Fyre Festival: Two Years Later

We’re now two years removed from the infamous Fyre Festival, the most fabulous experience that never was, brought to you by the most significant power duo since Jay-Z and Beyonce. If it wasn’t clear enough we’re talking about entrepreneur Billy McFarland and hip-hop legend, Ja Rule. All jokes aside, these two did an awe-inspiring job promising something that never even existed. I know some skeptics think this was a complete failure all around and these guys were just some fools without a clue, but as much as these guys were in way over their heads, this was a combination of marketing genius and how far production value can take you.

McFarland & Rule knew their target audience, the millennials, just as much as the millennials know themselves. Their marketing campaign had no problem ignoring the older generations that aren’t on social media, because truthfully if you weren’t on social media, you probably wouldn’t care to be at this whole shindig. I believe millennials are smart enough to understand production value to know when money is invested, into whatever they are viewing. If something looks cheap, it’s easily dismissed. The Fyre Festival was a perfect example of how high-production value can replace certificates of authenticity. People used to trust that if money is spent, then there is legitimacy behind it. Low-end production value, like memes and mobile-videos have taken off since, possibly in a psychological retaliation to the polished flood of lies choking the zeitgeist

The Fyre Festival was a music festival that enlisted some serious stars to come and perform. However, it comes off as if Billy wasn’t as interested in selling a music festival, but instead was more interested in getting these rich kids interested in pirate ships and partying in villas; ultimately for the average joe to feel like a rockstar. The Fyre Festival team knew that there are several festivals throughout the year, and to separate themselves from the others, they made it their mission to sell an experience. This experience would be sold to these normies¹ but promises a fantasy weekend of the lavish lifestyle that matches only the most beautiful and coolest people in the world². This was essentially a calculated attack on the millennial culture, who unloads their money on a perceived experience over bona fide material. This isn’t something that was standard of yesteryear when the only way you could prove your “worth” or how cool you were was for people to see what car you drove or the clothes you wore. Now, we live in a world where you can be in London, sharing a drink with Paul McCartney and everyone you know can witness with envy on your Instagram in real time.

So what did Billy McFarland and company do? They paid some of the biggest influencers in the social media sphere to come to the Bahamas where the festival was going to be held and shoot a commercial. This commercial focused on projecting everyone’s dreamland which entailed: drinking on boats, hanging out with models, and walking the beaches with pigs? A commercial that shutterstock made a parody of, commenting on how simple and dumb this whole thing was. Then the promoters had 400+ influencers, actors, musicians and actors post an orange tile on their Instagram at the same time. This was a form of “visual disruption” that separates itself from the sameness that is all over everyone’s social media feeds. This ended up being an absolute stroke of genius, utilizing guerilla marketing.

brown pig in body of water
“Are you not entertained?” – Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius.

Now that Fyre Festival had everyone’s attention, they shared the commercial, which became viral instantaneously. This pushed the influencers that weren’t involved, to start begging to be a part of this festival. Mind you, when the promotional material started rolling out it was January, but the Festival was supposed to take place that April. They sold glamorous huts to people for large sums of money that ended up being FEMA tents and porta potties. When they hadn’t raised enough money, they started selling way more expensive villas which, except for a couple, didn’t exist. There are two documentaries out right now streaming that show in great detail how exactly this turned into a disaster and are incredibly entertaining due to absolute lunacy that unfolded.

The Netflix documentary was produced by the same team that promoted the event – FuckJerry, and it paints them in the kindest possible light. A former FuckJerry employee assisted in the Hulu streamer titled FYRE FRAUD. What becomes obvious in viewing both of these tragedies is the extraordinary opportunism that drives each team. Any voice of reason or caution was quickly shunned. One might wonder, had the artist deposits and flights never been cancelled, could this have been rectified? Most likely, no. Even if Third Eye Blind had showed up to play, they’d likely have been enraged by the lack of a viable stage, sound or lighting equipment. Perhaps some of these superstars would have turned a campfire into a magical experience, but we’ll never know.

There is a lot to learn here in regards to conducting a marketing plan to connect a product to consumers. Not everyone has a Fyre Festival in the Bahamas to sell to the public to replicate this, but the unprecedented marketing accomplishment is admirable. I want to think millennials can now turn to this as an example of what and who to trust. It is as much of a commentary on today’s society as it is some bright young minds coming together to create an illusion that they all believed was  real. But the most exciting thing about this all is that we live in a world where we are continually looking for reviews for whatever we are purchasing, but in this case, we are looking at a crowd of people who want to be pioneers. These people want to do something amazing that’s never been done before, so for a year, they can say they’re the only ones to have experienced the phenomenon that is the annual Fyre Festival.

¹ normies: Someone who is of zero social importance. Although this “social importance” is paramount to millennials, it has absolutely nothing to do with real value to society.

² the most beautiful and coolest people in the world: In this context, it really just means models, influencers, or any other unimportant group of persons you can add to this motley crew of people millennials look up to for no reason.

The ABC’s of O’s

Check out this video to go along with this blog!

IPO (Initial Public Offering)

The IPO is the foundation of our modern financial system. It’s first adopter was the Dutch East India Company, in 1602. This allows a company to give up holdings of their business, available to trade on the stock exchange, and is called going public. An IPO raise creates an opportunity for people to invest in a company, and on the other side of that same coin, a chance for companies to fundraise.

Before a privately owned company can conduct an IPO it must be approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and require a fee on sales, which is why you see companies like Uber and Snapchat gaining success and then going public.

Live look at Disney stock, before and after The Last Jedi.

There was a time when you needed to open a brokerage account and there was a process of either investing in individual stocks or stock mutual funds. Nowadays, as a way of encouraging investing, there’re apps that allow you to invest in small or large ways in stocks like Robinhood, which also is commission-free. (DNA has no affiliation with this product.)

Regulations Abound

Regulations were put in place after the Great Depression to protect novice investors making most investments available to ‘accredited investors’ ($1M in net worth, or $200k annual income for two or more years). The irony is, protecting the poor from an opportunity to become not-poor, is… not exactly a protection. There was a clear need for access to wealth from the non-accredited.

The JOBS act provided access to investment vehicles that were previously unavailable to average people. Exemptions began to emerge in the form of Reg-A (tier 1 up to $20M; tier 2 up to $50M; US & Canada companies), Reg-D (no raise limitation), and Reg-S (non-US domiciled). This can get complicated so don’t worry if you’re feeling dizzy. It’s about to get even zanier.

ICO (Initial Coin Offering)

Then in 2013, came the ICO. Similar to an IPO, an ICO is a way for the public to invest in a company, but their investments are in the form of cryptocurrency. An ICO offers a new cryptocurrency in exchange against the already established Bitcoin or Ethereum. So to be more clear, an ICO isn’t giving up shares of their company, but instead offering coins of equal value to their investment. Also, without the regulations necessary that comes with an IPO, you see a lot of younger tech companies/start-ups instituting an ICO, which is a riskier investment to engage in, since there are no regulations to protect the investor.

STO (Security Token Offering)

Due to the lack of regulations, ICOs have cost investors, which comes as no surprise because it is a gamble. As an STO, it is a very similar system in which investors are given digital tokens, instead of receiving shares of the company. But in this case, unlike an ICO, these are backed by actual stocks, bonds, or funds. This offering gives investors a safer exchange, which could be a much more appealing investment for someone that isn’t as informed. They can at least feel more comfortable knowing there are regulations to protect them.

This article lists all STO’s up to December of 2018. Take a look to get a better idea of how this arena is shaping up.

IEO (Initial Exchange Offering)

With an ICO one might feel like they are investing in a company, yet, it remains to be seen how coins will stack up against traditional shares. On the other hand, one might look to an IEO, where it is fundamentally just an exchange of cryptocurrencies. IEOs are handled on a cryptocurrency exchange platform, while an ICO is handled by the developers themselves. This makes it easier on the company to not have to worry about the marketing campaign of an ICO, when the exchange platforms do the heavy lifting marketing these tokens. This is also a safer alt-coin investment when considering there are many more regulations put in place and the websites that host these transactions are heavily protected.

Investing in ICOs, STOs, and IEOs is fairly new and is aggressively increasing in popularity. Startups and cryptocurrencies are broadcasted into the stratosphere of media these days in ways I can only assume would not have been years ago. The fact that we intake all of our news in condensed spaces, I can read about the success of a new cryptocurrency, the score of the last Dodgers game, and some international crisis all on the 6-inch screen of my iPhone. I would imagine years ago, to look for investing insights, you would have to search for it.

As anyone will tell you in investing, there’s no way of predicting the future, so there isn’t a right or wrong when choosing which type of investment to look into. But without a doubt, there are winners and losers.

If you have questions about crypto, blockchain, or marketing a launch, drop them in the comments. And thank you for reading.

The Video Game Industry to Adopt Blockchain

If you are at all tapped into the younger generation right now you would know that Fortnite is the most dominant name in all of entertainment. But it might not make sense to anyone who isn’t playing, that this video game which is entirely free to download and play, does $10 million in revenue every day.

By allowing players to pay a couple of bucks to alter their avatar’s appearance, they have utilized an extremely lucrative business. The reason I use the word utilized, and not created, is because the world of microtransactions (transactions of real currency for in-game materials) had become popularized years ago, with titles like Runescape and World of Warcraft.

The gaming industry has always been quick to adapt to new technology. Heck, as an industry they wasted no time in jumping into virtual reality given the first endeavors were a bit choppy. But given time, they eventually have created some exciting products. It’s clear to see just how effective the use of blockchain and cryptocurrency in video games can be.

The future reality is virtual.

Just imagine if your favorite video game titles such as Star Wars Battlefront or Assassin’s Creed could use cryptocurrencies for microtransactions. This is an extremely likely future, considering the manufacturers that control those IPs, like Electronic Arts and Ubisoft, are working with Ethereum and Tron (cryptocurrency companies) to accomplish safe and swift transactions within their games.

So why cryptocurrency? The prospect is favorable for both sides. We’re looking at two communities coming together who will further the adoption of blockchain technology to new frontiers. Cryptocurrency company Ripple has funded $100 million for developers to put into the tech. The idea of “tokenizing” a gamers purchases is something that can be very appealing to the consumer.

These developers streamline many popular titles, so the addition of cryptocurrency could potentially allow purchases to transfer between titles under the same developer. Electronic Arts, who have released two beloved games, Battlefront II and Battlefield V, both within a year of each other, would give the consumer a chance to transfer the purchase of a weapon in one game to a weapon in the other.

Personally, thinking back to when I was young and playing online games, I wish there had been cryptocurrency to exchange. Unfortunately, there are ways of being scammed online and being able to avoid having to put a credit card on file is something that is incredibly enticing. There were times where I did make an exchange with strangers on Xbox when I used to play Halo, and the transactions hardly went over smoothly.

What are the positives and negatives of this adoption in your eyes? If you’re hungry for a ton of new statistics on the gaming industry, look at THIS! 2020 Gaming Industry Statistics, Trends & Data. I know, right? So cool. Until next time!

Check out this video to go along with this blog!

R.I.P: Apple’s Competition

Apple gave Disney a whole 5 days after the Disney/Fox merger came to a close to unleash the new rollout of Apple everything. I mean everything. The presentation begins with an opening credit that rivals the most famous James Bond openings you can think of. It even humors the idea that they have an app or feature for everything, crediting the Apple Pencil with writing and Apple Maps for location scouting. Genius.

So, what else does Apple have in store for us? The presentation that took place at their very own Apple Campus, was originally discussed to be about their new TV streaming as well as an update for their news service. Turns out, they’re introducing their very own credit card as well as a service for gaming.

Winning by design.

Being in marketing, this presentation was more than exciting. These presentations are created by the best in the business. Apple knows they are the best, but they don’t let that get in the way of trying to sell you and getting you excited about their products. Listen, I don’t read magazines or follow enough of the news to even begin paying for this News+ subscription they’re creating but I’m damned excited about it.

Remember Magnises? That credit card, Billy McFarland, the Fyre Festival entrepreneur, created as a result of him being upset with how quiet of a sound his plastic credit card made when he slapped it down on a table. Billy McFarland might be the least trustworthy person on the planet, but he did have a knack for understanding what people wanted. The Apple Card, made out of titanium, delivers similar characteristics. It is sexy silver and sleek and doesn’t display any numbers on the front or back of it. Aesthetic is so important to people and I can very easily see this becoming a huge hit with this social media generation. The card has plenty of other aspects that are alluring, such as privacy, the lack of fees, and everyday cash back. Getting my first credit card was something I found to be stressful. This almost makes the process exciting.

When it comes to Apple Tv+, they made some very interesting decisions throughout this presentation. First and foremost, the most interesting thing I saw here was that they mentioned streaming services like prime video and HBO Go, but not Netlfix. Their service was speculated to only play on Apple TV, making anyone who wanted their content to purchase their product, however they’re allowing access to their app on other devices such as Roku or the Amazon Fire TV. The Apple Tv+ is going to allow access to other subscriptions such as HBO and Showtime, or even your cable channels such as ESPN.

When Apple initially rolled out their music streaming service, they were struggling against the already established Spotify. I don’t think there was any doubt that they could make a quality product, but it was a matter of giving a reason for subscribers of competing services to jump ship. Apple then turned to a free three-month trial, which boosted their numbers exponentially. This was the chess move they needed to execute to compete with the already established company, which launched in 2008, a whole 7 years before Apple Music. I believe AppleTv+ will offer a similar deal here to gain some traction. We live in a world where there is too much content, and they will definitely need to grab users any way they can.

This one stop shop for all your content is something that sounds super exciting and will defeat the struggle of having to go back and forth through your apps while searching for what show or movie you want to watch. Allowing some of the best storytellers, who are making content for Apple, to present their new original programming was an inspired decision. It also seems that they handpicked some of the most likable actors on the planet to present their new projects such as Steve Carrell, Jennifer Anniston, and Jason Mamoa.

Check out this video!

Facebook looking to adopt Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Technology

Mark Zuckerberg’s image may very well be tainted, whether it be Jessie Eisenberg’s portrayal of a very egotistical adolescent version of himself in The Social Network or the recent infamy he earned with Facebook’s very public Senate hearing. After losing over 2 million users under the age of 25 in 2017, only to then have an even worse 2018, Facebook is turning to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to restore faith in the company. Facebook’s problem became apparent after the 2016 election in which Russia was able to use Facebook as a home for propaganda, and how a political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, was able to infiltrate and yield personal information from millions of users.

Trust building.

So, it is clear that the issue here is privacy. Zuckerberg believes that a remedy for this is blockchain technology. Facebook erected an entire team with a focus of developing blockchain technology to incorporate into their website about a year ago. One way he is looking to integrate the technology is to allow users to have more control over what personal data will be shared, and which applications or services will be able to acquire this information. Zuckerberg claims this is an effort for a “privacy-focused future.” Having 2 billion users like they do, using blockchain technology would promote awareness to a vast audience and could mean a lot for Silicon Valley moving forward.

With acquisitions such as Instagram, Whatsapp, and many others, they aren’t in any real financial trouble. However, the recent struggles that lead to a dip in stock prices after the pinnacle numbers achieved in mid-2018, it is worth acknowledging. Looking forward, Facebook is potentially creating a cryptocurrency of their own, per CNBC. This is believed to spark anywhere from a $3 to $19 billion increase in revenue. There is backing to this estimation; the belief that they can mirror the $6 profit per user Android’s Google Play was able to accrue. Also, to avoid the volatility of the typical cryptocurrency they will be using a “stable coin,” which is entirely backed up by, and equivalent to, the U.S. dollar.

What does this all mean? Well, revenue means shares will improve. If Zuckerberg can convince enough people that he is making decisions for the betterment of the community he has created, we can see the narrative around the conglomerate turn around. I think if Facebook, a brand recognized by virtually everyone, can find impactful uses for blockchain, more trusted brands with large audiences will follow and we can all begin to understand just how useful it can be. As long as Facebook doesn’t become intangible to my mother, (a baby boomer) and I can continue to look up (stalk and compare myself to) former high school classmates, I think Facebook will be successful for the foreseeable future.

Crypto Winter Shopping Guide – Los Angeles Edition

(Part 1)

What’s winter shopping without crypto? 2011. And, actually it’s 99.9% of brick and mortar shopping today, even in Los Angeles.

Winter Shopping Heats Up

As a hotbed of culture and consumerism it would follow that Los Angeles is home to a host of products, services, and experiences available to the crypto-enthusiast. By comparison, globally, you’d be right. But you’ll be driving between locations if you plan to keep it strictly crypto.

Nevertheless, here are some of the services, products, and experiences you can find in the City of Angels. Source.


Byte me!

Yum down on this local institution’s undeniably delicious pies. Located on Abbot Kinney in Venice, Abbot’s Pizza Company has accepted cryptocurrency since 8/17/15. It isn’t clear if their former Santa Monica and Culver City locations accept altcoins since changing their name to Grey Block but as a startup by the same founders, it follows that they would.

At press time, one large pizza with four toppings is available for the low-low price of 0.0031Bitcoin. Which is far fewer than the two pizzas which sold for 10,000Bitcoin in 2010 launching Bitcoin Pizza Day.

Graphic Design.

Need an animated logo? Graphics101 has accepted cryptocurrency since 1/24/14 and provides logo videos for companies, including area favorite radio stations, 91X (San Diego), Live105 (San Francisco), and KROQ (Los Angeles). Check out their site, or drop by their office on Washington in Marina Del Rey.

Legal Services.

Yes, you can pay for legal services in cryptocurrency. Amanda Rakita, Esq., provides flexible pricing in an array of arenas including, cannabis law, complex civil litigation, real estate investments, business law, intellectual property, and estate planning. Her Playa Vista office has accepted altcoins since 12/23/17 and her website explains her model and qualifications thoroughly. (This is not an endorsement, we’ve never done business together, and now, we probably never will because #ethics.)


Buy treasures with crypto

Now you can buy pawned sportswear, watches, jewelry, musical instruments and equipment, and fashion accessory items with altcoins at the Marina Loan & Jewelry Pawn Shop on Lincoln. Not only do they offer a wide variety of high-quality items, they can sell and ship it to you anywhere in the world. You can make requests and they’ll keep an eye out for certain items, notifying you as they become available. It’s shocking that a storefront as legacy as this is providing so much freedom and mobility in their service offering. Although, it’s hard to tell if they finished their website or just stopped halfway through.

Shave & A Haircut.

Buzz, beer, & bitcoin!

Not for everyone, but definitely for locals, visitors and beardists seeking an authentic Venice experience. The Bitcoin Barber as they’re affectionately known, offer an array of hairstyling and trimming services along with a cold beer, some psy-trance remixes of dubstep classics, and stories about dogs. You’ll find them on the map under their ‘professional’ business name, The World Famous Venice Barber Shop but their nickname stuck and locals use it. So can you. Their basement location is in the heart of Venice.

Conclusion on Community.

This post is all over the map😆 I know. And it barely scratches the surface. We’ll do more of these, until it hurts.

We used CoinMap to research this post. A project of the Blockchain Policy Institute, developed by Satoshi Labs, it’s a user-generated data-set with two primary maps. There’s a heat map of the world that shows concentration of crypto-friendly markets. And there’s a detail view, where you can review individual locations, much like yelp! And it’s only the beginning. As the crypto-community grows, more shared tools like CoinMap will offer resources to recent-adopters and provide marketing channels for forward-thinking providers.

We encourage you to add businesses to the map. It’s surprising how much isn’t on here. And that’s how communities grow.

The New World of Content Marketing

Content Marketing is growing up. Mostly because it has too. Advances in technology have placed high-end production equipment in the hands of, well, almost everyone, making just as many people potential storytellers.

So, now, impromptu entertainers are learning the art of storytelling as they go. And gifted storytellers are finding agencies or brands to partner with bringing a level of craft that was hoarded by networks and studios for generations.

Oddly, what makes great content marketing is also, what makes great stories. You can apply Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey to narrative campaigns and drum up big numbers.

Hero Image Content Marketing
Photo by Ryan Tang on Unsplash

It’s because people respond to storylines with engaging themes. At some point in our lives we can all relate to a fish out of water, or coming of age, or even the enemy within. Human narratives exist between people and brands. But the top-down era of television broadcasting was never designed for a dialogue.

People respond to characters. Think Dos Equis wanted to update the most interesting man in the world? That was one of the toughest choices they ever made. Strong character, global arena, sardonic tone, adventurous narrative. Admit it, you kind of admired the guy. He spoke to you in a way that no one else did. And this new guy? Forget about it. We were invested in the character.

Individuals have become industries using even a single platform (aka influencers). Neil Patel claims one channel won’t cut it in 2019, but for some brands two channels is too many. Like all good business models, chase success. Narrow your channels to your effective ones. Multiple channels does allow for cross-channel interaction, if you’re creating a true fictional, character-based narrative. And that takes a lot of planning.

If you’re just looking into content marketing, ask how deep your content can go. Can your brand embrace comedy, adventure, romance, horror, drama? No brand can say yes to all. Even a movie studio isn’t all those things. Does your content need cut and dry, purely facts, or is there room in your voice to play a little.

As a generation of storytellers discover the ancient secrets on their own, the wise ones of industries gone by will shore up on the beaches of social content, to make a new wave of entertainment, in bite-sized pieces, for the visionary brands who can embrace the change.

Why We Market Pioneers

There are fiscal realities coupled with layered intangibles that have made this market our home. Don’t get me wrong, we definitely support our ongoing clients with attention to detail and radical enthusiasm, but in the last three years, our journey has taken an exciting turn. We’ve begun to focus on launching pioneers.

Companies seeking to raise capital through various mechanisms have found our approach and team to be the right fit for reaching their goals. Many of these have been start-ups, quite a few in the altcoin/cryptocurrency, blockchain arena.

Who hasn’t been mystified by the rise, and rise, and dip, and rise, and recent tumble of CRYPTO? Who isn’t at least moderately interested in upstart technology, and startup innovation? We’ve all heard the term Blockchain (distributed ledger technology) more than we can count, but we’re finally beginning to see the tedious work of applying the tool being carried out and it’s surprising the number of use cases people are uncovering.

Governments are embracing the very technology that could effectively shrink government possibly without realizing or perhaps because they recognize all too well what this spells.

Our team loves working with cutting edge businesses. It excites us. The temperature changes in the room when we’re sparked into action on a big idea.

There can be hiccups. We meet excited, ambitious, motivated people who want to do everything yesterday and don’t have the capacity to plan marketing the way they do software or product development. Or they think money can fix a dysfunctional campaign. Very often, a short conversation with some data-supported guidance will move that excitement into laser focus with a developed strategy. Most of our successful clients have engaged us for a strategy phase which lasts from four to eight weeks.

This is like forced courting. We have to fall in love with you so your target market will. By going through the journey of exploring all the features, benefits, intangibles, and flaws of your brand, we get in touch with its authentic voice.

Very often with a new venture, it is the voice and personality of the lead pitch person. Or it’s a combination of a big idea with a big personality.

The Money

We didn’t anticipate this focus would yield such high results. Our Q4-2018 was more productive and profitable than any in the previous five years (since the company was officially founded).

There are a few considerations. Most startups have some kind of marketing budget allocated on a spreadsheet but don’t have experience with building creative assets and launching campaigns. Ninety percent of new businesses fail, so on average, if we take on twenty new clients one year, odds are, two will remain the next. There’s some inherent risk and burn rate.

The clients who do scale, often scale large, sometimes beyond 100x. The law of averages tells us 50% of those clients will drift annually. So our agency works closely with our clients for retention.

Of the nine-in-ten businesses that fold per year, two entrepreneurs will move directly into their next thing. So, we do get repeat business from leaders. We obviously get offered payment in many company’s coins. Rarely, do we accept this.

Overall, the fiscal reality is good, and it makes sense for us to continue down this road many see as experimental while we see it as inevitable. But, the biggest payoff for us is in the work.

The Feels

We launch pioneers because we love the job. We love interpreting people who see the future and bring it to life. We like to channel their passion into grabbable opportunities for communities at scale.

When a client walks in and makes us speechless, that’s our best opportunity to grow and shine.

Our team came up on the outskirts. As kids, we liked skateboarding, punk rock, being in bands, and pushing limits. We learned what being popular felt like, and its chilly opposite.

For all of us, there’s something gratifying about seeing the lights come on in someone’s eyes when they get the advantages provided by a new currency exchange, or an STO platform, a health and care platform, an energy source with zero footprint.

We admire and respect groundbreakers. We know how to connect them with audiences around the world. We do it because it fulfills us. It means a lot to get that voice of innovation, that pioneering spirit, that haggard rasp of hours invested, and the satisfying grunt when your head hits the bed, long day behind you, into the main conversation.

It means something to get emails of gratitude because a campaign got 23x ROI. Those are people’s ambitions becoming real. Those are countless people’s lives being impacted in a small or large way.

When a visionary is heard, there’s a resonance that shakes across the globe. Like all of matter settles in just a little deeper. Like a better world has confirmed itself in that listening.

So, punk rock is what got us here. And skateboards. And pushing limits. And most of all being inspired by pioneers.

Parenting for Marketers

Don’t have kids? Great. Keep reading. What can marketers learn from parenting? Oh, so much.

Photo by Ksenia Makagonova on Unsplash

Patience. One thing nearly all new parents will tell you is the degree of patience required in parenting is unlike nearly anything else on the planet. It shifts over time. It takes one kind of patience to wait as your kindergartener spits through the alphabet, slowly. And, another kind of patience to wait for your High Schooler’s grades. Why is patience important for marketers? Mostly, results, and prospects. Waiting for campaigns to yield outcomes can be agonizing or exciting. Waiting for prospects to sort out their priorities? Also, often agonizing. Patience is key. 

Commitment. It’s in your blood not to sell out your kid, to give them every advantage you can. Family runs deep, but the commitment to a child is paramount. The child’s wellbeing always comes first. Marketers and product managers who can invest time and attention on their brand will see dividends the way parents who read to their kids will. Am I saying take your brand to the park? Sort of.

Creativity. Kids demand creativity of all types. The kind you want to engage in, and, the kind you don’t. There’s finger-painting and there’s figuring out how to get Tommy’s head out of the banister, again. Marketing demands creativity as well. Sure, you can approach everything with templates, but by the time you are ready to go live on a campaign, many things have moved in order to align for launch. Then, there’s getting creative with campaigns while they’re live. See something reacting? Dig into why and then chase it down. Childlike wonder goes a long way in marketing.

Communication. So, everyone needs this, can improve on this, is in the middle of this right now. But kids are generally the most communicative of all the humans. They really don’t hold back, at all. They’ll sing a narrative of their day, or your day, or an ideal day with just the two of you…, and Buzz Lightyear. Because, why not. 

Listening. Raising kids will teach you to listen, hopefully. Listen intently for what they’re up to, challenged by, wrestling with, and accomplishing. Same with clients. If you haven’t learned by now that listening is your strongest sales and delivery communication device, go hang out with someone’s kid for twenty minutes (with permission, of course) and you’ll get your noggin’ tuned up right. You’ll remember to ask the unusual question that opens up the best part of the conversation and makes the most resonant connection.

Patience. Just when you thought you’d learned everything you can from kids about marketing, we come back to patience. The other kind of patience you’ll learn from kids is when they’re being patient with you. When they’re waiting for you to look them in the eye and really connect. Your clients want that, too. Get in the sandbox. If they like that kind of thing.

INVESTING. You will invest more into your kids than anything else, ever. Don’t care how rich you get, or if you ignore them every day of their lives. Money stays, family lives on. Whatever attention you put toward your child is what you’re investing in them. It will have returns. Same with marketing. The more you intelligently invest in your brand having the best advantages it can in life, the more you will see rewards.

If you don’t have kids, and never want them, I hope the parents you know are a resource. If you can think of other ways marketers can learn from parents and kids, throw them in the comments. Thanks!

Why Marketers Market so Marketing Much

For me, it’s personal, and I promise to get into that. But let’s establish a few basics. Can we all just admit that we hate advertising? Sure, there are some cute ones out there, but we fast-forward as much as we can through them. We ignore billboards on the roadside, most of the time. We subscribe to stuff so it will be ad-free. We stare blankly at bus benches, not at all connected to the real estate smile pasted there. We do what we can to avoid advertising. We don’t like being sold.


So, why? Why do marketers fill the visual landscape with brand messages and taglines?

Well, because it works.

I didn’t start off in marketing because I love commercials, or billboards, or online campaigns. They were a means to an end. I first arrived in Los Angeles a starry-eyed kid determined to make it in the music and movie business.

I met so many talented people who I felt deserved more attention and success than they were getting. And, alongside that, I saw untalented people getting way too much attention and success.

That was it for me. I wanted to learn how to coordinate behind the scenes so I could ensure success for genuinely talented people. But, I had hang-ups. I didn’t want to become cheesy.

Have you seen Bill Hicks’ tirade on the subject? I did and had a stomach ache for a month until I realized Bill had posters hung for that very show — the dirty, stinking marketer.

So, once I got past the fear of looking bad, and really dug into crafting campaigns on behalf of clients, I started to see how the machine of story creation for the marketplace takes shape.

The biggest ‘aha’ for me was realizing that every product and service in the world had a successful “launch” which contained multiple layers of strategy and tactical execution. Anything “new” to the consumer has had months to years of research and development behind it to get to market. It’s been with product-reviewers long enough for them to write about it and go to print (which back then could be ninety days from final edit to magazine racks). It blew my mind that there were almost no ‘organic’ breakouts in the marketplace.

Over the years my perspective on talent and audience has shifted but what has become most clear to me is that people connect with one another, despite all the technology, on a human level.

No matter what, every launch of every product or service involves people. And people respond to continued, crafted communication that connects on a human level.  That’s why we market so marketing much.