We know what you’re thinking:

“OK, you Buzzfeed-imitating, listicle-loving, self-important data and marketing nerds. Enough.”

And while that argument definitely has *some* merit, hear us out. Data, machine learning, AI, Agile marketing — these are all fun buzzwords, but what happens when you need to apply these terms? What happens when you need to go from buzzword to application?

We’re making this list because not everyone has the time or money to enroll in 12-week intensives or watch every online course on the internet, which is why we assembled a list of our favorite books, podcasts, newsletters, and vibes to…

Startups, startups everywhere.

Spend a few minutes scrolling on Instagram and you’ll see a strong contingent of your followers promoting their side hustle, startup or other vague entrepreneurial venture. And that’s amazing. Thirty years ago if you called yourself an “entrepreneur” you were probably characterized as a sketchy businessperson or someone who couldn’t hold down a “steady” job.

But, today? If you don’t know someone who’s starting a business, who’s an early employee in a startup or using the word “hustle” in their social feed, something’s awry.

And that’s because over the years it’s become easier than ever to test and launch a…

This likely doesn’t come as a shock to most of us marketers, but we’re being asked to do more with less — smaller budgets, shrinking head count, less time. And quite frankly, some marketing departments have a way of becoming excellent tacticians — the marketing equivalent of a server/waiter, just knocking out another spec sheet, box label and web banner request like every other launch without needing to think strategically.

But how did we get here?

In our experience we’ve found that marketing teams tend to lose their way by having one (or more) of the following issues:

  1. There’s no marketing strategy tied to business goals…

As marketers, we’ve all been there.

You’re hard at work on your marketing plan for the next six months based on the budget Finance so graciously allocated to you. The team has their marching orders. The vendors are working to execute your grand vision. You’ve set realistic but aggressive goals, with lots of testing and iteration cycles baked in. You’re just about to kick up your feet and wait for the revenue dollars to roll in, when you see a dreaded meeting invitation from Finance pop up on your calendar.

You accept the invite, hopeful at first. Maybe finance found a few more coins under the…

single metrics can have unintended consequences

No, you didn’t read that headline wrong. No, this isn’t clickbait. You may find yourself asking, “Is a data-driven strategy team telling me that focusing on metrics can result in poor outcomes?”

Yes, yes we are.

Let us explain.

Our story begins on a Zoom call (don’t they all these days?) with the marketing and customer service teams of an e-commerce company we’d been working with. We were asked to help find ways to make more revenue, so one tactic we proposed was to have the customer service reps upsell customers by recommending a more expensive product than the one…

Lauren Taber

Co-founder of nanochomp. Interested in all things data-driven marketing, branding, Agile framework, health and fitness, and UNC basketball

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