Thursday, January 7, 2010

Why should you know David Armano?

Clockwise: a Shirky, a Scoble, a Godin and a Vaynerchuk

If you are involved in digital marketing you'll be aware of the rapid turnover of hardware and the even faster speed of evolving software at the points where company and consumers meet. It's dizzying. You'll then have to contend with a seemingly endless flashmob of certified social media and digital branding experts, here in Ireland and from everywhere else.

A glance is usually enough to dismiss most of them as journeymen, but some names get bandied about too much to dismiss so quickly. They're all American. Clay Shirky (a kind of Mahatma Gandhi on a mild steroid course), Seth Godin (Gandhi on a diet), Robert Scoble (Gandhi played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Gary Vaynerchuck (a kind of Gandhi, if he were built by Ant and Dec) are names you can't help but trip over in online marketing terms, and there are heaps more that I'm already too stressed to mention. They've all got something, but in a universe of infinite content you just can't devote your life to following the twelve disciples.

When content is pushed my way from David Armano however, I usually make time to read it. Not just because what he says makes sense, but because I genuinely like the vibe off him. It's a business thing, he offers full disclosure, he's very serious about results and he's not afraid to fall on his arse (in a personal sense) trying something. He seems very human.
Quite a while ago Alexia Golez made a comment that stayed with me. She mentioned the internet being a place that revealed personalities rather than masked them. It made instant sense. You can fake it for a while, but ultimately the real you will out, unless deception is your key game. And Armano feels real to me. Not saying the others aren't: they patently have more presence reality than marketing gurus from any other era. It's just that the cut of Armano's gib works for me, and as opposed to talking about tech specifically, or the hippy vibe of soc media, he actually does all his work at the point where brands and people intersect.

While managers debate who will control social media inside their organizations — marketing, PR, corporate, IT — I say stop and ask the bigger question: Do any of the people who make up your company, agencies, partners and so on actually live social? Do they demonstrate that they work and play in a connected fashion? Once we begin to resolve that (and don't underestimate the power of baby steps), then we can worry about which discipline, department or agency/consultancy is best equipped to help lead the way.

From a recent piece written for the Harvard Business Review. None of it is new at all. He's repeating the same simple message he's been doing for a long time. But it is worth hearing, especially for the smaller Irish companies who maybe don't have the issues of 'Who controls it?' so much as 'where do I start?' or 'How do I find the time?'

Armano is now a Vice President (Americans are big on them) with Edelmann Digital, and he's graduated from the school of been there and done it, via digital creative/strategy work at Critical Mass, Digitas and

There are lots of bright people out there who can teach you many things. I like this guy, and whenever I can I tune in. Which is not nearly enough. Ironically, here's Armano giving loads of kudos to the guys I effectively glossed over a few paragraphs back. Hadn't seen it before I wrote. Typical.


  1. David Armano's content is right click, open in new tab and read during quality time

  2. Agreed with you both - if there is a stand out name that will draw me in for further review it is Armano's. Not only do I find him interesting but he projects a passion for what he does that is based on a genuine excitement about just being involved. Plus there's the fact that he writes $hit hot stuff - always smart, sensible and honest.