“Growth Hacking” – Ignore the Hype

July 30th, 2014 | Maura Lafferty | 7 Comments

Growth Hacking

There is a dangerous idea being shared in marketing, community management, and start-up circles in San Francisco – “Growth Hacking.”

Image: daryjeki via Tumblr, CC 4.0

According to Neil Patel, the history of the term comes from a successful Silicon Valley executive who helped organizations achieve substantial growth specifically in acquiring a user base. However, this version of the story neglects to mention the long-term life-cycle of the companies and how complex successful communications programs really are.

There is no mention of whether this style of growth worked for the organizations to really achieve what they’re looking for. There is no mention of which specific companies have employed this approach successfully, nor analysis of the return on investment, customer retention, or perception data.

The term seems to be applied as an umbrella for a range of Internet skills and tools, from social media engagement, to measuring site traffic, to content site partnerships. Using social media and Internet tools to amass a huge user base can create as many problems as it solves, because engaging with lots of people means more stake-holders, each of whom bring their own expectations to the table.

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Social Media Measurement for Pragmatists

July 16th, 2014 | Guest Contributor | 2 Comments

Social Media Measurement Guest Post by Robert Rosenthal

I like studying results-based information from social media experts. Much of it is fascinating and useful.

But I’ve noticed a tendency among some to repeat behavior I saw early in my career in paid media: act as if tracking to the bottom line – especially where social media measurement is concerned – is pointless or impossible.

In fact, at one time, many marketers (and creatives in particular) claimed that treating marketing as a science would kill the art.

Image: sean dreilinger via Flickr, CC 2.0

Generations of craftsmen were taught that the biggest benefits of great campaigns couldn’t be measured.

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Creative Branding In a Fredericksburg Loo

July 11th, 2014 | Shonali Burke | 2 Comments

eyesight rest stopDoes your business’ restroom – often just a necessity you don’t give much thought to – have such creative branding that it makes your customers want to come back?


My husband and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary on Monday. Thank you, thank you, and yes, everything you can imagine about what it takes to stay married for 15 years is true… and then some!

Scene: Fredericksburg, Va.

We have a lot of non-local travel coming up, so this year, for our anniversary, we opted for a mini road trip. Off we went to Fredericksburg, Virginia, with the obligatory stop at a Cracker Barrel along the way (we discovered CB somewhere off the beaten path in Tennessee, during our 10th anniversary road trip, and it’s become a Burke RT Must Do ever since).

Fredericksburg was lovely, and if you are into American/Civil War history, and it is fairly accessible to you, I highly recommend it. We took a trolley tour, saw all sorts of Washington (the founding father, not the District) -related sites, and then hopped into kybecca for a celebratory dinner.

It’s a very neat restaurant; not at all what I expected to find in Fredericksburg, Va. But what caught my fancy more than the great wine, the excellent food, the super service, was how kybecca’s restroom made me exclaim, and then smile, and then keep thinking about how clever it was.

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