About the Author

Kevin Adema

Kevin Adema
Author: Here Be Dragons

Hi, this is Kevin.

The “about me” section is always the most awkward moment for any author to pen. Usually, it’s written in the 3rd person and comes across stuffy, stoic and aloof.

I’d rather speak to you like a known colleague and trusted friend – which, if you read this book and maybe someday we work together, we’ll become.

So – what is it you want to know?

I’m a first generation Canadian, born to Dutch immigrant parents. I live in sunny Florida with my beautiful wife Jennifer and three kids. We also have a Golden Labradoodle, Finnigan. But he prefers just Finn.

That’s probably not what you’re after.

What you’re likely asking yourself: Is this guy worth my time? To be brutally honest, for many marketers, the answer is no.

Here’s why:

Unless you’re willing to seriously embrace change, my writings won’t appeal to you and moreover, my programs won’t work for you either.

Marketing in today’s digital-first world is NOT easy. You can’t take old, pre-digital work and shove it on the Internet or social media and call it “good” and expect it to work. Billions of dollars of research have proven this but sadly, that’s what many marketers still want to do. Status quo thinking plus this body of work will not fit together. If you’re uncomfortable with being uncomfortable, I’m not your guy and this book’s not for you.

If you’re complacent, stop reading.

I’ve spent over two decades sitting in global boardrooms, consulting with agencies and brand directors, and I can say with absolute confidence, marketing takes work and it does not come quickly. If you are not willing to invest some serious time and attention to learning your real craft as a marketer, this isn’t for you.

This is not a get rich quick, easy fix. I set out to give big answers to huge problems. You’re going to have to put down your mobile, close the door, really focus, and get to work.

There are literally millions of online programs and tutorials on how to build this,  fix that, deploy such and such. If that’s what you’re looking for, sorry and again, wrong place.

Marketers always say (read: complain) that marketing is an investment, not a cost, but those are the same marketers that don’t bring anything worth investing in to the table.  They’re the door-to-door salesman of the day peddling the latest and greatest widget of tomorrow. Do this and you’re a tactician not a strategist. I remain convinced that marketing is a craft suited for the best and brightest to think brilliantly, deploy real action, and form masterful plans for real growth, engagement, and success to happen.

Are you still reading? Good.

Businesses are in turmoil since the advent of digital. Trust between brands and consumers continues to plummet due to the widening of what brands are offering and what consumers are demanding. Marketing is no longer trusted by CEO’s. Because of this positional fragility, marketing as a discipline has the highest turnover of any industry. At the same time, only marketing holds the reigns to bridge the gap between the business and the seemingly ever-so-elusive modern consumer.

Marketers need help in two main areas:

  1. Marketers are not strategically addressing the shifts in consumer behaviors and attitudes due to the impact of digital.
  2. A skills gap at the strategic level affects how to solve the problems, isolate true consumer needs, and shape brand behavior towards meaningful engagement.

To address these issues, marketers need to lead and not follow in two main ways:

  1. Marketing must own the cause-and-effect narrative: What has actually happened to the business BECAUSE of digital?
  2. Marketing MUST own the mandatory elements of marketing training to become leaders, change agents, and champions in today’s digital-first world.

It is a problem but it can be solved.
Marketing is primed for a rebirth.
A reclaiming of strategic leadership.
A resurgence.

I almost forgot the regular, resume-like information:

I’ve worked in marketing for over 20 years. I have worked at agencies, run agencies, owned my own agency, and naturally am somewhat proud to brag on a long list of innovation, ROI and digital awards including numerous International Summit Creative and Strategy Awards and Eye for Pharma’s Best Use of Social Media.

I’ve worked in consumer, healthcare, B2B, government, and not-for- profit sectors spanning across Europe and across North America; 

I have launched numerous first-in-class digital campaigns including MS Village – Canada’s first Pharmaceutical company-backed web and social media DTC (Direct to Consumer) platform, digital patient segmentation applications for optimal health and compliance and also handled countless traditional marketing and PR programs including national tours with famous TV personalities.

This experience helped me become the customer-centric, digital-first marketer I am today. It’s a quest and not a position; I continue to read, write and train marketers through a series of workshops, lectures, and courses that show marketers how our field has changed because of digital.

Without a doubt, that radical change is the most important thing marketers need to know. Once you understand it, I then focus on empowering you so you can develop customer-centric profiles (audience segmentation) based on real, human factors. We then hone how to communicate effectively against those pro les and lastly, teach you how to properly look at and use analytics so you have real insights and of course, prove ROI.

Your work will revolutionize marketing. And the best part: you’ll love what you do. Easy stuff. 

Now let’s get to work.

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