5 Questions with Dave Hale

Dave Hale is the founder and CEO of the Ottawa based social media agency, Soshal Group. The agency partners with local and national digital, marketing, PR and integrated agencies to deliver social media strategies, community management and channel analysis to their clients. While he works in the social space, Dave is passionate about traditional media and shares his rantings on the connection between old and new marketing and branding practices on Soshal Group’s Soshalize Blog. Connect with Dave on Twitter @DaveCHale.

What motivates you to do what you do on a daily basis?

Passion. It drives me to work harder every day, to learn as much new information as I can, to connect with new people and to succeed.

If you had 30 seconds to impart your wisdom on a classroom of soon-to-be graduates, what would you say?

I wouldn’t need 30 seconds, I’d need ten. “Work Hard.” I feel that the saying “Work smart, not hard” is great if you want to increase your time away from work or your business but, if you truly want to succeed, being smart can only get you so far. Doors don’t just open for you, you need to knock first.

In your opinion, what has been one of the most important technological developments over the past 12 months?

I’m a big fan of the Windows Phone 7 because the smart phone market needed more competition. There are very few industries or verticals where there are only three major players (RIM, Apple, Google) and this can be dangerous for two reasons. Firstly, while there is an arms race to conquer new markets and build out more functionality, these developments are stalled because of consumer demand. With more players comes more marketing dollars, greater market penetration and overall acceptance, which leads to purchase desire and action. Secondly, we’re at the mercy of the big three, just like we are with Canadian mobile carriers (Bell, Rogers, Telus). We need more Wind Mobile‘s entering the space to disrupt the industry a little bit, expose its flaws and stimulate change. Perhaps Microsoft will just be a 4th big player, but the foundation is being laid.

If you had a crystal ball, what would you say will be the most important technological development over the next 12 months?

In the marketing world it will be location. Facebook Places, Foursquare and Gowalla all allow brands and businesses to have a digital store-front, a concept the website has tried to replicate for over a decade. The difference is that I don’t scream to the world that I’ve just entered Amazon.com. Location, and the integration into social, will give brick and mortar businesses a greater ability to compete in the digital space.

Who is one of Canada’s tech stars and why?

Seeing as how metrics and social media analysis would be my next choice for “most important technological development in the next year”, I’m going with Chris Newton, founder and CTO at Radian6. Why? It goes beyond the awesome business he and his team have built and has more to do with something I’m also passionate about. Community. Radian 6 could set up shop anywhere in the world, yet they choose to remain in Fredericton, NB.