The Marketeer

Regarding Disrupted

Dan Lyons’ scathing tell all “Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble” came out last month and I’d been eagerly awaiting the book as have many in the Boston and marketing software communities. He tells of his time at Hubspot, the Cambridge-based startup that went all the way to IPO and took the lead as champion of Inbound Marketing.

I’m always looking for interesting books to profile for Marketing Over Coffee but decided to pass on Disrupted. I thought it would be just a bunch of stories of startup lifestyle, parties with career limiting consequences, bad ideas and burn rate. The goal of the podcast is to educate and entertain. I try to avoid the negative slants of industry gossip or making fun of failed marketing campaigns. We do cover that stuff, but failing a lot, often spectacularly, is what happens at startups. Most of them fail – Hubspot is one of the exceptions. I’ve been at more than one place that was a lot crazier, that also crashed and burned.

I used my monthly Audible credit to get the book (I said I would refuse to buy it, so this was me going half-truth on that so I didn’t have to wait for a library copy to finally get around to me) and tore through it. Even if you are not going to read all the “Inside Baseball” that follows, the TL;DR is: This is not just a book comparing a startup to a cult, it presents a lot of big issues: the nature of the workplace, the place in our society for the rapidly growing over 40 demographic, our financial system and how it perpetuates disparity of wealth, the death of journalism, and the trade off between privacy and being a member of the online world. If you are interested in any of these topics you should get this book.

I’d also recommend the audiobook because many of the key plot points are meetings and discussions between Lyons and his fellow employees. Hearing him do the voices paints a more vivid picture of when somebody is giving a crazy answer, laying out some wild idea, or the subtle sarcasm in his answers that you would miss if read off the page.

Ok, so if you’ve made it this far I’m presuming you’re in and want all the details. Even though I decided to pass on this for the podcast, so many things about this book were banging around in my mind because I’ve lived through a bunch of these situations, everything from bringing a company from near zero to a successful acquisition, to having my “position eliminated”, i.e. “we promised higher ups that hiring you would create explosive growth this quarter and it didn’t and now I have to fire you so that it’s not me.” Even after many years you can’t help but look back on the turning points and think about how it could have been better or worse. I’m writing this to get it all out of my head, but at the same time my wife listened to much of the book and had questions about how and why this could happen, so if you’re interested in this, my therapy might also give you some insight.

Rules and a boatload of disclaimers: This post is for people who have read the book. There’s been a lot of social media rambling from people who haven’t. I’ll run this by a friend to make sure it can be read if you haven’t read the book, but if you haven’t and you make a stupid comment I’ll probably delete it.

Mike Volpe was brave enough to have Hubspot take a chance as an early sponsor of Marketing Over Coffee, years before the laggards got hooked on Serial. Chris Penn and I were also guests when Hubspot did a video show and we met many team members during our visit there. I met Dan Lyons at his book signing for “Options – The Secret Life of Steve Jobs“, part of his Fake Steve Jobs writing, which is the funniest and most entertaining writing that has ever been done on the tech industry. It’s been 8 years since I read Options and I still laugh out loud when I think of the part where Hillary Clinton goes to meet the Tech Titans of Silicon Valley (pg. 140 in my copy). I’ve known Scott Kirsner for many years and have been to one of his events on Nantucket, he’s brave enough to try and figure out where he fits in the post-newspaper age and he’s painted as a gun for hire but he is the first choice if you have a question about what’s going on in the Boston tech scene.

And this is where you get your first taste of crazy. I’ve worked with all these people and I like them. When I first heard of Dan going to Hubspot I thought it was fantastic, I couldn’t wait to read what he was going to write with access to those resources and audience. Like all startups, it sounds like an exciting idea, and yet somehow it ended up with an FBI investigation.

Where does all this crazy come from? For any startup you are trying to do something never done before, and many may think that what you are trying is not possible, so that’s the crazy seed. The founders may be visionaries seeing the future, or f#$%ing lunatics. Taking money from venture capital investors (VCs) is like alcohol in an the old Bill Cosby standup routine: “Alcohol magnifies your personality”… “but what if you’re an a-hole?” (Sorry about the recursive mess of a Bill Cosby alcohol joke.)

Once you have VC you are pledging to rapid growth. Usually the founders have pitched this but have no real idea if/how it will happen, and the VC’s also live with the conflict of believing in the startup enough to invest in them, while also believing more of their investments will fail than succeed. Finally, the crazy tree is at full height when preparing an IPO, a massive amount of work that does not really have anything to do with directly serving customers (besides making sure you have the money to stay in business).

Dysfunction of demanding quarterly growth from what used to be an organic process – I could belabor this but it’s enough to say if you gather 9 women and think you are going to get a baby in one month it’s not going to be what you’re expecting, it’s going to be crazy stuff.

When I heard about the book I immediately thought “wow, this is going to get messy” and yee-haw, another successful prognostication for me. I was conflicted because I hated the idea of someone taking a shot at a successful Boston startup, yet knew I would laugh at anything Lyons wrote. I said I wanted nothing to do with it, while my curiosity was killing me. Yes, there are the tales of drunken hook-ups, standing desks, crazy outings but at the heart of it is “What happens when your career has been blown to bits and you’re thrown into a startup.”

He writes about his first day, showing up nervous and ready for amazing things. Instead of getting welcomed at the door, nobody knows he was showing up today. It takes more than a day to work things out.

When I started it I’m laughing and already hooked at this point. Rewind about a year – I’m at the Hubspot receptionist desk, excited out of my mind, I’ve set up a time to talk with Dan Lyons, the funniest tech writer ever, and going to guest on their new podcast. I’m also getting an interview with Mike Volpe for Marketing Over Coffee, it’s been a couple of years since he was last on and we’re due for an update on what’s going on with Inbound Marketing. I’m stuck at the receptionist desk, the woman there has no idea who Dan Lyons is. After about a half hour she finds out that he’s no longer with the company. The interviews are still on though and somebody that works with Mike sets me up with a desk so I can get some stuff done as things come together. I’m on the top floor in a space that has just been worked on so most of the desks in the open layout are empty. There’s a big mural of a dinosaur walking through the city and I laugh for a second thinking about myself as approaching dinosaur territory. About 20 minutes later my cube neighbor shows up, it’s Brian Halligan. We’ve met a couple times before so we say hello and catch up, he makes a joke about being the dinosaur in the building and that’s why he’s under the mural and I have some line about it being good to have at least one person in the building that has experience running a business. The interviews go well, everyone says Lyons went over to the HBO show which makes perfect sense to me, so I’m disappointed that my imaginary lunch with Dan never happened and figure that’s the last I’ll hear about it.

Nope. I can’t remember the order, but I heard that the guys were gone and then I heard about the book. I even connected the dots and said “I bet they were trying to get the book!” I wish I could remember who I talked to about that to confirm prognostication #2 but it’s not that important. Then there was the press release, talk of an FBI investigation, but really no new info until the book came out. On to some points to clarify:

All startups tend to be more like cults than jobs. The founders are giving up a normal life of paycheck and health insurance to do something crazy. You can have angels that put money in and work for free to get things off the ground. Teams taking on this insane level of risk create bonds far beyond anything that happens in a standard 9-5 shop.

Comparing any startup to a Fortune 100 company will make it look poorly managed. At a well managed business your list for the day might have 8 things on it. The employee can usually get 6-10 things done. If the employee can’t get the 6-10 they hire another person, if they are constantly sitting around doing nothing they get more work to do or are laid off.

At a startup your list for the day has 25 things on it. 12 of them really needed to be done last week, 10 of them need to be done today. There’s no time travel though,  people still chip the same 6-10 things off the list per day. As a result there are always projects behind or abandoned, this is how things like the receptionist not knowing you happen.

This high risk, low management environment is part of why startups can be innovative. Clayton Christensen has done brilliant work explaining why “well managed” ends up meaning “unable to innovate” and “soon to be crushed by a more agile competitor.” The Innovator’s Dilemma is one of my favorite books (and yes, I realize that having a favorite business book, by definition, makes me old).

Founders not being hands on or in the office every day is not surprising. The problem with the startup is that it is both a sprint and a marathon. I once had to work about 30 hours straight when we had updated our software and needed to get a working demo machine set up to bring to an event the next day. This was just before “The Cloud” arrived so any major project involved building servers. Installing an Oracle database at 2am is a pain, but on the upside there were long breaks in the install process so I could go ride one of the company scooters around in gigantic empty parking lot when I got sick of being alone inside.

Of course you can only do this kind of insanity in short bursts, after 2 or 3 years straight you would lose your mind or drop dead. If the company starts to have some success they get enough resources for more employees. At this point a cultural shift begins from crazy entrepreneurs to more normal employees. As everything gets bigger you are able to find employees who are specialists and if you are doing it right, they are smarter in their area of expertise than the previous round of people. To give you an example, Volpe came on as marketer at something like employee #5. I don’t know exactly where work was divided but odds are he was doing content, running the website, email, advertising… everything. Fast forward 6 or 7 years and now the marketing team is bigger than the whole company was when he started and there’s a whole team doing what he used to do by himself.

Now the founders want to do something different because they’ve been running like maniacs for years so they focus down to the things they want to work on and delegate the rest. And, if they’ve done it right the new hires don’t want the founders getting involved that much anyway, they have more specialized knowledge and are doing the day to day so they have no interest in a founder as Seagull Manager (flying over now and then to crap on everything). In “normal” jobs the manager is working with his employees managing, in startups it’s not uncommon to have founders who just have an office they sit in and work on crazy projects, or they are always on the road doing speaking gigs, or actively working on their next startup project. They are not going to leave because there may be a huge payday in the near future, but they are in no way your classic employee. This is where you see a lot of great startup drama when investors keep coming in and start to gain board seats, and may put the crosshairs on a founder that’s not delivering the growth they originally promised the VCs.

Employee vs. Entrepreneur vs. Internet Celebrity – I’ve always said that building a startup is like creating a recipe for a killer dish by randomly adding ingredients. You may have everything in order for that chocolate chip cookie but if you’re using salt instead of sugar you’re stuck with something inedible. Each employee is a new ingredient and even though each ingredient on its own may be a favorite, you’re not going to sell a ton of Meatball Sundaes.

As positions and culture are built on the fly there’s a lot of opportunity for confusion. Anyone from a normal job might go into a startup expecting a manager that explains what needs to be done, spends time training them, and has clear goals as to what the employee needs to do to be successful. Far more likely, when the employee is hired the entrepreneur is thinking “Whew, that was a ton of work there, I’m glad I’ve got an expert so I never have to do that again.” Now both parties are expecting the other to figure it out. I’m not saying this is right but from what I’ve seen, the burden to clearly define things and get them done falls to the employee, not the supervisor. Yes, it would be great if there was a mentoring and leadership culture but often there isn’t.

I’ve also seen companies hiring people that have their own following, thinking that the employee’s celebrity is a magic wand that’s going to bring thousands of fans and prospects. In reality, internet celebrity is like building a waterfall, it’s powerful and impressive but you don’t drag it around with you. If you’re famous for posting cat pictures and you go work for a plumbing company none of you cat fans is going to give a damn. Or if they do it’s going to be one confused visit to the home page and then gone for eternity.

And of course if you hire a guy who got famous making wise remarks, don’t be surprised when his co-workers get pissed at him for making wise remarks.

Tough questions, no answers. This was the most interesting part of the book for me, it takes on some big questions that we don’t really have good answers for. Disrupted makes light of young people with little experience being hired but at least Hubspot is hiring many college graduate employees at a time when skilled entry level jobs are not plentiful with college graduates facing unemployment rates around 30%. Most startups I know don’t bother with intern programs or first time employees, the infrastructure to train people is not there, you’re expected to show up knowing what to do and how to do it. It also touches on ageism. The simple out is to call it discrimination – old people are not wanted anymore, but it’s more complicated. Old people are not stupid enough to take crappy jobs for 30k. Old people see the disconnect between “We are a team, not a family” and “building a company we love.” And on the other side there are old people not interested in learning new software, or being more than happy to exploit a situation where a company is moving to fast to really see how much work is getting done. This is not a Hubspot thing, this is everywhere.

There’s the hot issue of inequality of wealth, with a small group making a ton of money while everyone else gets shuffled off to the next thing. And a nod to privacy, that anybody can spy on us, through any of the online services we use, but nobody is going to back out of them.  If we want to be at the party, giving your privacy up is the ticket at the door. We’re not using a product, we are the product.

What really happened? We’ll probably never find out, the problem with publicly traded cloud companies is that, at their core, they are responsible for data integrity so there’s no upside to them ever talking about any kind of security breach unless they have to. The reports of a possible FBI investigation would make me think someone ratted to their board of directors. The thought of it being someone on the outside for justice or PR, or someone inside as some kind of coup both seem absurd to me, but I’ve got no other theories that make sense.

There was an official response, and I have to give big time kudos to the fake cover they did, they get the symbolism award for changing the unicorn head to racehorse horse/horse’s ass.

Hubspot Customers don’t care, they want to make more money, they want good tools. They could not give a damn about some internal executive politics, especially if the software is making them money.  You could look at this thing as the new Dean Martin Tech Celebrity Roast. If Dean Martin was still alive, and people still did roasts, and you were young enough to get this joke…. never mind.

I don’t think this book is going to slow Hubspot down, if people are as engaged with this book as I was it will sell lot of copies. The bad news there is that the books I love tend not to be best sellers. As I wrap up I’m the guy at the poker table looking around for the idiot who’s losing money on this deal and realizing it’s me wasting my time talking about it when I could be working. So, after all that, I’m glad this is out of my head so I can get back to making my own mistakes. Thanks for listening.

Geek Stuff

$4k Worth of Headphones

About four months ago a friend forwarded a link to who now rents high end headphones (sadly, Lumoid is no more). It had just been covered in Lifehacker or one of the other high profile blogs so it took until last month for my order to come up. For $75 I had two weeks with three top shelf headphones:

  • Audeze LCD-3 ($1,945)
  • Sennheiser HD 800 ($1,599)
  • Sony MDR-Z7 ($699)

Of course for the majority of the time they were hidden in my closet so that my kids wouldn’t look at them

Audeze Sony Sennheiser
Our Contestants!

or breathe on them. I also waited on writing this up until they were safely back in the Bay Area in case anyone considered doing an Ocean’s 11 heist with me actually having something of value in my home.

If you’re in a hurry, the punchline is: I don’t think spending this much money on headphones is worth it. Yes, 2 of the 3 sounded amazing, but maybe 5% better than my Sony MDR-V6 headphones that cost under $200. For those still wondering what $4,243 (+tax, +shipping & handling) gets you…

Click for full size

As you’d expect from headphones this expensive, the boxes were impressive. The Sony and Sennheiser were similar, opening like a trophy case. The Audeze come in a plastic travel case, like the kind you’d use to transport a monitor to a trade show. Basically about half a piece of luggage, leading to the first lesson – this is not stuff you travel with.

Note that the Audeze and Sennheisers are open back headphones, the ear cup is vented so air flows in and sound flows out. These give them a much more natural sound, as if you are in a concert hall, but it means that on a noisy subway you’ll hear the train, and the passengers will hear your music, so probably not a wise choice.

All three of them have proprietary cables with unique connections to the headphones. The Audeze and Sony’s plug in and then are screwed down to prevent them being pulled out. The Senn’s have some crazy mount with a pin that makes them only insertable in one position. The Audeze come with an XLR cable so you can have a balanced connection, which is supported on some high end gear. A balanced connection means that the signal is sent down two wires, inverted on one of them. It’s ingenious, when the inverted one is restored any interference picked up along the line cancels itself out. Of course I’ve never personally seen someone using a balanced connection to listen to music, but you could say that’s just because I hang with a low rent crowd.

Audeze LCD-3
Audeze LCD-3

Over the past couple of years I’ve come up with a number of theories on headphones, one of them being that fit and comfort are more important than any specs or technical analysis. It doesn’t matter that the Audeze sound better than anything I’ve ever listened to, I don’t want to wear anything that heavy so I wouldn’t buy them even if I was sitting on a pile of cash I had no use for. The Sennheisers also sound amazing, and are very light and comfortable. But I’ve also been impressed with the Sennheiser HD 558 which you can currently get a used set on Amazon for $64. Yes I would say that the HD 800 is two or three times better considering the sound, fit, weight, and quality. Paying 25 times the price for it? Personally, the value is not there. Factor in losing or breaking a pair now and then and the economics get uglier quick.

I did not like the sound of the Sony headphones compared to other Sonys I’ve heard. Usually they have a very clear mid range and high end, and this pair did not. This comes to another point about my review, the case could be made that listening to uncompressed digital files via a Dragonfly DSP and a Meridian Explorer 2 is not the same as spending $10,000 on an amp to drive these headphones to the extreme. I admit that this could be true, but that throwing down another $10,000 is not going to tilt the odds in the headphones favor in my value equation.

In closing, I won’t be dropping a boatload of money on headphones, but I would not hesitate to rent from Lumoid again. They also rent photography gear, and fitness wearables, two areas where you definitely want to try before you buy.

For past writing on audio start here.



Productivity Booster

SEO and Trade Show Tips


Just trying something new – this is the roundup of topics from Marketing Over Coffee. If you’d like to get these emailed to you, just subscribe here.

This Week’s Podcast

In which we use insider lingo

Click to listen!

Google Releases Search Quality Rating Guidelines

A 160-page PDF document, aimed at helping Google Search Quality Raters understand how to rate the search results they are testing. Along with this resource we also discussed SEO by the Sea one of the best search blogs out there.

The Unreal Environment of a Trade Show Floor

David Spark talks about his new book Three Feet from Seven Figures! Bad behavior, ludicrous amounts of money and a compressed timeframe are problems for the “Always on” in the “unreal environment of a trade show floor”

Going Beyond Lead Scoring

So you’ve got a lead scoring system set up, what next? Infer lays out where this space is going and what to consider when you want to get beyond just a number.

Your Chance to Show Gratitude for the Holiday

Wondering how you can put a dent in the universe? The answer is so simple, an iTunes review for Marketing Over Coffee.



Daily Life

Project Update

Here’s what’s been going on and why I haven’t been posting here.

We are still barrelling along at EventHero. It is not easy, but we’ve had some big wins recently and this is the best team I’ve ever worked with. If we continue on our present course life could get a bit easier, like just “software startup difficult” not “flat out alchemy”. So if you have anything to do with events and need badges, lead retrieval, session tracking, or integration between event technology systems, please remember me.

Marketing Over Coffee continues to be a great project, even since Serial brought in a fresh wave of listeners things have been growing faster than ever before. Even if you are not into listening to podcasts, you might want to sign up for the MoC newsletter. The biggest topics from every show are sent out a couple times a month, all the goodness without having to listen. To be honest, that’s been the biggest killer of this blog, the newsletter gets 10x the readers and is backed by sponsors so that’s where my free time goes first.

On the audio gear front I decided back in the spring that I wanted some over the ear headphones for the office. My favorite Shure 530s died after many years of service and the new Bose QC20i is amazing for travel so I looked around for something new while at the desk. I was very impressed with the Sony 7506 as a huge value when you look and price and sound quality. Then I went a little further down the lunatic path – I’ve been modifying them, adding a removable cord so you can use them with your phone, or with a high quality boom mic. I’ve tested dozens of aftermarket ear pads. I’ve even set up an online store, if you’re interested in learning more about headphones that sound incredible because the money goes to the parts instead of to celebrity sponsorship check out Johnny Headphones!

That’s about it, that and two kids under 6, and my wife working the family business. The last big thing that has nothing to do with marketing was that we went to Frontier Days in Wyoming this summer. If you’ve never seen a grown man jump off a horse galloping at full speed to tackle a 700 lb. cow you really need to do that. Carin and I also went to three shows, catching Big & Rich, Toby Keith, and Keith Urban, basically a Country Music Super Bowl.

I am getting the year end wrap up in order, and if you are a marketer the nominations for the Marketing Over Coffee Awards will be open soon, and I’ll also be giving out some Johnny Headphones there too! I hope you have a great holiday season!


Beefing Up Audio

I’m just posting this because I listened to a Tim Ferris interview with Tony Robbins this week and it doesn’t do well in the car or while running because of the mix. Tim has a page where you can submit comments and I wanted to post a sample to show what I’m talking about.

For anyone podcasting here are two simple things that can significantly improve your audio. Here’s a screenshot of an audio wave:

Audio Graph
Sound Wave Before/After

You can listen to this audio file here:

If you cut the picture above in half, the left side is the “Before” and the right side is the “After”. On the left side the recording is not taking advantage of the power available to it. In other words, you are going to have to turn the volume up twice as much compared to the average song, or audio cues on your phone. These are the situations where you turn up a podcast and then when you get a text message, or your running app cuts in to tell you how many miles you are at, it blows your ears out.

Now there’s an entire profession dedicated to mastering audio – making it sound great and taking into account the devices it will be played on. I am by no means an expert in this area, but I can give you two simple things to at least get from annoying to sounding closer to an NPR podcast:

The Levelator is a free tool that will adjust the entire file so that it uses most of the dynamic range. This includes fixing where one person is louder than the other. All you do is drag and drop your file on to the window and it spits out a second file that sounds better.

Soundsoap is not free but does a great job at reducing background noise and can also add some Barry White to your sound. If you realize that the air conditioner or other stray noise in the background is annoying this can make a huge difference.





Jason Keath posted about building a home studio on Facebook and asked if I would throw in my two cents. Jason is a mensch and I realized that my comment would be one of those annoying five page Facebook comments so it was much easier to write an entire manifesto here.

I probably know about 5% of what you need to know to build a studio, but that doesn’t matter because there are two easy options. Either call Parsons Audio and spend the money or talk to some podcasters who are always experimenting with cheap stuff, which is often pretty good thanks to the current level of technology.

First things that come to mind:

Do you really want to build a studio in your house and lose a room? Renting allows you to not have weirdos in your home, will sound fantastic, and means that you won’t have the UPS guy ringing the doorbell or the General Lee driving by honking the dixie horn. It’s also just like the gym, when you go you will get the job done, if the equipment is in the house it will probably end up as a clothing rack. On the other hand, the big upside is setting up a bunch of stuff and then never having to take it down. Let’s say you’re sold on that. Most people I know have an office and create a studioffice. Or maybe an officudio. Or something.

Noise kill: John Federico makes a great point about Dynamic vs. Condenser mics – I’ve found it easier to use dynamic mics in a room with carpet and some stuff on the walls than trying to make sure everyone is out of the house and gluing up foam egg crates. Capturing the room noise before and after recording and then using Soundsoap hides a huge array of sins.

Who’s doing the talking? If you have four people around the table with some microphone technique, then nice mics and headphones are great. These Sony headphones are good enough that if someone doesn’t like them you can yell “BRING YOUR OWN DAMN CANS.” Shure SM58 is a workhorse for a microphone, but if you want similar guts but a lot cooler looking, the Elvis Mic fits the bill.

The thing here though is if they are not broadcasters it may change things – for podcast guests sometimes a lavaliere mic is great because  public speakers who move around a lot may not always be in front of the mic (off axis), or worse yet tap or kick the table (why you see the 10,000 pound tables in the studio). An old NPR trick is to have a lav mic on the brim of a baseball hat, the placement works and you don’t have to mess with people’s clothes.

Also on furniture – finding chairs that don’t creak is important. Metal submarine style chairs are an option, although standing up or having a barstool can improve vocal projection for the group.

I like to keep a computer out of the equation for panel discussions (although the fanless Macbook may change that). I run a Mackie mixer into a Marantz digital recorder, it’s been solid for years.

Of course then you’ll start thinking that you might video some of it so that requires cameras and light….




Sound and #MyHeadRoom

Longtime readers know that I usually check in every six months or so with a sound update. Between loving music and producing the Marketing Over Coffee podcast I keep an eye on what’s happening in audio (and tend to spend more money than I should).

I got a push this time from the folks at Headroom, I mention them every time we talk audio because of their great shared testing results. Since I’m writing anyway I can also enter this in their #MyHeadRoom campaign which is giving away 2 sets of Shure SE846 earphones (if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to drop $1,000 on earbuds), and a set of SHR1540 headphones (which I would love to take for a test drive). Listening to music is the only peace and quiet that happens in my house full of kids, and I have worn my Shure’s for a full day as part of work so thanks Headroom!

Last time we were talking about getting better sound out of your iPhone. Since then: Bose replaced the QC15 with the QC25 and all reports say they are even better, so if noise reduction is your thing (hello road warriors), that’s the way to go.

I also found an interesting app called Dirac. It optimizes the sound for Apple Earphones and EarPods (the freebies that come with your phone and most sound fans laugh at and throw away). For $3 it is no joke, it makes the EarPods sound much better, as in better than some earphones costing $100 or more.  The catch is you have to use their music player, it doesn’t work for all apps (i.e. no movies, games, etc.) If you want to nerd out on it some more check out their site and how they optimize for Rolls Royce and others.

I’ve been digging into DACs as part of the quest for better sound and have found that some call the Pono snake oil, there are some interesting things (or maybe more snake oil) on the horizon, and some results that show the iPhone 6 actually has fantastic soundAn interesting tip from that last link – the volume slider on the screen gives you more granular control of the volume than the buttons on the side.

As far as phones… a moment of silence for my Shure 535s that have gone to the great listening room in the sky. For now I’m using my Bose QC20i as they are the easiest to travel with. I’m also interested in checking out what lands from the guys that make the Dragonfly.

On the recording front, Shure has some things in the pipeline that look interesting. Also Soundsoap released version 4, that’s my secret weapon for making the podcast sound a bit better than the other guys out there. I’ve also been kicking around a condenser mic in the studio and have been checking out Apogee gear for that.

That’s what I’ve been listening to, if you’ve found anything interesting lately I’d love to hear from you @johnjwall


Daily Life

2014 Results, 2015 Targets

With year end it’s time to look back and see how things went, and to figure out what the plan is for 2015. In the past I would review and report every quarter. By the time we had two kids, my goals could be boiled down to “Survive”.

We’re starting to make it past survival mode, and occasionally I even have an hour to myself, or a chance to use the bathroom uninterrupted. The funny part here is that it’s been so long since I have had anything like free time I usually sit there in a stupor absorbing the silence and trying to remember what it was I used to do when I would have free time.

Here’s the map as it stands for 2014:



The funny thing is that the goals are only the milestones. Even though I only accomplished about half of what I wanted to, I would rate this year as a huge success. Our family is doing well, and there have been some flashes of brightness that could be the beginning of great things in 2015.

The segments:
Family – Everybody did well this year in spite of health troubles, my brother came out early in the year for the first ever Wall Ski Trip: The Next Generation. We visited my family in Michigan that I haven’t been out to see in a couple of years. With the exception of the college funds being under funded, all went well. Everyone is doing pretty well, score this a win.

Personal – Getting a cold/flu for the Falmouth Road Race was a backbreaker for me last year. I wasn’t in great shape but I was on track to finish well (for me), and this would have been my 10th. Instead I was sick for the end of the summer. Add to that another cold in December, and the winner, all four of us spending 7 of our 9 day vacation in Florida with the flu, made it kind of tough. On the other hand, nobody was REALLY sick, no hospital visits, so we’re ok. Losing Florida was a bastard though.

Financial – Well, working at a young company is not for the fiscally squeamish. Burning a lot of the war chest and we scaled back big time this year. On the other hand, that’s why we built the war chest. Here’s hoping the right cards come up in the next 6 months.

Professional – A busy and exciting year professionally, EventHero is moving along nicely. Given last year’s growth, signs are promising for 2015. Marketing Over Coffee stumbled in Q4 a bit but it was still a record year. The audiobook version of B2B Marketing Confessions did well and writing is progressing nicely on the next book (finally)! Overall I’m very proud of all the work that’s been done, and most of it has been placing a wager that it will come through eventually.

I hope your holiday went well and you’re prepared for 2015, here’s to having a huge, safe and happy year!

Brain Buster

What’s Your Mobile Strategy?

I had the opportunity to talk with Tom Webster about his new book: The Mobile Commerce Revolution. Here’s the transcript, or if you’re into audio you can listen to it over on Marketing Over Coffee.

John: Tom Webster is here. He’s going to be talking about his brand-new book, The Mobile Commerce Revolution, written with Tim Hayden.

If you don’t know Tom, if you haven’t run across him in all the major social channels, he is VP of strategy and marketing at Edison Research, the folks that do the exit polls for the major political races. But he covers a lot of stuff, and most notable for us is his Infinite Dial report that talks about the state of online music and audio. We’ll have him tell us about that. Also the author of the BrandSavant blog, talking about what’s going on in his neck of the woods.

He has the Marketing Companion with Mark Schaefer, a podcast that he does — a two-man long format marketing discussion. Most importantly, he’s the producer of award-winning Friday Five podcast, and “Discovering the music DNA of interesting people” is the tagline on that.

Tom, welcome to the show.

Tom: Thank you. The Friday Five is coming back. I have three in the can now. I wanted to get four or five in the can before I launched, because, as you know, scheduling a podcast is awful.

John: That is the number one thing that people don’t think about that just takes so much time. It’s so great because I’m a huge music fan, so I love to hear that. It’s amazing to hear the stories people have behind the music they choose. Before we jump into the book and all that, tell us about your background. Obviously, you’re huge into media and podcasting, and you have a background in music, so tell us how this all came together.

Tom: I’ve largely been doing the same thing for about 20 years. I’m a consumer behavior guy, a researcher. I’ve done a lot of work in media research. In the first half of my career, I did a lot of work in media, measuring for the music and entertainment and radio industries audience measures and things. Then the last ten years were really a lot more focused on consumer behavior around technology, and both traditional and digital media, and marketing and advertising effectiveness. But at the heart of everything I’ve done for the past couple of decades has been studying the humans.

John: And how people move and decide.

Now, the book, The Mobile Commerce Revolution: where did this come from? Have you seen the signs and decided it was time for a book? Where did this all come from?

Tom: All credit to that has to go to my co-author and very good friend, Tim Hayden. Tim started this book originally. Tim is the most knowledgeable person about mobile who I know. My domain of authority is really about the mobile human, and Tim has a much more holistic and expansive knowledge of all things mobile. He started the book. He wrote it in the original Texan, and then I was hired to translate it.

No. He had a lot of great material, and I collaborated with him on mostly consumer behavior and how humans have changed, and I think really the biggest story of the book is that mobile has rewired human behavior as fast as anything that I’m aware of in the history of industry. We’re doing things now with our mobile phones by rote, out of habit, that we didn’t even imagine we would do five years ago.

John: Yeah. As you said, that’s right at the key of this book. It comes across quickly that mobile is a behavior; it’s not technology. We have all this tech that makes it happen, but there are literally these behaviors that change everything.

Two things that were interesting I’d love to hear you talk more about. One is going all the way to addiction. You guys address that, that some people are literally addicted to these phones. And then the other part of it is a narrowing of focus, too, in that most of people’s time is actually spent on a very small number of sites or content. So talk about all those behaviors, and how that comes together.

Tom: The interesting thing that’s happened with the smartphone now — and about two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone at this point — it’s not just that we own a smartphone; it’s that many of us are on our second, third, fourth smartphone. We’re now very, very comfortable with them.

When we buy a new smartphone, we load the same apps that we had before. There’s a suite of about 15 apps that I can’t live without, and they’re the first things that go on a new phone. I just got the iPhone 6, and that’s what I put on it.

It’s very hard, I think, to break a new app, because we do settle down with a smaller number of apps, just as we settle down with a smaller number of websites. The research that we quote in the book said 80% of people’s Internet time is spent on about 15 sites, and breaking into that 15 is a very difficult thing to do.

But that’s really just a function of the fact the mobile technology is mainstream technology, because that’s how mainstream humans act. Early adopters will load up on apps, and try and experiment new things, but as you get into the middle of the bell curve, there are just certain things people want and need to do, and that’s what they rely on their phones for. But what they’re relying on their phones for, again, are things that they wouldn’t even have dreamed of a few years ago.

Look at the Starbucks mobile app. The Starbucks mobile app is a phenomenally successful mobile strategy, and it’s essentially changing people’s behavior. It changes people’s behavior to stop into a Starbucks just to use the app.

John: They’re at the top. They are definitely the marquee mobile app. They have some gamification in there, it’s location-based. From what you see in that, then, how can other companies get on this bandwagon? What do they need to do? Obviously, they won’t get that level of success, but how can they get a better mobile strategy?

Tom: Well, I think they could get that level of success. I think that level of success at whatever scale you’re at is attainable. I’ll tell you the big key to what Starbucks did. When Starbucks brought out the app, there were some who ridiculed it, because it is a pretty low-tech solution. There’s no RFID. There’s no Bluetooth. There’s not an app that pays for it necessarily. It’s an app that prints a barcode, and they scan it with a barcode scanner.

But the genius about that is, first of all, it’s future-proof. If you were to write a story about this five years ago, if you had a smartphone, chances are you would read it on a Blackberry, which are few and far between now. Starting your mobile strategy with technology first is a long hiding to nowhere, but the thing that Starbucks realized — again, they started with the mobile human, and they watched the mobile human in line – is when the mobile human at Starbucks is waiting in line, what are they doing?

They are on their phone, and so when they get to the counter, they have to put their phone away and take out their wallet, or they have to have a phone in one hand and a wallet in the other and magically transport their drink. So Starbucks basically said, “Keep your wallet in your pocket.” That’s a human behavior that they researched, and it made the experience better for the humans in line.

Again, if you start with trying to remove a pain point, remove a step, make the experience of the mobile human a little bit better. That’s the basis for any mobile strategy.

John: You’re talking about the mobile human and what they’re doing, the experience at that one point. There’s another big idea in the book that I love. You talk about integration and little data. It’s really about how that one individual user is using the device and where they go with that. Talk about that, and how it seems contrary to the whole big data thing we’re being sold now. Where did that idea come from, and where do you go with it?

Tom: I think the exciting thing about mobile technology… First of all, ask yourself if this is true. (a) Do you have a smartphone? I bet you do. (b) If you change your smartphone, will you keep your number? My guess is that you will.

Your mobile phone number is now just like your social security number. I still have a North Carolina one. I live in Boston. I’m not going to change that number. I get text alerts to that number from travel services. So many people have that number. That’s my social security number.

The thing about that number is if you’re reaching me at that number, you are reaching me. You are not reaching a desktop that other people can use. You are not watching a TV screen that many people can view. It is truly the key to an actual one-to-one relationship.

The exciting thing about mobile technology – because the mobile device really is the key to that direct, personal relationship – is I hope marketing becomes what it used to be in the 1890s, when the people who ran your local store, your local butcher, they knew your name. They knew what products you liked. They ran a tab for you. I think the exciting thing about mobile is we can go back to that at scale.

John: That’s the real challenge. We’ve been promised one-to-one for decades really, and it seems like we have a lot more of the technology. Talk more about that. There are so many problems when you try to get to scale. You always see the examples of a frequent flyer member, and they’re getting an email, and they’re saying, “I don’t need more miles. I’ve got millions of miles.” How can we get closer to that one-to-one experience? What other ways do you see being able to drill down like that?

Tom: You have to provide value in the relationship. We’re so used to being marketed as a segment. In order to market to you as a human, I need to have a little more profile data, and I need to have your permission to do that on a mobile basis. And in order for me to do that, you have to provide some serious value above and beyond the value of your product or the value of your service.

It’s a courtship. It is a courtship as much as e-mail marketing was 15 years ago. If you provide something that is truly a value to me, then I’m going to give you permission to contact me. I’m going to give you permission to continue to provide value to me, because I’m a selfish person. I’m going to give you that opportunity to have that one-to-one relationship. Essentially, it’s just replacing the profile data of a segment with the profile data of an individual human who you know you’re going to be able to reach.

I’ll give you a great example of this, and this is why mobile is holistic and so not just about marketing. One of my favorite companies is Hilton. I am unobtainium mithril level with Hilton, and their mobile app is fantastic. You can do all the things that you would expect you could do with it, but what Hilton is going to start rolling out is a smart door technology.

You’re going to be able to check into a Hilton directly from your phone — and this will be true for many hotel chains, I suspect. You will never again have to go to a desk to be told that your room isn’t ready. You can look on the app, and you can see, “This room is ready. I’ll pick this one.” Then you just simply go to the room, and the app will unlock the door for you.

Now, if Hilton does that, I’m going to love Hilton a little bit more – actually, maybe a lot bit more – and as I continue to develop that deeper relationship, and they go from top-of-mind awareness to what my friend Tom Martin would call top-of-mind preference, I will more and more actively exclude other brands from my consideration set for those brands that deepen that relationship by removing pain points, steps, and friction from my journey.

John: You mentioned in your book the behavioral strategist and their role in coming up with marketing programs and rolling out mobile. Does that tie into that, then? Am I right on that track?

Tom: Yes. One of the points that we make in the book – and this is really one of Tim’s great points – is that if you’re going to tackle a mobile strategy, then your first hire should be a genuine strategist who knows something about consumer behavior, and not a technologist per se, because I think if you start with the technology, you are excluding the possibilities.

Some of the best mobile strategies I know of don’t even use a smartphone. They certainly didn’t start with a smartphone. The cashless RFID wristbands that Lollapalooza used this year were a great idea. They enabled people to not even have to take their phone out when the weather was not very good. It was soggy and rainy. People didn’t have to take their phone even to pay for things.

I haven’t seen any hard evidence on how that impacted sales. There’s some anecdotal evidence that it boosted sales, but it certainly reduced friction, and there’s not even a phone involved there.

I think what some people call a mobile strategy, in my business – because we’ve done this kind of research for two decades at Edison – we call them out-of-home humans. We do a lot of work in the out-of-home media space: how people respond, interact with, and get the sense of a brand from their out-of-home encounters with it.

One of my clients is the AMC theater chain, and one of the things that AMC does is, and you can see this any time you go into one… Anybody can sit in a chair and watch a movie. I can sit in a chair and watch a movie at home. I can sit in a chair and watch a movie at the theater.

But what AMC does, and you’ll see this any time you go to see a movie there, is they really take into account the out-of-home human, and provide the things that you don’t have at home. Yes, people have bigger and bigger screens, and certainly they may not compete with a movie theater screen, but if you’re close enough to it, it does.

But they try to blow you away with things that you don’t have at home, and in a sense, that is a mobile strategy. I just recently went to an AMC Prime theater with these incredible seats that had bass kickers built into them and reclines, and all that stuff. I don’t have that at home.

All you have to really do is think about the mobile human, and sometimes those things will involve the phone, sometimes they won’t involve the phone, but they will always involve a customer in transition, and if you can come up with ways to remove roadblocks and ease their passage, that’s the key to a mobile strategy.

John: When you want to attack this, then, and build this, is it a matter of you creating the flows? Can you actually create these flows, or do you have to discover it? Do you have to go and see where they’re already at, and work around what’s happening?

Tom: I think your first step is a qualitative step always, and by that I mean you actually have to observe the flows. It is far, far easier to work with the stream than to try to divert it. I think the great thing about so many successful mobile strategies is that they’re not creating a brand-new behavior; they are simply creating a way to do something you already wanted to do, or maybe you didn’t know could be done for you, but you certainly want to do it, but not a completely new behavior.

That’s one of the things I think why Apple Pay is going to be so successful. Apple Pay is going to be so successful because so many millions of us already trust Apple with our credit cards. They’ve had them for years. They probably have more credit cards than anybody, because we’ve been buying things from the iTunes music store. That’s going to be a natural extension of something that we frankly already wanted to do and that we’re already comfortable with, which is why I think it’s going to be quite successful.

You have to observe the humans first. Some of my favorite stories and research are really qualitative research stories, and so much of that is talking to people. It’s doing ethnographic research, which involves actually observing them.

Proctor & Gamble has done tons of ethnographic research. They’re really one of the leaders as far as the brand goes. That’s why things like the spill-proof cap for laundry detergent were invented, not because somebody took a survey about it, but because the first thing they did was go into homes and watch people use their products, and see the sticky ring left on the machine.

If you solve those problems that people don’t even express, you can observe them, observe their flow, and that’s really the key to starting your mobile strategy.

John: That’s an interesting point you brought up, the Apple Pay going on here. We’ve seen in other parts of the world, especially the Far East, that this type of payment system works and is already adopted. In fact, in the book, you go into that in-depth, talking about the developing world. Especially I was interested with the unbanked, people who had no access to financial institutions and now do.

Then another thing that was interesting and got me thinking was the trust, security, and optimism of China in that it’s a newer economy. They don’t have the distrust of the government or business that actually we in the States have, which is almost a liability. Tell us more about the global side of things.

Tom: I think you’ve hit on a couple of really key things. First of all, yes, there is that stronger optimism with the Chinese people about the companies and institutions serving them. The kinds of things they want to do on their mobile phone are things that maybe some of them are more comfortable with than we are, but that’s all going to change. That’s all going to change over time. We’re getting more and more comfortable with it.

But I think the key is if you aren’t already a company that people trust and have that relationship with, then you’re not going to magically get that when you build an app. Part of your mobile strategy is absolutely a trust strategy. I don’t know about you, but I have four or five new debit cards re-issued this year from skimmers at gas stations and all kinds of different fraud items.

I think that one of the ways that a company is going to set itself apart, a differentiation strategy, is to start taking our security seriously. Make it the core tenet of their belief. Make it the theory of the firm, to quote Peter Drucker. Make that a selling point that you are going to be a zealot, relentless about guarding our personal data. It’s happening so much to so many companies that not only could it hold the industry back, but it is in fact the selling point.

John: Yeah, you’re right. When I was reading about Apple Pay for the first time, the thing that got me was second-factor authentication. You get a code that only gets used once for that transaction, and then the person doing the transaction doesn’t even get your name. It’s not like you’re handing over the card.

I can see that stuff catching on and catching fire. Doing one fewer credit card replacement for Bank of America is a huge undertaking, so obviously we’ll see a lot more of that as time goes on.

The book is The Mobile Commerce Revolution. You can get it wherever fine books are sold. It’s published by Que, as a matter of fact. If you know tech books, they are one of, if not the most, venerable publishers.

Tom, thanks for taking time to talk to us today.

Tom: Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me on, John.

John: If people want to follow up with you, what’s the best way to get in touch with you?

Tom: I’m on the Twitter, @webby2001. That’s the best way to shout at me. You can certainly contact me through Edison Research or on the contact form at


The 2nd Elephant and 2nd Gen Marketing Automation

Ok, this post is huge and may be painful if you’re not a huge fan of the Gartner Hype Cycle, Crossing the Chasm, Marketing Automation Tools, Inbound Marketing and marketing campaign analytics. To spare you a headache, here’s the bullets you need to know and you can decide if you want to read on.

  •  Tom Webster asked “Is Inbound Marketing Actually Profitable or Just a Slogan.” over at Jay Baer’s blog
  • The time is ripe to ask with new data available as part of Hubspot’s IPO, which confirms they are burning a lot of cash (like everyone else from startup to Amazon)
  • If the Gartner Hype Cycle holds, Inbound and Social Media are overdue for a beating from the press
  • Don’t believe the hype, effective inbound campaigns trump everything
  • Inbound is the right message for the mass market, and will continue to be even if the press beats on it. If it gets really bad they can easily switch the message to “Best of Breed Marketing Automation”
  • 2nd Generation Marketing Automation will be about improving campaign performance based on the data vendors have aggregated. Easy to use automation of email and social media is just the price of entry for the market
  • Questioning inbound’s effectiveness is the 1st elephant in the room. Why so many marketing automation programs fail is the 2nd.
  • Hubspot’s competitors won’t bash inbound because the same arguments undermine marketing automation in general. This scores an amazing combo – unique story and unbreakable defensive position

Tom’s post is an excellent read with a lot of great comments, but to boil it down for you: Does a $34 million loss on $77 million of revenue after 8 years make you think that inbound marketing is not the cure-all that it’s advertised as?

Inbound Marketing has run the normal hype cycle, lots of press, books and events, all while Hubspot, a hometown hero for Boston, has kept this story at the core of their value proposition. Unfortunately I think both inbound and social media are overdue for some bad press, once you learn about Gartner’s Hype Cycle you can’t unsee it. A topic starts with a small group of innovators (for inbound I say the family tree starts at Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing), and the press hypes it up as the cure for everything for a couple of years. Eventually those stories stop attracting attention, then negative stories start getting published because they are controversial. Usually the size of the plunge is equal to the rise the topic enjoyed and as the tomato-tossing articles stop pulling clicks it’s reached the “Trough of Disillusionment.” At this point the press doesn’t care to write about it anymore and the market determines if it survives or not. Finally, at this point, press has nothing to do with it, if it sells and customers deem it fit to survive, it does. This is just how the press works, it’s independent of whether or not “Inbound Works.”

Aside: It wouldn’t surprise me if some variation of one-to-one marketing is the “post-inbound” marketing to get hyped. “Imagine tailoring your marketing campaigns to every individual prospect and customer based on the big data in your grasp.” That makes a good story, even if it’s not possible.

The story of Inbound Marketing is critical to the mass market of people that buy marketing automation. These are the marketers that only move in fear, their primary motivation is “Don’t screw up this gig” and they are not going to experiment unless someone else has already proven it works (this is the group under the big part of the bell curve, where the money is made, and if you want to learn more about the difference between the early adopters and the mass market check out Moore’s Crossing the Chasm). These are people that loved buying ads and knowing that they would get 1% of the audience back as prospects or customers. This group needs all the stories of companies that spent significantly less money by blogging, creating videos and white papers and were able to generate all kinds of business. These people are the ones that have been crushed by the information that buyers now have at their fingertips thanks to the internet. By giving these prospects some marketing campaign options that are less expensive by an order of magnitude at the same time as old sales and advertising campaigns are becoming less effective by an order of magnitude it’s no wonder everyone is excited to talk about Inbound.

As a company that both sells and practices Inbound, Hubspot has a picture of the world that anyone who follows marketing would love to get their hands on. They have the data on how well campaigns work and where the breaking points are. They no longer produce their weekly video show, but they are advertising on Facebook so at some point the return on some kinds of inbound isn’t there compared to outbound advertising. Oh, and they have similar data for all their customers too.

So, does Inbound work? Based only on my personal observation of around 100 companies, I have no doubt whatsoever that “Inbound Works”, but the funny thing is I don’t ever think in terms of “Inbound/Outbound”. You just pick some campaigns to work on, do the work and see if they grow the business. Anything that helps you do more, or better measure what you have done will be a valuable tool.

Another reason the effectiveness of inbound is questioned is that not all marketing automation customers are equal. All the marketing campaign tools on earth won’t fix a product customers don’t want. My gut is that this is why you hear churn come up as an issue for marketing automation, there are too many customers that think marketing automation will be a silver bullet for their crummy product rather than a tool to automate already successful programs.

Yes, entrepreneurs have burned a huge pile of money on email and social media monitoring software. They don’t care. The usual model is: get to $100M to please The Street for The IPO. The Street knows that companies do “Grow At All Costs” to get to the IPO, they bet on the business model being sound so that if they want to scale back on the new customer acquisition and do some layoffs the profits will magically appear.

The savvy investors here are looking forward to the next generation of software that can determine if your marketing is doing as well or better than the industry standard, and if it’s not, prescribe how to fix it. It will be able to say “Well, the average campaign like yours that sells to IT professionals in banking normally does 5x better so obviously your product must suck or your messaging is garbage.” Marketing automation companies will be the first companies ever to have this kind of data and that’s what this space is all about for investors.  If you have enough data, eventually you can build a map of all the inbound/outbound marketing campaign types and rank them in order of possible effectiveness and return. A lot of today’s marketing campaign choice is rummaging around in a dark room. The future of marketing automation is a flashlight to see how well certain types of campaigns do on average rather than having to trip over them.

One question I had after reading the original article was “Why doesn’t a Hubspot competitor take shots at Inbound?” it would be easy for someone like Adobe to say “How’s your blog doing? Yeah, we thought so. Let us tell you about outbound stuff that’s better than ‘The Top 5 blog lists nobody wants’.” In the comments of the Convince and Convert post my discussion with Lee Dalton led me to see the second elephant in the room: Tom’s original question isn’t just for Inbound, it’s for all marketing automation vendors. Do these tools make you more money? Unfortunately many times the answer is no. Many customers focus more on the tools than doing great marketing programs. Customers can go one of two ways – they buy a marketing automation tool, have a great product, do a bunch of great marketing and all is good. The other way, either the product stinks and no amount of marketing will get people to buy, or they thought that buying a marketing automation tool would write all those great blog posts and email for them and they end up only using 25% of the system’s functionality then dropping the tool or losing their job over the next 18 months. UPDATE: Kathryn Korostoff published a wonderful courageous post about a $30k marketing automation failure that’s a common testimonial in the vein of “Marketing Automation is like giving someone’s kid an espresso and a free puppy.”

Inbound is why Hubspot does a better job of marketing than the other marketing automation vendors out there. They have a unique story with Inbound, yet no other vendor is willing to challenge it. The arguments that could be made against inbound also challenge outbound activity and would destroy the stories used to sell these tools – in other words, nuke the entire market.

What does Hubspot do? If Inbound gets to a point where it’s no longer an advantage they can change the message to “Marketing Automation” with no difficulty. I would guess that’s the real roadmap and the reason behind the IPO is to provide the funds so that they can make acquisitions to create the ultimate marketing automation suite.

The next step for marketing automation is clear: it’s not about providing the tools, it’s adding expertise so that their customers run better campaigns. They know when the messages should drop, what subject lines work, what offers pull. The first marketing automation vendor to leverage their data and generate a decent 12 month calendar and mail schedule for any vertical will be the first steps in second generation marketing automation.  Last generation’s marketing automation systems made great marketers more effective. Next generation marketing automation will make all marketers more effective.