Marketing Trends, 12/4

“For your first 5 customers, the reason they bought your product is because they love your movement. They believe in what you can do for them. Market the movement.” Menaka Shroff, Global Head of Marketing at Google Cloud

Marketing News

A Giant Decision

Bill Simmons of The Ringer announced the newly created Ringer Films and an upcoming HBO documentary on Andre the Giant, as reported by the Hollywood Reporter. We are huge fans of The Ringer. In just 1.5 years Simmons has built a team of amazing writers, editors and creatives that are putting out some of the best work on sports and pop culture. Adding films is a logical step fit.

Facebook Keeps It Rolling

Facebook is finally lifting its ban on pre-roll ads as reported by AdAge. This is a strange decision for Facebook because it is trying to get the fledgeling Watch off the ground. And everyone (as in viewers) hates pre-roll ads. Plus, Mark Zuckerberg was very adamant that they weren’t going to do pre-roll in July:

“We don’t need to do pre-roll because our model is not one where you come to Facebook to watch one piece of content, you come to look at a feed.”

However, publishers want to sell more of their own ads on Facebook video shows as reported by DigiDay. Facebook Watch has had some initial success with videos being watched 23 seconds, up from 16.7 seconds on Newsfeed.

It is still in the “way too freaking early” department, but if Facebook is looking for more people to adopt Watch, I can’t imagine adding pre-rolls is the answer.

Quick Hits

The State of Experiential Retail in 5 Charts [DigiDay]

Last week Amazon announced Alexa for Business. Here is the info straight from Amazon’s Tara Walker.

The Mission On Location

We are heading to Growth Marketing Conference in San Francisco on Dec 6–7th! If you don’t have you ticket yet, there are still some left here. See you there!

Lessons Learned

Last week Robert Rose of the Content Marketing institute wrote a great piece about how to build to get better buy-in for your content marketing strategy:

Examining the business case for strategic content marketing brings up value-focused terms such as “optimized brand engagement,” “better leads,” “higher shopping cart value,” “lower churn,” or even “direct revenue.” In other words, in prioritizing marketing activities, we make the case that content marketing has the potential for more value.

But what about content strategy? Google “business case content strategy” and you’ll get only 72,000 results.

Now, when I say, “content strategy,” I mean the holistic approach to using content as an asset to the business. Why should the business care about careful governance, management, adaptation, optimization, and scale of the way it uses content? What is the business case for organizing a centralized strategic approach around content as an overall business asset?

Unlike the case of a content marketing strategy, here we have no real comparison. We can’t make the case that content strategy is more effective or efficient than doing something else. It’s not an alternative strategy. Rather, the comparison is to do nothing about organizing an activity — creating content — that the business isn’t already doing.

Read the rest of the article here.


How does Amazon launch a product? By writing the story first, of course! This is from Ian McAllister, Director of Alexa International, Amazon. He wrote this on Quora back in 2012:

There is an approach called “working backwards” that is widely used at Amazon. We try to work backwards from the customer, rather than starting with an idea for a product and trying to bolt customers onto it. While working backwards can be applied to any specific product decision, using this approach is especially important when developing new products or features.

For new initiatives a product manager typically starts by writing an internal press release announcing the finished product. The target audience for the press release is the new/updated product’s customers, which can be retail customers or internal users of a tool or technology. Internal press releases are centered around the customer problem, how current solutions (internal or external) fail, and how the new product will blow away existing solutions.

If the benefits listed don’t sound very interesting or exciting to customers, then perhaps they’re not (and shouldn’t be built). Instead, the product manager should keep iterating on the press release until they’ve come up with benefits that actually sound like benefits. Iterating on a press release is a lot less expensive than iterating on the product itself (and quicker!).

Here’s an example outline for the press release:

If the press release is more than a page and a half, it is probably too long. Keep it simple. 3–4 sentences for most paragraphs. Cut out the fat. Don’t make it into a spec. You can accompany the press release with a FAQ that answers all of the other business or execution questions so the press release can stay focused on what the customer gets. My rule of thumb is that if the press release is hard to write, then the product is probably going to suck. Keep working at it until the outline for each paragraph flows.

Oh, and I also like to write press-releases in what I call “Oprah-speak” for mainstream consumer products. Imagine you’re sitting on Oprah’s couch and have just explained the product to her, and then you listen as she explains it to her audience. That’s “Oprah-speak”, not “Geek-speak”.

Once the project moves into development, the press release can be used as a touchstone; a guiding light. The product team can ask themselves, “Are we building what is in the press release?” If they find they’re spending time building things that aren’t in the press release (overbuilding), they need to ask themselves why. This keeps product development focused on achieving the customer benefits and not building extraneous stuff that takes longer to build, takes resources to maintain, and doesn’t provide real customer benefit (at least not enough to warrant inclusion in the press release).

Original Content, Series and Shows

As mentioned above, Andre the Giant. Spring 2018.


We want to give a shout out to a mission-driven marketer, Menaka Shroff, Global Head of Marketing at Google Cloud. Menaka will be speaking at Growth Marketing Conference this week but if you can’t make it, check out her talk from Traction Conference last year:

Marketing Q&A

Q: What kind of CPMs are typical to sponsor an email newsletter?

A: It depends on the type of sponsorship that you are looking at doing and the quality of the newsletter. For high quality, premium newsletters, the price point will be between $50-$200 CPM. The most important factor isn’t the size of the audience but the quality of the audience. Quality of audience is harder to track but looking at clear, granular demographics and a collection of superfans is a great start.

If you are doing an exclusive newsletter sponsorship in which you are the only sponsor of a newsletter, the range will sit on the higher end. These are the newsletters in which you are the recommended product for the consumers.

For newsletters in which there are multiple sponsors, CPM can sit as low as $5, but don’t expect to be building the relationship that you would with an exclusive sponsorship.

Read more: How and Why to Sponsor an Email Newsletter


Interested in working at Google Cloud? There is a role open for a Demand Generation Marketing Manager!