#19 Running a marathon in marketing shoes ft. Alex Dorward

  • Pierce Ujjainwalla

    Pierce Ujjainwalla

    Co-Founder & CEO, Knak

Published Nov 9, 2021

#19 Running a marathon in marketing shoes ft. Alex Dorward

In this episode, Pierce is joined by consultant, executive, entrepreneur, and volunteer Alex Dorward. What makes Alex so fascinating is that over the past year, he’s been completing a different challenging physical and/or mental feat to help raise awareness and money for charities. Alex has collected his lessons learned from his own business and his feats to give you incredibly unique marketing insights, tips and trends. You don’t want to miss this one.

Show Notes

Alex is the COO of Simple Story, incoming VP at Ascribe Marketing Inc (ascribeinc.ca), and founder of the 12because fundraising initiative. He was an Executive at Accenture Interactive and Co-Founder of two edtech startups that have since been acquired in 2015 and 2019 by Student Life Network and Youthfully, respectively. Alex was a 2019 recipient of the Forty Under 40 by the Ottawa Board of Trade, 2021 recipient of his alma mater StFX’s Young Alumnus Award, helped lead Simple Story in winning 2019 Ottawa Small Business of the Year and Accenture to winning the 2018 CCDI ERG of the Year Award. 

The harshness of the pandemic incentivized Alex to create 12because, an initiative that aims to complete 12 feats during 12 months for 12 different charities. So far, Alex has completed a triathlon, ran a marathon, stayed underwater continuously for 4 hours and more! But completing these “feats” is not the only challenge Alex has had in his journey. Raising awareness and donations has been just as time-consuming. However, his work at 12because and at his own video-creation company, Simple Story, has taught him several lessons we can all apply to our marketing tactics.

“In general, people want to help and be engaged, but you have to show value, show the purpose, and have a clear call to action. Calls to action often say, here’s my marathon, support me, and people are confused, asking if they can donate, join in or what. It’s not necessarily clear.”

One of the trends Alex has caught through his charity work is people’s preferences for short, entertaining videos, a phenomenon he had encountered before in his own company. He’s seen clients moving budgets away from events and towards video to reach a broader audience even if the costs are superior. Although a solid strategy, Alex confessed there are setbacks to omitting details and not using long-format videos or in-depth text.

“Sometimes, being concise is good. But in my opinion, because of that super hyper-focus, super short-form video and text, you need click-beaty content that may lead to misinformation.”

Which kind of video format do you prefer?

If you’d like to be part of 12because and support Alex in his journey, click here to learn more.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

1) Advantages and disadvantages of long and short-form videos. 

2) Understanding your audience to create better content

3) Marketing trends for 2022

Follow Alex on Linkedin

Thanks for listening to Unsubscribed! – a podcast created by Knak. If you enjoyed this episode, please do subscribe and leave a review on your favourite podcast player. If you have any feedback, or want to chat, feel free to reach out to Pierce on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter @marketing_101.

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  • Pierce Ujjainwalla


    Pierce Ujjainwalla

    Co-Founder & CEO, Knak

    Pierce is a career marketer who has lived in the marketing trenches at companies like IBM, SAP, NVIDIA, and Marketo. He launched Knak in 2015 as a platform designed to help Marketers simplify email creation. He is also the founder of Revenue Pulse, a marketing operations consultancy.