Issue 118: The Devil in Halo's Details
From Serial Marketer: "The Cutting Edge of Marketing”

"That devil box tells you nothing but lies!" -- Mama Imelda in Coco

Amazon's Halo isn't a devil box, and it seemed to be mostly honest with me (too honest at times), but I sent it packing anyway.

As I write this, my Halo is somewhere between my home in New York and wherever UPS is returning it. This Halo had a short-lived stay in Manhattan. 

On September 21, Amazon emailed me a note saying, "Your request for Early Access to Amazon Halo has been granted! We can't wait to start this journey with you."

When I can get early access to a product like this, which is Amazon's answer to Fitbit, my inclination is to try it, even if I don't have the modest but useful budget that came with running 360i's innovation lab (an actual lab) or MRY's unofficial equivalent (my desk drawer). 

I may or may not be the perfect audience for a device like this.

In the pro column:

-I have early adopter street cred coupled with just enough followers on Twitter to make me seem like an influencer.

-I've tried a ton of these devices -- Apple Watch, Fitbit, Pebble, and lots of wrist-mounted computers that I've forgotten about.

-I'm getting more into fitness, thanks to a pre-Covid dabbling into yoga that turned into a sustainable hobby. Now I have a close enough relationship with my Mirror trainers that I feel like they know me by name even though I only make the replays of classes rather than live ones.

In the con column:

-I stopped using the Apple Watch with the first generation. It remains in my nightstand drawer. When I moved years ago, I lost the charger for a while and never bothered looking for it; when it turned up years later, I never plugged it in.

-I haven't stuck with any wrist-mounted device.

-I'm increasingly convinced that minimalism is a smarter approach. Where devices can replace others, at least situationally, I'm more interested. A Kindle is distraction-free compared to my smartphone Kindle app. The new Apple Watch editions with wireless connectivity can replace the need to carry a phone everywhere. Snapchat's Spectacles allow you to record footage without having your phone near you. Those have the baggage of requiring more technology to manage, but they also lighten physical and mental loads in other ways. 

The promise of Halo is that it packs in a ton of health-tracking tools. 

Its affordability is questionable. The device costs $65 for early access, and Amazon says it will cost $100 later. The fine print is that it includes six months of access to its "membership" that encompasses most of its features, and then the plan continues for $4 monthly after. In year one with early access, that's $89, and it will cost another $50 or so annually from there.

As for the features, some are very good, and some are beta versions not yet worth paying for.

Most impressive is the body composition analysis, but that uses your phone's scanner with the Halo app, so it doesn't include the fitness band at all. I give Halo higher marks for its scanning than Halo gave me for my body fat percentage. 

Another creative idea is that it analyzes your tone of voice and makes recommendations. I have no clue who they tested it on, but I tried sounding like I was taking speed or downing too much tryptophan and it mostly said I was speaking in average tones no matter what. 

There's a section called Labs with challenges, and this is an area where I expect the user experience to improve rapidly. It's a third-party content play with life improvement ideas from other sites and apps like Headspace and Lifesum. It lacked the integration that could add gamification to Halo and make it more addictive.

The rest of the device worked fine in terms of measuring my heartbeat, steps, and sleep. For my casual approach to fitness, I found that any of these kinds of metrics are curiosities at best and one more thing to worry about at worst.

I'm also in a strange health kick where I'm taking fewer steps than I have at any point in my adult life most days, but I'm down to my lowest weight since high school -- something I credit entirely to yoga and some other changes that even my amateurish practice triggered. I feel much better than most data would indicate that I should, especially given my propensity to gorge on Cotton Candy Cap'n Crunch with whole-fat milk for dinner.

Another Halo form factor that I have to mention is one of those seemingly minor decisions that may affect the takeup of the device.

On Halo's product description page, it says, "Screen-free for fewer distractions."

As you can tell, I like that idea in theory. In practice, if I'm wearing something on my wrist, I'd at least like it to tell the time. Since Halo can't replace the basic function of making me take my phone out of my pocket to know what time it is (an action that often leads me to get distracted by my phone), it doesn't work for me.

Finally, I'm tired of products that come up with their all-too-cute custom charging system. We need more compatibility, not creativity, when it comes to basic actions like keeping devices charged.

Halo a solid attempt from Amazon. For a first-generation product, it's especially good. Maybe the body fat composition alone is worth $50 a year. Maybe you'll like a screen-free wristband that tracks your health. If you already want to get a new health tracker, you should include Halo in your comparison set.

If you're not so sure though, and you need a high threshold to add a new device to your daily routine, you might agree with me that this is more trouble than it's worth. My idea of heaven isn't slapping a devil box on my wrist.


PS: This week's SpeedUp where you meet meet brilliant marketers 1:1 in under a half-hour is coming up Thursday at 12pm EDT. You'll want to try this if you haven't yet. 


Tech: Carrd is my favorite site for creating simple, elegant landing pages and sites. My latest one is for MJ Marketers. (Check out more tech in my regularly updated guide to 100+ resources.) 

Moment of Gratitude: Two of the most productive and potentially valuable conversations I had this year came from when I updated my LinkedIn profile with some new projects, and two people I haven't talked to in more than 10 years reached out. Despite all the spam and other issues, LinkedIn retains some of that special magic for making an impact on your professional endeavors. Thanks, LinkedIn.


This is... weird. But telling. The Anti Ad Ad Club uses TikTok influencers to drown out offensive brands. This is more about protesting allegedly unethical corporate actions rather than a crusade against advertising. Coming off as anti-corporate and anti-ad at the same time is like two mints in one.

Thanks to Jaimee KniffenChris GorgesDon SteeleRachel Pasqua, Matt WurstWilliam AlvarezWendy Weatherford Marks, David Kohlberg, and William Alvarez for spreading the word recently.

Here's your own personalized link, with more referral rewards for sharing the newsletter. Visit to see how you're doing. 

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Please send over any events you're hosting or attending, and I'll add them to the list. All events below are virtual, and all times are EDT.

October 15, 12pm
Join the virtual 1:1 rapid-fire speed-meeting event to connect with fellow Serial Marketers, hosted by the Upstream app.
-Next events:10/2911/12 both at 12pm EDT

Tuesdays, 3pm
-10/20: Mauro Gatti, Chief Creative Officer, JibJab
-10/27: Jana Morrin, CEO, Speakfully 
-11/3: Election Day (USA). Please vote and get every eligible American you know to do so (better still, do so sooner). In honor of democracy, there's no Salon.
-11/10: Anna Bager, President & CEO of Out of Home Association of America (OAAA)
Request access to RSVP (or I'll add you to the calendar invite):

October 15, 1pm (postponed from 10/1)
Thanks to Michael Bendit for making this happen:
Are you looking for a new job or know someone who is? If so, please register for a free webinar on on optimizing your LinkedIn profile for a successful job search, presented by David Alto of AltoAdvance. This event is co-sponsored by the Trusted Referral Network and Serial Marketers.

October 19-23
This is an annual event series by Kite Hill PR that is going virtual, and they always get a terrific speaker lineup. Register now!

October 21-22
"Teal’s Career Growth Summit is a virtual event aimed at helping professionals navigate their career growth. Over the course of 2 days, we’re bringing together established professionals and experts in the career space to run round tables, workshops, and virtual networking sessions to help you put yourself in the best position to find, land and grow in a job you love."

October 27-28
I'll be speaking at this one and am excited about the roster they've put together: "Soft Land Expo: USA Edition (SLEUSA) is a bi-directional event that will connect both international companies seeking to enter the U.S. market and U.S. companies seeking to internationalize to global markets with key agencies, resources, and service providers to support their success."  

November 4, 6pm
First Wednesday keeps going strong. We have dozens of people RSVPing for this fun NYC tradition led by Zack Rosenberg. Len Bilello might even by you a drink.

November 5-6
Marketing must change to align with this shift, now. Reuters Events: Strategic Marketing USA (Nov 5-6) is uniting the world’s most influential CMOs to set benchmarks, showcase innovation, and map the future of marketing – one where brands are purpose-driven, campaigns are intelligently data-backed, and innovation drives growth. Register now to join 5000+ marketing leaders and ensure your brand remains hyper-relevant.  

November 5 / November 12
This group is amazing. Check them out. "We have a trust problem in the marketing and advertising industry. Over the past 15 years, as new distribution mechanisms like social, disciplines like content marketing, or initiatives like diversity and inclusion emerged, we silo’d. We continue to silo, not integrate–while we watch the world innovate. This compromises brand experience, and, in turn, threatens brand trust. Big Yellow Think Tank seeks to advance collaboration across brand experience. By leveraging this abrupt shift in the world, we will reimagine the way we work and serve brands. Big Yellow Think Tank is ready to set a new standard and we need your voice. Our first initiative? A virtual hackfest."  

November 19
"Each year, CMI produces our signature LGBTQ Marketing & Advertising Symposium (now in our 13th year) for marketing/advertising/communications professionals. The event is held in collaboration with, and hosted by Google NYC."


Keep checking out the #jobs channel in Serial Marketers for more. I've added some descriptions of top-secret searches there, and others have posted some leads too. 

Chief Marketing Officer
This is from my friends at Hunt Club. If you're a good candidate for this, let me know, and I can refer you. The job is not listed publicly. 

Looking for: Proven success in developing and leading an end-to-end brand and marketing strategy in the consumer space, the future Chief Marketing Officer has: 

  • 10+ years of experience within CPG with D2C + Retail Experience (Ideally within Beauty, Health & Wellness, Food & Beverage)
  • Skillset of classically trained marketer: able to formalize brand pillars and brand architecture, owning product development from ideation through commercial distribution
  • Proven ability to scale a company from to exit within 2-4 years
  • Mentality of a go-getter, someone who can adapt easily, operate in a fast-paced environment, and roll up their sleeves to execute
  • The Honey Pot is a plant-based feminine care system, that provides women with a healthy alternative to feminine care that is free of chemicals, parabens, carcinogens, and sulfates. Our washes are gynecologist approved, clinically tested and pH balanced. Say hello to the future of feminine care.

Head of Global Digital Marketing
This is from my friends at Hunt Club. If you're a good candidate for this, let me know, and I can refer you. The job is not listed publicly. 

With 10-15 years of experience in the marketing arena, the future Head of Global Digital Marketing has:

  • Experience preferred in the B2C or services space (e.g. financial services, insurance, mortgages, etc.)
  • Ability to mentor, advise, and support affiliate universities with all aspects of digital marketing (inclusive of SEM, SEO, PPC, SMM, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Influencer, and Affiliate Marketing)
  • Knowledge and calibre to lead customer acquisition through digital channels (inclusive of CRM configuration and analytics and sales force design and optimization)
  • Experience in developing, monitoring, and reporting on all relevant digital marketing budgets

Enterprise Account Exeutive
This is from my friends at Hunt Club. If you're a good candidate for this, let me know, and I can refer you. The job is not listed publicly. 

Having demonstrated experience with strategic selling methodologies, the future Enterprise Account Executive has: 

  • Proven success in B2B Enterprise SaaS or Software business application sales exceeding a $1M+ quota - bringing in average deals of $200k
  • Has been able to drive sales cycles forward in their prior experience 
  • Can quickly articulate value prop and be an effective communicator
  • Experience navigating large/complex enterprise businesses and accessing the key stakeholders
  • Operates as a collaborator – does not have a lone wolf mentality
Graphic Designer
NYC / Remote
This is a great firm my friend Mark Lee shared in Serial Marketers: "We offer a unique opportunity for a graphic designer to help us develop and expand multiple brands as part of a startup studio. You’ll be working on multiple projects dependent on the needs of each client, with a focus on digital assets. This is a full-time contract position, with opportunity to transition into a permanent role on the client side."

Digital Marketing Generalist
Via a friend who posted this in Slack -- find her there or I can make an intro: "This new Digital Marketer role will support long-term, sustainable revenue growth in our core markets by planning and deploying all inbound and outbound demand generation activities for Duarte and optimizing multi-channel campaigns for the best ROI. While this role will report into the Director of Marketing, it will collaborate with a range of teams within the company—including product, sales, customer success and operations—to understand business requirements, offer informed recommendations, and provide proactive and timely execution."

Head of Acquisition Marketing
Remote first, then based in NYC
Via a friend there (happy to refer you): "With interest in the stock market surging among a new generation of investors, our community is growing rapidly. To support our ambitious goals, our team is growing and we’re looking for sharp, enthusiastic people who believe in our mission to fundamentally change the way people invest. In normal circumstances, we’re located in New York with an office in Copenhagen & Raleigh NC, but in these times we’re maintaining momentum as a remote team."

Chief Marketing Officer
This is from my friends at Hunt Club. If you're a good candidate for this, let me know, and I can refer you.

Coming in as a seasoned marketing leader, the future Chief Marketing Officer has:

  • Background in the B2C technology marketing space (music or adjacent industry is a plus)
  • 10+ years of management experience building & leading diverse marketing teams
  • Track record and expertise in building a premium brand with a focus in brand, content, creative, messaging & events
  • Vision with willingness to show up and get things done; operating as a strategic executer 

Founded a mere 90 days ago and backed by big players in the music and startup world, Mandolin is a live streaming concert platform for fans, artists, and venues that already has world-renowned musicians and over 10k users. With ticketing, merch sales, and other artists feature built right in, Mandolin is bringing live music back to the stage!

Manager, Creative Strategy Remote
This is from my friends at Hunt Club. If you're a good candidate for this, let me know, and I can refer you.

With experience owning the creative marketing strategy at a fast-paced or startup environment, the future Creative Strategy Manager has: 

  • 3-5 years of experience within relevant creative marketing field 
  • Ability to operate creative across multiple marketing channels including: Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, print materials, newsletters, etc.
  • Expertise in direct response marketing
  • As a team leader, has managed a creative team in their past

Bright Cellars is a subscription wine experience that matches members with personalized monthly selections. By taking a data-driven approach to consumer tastes and personalization, Bright Cellars is engaging with customers and brands in a way that's new to the industry. Based in Milwaukee, Bright Cellars recently raised an $8.5M Series A led by Revolution Ventures.

Other job resources:

  • Ad Ops Online: Job listings for ad operations, programmatic account management, sales operations, and more.
  • Advisable: Get instant access to top marketing freelancers
  • AMA Job Board: Listings from the American Marketing Association (maybe you can also ask them anything)
  • Built in NYC: Jobs at a range of levels and functions, as long as you're okay working in this quaint, backwater hamlet.
  • CareerList: Here's a form for companies hiring and a form for job seekers; here's the public list with tabs for both 
  • Content Writing Jobs: Content marketers, enjoy
  • CoronaHub: Jobs relating to the crisis response
  • Creative Women of Color: List yourself in the database and find talent, via Women Who Create
  • ExecThread: Senior roles spanning a range of verticals and cities; membership is free but fully vetted (this uses my referral ID to get you in faster)
  • GLG: Get paid to share your topical expertise; it can lead to some interesting conversations at a potentially decent hourly rate
  • Grace Blue Transitions: A portal for hirers and seekers with resources from this exec recruiting firm
  • The Hired Guns: An array of jobs in marketing and related fields at brands, agencies, and media companies
  • Hue: Amplifying voices of people in color working in marketing
  • Hunterz: A way for connectors to get paid to introduce startups to large enterprises
  • Lead5: A paid service for executive roles, plus intel on changes with companies and PE investments; you can try a risk-free weeklong trial to see if it's any good for your needs
  • Lunch Club: Match 1:1 around predetermined goals with accomplished professionals (free)
  • NYC Ad Jobs & Networking: A popular Facebook group
  • One Club for Creativity: COVID-19 jobs Board
  • #OpenToWork: There's a channel in Serial Marketers where you can share what you're looking for
  • Pangea: Where you can hire college freelancers (and college students can get gigs)
  • Pocit: A platform connecting people of color with jobs in the tech industry
  • Startup.Jobs: There's a section for marketing jobs
  • TechNY Daily: While more technical, there are also some sales and marketing jobs at NY startups.
  • VC Job Boards: AlephEniac Ventures, PearSequoiaUnion Square Ventures
  • VentureLoop: Free startup job listings; their paid option is $15/month and might surface more leads (but it might not).
  • Wanted: Wanted helps top talent in tech and marketing find a job at your desired pay. Plug in your salary, stay anonymous at first, and connect with companies that want to recruit you.
Do you run or enjoy other job listing sites? Let me know, and I'll share them.


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David Berkowitz, publisher


100+ TECH RECOMMENDATIONS (updated semi-regularly)

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