Year: 2020

Marketing Joy

Hearing from Spectrum never brings joy. We have been Time Warner Cable (which became Sprctrum) customers of their high speed internet offerings since moving to our new home in 2013. We regularly receive mailers and calls from them asking us to consider their phone plans or cable tv packages. Remarketing is a powerful tactic, but has to be deployed wisely. There’s also been the occasional past due notification (comes in a pink envelope and all) …

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Don’t Look Over Instagram Reels for Your Marketing in 2021

I remember the first few times I saw a friend post a Reel on Instagram and thought “well, that’s a weird knock-off of Snapchat and Tik-Tok” and wondered how or if my clients should even know about (or bother) with it. Then in November, we also got word from Instagram that major changes were coming to how they promoted content in a much search-friendlier way (without having to use hashtags!). Those two combined together means …

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Thinking with Sam Harrelson Episode 167: Thomas Whitley

I was thrilled to be joined again by my long time co-podcaster Thomas Whitley on the most recent Thinking Podcast. We discussed what he’s doing in his capacity as Chief of Staff for the Mayor of Tallahassee, FL to work with (and help) businesses in their city navigate the ongoing Covid crisis and its rippling effects… Thomas Whitley is the Chief of Staff for Mayor John Dailey’s office in Tallahassee, Florida. In this episode, we …

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Marketing to Your Own Beliefs

I get these sorts of questions frequently from new clients: “Why aren’t my Facebook Page posts getting more likes?” “Why isn’t my website getting more views?” “How can I let more people know I’ve written / made / created / offer the best service / product in my area?” “When will people start responding to the emails I’m sending them about our product / church service / nonprofit fundraising?” “What is the best way to …

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Workplace Gender Equity and Covid

I’ve been a work-from-home type for years, but as a man it’s been hard to share the experiences of being on an important client call while changing a diaper or cleaning up my son’s lunch with my male friends (or society in general). I’m definitely not patting myself on the back here (at all… I suck at parenting but everyone’s winging it… “Here’s another marshmallow, Junior… don’t tell Mommy”), however, I am glad that more …

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Google Shopping Gift Guide and Importance of Trending vs Popularity

Google’s annual Shopping Gift Guide is out for 2020. While it’s a handy tool for personal shopping, it also has some incredibly helpful stats for marketing and messaging. The trick is to focus on trending items using data. The same is true for Instagram… the hashtags that you should be incorporating into your posts for more exposure and likes (and follows) are the ones that are trending but not necessarily popular. So, if you’re looking …

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TikTok and WordPress Integration

I’ve had a few people reach out to ask me if there’s a way to integrate TikTok with their WordPress site… so I recently did some research and testing and this is the plugin I’d recommend: TikTok Feed is premium WordPress plugin to create stunning gallery of TikTok videos for any user, hashtag/challenge, Music or Trending feed. With 40+ shortcode options to adjust the feed to suit your need, the plugin comes with interactive shortcode …

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Facebook and Instagram’s New Social Good for Business Platform

Along the same lines of posts I’ve been making about authentic marketing outreach aimed at specific communities, causes, and moments… this isn’t just about crass capitalism. Businesses, nonprofits, churches, community orgs, public officials etc need to be engaged in this sort of marketing messaging regardless of your political or religious affiliations but in respect of what your group’s ethos represents… super powerful: Show up where and when it matters.With advancements in communication, moments create new …

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The Economics of Mask Wearing

For the last 18 or so years that I’ve been in marketing, I’ve used “democratization” and “community focus” as consistent buzzwords in both my consulting work as well as speaking at conferences etc. I don’t think there’s any better example as to why those terms are important than the experience of living through 2020. Specialization is everything as people are looking for a community in new ways online to replace the in-person human element we …

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DeepMind AI Cracks Protein Folding

Incredible advancement in very important science… “With its latest AI program, AlphaFold, the company and research laboratory showed it can predict how proteins fold into 3D shapes, a fiendishly complex process that is fundamental to understanding the biological machinery of life. Independent scientists said the breakthrough would help researchers tease apart the mechanisms that drive some diseases and pave the way for designer medicines, more nutritious crops and “green enzymes” that can break down plastic …

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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Since I was in college (maybe before), I found the concept of pillows strange. So, I started sleeping without one. I’ve always primarily been a “stomach sleeper” (which is a benefit if I ever do contract Covid, I guess). My normal sleeping posture involves my head resting on my left arm face down with my right arm curled up so that my right hand is curled just below my chin. I’m not sure why I …

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Monday November 16, 2020

This is something else… Monday’s are always slightly (if not totally) chaotic here at home. Like many Americans, we’re homeschooling our children while working from home. After 8 months or so of this, we’ve gotten into a pretty good rhythm and everyone basically understands our schedules and roles. There are days when emergency client projects or calls or ZOOM meetings pop up alongside the occasional last-minute work emergency that throws off the routine, but for …

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Friday, November 13, 2020

It’s been a week but still relevant: Here in South Carolina, I’m seeing a mix of responses to the spiking Covid rates. Some of our friends (especially parents of young children) are full of despair and “over it” to put it lightly. I also have clients in-town who seemed confused when I say “No, I can’t come to your office for that meeting. We’re still hunkering down and trying to avoid indoor spaces when possible.” …

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Instagram’s New Home Screen and Importance of Reels

Today we’re announcing some big changes to Instagram – a Reels tab and a Shop tab. The Reels tab makes it easier for you to discover short, fun videos from creators all over the world and people just like you. The Shop tab gives you a better way to connect with brands and creators and discover products you love. Source: Introducing a New Home Screen for Instagram Instagram’s new layout announced today isn’t a massive …

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ZOOM and Google Calendar

Just received this email from ZOOM regarding changes to how Google Calendar allows for default conferencing options… Many of us in the post-Corona Virus world have learned to love the integration between Google Calendar and ZOOM available in Google Suite / Workplace. Google evidently has noticed that and is pushing out a change that makes its rebranded Meet product the defacto option in scheduling calls and chats within the Google Calendar interface. It’s not deal-breaking …

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Embrace Spontaneity in Your Zoom Calls

Most surprising, he said, was how much his students came to enjoy brief appearances from his pug puppy, Gus. Warner hasn’t decided yet whether Gus will continue his cameos, but the response was a good sign that spontaneity still has a place in Yale’s classes. “It acknowledges that we’re all doing this from various spaces and that we can embrace it,” Warner said. Source: A look at Yale’s classes, labs, and libraries for fall 2020 …

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About the Microsoft and Walmart Acquiring TikTok Deal

The idea would be to help turn TikTok U.S. into more of an e-commerce app for creators and users, much like what TikTok parent company ByteDance does with a similar app in China. Source: Microsoft working with Walmart on TikTok deal – Axios One of the main reasons TikTok has taken off with influencers, soccer moms, niche businesses, and aspiring dance stars here in the US is that it “feels” like an indie app that …

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Chalk Apocalypse

So, when Hagoromo announced that it was going out of business in 2014, it caused a rupture in the math community.” I referred to it as a chalk apocalypse,” Conrad said. In a panic, mathematicians across America began stockpiling resources in preparation.” I calculated how many boxes I would need to last 10 to 15 years and I bought that many boxes,” says Lieblich.Dave Bayer took things even further. “I single-handedly bought the rest of …

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Maybe George Lucas Was Right

I’ve been rewatching Star Wars with my 4 year old son the last few weeks. We started with A New Hope > Empire > Jedi then worked our way back to Phantom Menace and now Attack of the Clones (with Revenge of the Sith then Clone Wars after that). I have to admit… after the debacle that was Episodes 7-9, the Prequels actually hold up. I haven’t touched these movies in years but they feel …

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Rise of OnlyFans, Decline of Influencer Marketing

Interesting dynamics for the marketing world (something I’ve been arguing for since “influencer marketing” became a thing years ago) as we continue to see re-evaluations of things like Google Ads and social media marketing as well. The landscape is changing rapidly and I’ve been on a ton of strategy calls with clients lately trying to help them make sense of it all. Contributing to the rise of OnlyFans is one harsh new reality: the “influencing …

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