Celebrity Deaths - Gone But Never Forgotten

Analyzing the Spike in Celebrity Deaths in 2016

In many ways, 2016 has been an absolute tire fire of a year. Not for me; we’re doing great. But for a lot of people, this year can’t end soon enough.

One reason 2016 has been just so miserable has been the seemingly endless onslaught of celebrity deaths. It seems like every week someone new passed away, including this very last week of the year. With just a few days left to go, everyone is counting down to 2017 and hoping no one else dies.

Is this a new phenomenon? Yes and no. Celebrities have always died. Do we just notice it more now? Maybe. Buy why? And why now, in a year so filled with turmoil? Read More

You, in a price war

How To Win A Price War

With the holiday season in full swing, so many businesses are trying to wage a price war in the hopes that consumers pick them for gift shopping. This is especially acute online, where the same bed set can cost a dozen different prices, depending on shipping, processing, and sheer sales volume.

Furthermore, sporadic sales pop up, further complicating matters. Flash sales. Today only. Few hours remaining. Use this offer code for your first order. Those kinds of sales tactics are the new weapons in the price war.

There’s a problem with this thinking, though. Your competitors are racing to the bottom line right along with you. While you may take home a seasonal battle, you can’t win this war. Here’s why. Read More

Wonder what he's algorithmic thinking?

How Algorithms Will Defeat Us

If you wire a rat’s brain in such a way that every time he pushes a button he receives a pleasurable sensation, he’ll push that button until he dies. At the expense of eating, drinking and everything else that makes life worth living. Just pushing that button, over and over again, until he perishes.

This, in a nutshell, is how algorithmic thinking works in practice. And their liberal use is starting to affect our society.

We’ve already discussed how algorithms think, how they’re created by humans, how they can be flawed and how you can outsmart them. But what if you don’t want to? What if you want to lay back and accept the almighty algorithm as your lord and savior and heed it’s every word? That’s when things get messy.

The endless march of optimization wants to amalgamate the world’s information, guess your desires and shorten the route you take to get pleasure at the expense of all else. It’s how the Facebook news feed works. It’s how Google search results work. It’s how Pandora and Amazon recommendations work. It will be how the world works, if the robots have their say.

And that may be the end of curiosity, ambition and the human independent thought experiment. Allow me to explain. Read More

A Few Thoughts on the Election

This is not a political blog. It never will be, nor should it be. It’s a blog about business and digital marketing. My goal in writing it is to provide tips and insights that business owners can use to improve their advertising and enhance their digital presence. I even had a wonderful personal story about a job interview ready to post last week. However, with the uncertainty facing us as a country following the recent elections, I feel the need to share my thoughts on our situation.

I posted this to my personal social media last week in response to other’s reactions. It was my way of staying calm through a chaotic period. Often, the best reaction to such tumult is to stay measured and analyze the situation, planning your next course of action by what is known at the time. There’s your business lesson for this week, kids.

I didn’t expect the reaction that my post received. Read More

Tom Cameron on Digital Advertising This Month

Two articles came out this month featuring our own president and founder Tom Cameron, offering his thoughts and strategies on digital advertising. So as a digital advertising agency, we naturally have to post them on our blog to share with clients and fans in general.

First, Manta Media consulted with us to write a good portion of their 19 Ways to Promote Your Business on Facebook article. As experts on Facebook advertising, we were happy to contribute to the conversation, explaining different Facebook ads, ways to target and super cheap strategies that can work at all scales. In fact, about a third of the entire article was sourced from our founder. It’s worth a read so you have a better understanding of how Facebook works yourself.

A week later, Supercool Creative included one of our startup strategies in their 25 Tips to Launch a Brand, Product or Startup for Under 25k post. We’re Tip #11, which expands on an Instagram influencer strategy we’ve been using for one client. Given that many businesses come to us with a promotional budget way less than $25 grand, it was a natural fit for us to impart some wisdom on bootstrapping your marketing. We’d offer more information but we’re turning the whole story into a case study in how effective we can be with a limited social influencer strategy, so stay tuned for that.

And there’s more press on the way, it just hasn’t published yet. Once it does, we’ll be sure to post it here along with the rest of our digital advertising news and views.

After a year in business, we're not fat

Things I’ve Learned After a Year in Business

This month, we officially made it to a full year in business. While it’s been a chaotic and confusing process getting off the ground, we’re proud to have made it to a milestone many businesses never see.

Last week I sat down to write a clichéd piece reflecting on a year in business and what I’ve learned from the experience. That’s when I realized that I haven’t really learned anything. Not nearly enough, at least, to make it some profound experience.

One year in business is a whirlwind. There hasn’t been time to reflect on major decisions, market changes, even things as simple insurance and taxes. Everything that we’ve done as a company has been done on reflex, drawing on the years of experience as an executive I’ve had before this venture. Read More

The real answer to your binary questions

Binary Questions Are Bumbling Your Message

So many commercials, especially local commercials, begin with binary questions. Think along the lines of “Are you in the market for…” or “Do you want to shop somewhere that’s friendly, convenient, etc.” Some call this prospect qualifying. I call it a waste of time.

These binary questions are supposed to either get someone to say “yes” or draw attention to a problem they may not have considered. It doesn’t work that way. In fact, it may even be detrimental to your entire advertising campaign.

What’s so frustrating about this is that marketers can fix this so simply by changing the way they think of their audience. Here’s how. Read More

Revisiting a Thank You, One Year Later

Exactly one year ago today, I was in professional limbo. I had just taken the leap from a company at which I spent the better part of my adult life, learning and maturing into the person I would become. I felt as though I owed a lot to this business that had been such a large part of my life. Maybe it was pride. Maybe it was Stockholm Syndrome. Whatever it was, I felt as though I needed to be gracious about my exit.

Before I officially shared the news with the company’s CEO, news had trickled out I would be leaving. Once a Friday afternoon meeting for the two of us was scheduled, I knew that was it. So I spent that whole morning crafting a hand written thank you note recalling how far I had come in the past five years, showing my gratitude.

This was a man who I respected for how well he could bring in clients and grow businesses. He took me in as a young, pliable potential executive still reeling in the wake of the financial crisis and shaped my experience in marketing and advertising. Here I was, a bird deciding to leave the nest, still afraid to fly. I offered my sincerest thanks for the past 5 years.

He took the note, threw it back in my face, told me to get my things and not return. It was over. I would not speak to him or anyone from the company again (and still haven’t).

Read More

Remembering Grandma Mac

My wife (right) with her grandmother (left) at our engagement party in 2013
My wife (right) with her grandmother (left) at our engagement party in 2013

To me, this is as much a life blog as it is a business blog. Sometimes, what happens in life completely overshadows what happens in your business, forcing you to take time away and keep your friends and family on track. That’s exactly how I would describe the events of the past week.

We lost a very dear member of our family last Thursday morning. Despite having known her for just about 5 years, Grandma Mac left a lasting impression on me, welcoming me into my wife’s family as if I were another beloved flesh-and-blood grandchild. She will be deeply missed as my wife and I prepare to welcome our first child to the world, which would have been her fourth great-grandchild.

These are my thoughts in reflection of this sad event, which I shared with the rest of our family at yesterday’s funeral service. I share it here to let you in on a slice of my life I never want to forget. After all, you really never know when you’ll get your last chance to say goodbye. Read More

Marketing Automation may be attractive. Don't be fooled

Why Marketing Automation Is an Oxymoron

Marketing Automation is a major buzzword (or buzz concept, I suppose, since it’s more than one word) in the industry right now. Everything that can be controlled by a computer is likely to get controlled by a computer in this digital age. Of course, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should

Let’s back up a second. Marketing automation describes turning over certain processes like lead acquisition emails and basic customer service responses over to an automated system. Marketers around the world are currently enamored with things like customer facing chat bots, drip email campaigns and lead management and scoring systems. Even though machine learning is improving every year, that’s a dangerous way to run a business, especially something so important as marketing.

Yes, marketing automation can increase productivity and enhance your overall cache. It has value for some clients. For others, though, dedicating your resources to marketing automation can prove costly in the long run, especially if you try and hand over all the reigns to the machines. Read More