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David Zanker, 2011 Anthill 30under30 Winner


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What is 30under30?

30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. Each year, we invite our readers to nominate young Australian entrepreneurs deserving of recognition for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. More.

David Zanker, SA (b. 1987)

Name: David Zanker
Age: 24 (Born: March 1987)
Gender: Male
State: SA

“I want to retire at 25,” says Adelaide’s David Zanker, founder of Off the Chain Marketing. “It’s been my goal since I was 17 and I’m pretty much on track.”

Don’t pity him too much: at 24, he already considers himself semi-retired as he adheres to a one-day work week. “And it’s only getting easier,” he adds.

Zanker owes his success to a cluster of websites and services descended from Off the Chain, which combines training services with integrated marketing solutions. He began the company in 2008 because he was “sick of being the top marketer for just one organisation.”

Instead of pitting new technology against old, OtC combines them, using every resource from social media to direct mail, from telemarketing to mobile marketing, to help businesses home in on their target markets.

But Zanker’s real success (and one-day-a-week schedule) may stem from his mastery of running on autopilot.

“Once we have finished setting up your marketing strategy you shouldn’t really need to think about it,” he tells his clients.

His own strategy for acquiring and maintaining clients is a similar paradox: so well thought out that it doesn’t seem to require much thinking at all. One of his websites is devoted to mobile autotexting as an effective marketing tool. (So savvy is he with the media that he autotexts his business card to anyone who sends him an SMS.)

OtC also provides tutorials on Facebook with plain-language advice: how to create beautiful social media pages and maximise peer recommendations. “In 1991, you needed a Yellow Pages ad,” says one video, with a live demonstration of how to build a Facebook page. “In 2001, you needed a web site. In 2011, you need a Facebook presence.”

Training is vital to OtC’s services. Originally selling traineeships on behalf of an RTO, Zanker switched paths when he discovered it far more effective to sell directly to the RTO industry. Beginning with trainingadelaide.com.au and following with sites for Melbourne and Sydney, Zanker charges training providers to advertise with him, which allows him to relay his marketing solutions to them.

Then came itscheaper.com.au, a deals site that reinvents the whole daily deal concept for the business-to-business market.

“Instead of sourcing a new deal each day, these deals are drip-fed,” he explains. “Every new subscriber starts from deal 1, meaning I pre-prepare my deals months in advance.”

Zanker has scores of marketing innovations further up his sleeves. In the meantime, he continues to automate his business, cruising towards the next big venture.

Anthill asks: David Zanker, what’s your superpower?

I can come up with an idea, record a video, whip up an awesome website and start list-building faster than you can say ‘marketing plan’. It’s Cheaper was an idea that came to me when I couldn’t sleep. I had it up and running as it is before the sun came up.

Itscheaper.com.au: B2B deals


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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.

Instead of sourcing a new deal each day, these deals are drip-fed,bb