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Digital Marketing Acceleration

Podcast #13: Digital Customer Engagement with Michael Darwal

Jon Lunitz interviews Michael Darwal, Chief Digital Officer @ibex Digital

The Best Bits

On today's podcast, Jon continues his Executive Edge Series as he talks with Michael Darwal, ibex's Chief Digital Officer, to unpack his role at ibex, his history in the industry, and his vision for the ibex Digital brand. If you didn't get a chance to listen to the full interview, below are the best bits, selected just for you.

  • Jon Lunitz: So Chief Digital Officer – what does that role entail?
  • Michael Darwal: Within ibex, what that entails is oversight of our performance marketing and digital marketing agency businesses. We have kind of a unique portion of our business focused on helping brands acquire new customers, generate new inquiries, and connect their online to offline marketing functions.
  • Michael: The majority of all technologies we use within ibex are proprietary technologies, the first of which is a system we call Adcast, which allows us to manage ad placements, ad types, ad units, and bit types across platforms – predominantly Google, Facebook and Instagram platforms today.
  • Jon: Let’s take a little bit of a step back and talk about some of your earlier experiences. Do you have anything that you remember or were there any significant events, maybe in either in your early childhood or education that started you along this journey, in which now you ended up as being Chief Digital Officer?
  • Michael: I kind of shown a good interest early on in life in understanding what was driving some of those businesses (clothing, manufacturing, print advertising, or small local family-owned businesses), so as I was going through school, I was looking at how the economic environment was, I thought that one of the best ways to lean in and understand what was really driving the economics of the business and success was to focus on the accounting and finance side of things.
  • Jon: And that grew into, what was it? Sounds like it was more emergent than directive, and that kind of grew into what? Was it an inclination towards this digital marketing? Was it an experience? Was it an opportunity that you had, maybe working for one of these manufacturing firms?
  • Michael: It’s interesting – it was kind of the confluence of unique opportunity and then the ability to apply some of the things I had learned from kind of the traditional building block sets.
  • Jon: From an early on in the fundamentals, you went from these roles in these public companies where you had really large scale, but limited scope. Then as you moved into the private companies, you tremendously increased your scope, but you decreased your scale and that have seemed to spark this entrepreneurial spirit within you, and then you just created this ambush and creation of this digital marketing business, which then you ended up selling to ibex.
  • Michael: Yep, that’s absolutely it and I think that was one of those things that was really appealing about shifting from a public company that had a lot of scale, but offered limited scope to going to a smaller, private company.
  • Michael: I think when you go to work alongside people that you have tremendous respect for and you watch them move forward in their career and continue to grow what they’re doing and build teams like that below them. And then, when you work for folks that you find are just as invested in you and just as focused on people and their people’s success around you, it becomes a really appealing thing. Regardless of what the business is, it becomes more attractive and more engaging to stay vested in that.
  • Jon: Is there anything specific that you’re driving, or innovation that you’re driving, both within this greater peer group, as well as the vertical and horizontal, if you look at this?
  • Michael: Within the digital marketing area itself, one area that we continue to vest in is figuring out how we can take what we’ve had a lot of success with, in terms of two different areas and expand those. One of those is just being innovative and new channels which we advertise.
  • Michael: The other aspect of it is to try to be innovative and take advantage of the connection between our digital marketing and our call center expertise.  


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