Devrims #TechTalk 055: Dennis Yu Talks About Storytelling and Branding

Rimsha Victor Gill

Devrims #TechTalk 055: Dennis Yu Talks About Storytelling and Branding

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Dennis Yu combines a rich educational background with a robust professional trajectory.

Originally from Los Angeles, Dennis pursued his academic interests at Southern Methodist University, specializing in Finance and Econometrics, before furthering his studies at the prestigious London School of Economics.

His professional journey commenced in the tech industry, notably with positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines, where he honed his skills in search engine marketing, analytics, and gained invaluable leadership insights under the mentorship of Robert Crandall.

In 2008, Dennis co-founded BlitzMetrics, a forward-thinking digital marketing company dedicated to providing analytics and social media strategies for businesses.

His work extends beyond the corporate realm to nurturing the next generation of marketers through partnerships with educational institutions, offering real-world experience and mentorship to young adults.

With a career highlighted by collaborations with major brands like the Golden State Warriors and Nike, Dennis is recognized for his expertise in leveraging data and technology to enhance marketing success.

A passionate educator, he also shares his knowledge globally as a speaker, emphasizing the importance of authenticity, storytelling, and personal branding in the digital age.

Devrims: Hello Dennis, thanks for joining us today. Please share a bit about your educational journey and professional experience to give our readers some insights into your background.

Dennis: So I grew up in Los Angeles and went to school at Southern Methodist University, where I pursued a degree in Finance and Econometrics.

I also went to the London School of Economics after.

Professionally, I started my career in the tech industry, working for companies like Yahoo! and American Airlines. At Yahoo!, I was involved in search engine marketing and analytics, which sparked my interest in digital marketing.

My experience at American Airlines, under the mentorship of Robert Crandall, taught me valuable lessons in leadership and strategic thinking.
In 2008, I co-founded BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company that focuses on providing analytics and social media strategies for businesses.

At BlitzMetrics, we emphasize mentorship and training for young adults, partnering with schools to offer hands-on experience in digital marketing.

This aligns with my passion for education and mentorship, as I believe in empowering the next generation of marketers with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.

Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to work with major brands like the Golden State Warriors, Nike, and Rosetta Stone, managing digital campaigns and helping them achieve their marketing objectives.

I’ve also had the privilege of sharing my insights as a speaker at conferences and events around the world, which has allowed me to connect with fellow marketers and learn from their experiences.
Overall, my journey has been a blend of education, professional experience, and a continuous pursuit of learning.

I’m passionate about leveraging data and technology to drive marketing success, and I’m dedicated to sharing that knowledge with others in the industry.

Devrims: Can you tell us more about your role as the CEO of BlitzMetrics and how your company partners with schools to train young adults in digital marketing?

Dennis: My role is to lead our team in delivering data-driven marketing solutions to our clients.

Obviously, this means making sure we’re giving our clients 10x whatever value they pay us, but it also means training up others who can do the same.

One of the unique aspects of BlitzMetrics is our partnership with schools to train young adults in digital marketing. We believe in creating opportunities for students to gain real-world experience by working on projects for actual clients.

This not only helps students build their portfolios but also provides businesses with fresh perspectives and innovative ideas.

My main mission is to create as many jobs as possible for young adults. Not only in the US, but in places like the Philippines, Pakistan, and India.

Devrims: You mentioned your mission centers around mentorship. Why is mentoring the next generation of digital marketers so important to you?

Dennis: Mentorship is at the core of our mission because we believe in the power of passing on knowledge and experience to the next generation.

When I was younger I was mentored by Robert Crandall, the former CEO of American Airlines.

So I know from my own experience how valuable these mentorships are for helping young adults succeed. Not only in the training it provides – but in the connections.

The digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving, and it’s crucial for young marketers to have guidance and support as they navigate their careers.

By mentoring these young adults, we’re not only helping them grow professionally but also ensuring the continued advancement of the industry as a whole.

Devrims: What key insights, strategies, or best practices have you learned from managing major digital campaigns for brands like Golden State Warriors and Nike that you try to impart to your students?

Dennis: In managing digital campaigns for brands like the Golden State Warriors, Redbull, Nike, etc. I’ve learned the importance of authenticity and storytelling.

In the online marketing world these sales bros just want to sell. But when you actually invest in storytelling and proper communication, you actually get a much higher ROI on the other end.

Consumers resonate with brands that have a genuine voice and a compelling narrative.

We try to impart this to our students, emphasizing the need to create content that connects with the audience on a personal level.

Devrims: Let’s do a quick rapid-fire.

Devrims Dennis
Books or Movies Books: “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.
Tea or Coffee Coffee: Some milk and light sugar
Day or Night Night: Better for recording content

Devrims: You’re an internationally recognized lecturer in digital marketing what topic or topics do you find audiences around the world most respond to?

Dennis: The topic that resonates most with audiences worldwide is the power of personal branding in the digital age. People are interested in learning how to leverage social media to build their personal brand and establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry.

This is probably due to the massive increase of influencers in the last decade popping up on your for-you-page everyday.

But it also goes to show where the internet is going.

The days of quick sales and quick profits are over online for the most part. People crave real authentic connection in business.

What really matters is your expertise and how you can help people.

(When I was in Dubai we rented a Rolls Royce for a day for $150 to show how easily influencers can fake wealth)

Devrims: You’ve spoken 730 times in 17 countries – what have been one or two of your most memorable speaking engagements?

Dennis: One of my most memorable speaking engagements was speaking at Facebook’s headquarters, sharing insights on social media marketing strategies.

It’s not every day you get an opportunity to speak in front of the people you’re paying to advertise – and it was a fun experience.

Devrims: With top skills in lead generation, SEO, and SEO audits, what trends are you seeing in those areas lately? Do you have any tips for brands to improve in those areas?

Dennis: In the areas of lead generation, SEO, and SEO audits, we’re seeing a trend towards more personalized and user-focused strategies.

In particular, we’re working closely with local service businesses.

We’ve even started a project where local service businesses can request an audit and diagnose exactly what’s wrong with their website from an SEO standpoint here.

Brands should focus on creating content that addresses the specific needs and interests of their target audience, and ensure their website is optimized for user experience and search engine visibility.

For example, our friends at Agape Built Pools outside Louisville.

Because their target market lives in the Louisville area, we’ve helped them change content strategy to mention the surrounding areas, and therefore increase their SEO presence online.

Devrims: If you could give just one piece of advice to someone who is just getting started with digital marketing today, what would it be?

Dennis: My advice to someone just getting started with digital marketing is to focus on learning and experimenting.

The digital landscape is constantly changing, so it’s important to stay curious and be willing to try new tactics and technologies.

A mistake many young adults make is selling for the sake of selling.

We call this being a sales-bro.

There should be extra emphasis on fulfillment – not just collecting payment for the sake of closing deals.

On the timeline everyday you see some 20 something kid with a rented lambo popping bottles at the club. I think that mindset negatively influences a lot of young adults getting into digital marketing.

Devrims: You have significant expertise in digital marketing and enterprise solutions, could you share your thoughts on managed cloud hosting?

Dennis: Regarding managed cloud hosting, it’s a critical component of digital marketing and enterprise solutions.

It provides scalability, security, and flexibility, which are essential for handling large volumes of data and traffic.

Brands should consider their specific needs and choose a managed cloud hosting provider that offers robust support and customization options.”

Devrims: We’d love to have a picture of your workspace.

Dennis: To be honest – I’m only at my Vegas home for about half the year.

Otherwise, I’m constantly traveling to speak at conferences.

In that way I don’t have a typical workspace” per say.

I do however have a studio with all the fancy lighting equipment that I record videos from.

Devrims: Could you suggest three individuals known for their expertise in marketing whom we could consider for our upcoming interview?

Dennis: For your upcoming interview, I would suggest considering Rand Fishkin, Ann Handley, and Neil Patel.

Each of these individuals has made significant contributions to the field of marketing and has a wealth of knowledge to share.

They’ve also been around forever and can share a ton with you.

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