Monday, March 14, 2016

The key difference between thought leadership and commercial insight

Marketer's are a passionate group of people who love what they do and at a very basic level, love learning. If we didn't, we wouldn't have become marketers. When I talk to students about what they want to do post-graduation and they're in marketing/communications programs, they usually have no idea what roles exist. If they DO have some idea of what roles exist within a corporate communications department, or the media arm of an ad agency, they rarely have any idea what the people in those roles actually DO on a day-to-day basis. 

So I ask them this: 

How do you like to spend your time? 

Do you like to read and write? Or do you enjoy talking on the phone? Attending events? 

Or does spending time in an excel spreadsheet give you energy?

Don't laugh, some people actually enjoy spending all day in spreadsheets! (They might just be one of the greatest inventions of all time: cell-ception. A cell within a cell, containing infinite cells of with which to input data). Mind boggling I know. 

I enjoy discovering what makes people tick (doing the research, talking with customers, discovering insights) and then crafting the perfect message; writing a story so good and so undeniably RIGHT for who that person is and what they need, that they feel it was written directly for them. 

The sale is closure. The sale is validation. Approval. It's all of those things. But the journey is what's really addicting. It's one of those stories that evolves over time, connecting the dots one-by-one, unable to see the entire picture except for brilliant flashes and glimpses of what it might be. Until finally it's over and done, hung on the wall. Time for the next puzzle. 

Tomorrow is an exciting day for me. 

Vertafore is working with CEB and we've brought in a team to do a full 2-day training session in order to learn how to discover commercial insights. 

Going to college was one thing, but this is training and education I could neither afford or discover on my own. I'm thrilled at the opportunity to have some more formal training around the art and science of marketing. And as always, I'll report back here on my experience. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Mindfulness is a hot topic in the tech community right now, which is almost counter intuitive...because we see all of these prominent tech figures talking about how important it is to take a time out from our gadgets and social networks to reconnect with ourselves and the world around us.

I'm breathing in.

I'm breathing out.

Sorry about that, I was just taking a quick breathing break to remind myself of where I am and what I'm doing, so that I can truly appreciate life and the fact that I'm living and embrace this moment.

Because every moment on this earth is a fantastical blessing and miracle in it's own right.

There is NO doubt in my mind that technology is evil.

There is also no doubt in my mind that it's our savior.

Technology is 100% integrated into our evolution and from this point in time forward will play a role in shaping human existence. I am a full believer that our destiny's are intertwined.

Part of me feels hopeless about it. I look around and see people so consumed with their gadgets that I DO believe people will say yes to implants. Honestly I don't know if I'd say no to an affordable connected device embedded seamlessly (and painlessly) under the first few layers of my skin. It's an absurd concept, but one day it WILL be available.

The few things I do know are:

1) My son likes playing with rocks and dirt and puddles
2) But when you put him in front of screen, he's powerless to it
3) When I spend more time on social media, I get instant gratification, but feel more scattered, and less confident about where I'm at in life in the long run.
4) Our education system is NOT doing a good enough job at teaching kids about mindfulness
5) Humans are forgetting how we got here in the first place

If you're looking for a good place to start, try this:

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Good Riddance Twitter Share Count

Content Marketers!

Take some time out of your day to pour a 40oz out for Twitter's share count. You've probably heard about it by now, or noticed it, but if you're pissed off or sad about it? It's time to turn that frown upside down.

Not only because you can get it back, if you want...

But a new day has dawned where the phonies are going to realize that they've been measuring the wrong thing all along.

Share count doesn't matter.

And I'll be honest it pains me to say it, because it was so pretty having all of those high numbers next to my tweet buttons...

But the internet has spoken, and the reality is this:

The only thing that actually matters is referral traffic from social.

Read this amazing blog post that explains everything and then think about it for a while, come back, and continue reading my post as I describe my personal expereince with share counts that turned me away from the darkness and delivered me to the light:

Forget your Twitter share count. Social referral traffic is more important.

Okay, done with that post? 

Here's my story: 

All you have to do is scroll down a few posts on the homepage of this blog and you'll see a post titled 

Now this post got picked up by buffer and was shared 40 times (linked to twitter search). How do I know it was all from buffer? Because they changed the title to "Understanding content strategy"and everyone that tweeted it had a buffer link. But none of them read the post! Maybe a few...but there isn't one comment on the post or one new email subscriber. It has more pageviews that normal that's for sure, but in terms of real engagement? Or accomplishing my goal of driving email subscribers...nada...

So think twice about what you measure and why it's important. Refer back to the article above about referral traffic for some real tips. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


What if I told you, everything you thought you knew about unicorns...was a lie...

image source:

Friday, November 13, 2015

Who is the most searched for Democratic candidate?

This is live, and will keep updating, thanks to Google's awesomeness... I was pretty amazing to see this...seems like there is a reality to the idea that Bernie's message is resonating with people...Now we'll just have to see if these same tech-savvy searches are actually voters. I really have no idea who I'm going to vote for. But I do that voting is an extremely important thing that each of us needs to do. If you think about it, it's pretty much you're only chance to have a say. Once someones elected and voted into office, the wheels are in motion and we as the public don't have the level of control or voice that Democracy once allowed for. It's a privilege. It's your right. If you do not vote, do not ever talk to me about politics. It's my litmus test for if you are even allowed to enter my mental space (it's my world, you're just living in it), and if you don't vote, you aren't allowed to say shit. You gave that privilege up the day you decided not to vote. Not to have a say.