Dave Nelson
Marketing Communications and Design

When you are looking for experienced advice on your marketing communications, I'm anxious to help. I love discussing challenges and creating solutions that increase response while saving money on production. I'm a calm manager that leads by example and promotes a strong work ethic. Drop me a line, check out my resume and work philosophy or connect with me on LinkedIn or twitter.


Creative direction and copy writing, strategic marketing planning, including direct, social and print media, integrated database design, staff management.
Direct campaign management, email execution and reporting, planning and procuring, staff management, creative direction, mailing requirements consulting.
Art Director Direct mail creation, design and execution, print procurement, ad placement, client communications, staff management.
Publishing Magazine and newspaper design and distribution, optimization of editorial and advertising requests within the capabilities of production.

2005 - present: Communications Director, iDfour, an InterDirect USA company, Houston, Texas
As Communications Director, I lead a team of professionals, giving strategic and tactical direction on every campaign we create. I work with our data analysts to identify a prime target audience and, with the client’s goals in mind, craft messages that are compelling and relevant. I have developed our marketing automation efforts and have given presentations to prospective users on ways to make marketing automation an integral part of a company’s communications efforts. I enjoy working directly with clients and am the main representative for several of our accounts. Through networking and volunteering in the AMA Houston, I have been a business development resource at iDfour, introducing new contacts, nurturing them in conversation and advocating for our marketing data services. I help to design new user-interfaces, advise on data visualization presentation, and architect multi-touch customer loyalty programs.

1997 - 2005: Production Manager, InterDirect, Houston, Texas
As Production Manager at InterDirect, I was responsible for coordinating all of the direct mail and email production. Before any project was designed, I worked with the account executive to determine the objectives of the communication and instructed the designers on the format that would be the most effectively produced while enhancing the desired look and feel. For direct mail, I scheduled the entire job from design to delivery, selected the appropriate printer for the format and quantity of the mail-piece, and created a turnkey campaign budget for the client. I have worked with a wide range of printers including sheetfed, offset web from half to double-web, gravure, flexo, newsprint and more. I’ve also worked with many imaging formats from inkjet to continuous laser. I continue to keep up to date on postal requirements saving clients hundreds of thousands of dollars per mailing while ensuring proper preparation for expedient routing through the postal system. As the email marketing manager, I would create, test and deliver email programs. I maintained a do-not-email list and created tracking reports that summarize opens, click-throughs bounces and errors. At the end of every job I reviewed all costs and issued a profit summary that encompasses internal and external costs. I held weekly production meetings that brought sales, creative, data processing and management together. I created a job scheduling system that could be accessed over the company network and would highlight all milestones that require immediate attention.

1995 - 1997: Art Director, InterDirect, Houston, Texas
As Art Director, I saw all the production of projects from design to print. For every creative piece that InterDirect produced, I was involved with developing a theme, copyrighting, creating or directing artwork and photography, and laying out the final product. On the production side, I worked with printers and service bureaus collecting quotes and information that made for the best quality possible, at the best prices. Every job was press checked by me, or my assistant, leaving nothing to chance. I also designed our corporate logo along with all media materials including a company brochure, and trade show display. Throughout my 20 years at the company, I have been a constant resource to all of InterDirect’s clients, giving assistance with artistic and technical solutions. I worked with the sales staff on many occasions attending creative meetings, or accompanying a client on an important press check. A “post-mortem” was held after every job to review how the piece in question could be improved.

1994 - 95: Art Director - MultiMedia Publishing Corporation, Houston, Texas
As Art Director at MultiMedia, I built the Art Department from the ground up. I collected information about, and purchased all the equipment for the department. I also hired two junior artists and divided duties among the three of us. I was responsible for the layout of two magazines as well as numerous marketing pieces for the trade shows that we organized throughout the year. I coordinated all the pre-press work done either through service bureaus or printers, and produced a high volume of scanned and illustrated graphics. While at MultiMedia Publishing, I benefited the company in my versatility as an organized, efficient director, while being a creative and experienced artist.

1991 - 93: Graphic Designer, Layout Specialist - Quad-City Times, Davenport, IA
At the Quad-City Times I benefited the advertising production department in several situations. From production, to organization, to software solutions. I was counted upon to give the best results possible, saving time and money while keeping the closest eye on quality. In production, I was part of the layout/typesetting team producing 4-color circulars such as Strum Automotive, Hy-Vee Grocery Stores, Eagle Foods, G.E. Appliances, and Farm King Discount Stores. It was my goal that our department produce the best possible product, so I was chosen to consult with clients to let them know exactly what we could do for them. In the same way, I worked with the daily typesetting team producing large volumes of R.O.P. advertisements, again concentrating on accurate, efficient output. My skills in organizing were counted upon in my position as Layout Specialist where it was my responsibility to create page-layouts for the daily papers and special sections. In this capacity, I satisfied the demands of the Advertising, Editorial, Press and Production departments while keeping a close eye on the amount of newsprint used. Finally, my knowledge of software solutions made me the key employee in training others in the department as well as clients outside the company. I installed all their new software, and consistently found better ways of using the programs in order to be more productive. From installing and calibrating a new color scanner, to creating a backup schedule for all the computers, I was designated the company’s Macintosh Expert.

1988 - 90 Visual Information Specialist - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chicago: At the division headquarters, I was in charge of all the Visual Information activities. I served every other department producing slides, printed media, and photography. I organized slide presentations, gave technical support to other corps offices, and dealt with service bureaus on a daily basis. Once again, in an environment where speed was of the essence, quality was my number one goal.

Rock Island: At the district office I was in charge of the P.C. based desktop publishing system. Here not only did I design and produce things such as reports, awards and brochures, I also did much of the hardware and software installation. Also, I picked up the slack in other areas such as slide production and technical drawing.

AMA Houston: Member of the Communications Committee, providing blog support for their website.
Memorial Hermann: Volunteer Lay Chaplain, providing emotional support to patients in the Katy hospital.

B.A. in Computer Graphics from Marycrest College. May 1990
Google AdWords Certified, 2016

Work Philosophy

My work philosophy is that the best results come from an environment where everything fits together like a well-oiled machine.

 Employees need to believe in the mission of the company and work together towards that goal.
 Positive customer communication makes projects easier to complete with better results.
 By selecting the best tools for the job, projects get done efficiently at competitive prices.
 A solid brand identity assures customers and prospects that their business is in experienced hands.
 Understanding customers facilitates finding and talking to prospects effectively.

Employee Relations

The larger the corporation, the harder it can be to keep employees connected to the mission of the company they work for. Employees know their manual cover to cover but often don’t understand how much their work means to the department and the company. An exceptional manager makes that connection clear and appreciated. More than just a cheerleader, he is a captain: leading by example, pitching in when workloads get heavy, showing a real interest in the success of the organization.
While poor morale can be toxic, It’s my belief that a positive atmosphere makes for better customer relations, more effective production, and cleaner brand messaging.

Customer Relations

The healthy growth of a business comes from acquiring new customers but death begins by ignoring the customers they have. Great customer service is essential for every employee even when the “customer” is in the next office. When competition is high, customers choose to remain loyal to a brand because they’ve been given great service. When a company follows up on a purchase, clients feel good. When a customer gets real live attention to a negative experience, loyalty is reinforced.
The value of each customer is not the profit on their last purchase but their lifetime value and their role as an influencer to other customers. I believe customer service is our most efficient sales tool because the cost to replace a loyal customer is significantly more than the cost to keep them happy in the first place.


The quickest and least painful way to improve the bottom line of any department is by finding the best tool for the job. In print, just for example, there are a wide range of presses, each built for a different purpose and an inexperienced buyer can spend way too much money at a printer unsuited for the project. Without knowledgeable management, an outside agency can bust a budget with expensive papers and finishing that, in the end, only an ad awards committee could appreciate.
High quality is always my number one priority but I believe ineffective production is just throwing money out the window.

Brand Awareness

Corporate branding should be at the core of every communication that emits from an employee. EVERY message that is mailed, messaged, tweeted, blogged or whispered from someone in the corporation affects the brand. A strict adherence to brand standards and good inter-office guidelines help to ensure that the personality of the corporation doesn’t dilute, or worse, morph into a different image altogether.
Being creative has always been a perk of my profession but, in every instance, I regard the brand as an unmovable foundation upon which to build.

Finding New Customers

When a business is keeping their customers happy, word of mouth can be more effective than any advertising campaign. The secret sauce is in finding ways to effectively manage what people are saying. Social media, testimonies, references, well connected sales execs can all allow happy customers to recruit hopeful prospects.

Once equipped with a healthy understanding of the current customer base, finding like prospects is a cycle of segmenting, testing and analyzing. Direct messaging like direct mail, email, and SMS can be highly targeted and the results can be used to better inform broader channels like digital advertising, targeted content SEO, SEM, etc.
I believe that attracting new customers is most effective when the message is relevant to the individual’s wants and needs.

More than you likely want to know ...

In this age of exploding content creation, there are a million ways to express yourself and I've tried to get a real life feel for as many of the social outlets as I can. I'll save you a little work in google by listing a few of my haunts here.

Work-related links include: iDfour.com, my blog, Twitter, LinkedIn.

Personal links include: ChristopherGraphics.com, Facebook, my blog, Twitter, St. John's Presbyteran Church