A new and wonderful podcast

July 30, 2016

I've started a podcast! I'm too self-critical to churn out blog posts, but talking endlessly? That I can do.

Justin: I keep hearing this idea that there's such a thing as “growth hacking”. That there are meaningful, and repeatable marketing hacks that work, and a lot of it is about taking short cuts. I think one reason that we wanted to start this is just our frustration with the idea that exists. I think there's an aspect of this, which is doing good marketing is really hard, there aren't any hacks to it.

Listen below, or read more for some interesting excerpts.

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Why I use a static site generator (and store all my content in a public Git repo)

January 24, 2016

I’ve spent over a decade managing various content management systems as part of my day job. Drupal, Wordpress, ExpressionEngine. Custom CMSes built in-house. Tumblr instances. For a long time I used Wordpress, until about this time last year, I migrated this blog from Wordpress to Hugo. Why use a static site generator at all? I think that many marketers may find this decision strange. Wordpress makes things easy! You don’t have to touch code, all the logic to display, organize, and style your content is taken care of, and so on.

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Why is General Electric starting an app store?

November 7, 2015

Re/code mentioned at the end of September that GE will be launching its own App Store, Predix.io. No dating apps or Angry Birds clones here: These apps won’t look like the consumer apps you’re likely used to, of course, but they’ll offer ways for those in industries tied to manufacturing to better learn from the machinery they use every day. At launch, the store is expected to have close to 5,000 apps, but Immelt expects that number to jump to 500,000 by 2020.

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Transforming personalization from creepy to cool

October 15, 2015

CMO Magazine published a post with a provocative URL a few weeks ago: “Why Your Customers Don’t Want Personalization”. The actual headline is less pessimistic, but the point is: it’s easy to confuse truly valuable personalization efforts, with personalization that your customers view as intrusive. It’s worth reading the entire article. But the basic point is that customers want control of their own shopping journeys (see this Deloitte report for more).

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Your prospect is machines

October 7, 2015

A little while ago, Google added the ability for Gmail app users to easily block and unsubscribe from email. It’s a button in the app that extracts the unsubscribe link from an email, then clicks it for you. The irony here is that the vast majority of emails are sent automatically, anyway, thanks to MailChimp, Pardot, Marketo, Eloqua, SendGrid, and a million other email automation tools. So this entire interaction is between machines.

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Why branding doesn't matter (just kidding)

September 28, 2015

Branding is hard at startups. Why? It’s the ultimate abstract marketing activity. It’s not at all clear to most people why it’s valuable or important. In fact, many people perceive it as getting in their way. But branding has a huge effect on people outside your organization, and therefore on your success. If it’s done right, it makes it a lot easier for your customers and prospects to see your company as a consistent, coherent, whole — as a personality that can deliver a great experience end to end.

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Re-positioning digital marketing

September 12, 2015

Digital marketing has a branding problem. The tracking, data gathering, and information processing associated with it are mostly viewed as an invasion of consumers’ privacy. It’s not specific to digital marketing, either; look at the objections to Spotify’s privacy policy, which collects huge amounts of data from your phone, ostensibly so that Spotify can compete with Apple Music’s feature set. Those objections may very well be justified, by the way. But nobody’s first thought was, “maybe what Spotify is doing is OK.

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