Issue 52: Humanity 2.0
From Serial Marketer: "The Cutting Edge of Marketing”


Will technology conferences ever be about technology anymore?

Or will everyone just want to talk about throwing our devices into the Atlantic or Pacific so we can discuss how to better relate to each other as fellow human beings?

Those are the thoughts I had after Techonomy's NYC edition this month. The event itself is more focused on big ideas in tech and business rather than tactical tech applications, but it seemed like anyone too focused on technology seemed out of place, while the bigger conversation starters wanted to talk about issues like equality and justice... and the nature of humanity. 

Attendees heard these themes repeatedly. Mark Brand, once homeless, discussed how we can better treat those lacking permanent housing as members of our community. Douglas Rushkoff, one of my favorite authors and cultural analysts, named his latest book "Team Human" and believes humanity is worth fighting for -- rather than succumbing to some algorithm-led future. Aetna's former CEO Mark Bertolini discussed the importance of paying fair wages - even if he did make nearly $60 million in 2017. Sara DeWitt at PBS Kids Digital discussed her organization's apps in the context of bringing parents and children closer together. Jasmine Crowe of Goodr was there to talk about blockchain, but rather than a crypto pitch, it was about reducing food waste.

The tech industry seems tired. As current and former tech execs advocate some version of minimalism, reduction, or abstention from products they helped create, there's a search to fill the void. With religious beliefs marginalized by many in the tech world (customs that tend to surface are usually in the context of preserving cultural and familial bonds rather than as expressions of faith), there's still some itch for that higher calling. Maybe, just maybe, that void can be lessened by us supporting each other. Tech conferences are the new self-help groups. While Jeremiah Owyang discussed the importance of community in his talk about wellness tech, these tech events can reorganize around attendees' wellness. For those sick of discussing stickiness and engagement and cost-per-installs and impressions, we now preach something that feels healthier -- albeit to the same choir.

Are these all signs of change? Are these signs of real transformation, as opposed to the digital transformation that so many consultancies focus on? Can we actually pause and reflect on anything when we're still trying so desperately hard to sell something -- our new product, our new book, our candidacy for a job or consulting gig, our side project that will let us quit our job, our campaign for the presidency? 

I'm skeptical. But there are people making a difference. Goodr is a better use of the blockchain than some token sale. Mark Brand is changing people's lives in Vancouver and beyond. Ideas like these are contagious. Humans may or may not be on Earth and in this universe for a reason. Tech may or may not be a vehicle furnished by a higher power to allow us to better heed Her or His calling. But we can all have the presence of mind to use whatever tools we have -- technological, emotional, intellectual, biological, and others -- to lift up others, or at least do no harm.

That's it from me this week. Now it's your turn. What are you making of yourself? 


PS: After the previous issue's exploration of deleting social apps, my friend Caitlin wrote, "David, I remember having a conversation with you over lunch about 10 years ago when I said I quit using Facebook. I will never forget you asked me, 'So what are you doing with all your time?'"

It took me ten years, but now I know. And to think, back then, I thought I was the early adopter when it came to tech trends. She was so far ahead! Maybe she can tell me if Bitcoin's a buy or a sell.

PS2: I really wanted to call this week's newsletter "2.0: The Humanity," but it didn't make any sense.


Here's your weekly reminder that influencers are the worst. "Tea" accounts (which have nothing to do with the Tea Party; "tea" is apparently slang for juicy gossip) chronicle what every noteworthy influencer is up to on a minute-by-minute basis, and it all seems so miserable. Let's commiserate at the Serial Speakers event 6/6. I have even more to ask the panelists now.

Ben Young of Nudge wrote about how they spotted some shady traffic that they thought came from bots. The source said it couldn't be from a bot since it wasn't flagged as such. Nudge dug deeper. It was so clearly bots. No one else cared. The ad industry is lacking in integrity and critical thinking. When are we going to see those traits required on job descriptions?  

Not that many analysts covering Uber's underwhelming stock performance deserve five-star ratings. And it seems like barely anyone knows what's going on. I was chatting with someone who seemed to be pretty smart while at Techonomy, but he said how Lyft is doing so much better at $55 a share versus Uber at around $40 a share, and he didn't get that Uber's market cap is north of four times higher than Lyft's. These comparisons from Crunchbase comparing Uber's stock performance and finances to Amazon, Facebook, and Google add some helpful context.
-Uber vs Amazon
-Uber vs Facebook and Google  

Kitchn is one of my guilty pleasures. This interview with Diaspora Co founder Sana Javeri Kadri describes how a spice, turmeric, was commoditzed and marketed, and then diluted to the point of losing the main benefits that were marketed. Also, calling the competition "yellow dirt" is brilliant. I like this founder.  

So, let's get this straight. Netflix sets the stage for decimating the TV ad buying market. In the process, it launches a show set in the 80s when TV was a lot simpler. Back then, Coke suffered one of the most spectacular failed product launches of all time. But now this Netflix show helped convince Coke to bring back a product no one seemed to like, and this will maybe help people like the show more or the beverage company more? I have no idea. This seems like a brand doing something because it can, not because it should. But hey, press coverage.


Want to include your event below? Just reply with the details.

June 6
It's the first Serial Marketer event, and we're tackling a very hot topic: influencer marketing. While we have a terrific panel, they might not last for long, as at various points, anyone could wind up being on stage if you have something to say. The experts include FIT professor Dalia Strum, MuseFind CEO Jennifer Chiang, Mainframe Interactive MD Jordan Hirsch, and Social Studies founder Brandon Perlman. Use code 40off for 40% off, exclusively for subscribers to this newsletter (and sure, share this with your friends).

July 31-August 1
CommerceNext, the summit for next level customer acquisition (and one of the best events I've ever sponsored), is coming back to NYC. The 700+ person conference will have 80+ speakers from leading retailers, DTC brands and innovative tech companies. Speakers include Purple, TechStyle, Victoria’s Secret, Men’s Warehouse, Bonobos, Casper and more! Learn more: 

July 24-26
San Diego
The 2019 ANA Digital & Social Media Conference is July 24-26th at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Check out this agenda including top marketers from Target, Domino’s, American Express, Sephora, Bayer, Organic Valley, MGM Resorts and more.


Reach out to me if you want introductions or any additional information. And let me know if you have other job postings you'd like to share.

Facebook Advertising Manager
NYC or remote
Before applying, feel free to let me know, and I can connect you with someone there if you're interested. "JUICE is a digital growth & marketing agency founded by two entrepreneurs with previous exits. Our strict focus on maximizing ROI has helped our clients see enormous revenue driving success across user acquisition, e-commerce, and lead generation campaigns. JUICE is an industry leader in results-driven growth strategy development, social advertising, search engine marketing, organic search ranking, and lead generation. JUICE focuses on building scalable, efficient campaigns that drive results."

E-Commerce Marketer (FT or Freelance)
San Francisco
Via Chris Gorges: "Does anybody know an e-commerce marketer (freelance or full-time, Director of Marketing type of person) in SF who can create and execute a comprehensive marketing and media buying strategy for a niche DTC brand (productivity-focused stationery) currently doing 7-digit annual revenue? Ideally, candidates have experience managing and executing Facebook ad spend of $15k a day or more  If interested, please reach out to me directly w/ resume + LinkedIn URL at chris (at) ."

E-Commerce Ad Specialist
Via Georgie in the Slack group, find her there or I can connect you with her: "We are seeking an E-Commerce Ad Specialist to join our Managed Services team on a full-time basis. You will report into the Managed Services Manager and be responsible for a number of our key clients. The role will involve working with clients to understand their Amazon Advertising goals, develop winning strategies, and execute them. In addition, the qualified candidate will continue to grow the total managed marketing spend by gaining the buy-in of manufacturers through quantifiable results. A strong analytical background and the ability to “deep dive” into data and measure the impacts of enhancements is imperative." 

Director of Business Development
From my friend and newsletter reader Jaron, I will be happy to make an intro: "The Director of Business Development is an exciting opportunity to lead user adoption of RubyApps, an enterprise content collaboration platform. The role involves representing RubyApps as the first point of contact for new client prospects, with a focus on identifying opportunities, cultivating relationships, communicating key marketing messages, and shepherding and closing deals."


David Berkowitz, publisher


100+ TECH RECOMMENDATIONS (updated regularly)


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(c) 2019 Serial Marketer
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