2016 Marketing Predictions: Dan Sullivan


Marketers are forgetting the individuals that make up the aggregate. – Dan Sullivan

We may be biased, but we think Dan Sullivan is pretty great. Dan’s been working on building smarter, better, more useful communities for over a dozen years before founding Crowdly in 2012. An expert in the social application of technology, Dan has a wealth of knowledge on influencer marketing, word of mouth, and smarter engagement in online communities. You can find him speaking at conferences like WOMMA, and collaborative spaces like Harvard iLab, as well as in contributions to MarketingProfs, Content Marketing Institute, and many more.

Here’s a look at what Dan had to say about 2016.

What role do you see Influencer Marketing playing in brand marketing strategies in 2016? 

2015 is the year we saw the mass market adoption curve hit, and I think we’re coming into 2016 with a vast majority of good major brands actively employing Influencer Marketing. I think we’ll see a large slice of them that have gotten their feet wet in 2015 refining and evolving those efforts in 2016 as well.

What is the most widespread mistake you’ve seen brand marketers make in 2015 that you hope they learn from in 2016? 

Forgetting the individuals that make up the aggregate. Build for the person, not the people, and use common sense to temper data. A key example of this is confusing Twitter followers with influence. The going rate for 10k Twitter followers on Fiverr is $5 right now
. Think about what would actually change your mind, drive you to action, and work back from there.

What word do you hope is officially banned from marketing vernacular in 2016?

(X)aaS. Stupid ideas cloaked in Blank-as-a-Service. Friend Rental as a Service, Youtube Comments as a Service, Beef Jerky as a Service (BJaaS of course). As the Founder of a SaaS company, this peeve has inherited the seething contempt made available now that brands have largely stopped quipping ‘Got Milk’ derivatives.

What marketing events are you looking forward to this year?

SXSW Interactive. It’s chaotic, loud, and more than a little self serving, but it’s also a lot of fun, a great way to meet people we work with in person, and been really useful to us as a company. It took us a few years of going to get our shit together and figure out what works. We host a private friends and family BBQ that provides an opportunity to get good people to talk, and realized that 70% of SXSW is won or lost in the prep and outreach before we head out.


Looking to connect with Dan? Follow him on Twitter, find him on LinkedIn, or shoot him an email at hello@crowdly.com