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What I Want Marketers to Know: Simms Jenkins, Founder/CEO, BrightWave

Lindsay Tjepkema
Lindsay Tjepkema , Marketing Director, Americas , Emarsys

Simms Jenkins is the Founder and CEO of BrightWave, a leading email and eCRM agency, and has established a world-class client list including Aflac, Chick-fil-A, Cox Media Group, Ferrari North America, Panera Bread, Synovus and more.

Simms has also won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association, Marketer of the Year from the American Marketing Association, and the Email Marketer of the Year at the Tech Marketing Awards. He is the founder of EiQ, the intelligent email gathering, an annual conference focused on innovation and the author of The New Inbox and The Truth About Email Marketing.

I should also mention that BrightWave is an agency partner of Emarsys. You can see a story about our partnership in a video we launched recently with our shared client, Char-Broil. AND Simms’ colleague, BrightWave President Raj Choudhury serves as the first guest in the new Emarsys podcast, Marketer + Machine, launching Wednesday, July 18.

All of that said, read on to see what Simms Jenkins wants marketers to know…


Current Location: Atlanta, GA

Current Role: CEO, Author, Teammate, Thought Leader, Disrupter

One word that best describes how you view the state of marketing today:  Thriving

Tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today. Prior to starting BrightWave 15 years ago, I ran CRM for Cox’s Interactive unit. That is where I was deeply exposed to how email worked, the technology driving it, and the business impact when done well (and when done poorly).

I was immediately drawn to this effective and efficient communication channel and the analytics that were associated with it — as well as how to story tell about success and opportunities.

I started BrightWave after Cox shut down our business unit with a belief there was a need for email consulting services since all efforts centered only around sending email, not making it better.

What do you wish marketers knew (but you’re pretty sure they don’t)?

Consumers and subscribers don’t care about your marketing goals or calendars. Deliver value, relevancy, and a meaningful experience and you will deepen your relationship with them. If not, you risk that eroding.

“Consumers & subscribers don’t care about your #marketing goals. Deliver value, relevance, & experiences to deepen relationships,” says @SimmsJenkins      CLICK TO TWEET

What do you see as the biggest challenge faced by marketers today?

The lure of blitzing your best customers with the same content and offers because it is cheap and easy.

How can they overcome this challenge?

Being strategic and showing restraint. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. That can apply to all areas of life, but marketers need more discipline. Establishing business goals and aligning them with a superior customer experience can become a win-win. If not, you risk a cross channel disconnect.

If you could tell all marketers just one thing, what would it be?

Measure and adapt.

Technology has already transformed marketing in so many ways. How do you see tech continuing to revolutionize the marketer’s role?

Technology could and should make us smarter and more effective. It also will challenge current operational conventions that marketers will need to address. Do we let the machine or our Creative Director decide this subject line, CTA, and other elements?

What are you currently reading, or what would you recommend for marketers?

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions.

David Daniels, CEO, The Relevancy Group.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to marketers?

Take risks every day, continue to learn and have fun. Additionally, if you are in email, I think EiQ is an event that delivers in those areas like no other industry show and is a must attend for those interested in innovation and performance.

Simms Jenkins and BrightWave President, Raj Choudhury. BrightWave made the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies five consecutive years and was named the top email independent agency by The Relevancy Group.


Special thanks to Simms Jenkins for his time, energy, and insight.

Know someone who would be a great fit for this series? Let us know!

Related Resources:


Simms Jenkins is Founder/CEO of BrightWave, Founder of EiQ, and Author of “The New Inbox” and “The Truth About Email Marketing.”

Connect with Simms: BrightWave • @SimmsJenkins • LinkedIn