My next adventure

A short while ago, I tweeted that job searching is like dating. I never want to settle for less than what’s going to make me extremely happy. I want to love waking up to my dream job every day. I want to love every second of it. This wasn’t much of a stretch in thought for me, because I’ve always considered what I do more than just a job. It’s my life.

Because of all of this, I’m really excited to announce my next adventure. Starting Monday (August 12th), I’ll be joining the MartianCraft team.

There, I’m going to be able to work with a couple of our clients, build the MC brand, and push Briefs forward from a marketing perspective. I will still live in Ottawa, and will work remotely (so if your office has some extra space, drop me a line ;)).

If you want to keep tabs on what the team is doing, follow us on Twitter.

Growth Hacking is just NeoMarketing

I’m just going to say it: Marketers should be Growth Hackers, and growth hacking is just neomarketing.

There’s been a lot of talk about Growth Hackers as of late, and their undeniable benefit to startups. As a marketer that has been replaced by Growth Hackers on projects, I became curious about this phenomenon that was suddenly edging out my skills. In a small debate on Twitter recently, one person noted that growth hackers are “marketers that use data”. Now, I’ve only been in the industry for a few years, but they even teach you in school that decisions, strategic or otherwise, should be based on research and data. So what’s the big freakin’ deal?

Digital marketing has upped the ante

Marketers are valuable people. I was taught, in fact, that marketing is the sole function of a business that generates revenue (keep in mind that Sales falls under Marketing). This is why we create strategies and plans, and adapt as we go. Traditional marketing roles aren’t cutting it anymore.

To be one of the best, we must have a full understanding of digital, and more importantly how people use digital tech. This doesn’t mean being able to define bounce rates and identify the top five social networks. This means knowing how data affects your decisions. It means being able to integrate a microsite with a social network, mobile advertising, and an email campaign…and knowing how to optimize every step for a flawless campaign. Optimizing isn’t just choosing what your committee thinks is the best option, but finding out what IS the best option through testing. There is a new understanding that virtually every campaign will have some aspect of digital in it, which means…

There is no such thing as a one-trick pony

I have frequently seen Growth Hackers referred to as “marketers who can code”. I also know of a lot of startups that require their employees to be able to do more than one thing well. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best in the biz at ‘X’, because you have to do ‘X’ and ‘Y’, where ‘Y’ is typically programming/coding/hacking. Marketing has also fell prey to this trend, and it has been deemed ‘growth hacking’. Aaron Ginn outlined these, among others, as realities of defining growth hacking:

  • The “secret” is the mindset, not the toolset

  • Growth hacking has marketing goals but different tactics

These points lead me to believe that in fact marketing and growth hacking are not two separate things, but instead growth hacking is what marketing SHOULD be, had us marketers been able to adapt to what being digital truly requires. So while the next generation of neomarketers are getting insane results on their complex campaigns, we’re left to handle social media and content creation. I refuse to be another Social Media Marketing Guru in a sea of ninjas, mavens, and maniacs.

Don’t get me wrong, marketing is not endangered, so I’m not worried. It will always be a necessary investment for companies of all sizes. However, unless we want to end up like all the Flash designers still trying to make it cool, we need to get a better handle on growth. When it comes down to it, growth is really just a byproduct of good marketing.

Social Spaghetti, How to Avoid the Mess

After working social media for a few years, and seeing the rise, and fall (and sometimes rise again) of many social networks, I’ve noticed a trend in businesses in social media:

Lack of understanding forces people to throw as much spaghetti as they have against the wall of every network, to see what sticks.

I get it, mastering every social media will make you a powerful player. Only, that’s nearly impossible. Because I can confidently say that no company in the world can cover every network available. Not only do they lack the manpower (read: time) to achieve this, but there is no way that enough ROI would come from each network to make that effort worth it.

You know what, being successful in social media (I hope I’m not sounding like a “guru”) is actually much easier. Here’s all you need to do for a simple social strategy if it’s yourself or your one-person marketing team:

  1. Define your audience and objectives: who are you trying to attract? what action do you want them to take?
  2. Pick 2-3 networks: you defined who you’re after, now figure out where they’re hanging out. Further, what network will help facilitate the action they need to take?
  3. Develop strategies for these networks: it’ll be a lot easier with just 2-3 networks to figure this out. Your strategy needs to cover your tone for each network. It is likely that the things you post and address on Facebook, will be different from Twitter, or Dribbble, or Pinterest, for example. Your calls to action may differ for each network: this is okay.
  4. Execute: Stick to your plan in terms of consistency, but readjust every few days depending on the interactions you have with other users.

There’s really no need to try and tackle every social network you find. If anything, you brand will look lazy if you create a profile and then neglect it (which you will, because you can’t be everywhere at once!).

Go forth, be social.



Within just a couple of days, our Drop Pants, Not Fees event has exploded into a huge thing that’s apparently actually happening and really mobilizing a lot of students, so I feel that I should address my thoughts on the matter and clear up any confusion.

I’m going to state right off the bat that…