marketing), BBus (Management)
Current project or activity:
Developing strategies and initiatives for some of Australia’s most progressive brands, whilst leading and developing the 40 strong team at Hardhat.
- Convincing my wife to marry me
- Successfully cultivating two additional humans
- Growing the agency from two guys with a laptop and a dream to the business we are today
My great friend, brilliant businessman and all round excellent guy, Ruslan Kogan
Which brand do you most admire and why?
At the moment its MAAP, a relatively new cycling brand out of Melbourne that has succeeded where so many others have failed. MAAP rocketed from start up to ‘must have’ status within 12 months of launch – no mean feat when you’re selling pieces of Lycra for $300 in a very crowded market.
Of course, their strategy is on point, but to be honest, the strategy for launching a new cycling brand is pretty standard. Where these guys have set themselves apart is in the way they execute. Everything they put out, from their distinctive, quirky socks to their gorgeous catalogues and impeccably crafted Instagram posts is done to the highest level. The brand oozes precision, focus and a passion for cycling that’s so pure you can’t help but get caught up in it. Like all great brands, they’re magnetic.
Marketing program you wish you had worked on?
The launch of Jetstar. This was such a bold, brilliant move from Qantas that embodied ‘self disruption’ before ‘self disruption’ was really a thing.
What’s the most valuable marketing lesson you picked up during your career?
Write less wherever possible (Hint: it’s always possible).
What are the biggest challenges facing marketers today?
There are so many!
- Accepting that no matter how big the budget, we can no longer be ‘everywhere’. The landscape is just too fractured. Prioritisation and tough decisions are required on every initiative. No days off. No autopilot. No ‘same as last time’. It demands a relentless focus on picking out the problem most worth solving, all while managing an ever-expanding roster of agencies.
- Being held accountable for things over which they have little or no control. So often a customer’s purchasing or onboarding experience is limited by out-dated technology, systems or processes. In larger organisations especially, marketers tend to lack the authority or budgets needed to make the necessary changes.
- The constant battle for boardroom relevance, despite the fact that the brands they represent are often worth more than the factories producing the products which they adorn.
Best recent technological advance for marketing?
I might be bias but I think the internet’s been pretty good.
Future direction for the marketing profession?
Without a doubt, the remit of the modern marketer will continue to expand, encapsulating every touch point and the end to end customer experience.
What does “Fuelling Progress” mean to you?
Creating an organisation and an environment where we value progress over perfection. We’re in an industry where we never really get to make it past ‘novice’ status on anything before it all changes. If we’re honest with ourselves, progress is all we’ve got.
Do you think sustainability is a burning issue for marketing?
While there’s debate about how much consumers actually value sustainability (by value I mean pay a premium), the inevitable conclusion feels like it’ll become a ticket to the game for any self-respecting brand in the not too distant future.
What attributes make a great marketer?
Curiosity, creativity and critical thinking.
Articles or books you have read that influenced your thinking as a marketer?
Nudge, Predictably Irrational, The Power of Habit, Hooked
“I’d won or lost the fight before I entered the ring” (Muhammad Ali)
White men cant jump
Favourite sports team?
The 1995-96 Chicago Bulls
Favourite holiday spot?
Last book you read?
The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly
Bikes, sneakers, coffee