The Virtual CMO Podcast

The Virtual CMO Podcast

Season 5, Episode 12

Hosted By: Eric Dickmann
With Guest: Dan McGaw

Our Featured Guest

Dan McGaw

Founder and CEO -

Dan McGaw is an award-winning entrepreneur, author, speaker, marketing specialist, growth hacker, and Founder and CEO of, an analytics and marketing technology consultancy firm. 

He has led the teams at and, and served as CMO of Effin Amazing, an analytics and marketing consultancy. n 2015, Dan was selected to be a United States Ambassador of Entrepreneurship by the United State State Department, where he had the privilege to advise universities, governments, and private corporations on how to build entrepreneur ecosystems. McGaw authored his latest book- Build Cool Sh*t: A Blueprint to Creating a Marketing Technology Stack. His book aims to help your business survive the so-called- Stackapocalyspe, and improve your marketing efforts by making use of the right marketing tools. 

Dan has worked with many reputable businesses and institutions, such as- Maserati, Wistia, Club Med, Kissmetrics, Orlando Health, and VTS. 

What's Hot?

"Survive the #Stackapocalypse

With the Right Marketing Tools."

Build Cool Sh*t: A Blueprint to Creating a Marketing Technology Stack was written by business strategist, growth hacker, and's Founder and President, Dan McGaw. The main  problem with companies is that that there are so many marketing tools that you can use online , but not all are applicable and effective in their product or service or system. This book aims to save you hours of researching and trial and error, and directs to you the tools and data that you can trust!  

With Dan's decades of experience in marketing automation and analytics,  he can help you create a powerful, flexible marketing technology stack with his collection of essential tools. In Build Cool Sh*t, you will a  better grasp of these  tools and why you should give them the attention that they deserve- Google Tag Management, Segment, ClearBit, Autopilot, Salesforce, Mixpanel, and Zapier.

Buil Cool Sht by Dan McGaw

Dan McGaw

The first time I heard about AI and machine learning is basically, analytics is looking in the rear view mirror and AI is looking out the driver window in the car.  I think the problem is that  most companies, their rear view mirror, the data behind them is what that AI is going to be based off of, right? So if you're driving down a road that's full of potholes behind you, chances are, there's going to be potholes in front of you as well."

What We Discussed with Dan

On this episode, host Eric Dickmann interviews Dan McGaw about using analytics and business intelligence to grow your business. Here are some highlights of our conversation:

  • [00:06:41] Understanding your strategy first - The biggest trap that marketers fall into is purchasing the latest marketing automation tool without understanding how that tool fits into their strategy. Dan tells businesses that it is essential to recognize the outcomes they're trying to create, the metrics they're going to deliver on, and understand how to start building around those things.
  • [00:08:49] Do you need a data warehouse? - It depends on the size of your company. Very small companies don't have the complexity that would necessitate a data warehouse. Medium-sized enterprises could use a CRM platform to house their data. However, for bigger or more advanced companies, a data warehouse might be needed. Aside from a CRM, as the company expands, they might need a more robust and structured visualization tool that would serve as a stepping stone to forecast sales, monitor growth trends, and develop more effective ways to communicate with customers.
  • [00:14:39] Marketing and sales teams SHOULD work together! - Dan shares his experience in working as the Head of Marketing of KissMetrics. According to him, there shouldn't be an internal conflict between sales and marketing. They need to get over their egos and start working together. Only in the collaboration between sales and marketing can a company really achieve great results. 
  • [00:17:14] How do you use tools to identify points in your buyer's journey? - McGaw talks about his book- "Build Cool Sh*t." It covers the ideas of lead scoring and data enrichment. Enhancing your lead scoring model will allow you to monitor your visitor's behavior and develop ways to personalize your business's sales approach and marketing strategy,
  • [00:21:33] How does AI help marketers make better decisions? - Dan likens looking at analytics to looking out the rearview mirror and AI as looking out at the driver's window in the car. He elaborates that even if you have the best marketing automation tools and software, the company's data must be fresh. The problem that Dan sees in businesses is that they view artificial intelligence as a prediction feature more than as a productivity element. 
  • [00:27:00] Proper data hygiene - Businesses can tend to hold on to their data forever. Though he admits he is a data hoarder himself, McGaw reminds us of the importance of reviewing data and getting rid of the outdated information.
  • [00:31:27] UTM - According to Dan McGaw, UTMs are the oldest mechanism for online tracking. It stands for urgent tracking module. It is a data governance product that helps make sure that marketing teams can track their campaign links effectively. 
  • [00:36:23] The most important thing to focus on - The most important tool that most companies have is going to be their marketing automation tool. Businesses in should consider a marketing automation tool attached to their CRM. Having marketing attached to your CRM allows for better lead tracking, scoring, and attribution.
  • [00:38:48] Starting from scratch - Dan reminds small enterprises to take things slowly and not immediately purchase overly sophisticated tools. He further advises startups to give themselves six to twelve months before launching something big. Watch the data and take time to observe the changing trends. 

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Eric Dickmann

About the author

Eric Dickmann is the Founder / CMO of The Five Echelon Group, host of the weekly podcast "The Virtual CMO" and YouTube series "Work-Life" and a fractional CMO for a variety of small and midsize companies. An executive leader with over 30 years of experience in marketing, product development, and digital transformation, he has worked with large, global companies and small startups to develop and execute marketing strategies to bring innovative products to the market.