The Internet keeps making waves in the consumer space. Companies and consumers continue exploring what can be done with an ever-evolving kit of digital tools, feeding into each other and pushing marketing forward in a way not seen before. Few have observed this process like David R. Bell, an accomplished entrepreneur, investor and academic who’ll share his unique views as the Nexus 2022 keynote speaker. (The previous Keynoter speaker, Mr. Diego Molano is unable to join due to a family issue).
David is an expert in e-commerce and direct-to-consumer brands. As such, he keeps a close eye on the emergence and evolution of companies that make the best out of the tools available in the digital (and real) space to succeed at hyper-speed while managing to navigate the strong currents of their own growth.
“Whole new industries are being born in a matter of years, valued at billions and billions of dollars, while others that have been around for centuries are going by the wayside,” he has said. “The choice is clear: we either skill-up and move ahead to succeed or we fall by the wayside.”
Don’t Brand, Bond
Described as a “serial seed investor”, David is co-founder of Idea Farm Ventures, a New York City-based consumer venture studio “focused on incubating and investing in next-gen lifestyle brands,” according to his official site.
As an active seed investor, David has bet hard on recently successful consumer and retail brands. The list includes Bonobos (acquired by Walmart for US$310 million), Harry’s (acquired by Edgewell for US$1.4 billion) and Quidis (acquired by Amazon for US$545 million), among others.
“In the digital economy, your customers must be sharing your story”–David R. Bell
He has a strong grasp on what makes consumer brands successful in today’s marketing ecosystem, as well as a sharp eye that analyzes the evolving relationship between consumers and brands.
“If you want to succeed in this revolution: Bonding, not branding; orators, not customers,” he said back in 2019 during an OMR Festival. “In the digital economy, your customers must be sharing your story.”
David’s knowledge has attracted the eyes and ears of companies such as Alibaba, Google, Haier, Nike and Ralph Lauren, to whom he has spoken on digital marketing and e-commerce.
The Real World’s Still Real
Though an expert in the digital market, one of David’s points of expertise is the impact of real-world actions in the digital space, and vice versa. His book Location is (Still) Everything: The Surprising Influence of the Real World on How We Search, Shop, and Sell in the Virtual One has become an authoritative source for those seeking to win in the digital economy.
“But we still live in the real world, and the real world shapes what we do in the virtual one”– David R. Bell
“My role really is kind of taking us back and saying:‘You know, the real world still matters’,” he has said. “In the virtual world, a lot of exciting developments are happening, particularly when we think of the future of technology and wearables. But we still live in the real world, and the real world shapes what we do in the virtual one.”
David’s also an accomplished academic in his field. He taught for 20 years at the Wharton School, where he was a Chaired Professor, award-winning researcher and developer of the school’s first courses on digital marketing and e-commerce. His academic research has been published in the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Econometrics, Journal of Marketing Research, MIT Sloan Management Review and California Management Review, among other publications.
The Nexus 2022 conference is the ‘main event’ for the fast-growing Nearshore services market, bringing together enterprise decision-makers, investors, influencers and vendor-partners. Click here for more information on speakers at Nexus, topics and how to register.