Erik J. Olson

Founder & CEO of Array Digital

Digital marketer & entrepreneur. Founder & CEO of Array Digital. Host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast. Organizer of the Marketers Anonymous podcast and monthly meetups in multiple cities.

Erik J. Olson
Founder & CEO of Array Digital

Digital marketer & entrepreneur. Founder & CEO of Array Digital. Host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast. Organizer of the Marketers Anonymous podcast and monthly meetups in multiple cities.

The Future of Voice Marketing

Did you know that voice-enabled devices are the fastest growing consumer technology of all time? Voice has been adopted faster than the radio, TV, the Internet, even faster than our beloved smartphones.

Find out why it makes sense to take your voice skills beyond the crowded podcasting field and how to take advantage of the greenfield opportunity in Flash Briefings, voice skills, and voice assistants. You’ll learn the latest trends in the voice industry including sonic branding and how you can quickly implement these trends in your voice-cast today.

Key Takeaways:

  1. The Internet & mobile land grabs are over.
  2. Voice has been adopted faster than the web & mobile ever were.
  3. You’ll have an early adopter advantage over others.
  4. Start a Flash Briefing now!
Cultivate Your Personal Brand

In a world overflowing with content and social media, getting in front of your ideal customers is harder than ever.

Creating a personal brand will set you apart from others vying for your prospects’ attention and business. By cultivating your personal brand, your prospects will begin to know, like, and trust you before you’ve even met them. This will allow you to unlock doors that you weren’t even aware of and dramatically increase your business opportunities.

During this talk, Erik will highlight the importance of personal branding, provide guidance on how to go about creating your own, and dissect where and how to focus your efforts. We will also walk through a handful of online profiles submitted in advance by attendees and provide them with insight and actionable steps they can take the moment the talk is over.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Understanding what a personal brand is.
  2. Defining the benefits of a personal brand.
  3. Determine what to say or not say online.
  4. Pros and cons of the different media platforms.
Maximize Your LinkedIn

Many treat LinkedIn like Facebook – a place to connect with people you’ve met in the real world.

In this talk, we’ll not only demystify that sentiment, but we will also show you exactly how to go about maximizing your presence on the world’s largest online business social network.

We’ll take a deep dive into the do’s and don’ts of marketing your personal brand on LinkedIn. We will also walk through individual features of the platform and show you exactly how to maximize the value of every element on LinkedIn.

We will also run an audit of up to 25 attendees’ LinkedIn profiles prior to the event. From that, your attendees will leave with actionable takeaways that they can implement immediately to maximize their exposure and opportunities on LinkedIn.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn why a personal brand is important on LinkedIn.
  • Understand the critical elements of an effective profile.
  • Learn what to post and the prime times that will maximize your account’s exposure.
  • Understand how other platforms can help you get even more attention.
  • Individualized recommendations for attendees on their LinkedIn profiles.
How to achieve open rates of 98%

Every good marketer knows the customer list is a gold mine for future interactions and transactions. We need the ability to reach out to our most loyal customers for communications and promotions.

We’ve been trained to build this email list but the problem is, email open rates have plummeted to 25-35% if you’re lucky. That means you’re literally wasting more than 75% of your effort with email marketing campaigns. And with a reach of only 6%, social media is not much better!

In this talk, we will discuss a viable alternative to “traditional” methods used by digital marketers to get attention: text message marketing. With open rates of 95% within 3 minutes and overall open rates of 98%, text message marketing is efficient and immediate.

Today’s consumers are far more receptive to text message marketing – if their mobile phone numbers are not abused. Well discuss the do’s, the don’ts, and the best practices plus how Array Digital and influencers are using text message marketing to propel their brands past the competition.

Key Takeaways:

  • Important statistics: Facebook post reach: 6-12 percent; Email reach: 20-35 percent vs. Text msg reach: 95 percent in 3 min.
  • Benefits offered by text message marketing: cultivating high-value relationships, increasing sales, and improving marketing results.
  • How to build your list, own your list, and reach your audience quickly and effectively.
Shifts in Consumer Attention & Ad Spend

A seismic shift in consumer attention which began 20+ years ago is coming to a head. The newspaper industry is on life support, radio’s revenue is drying up, and even broadcast TV is starting to take its licks.

The Internet is destroying traditional media in ways that would have been hard to predict just a decade ago.

In this talk, we will walk through how consumer attention has shifted to the Internet, and how ad revenue from brands and agencies have followed. What will be the impact of Internet ad spend increasing over 1000% over a 20-year span? As already hinted…it’s carnage for traditional media, except for one outlier.

Key Takeaways:

  • Attention is fleeing from traditional media (TV, radio, newspapers) and flocking to digital and mobile.
  • Ad spend goes where people go.
  • Traditional revenue sources are getting hammered.
  • Where will the ad spend go next?
Trends in TV Viewership

Cord cutters. Cord nevers. TV isn’t dead, but broadcast TV is dying. The decline of broadcast TV doesn’t mean the death of TV and mass advertising, but it does mean that if you rely on these methods, you should prepare for the change that is in the air.

In its place, a new industry has arisen. One that is Internet-enabled, on-demand, and ready for advertisers to take advantage of. We’re talking about OTT (Over The Top) Marketing.

OTT improves on the weaknesses of broadcast TV. No longer is an untraceable signal sent into the ether. With OTT, you can track consumption at the household, and even device, levels. Dynamic advertising can be injected based on consumption, and more sophisticated advertising is available using 3rd party data.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Understand how TV viewing has changed and what gets consumers’ attention now.
  2. Find out how Internet consumption is killing TV faster than you may think.
  3. How is Over The Top (OTT) affecting TV and TV ad revenue?
  4. Discover the next “big thing” that’s going to crush cable companies!
Content Creation at Scale

With only 10 minutes of your time and the cell phone in your pocket, I will show you how to produce video, audio, and written content at scale. These simple techniques will help you generate an exponential amount of content that you can post to your blog, as a podcast, and as teaser posts on social media.

From a single video you can create on your way to work, you can produce content for your website, YouTube, your blog, your podcast, and have ample teaser videos and posts for social media that link back to your primary content. One video produced on your way into the office can explode into 4-5 pieces of content. That’s 25 (give or take a few) pieces of new content per week using the time of your day that is normally dedicated just to commuting.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Create content how your audience consumes it – video, audio, and in written form.
  2. Create a process to repurpose, reuse, and recycle the content you make.
  3. Embrace video as the medium to capture your content.
The Inextricable Regulation of Social Media

News of data breaches, concerns over privacy, and shouts for breaking up social media and internet monopolies occur on an almost daily basis.

Lawmakers are making it clear that they want change and the Internet giants aren’t affecting change fast enough.

As the demands for change grow louder, and as lawmakers ratchet down the level of accountability on Internet vanguards, it’s clear that change is in the air. That change will likely come in the form of regulation – either rescinding the freedom of liability over what 3rd parties post on websites or regulation regarding the privacy and portability of data.

When regulations are enacted, what will be the impact on online advertising? With search and social media advertising being the most effective and efficient outlets of mass advertising ever known, what will happen to advertisers when the government clamps down and imposes regulations?

Key Takeaways:

  1. Gain an understanding of the battle underway for free speech.
  2. Link recent EU changes to what could happen in the United States.
  3. Learn what a repeal of internet safe harbors would mean for internet giants, and for you.
Hi Erik, just wanted to shoot a quick note. I’ve really gone full throttle with my LinkedIn activity since your keynote with VMA. I had posted two times ever at that point and now I’m posting multiple times a week. I also only had 120 connections, i now have close to 900. I’ve setup multiple local meetings, have meetings in San Diego for next month and am flying out to Cincinnati tomorrow to meet with a few companies-all from LinkedIn connections! Just wanted to say thanks for the advice, and you are right..LinkedIn is not an option, it’s a necessity!
Hi Erik, just wanted to shoot a quick note. I’ve really gone full throttle with my LinkedIn activity since your keynote with VMA. I had posted two times ever at that point and now I’m posting multiple times a week. I also only had 120 connections, i now have close to 900. I’ve setup multiple local meetings, have meetings in San Diego for next month and am flying out to Cincinnati tomorrow to meet with a few companies-all from LinkedIn connections! Just wanted to say thanks for the advice, and you are right..LinkedIn is not an option, it’s a necessity!

Follow Erik J. Olson


My name is Erik J. Olson and I’m a digital marketer. After many years of building websites, enterprise software, and mobile apps, I realized my clients weren’t able to capitalize on what we had built them due to weak marketing. 

I started my digital marketing journey in order to help my clients turn our software creations into viable businesses. What I discovered was a passion for digital marketing and advertising, and I haven’t looked back since.

Now the Founder & CEO of Array Digital, an award winning digital marketing agency outside of Norfolk, VA, I’m constantly learning and refining my digital marketing know-how. I write incessantly, host a monthly meetup named Marketers Anonymous, and I’m about to launch a podcast on the history of advertising.

Want to become a client? Call me at 757.333.3021 x 700.  Email me here. Or find out more about Array Digital at

Origin Story

I started my career after graduating with a Civil Engineering degree from Virginia Tech in 1994. Putting my new degree to use, I got a job in the construction industry as a construction engineer and was quickly promoted to project manager.

After planning and executing several multi-million construction projects for the DoD, I became restless. Construction, it seemed, just wasn’t a fit for me. One day I came up with an idea to create a website that matched homeowners needing home improvement with contractors looking for work. Think Angie’s List, but years before Angie thought of the idea.

Pushed to the limits of the Fortran 77 skills I acquired in school, I hired a freelancer to help. I’d give the freelancer an assignment and he’d provide the code that I’d inject into the project. But I wouldn’t just inject the code and be done. I studied each and every part of what he provided to completely understand what it did and how. It wasn’t long before more of the freelancer’s time was spent mentoring me than producing code.

It was a grind, and I spent many hours at Barnes & Noble pouring over programming books, and many late nights and long weekends building my dream. Six months after going live, and after having sunk $5000 into the website but earning only $30 in revenue, my dream of launching a software as a service (SaaS) business was a bust.

Knowing that even though the software and concept were solid, I had failed to let the world know about my masterpiece. I had done a shity job of marketing it. A failure for sure, but also a valuable lesson learned.

Drifting in a world of software

Seeing my college friends get rich at places like AOL, and armed with newly acquired coding skills, I decided to switch careers. Spending between a few months and a few years in different jobs, I finally settled into a nine-year run working on a large software contract for the Navy.

About a year before the contract was rebid by several large contractors, I realized that my future was out of my hands. That was frustrating, but after spending nine years doing essentially the same work, I was ready for a change. I began to formulate an exit strategy.

Once again I started a side hustle. But this time instead of trying to build my own product, I freelanced as a software developer for commercial companies. That led to a lot of nights and weekend work. But I loved the process of learning, executing, and making money as my own boss.

The work expanded and by the time the Navy contract had been awarded to the competing contractor, the side work was providing about ½ of the income of my day job. That’s when I decided to go all in and formed 80|20 Software Consulting. Working out of an accelerator named Hatch in downtown Norfolk for the first year and a half, I began to hire employees to help with the coding.

The problem with just creating a digital product

Life was good, but three issues with the business nagged at me. First, my team was comprised of only backend programmers. Their code worked amazing, but it didn’t look all that great, so we were limited in the type of work we could do. Second, the project-based nature of custom software development meant we went through periods of feast or famine. I needed to stabilize the revenue and expenses somehow. Third, we would build a great digital product for own clients, but those products rarely became successful. I saw the dream of entrepreneurship slip away from client after client as they failed to properly market their creations. They suffered the same doom I had when I created my SaaS marketplace years earlier. Because of that, we started to offer digital marketing, but only as a secondary service only.

At about that same time, I met Kevin Daisey who owned IDWeb. They were a web design company that also dabbled in providing digital marketing to their clients as a secondary service. Realizing the synergies of the two companies together, we merged to form Array Digital in early 2017. We hired a Digital Marketing Manager and began to grow that part of the business.

Another deep dive, this time into digital marketing

Always one to study and apply my learnings, I consumed everything I could about the digital marketing industry. I read about it voraciously, listened to podcasts about digital marketing, and learned it from the inside out. It was like when I learning to code all those year ago, just for a slightly different topic.

We refined the company’s digital marketing offering and processes, and I focused most of my time on that part of the business. By late 2017 it was apparent that Array Digital had become very good at digital marketing, that clients universally needed that service, and we really liked it.

Going into 2018 we announced that we were focusing the company exclusively on digital marketing. We parted ways with most our custom software developers and clients, hired more digital marketers, and have grown that part of the business 10x in the ten months since making the decision.

The decision to niche down was, frankly, life changing. We are now in a better industry, I’m still constantly learning, we produce recurring revenue instead of constantly chasing down new projects as other projects end, our clients are happier with us, and we’re just happier. It was a sometimes rough transition, but we’ve come out from the bottom of the trough not only alive, but thriving.


But the story is not over. We’ve launched a series of marketing meetups named Marketers Anonymous in multiple cities. Each meetup features two speakers who bring us up to speed on the latest, greatest, and coolest things happening in marketing.

Can’t make an in-person meetup? No worries – we bring the talks to you. Find the Marketers Anonymous podcast on wherever you listen to podcasts, and at

We’ve also launched an Amazon Flash Briefing and daily podcast that chronicles our learnings as we grow into a $100 Million digital marketing agency. You can find Journey to $100 Million in your Alexa app, wherever you listen to podcasts, and at

I’m always interested in speaking and guest podcast opportunities. Connect with me at 757.333.3021 x 700.

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Website Design, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Online Advertising, Social Media & Digital Marketing.
© Array Digital LLC

Website Design, Online Advertising, SEO, Social Media & Digital Marketing.
© Array Digital LLC