Issue 102: One Word, Two Audiences
From Serial Marketer: "The Cutting Edge of Marketing”

Are you for defunding the police?

I don't really need to know, and I won't have any answers for what to do about it. This isn’t a conversation about politics or societal issues. 

Let's talk about language though. And marketing.

We’re at an unusual moment where “defunding the police” is a weapon used by both the left and the right.

Coming from liberals, it’s both a wish and a threat. The threat is that if they don't see real reform, they will look for ways to reallocate budgets away from police and toward social services, education, and healthcare.  

Coming from conservatives, it’s a threat to voters that they can have "law and order” (the President prefers the Dick Wolf version with the ampersand), or they can have looting and anarchy.

The different factions have different audiences.

Liberals are marketing to politicians. Conservatives are marketing to voters.

Liberals are marketing a demand. Conservatives are marketing fear.

Liberals are marketing a vision of change, as usual. Conservatives are marketing a vision of stability, as usual.

Liberals are grappling with nuance. Even John Oliver, in what will probably be the most passionate plea anyone will hear for defunding from a middle-aged, white, British immigrant, clarified how defunding the police doesn’t refer to taking away all their funding. It's more like reducing and reusing that funding rather than unfunding entire forces. 

Conservatives revel in simplicity. Hence the ampersand. Every character counts. Remember “death panels”? The fact that we all remember death panels and swiftboating and emailgate illustrates how oversimplification leads to unforgettable marketing.

Liberals are used to losing language battles, but don’t forget their wins. “Gay marriage” became more marketable as “marriage equality.” “Black Lives Matter” itself overcame the initial concern from many whites that it meant “only black lives matter” to “black lives matter too” (and, at the risk of sounding like I don’t get nuance, I know it always meant the latter). Trump got his pitch down to four words (“Make America Great Again”), but Obama made do with just three (“Yes We Can”).

There’s a dog whistle effect at play too.

The liberal dog whistle says to politicians, “If you don’t defund the police, we will run challengers against you in every primary and general election until we remake the system.”

The conservative dog whistle says to voters, “If the police are defunded, you will never be safe again, so you better stick with the status quo of a militarized, legally immune police force.”

So what do you, as a marketer, do with this?

As always, you have to know your audience.

What’s your target audience’s biggest fear?

What’s your vision for the future?

Can you sum it up in a word? A phrase?

Can you use it as a rallying cry?

Can you stick with it long enough so that if it’s used against you, you can withstand the pressure while you rally your base?

Can you use a competitor's phrase against them?

Few of us will be so bold as to take the same word our competitors use and make it mean something entirely different for a different buyer.

But these are strange times. And stranger things will happen.

What do you make of it? And what are you making of yourself?


PS: I'm hosting a pilot event on the app Upstream this Thursday at 6pm EDT that allows for 1:1 speed networking among Serial Marketers members and friends. It's iOS only for now. It wraps within 30 minutes. RSVP here

Berky's Marketing English, my 115-entry guide available for free digitally at, is now on sale (essentially at cost) from Barnes & Noble. Impress your friends and buy them in bulk to fill up all those bookshelves in your Zoom background.  

Via Serial Marketers member David Yahid: Marketing has changed dramatically across the board in the wake of Covid-19. We are experiencing an unprecedented situation, and no one has “been there” before. That’s why everyone is looking at marketing leaders like yourself for guidance. We’ve partnered with G-CMO and Zest to put together a comprehensive report on the state of marketing across the globe and in various industries. Please share your experience during this period, and we’ll compile it into a report and/or blog post. If we quote you, we’ll credit you and link back to you & your page.


Thanks to Shelly LiptonLeo MorejonRob Beeler and Jacob Shwirtz for spreading the word recently. Here's your own personalized link, with more referral rewards coming for sharing the newsletter.
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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, unless otherwise specified.

Wednesdays, 2pm
Zeitguide's Brad Grossman continues his weekly culture classes this week as the start of his 10-week summer semester. He always runs through the need-to-know cultural developments of the week, and features an expert guest each week. Today is Cindy Gallop.

Tuesdays, 3pm
We have an incredible lineup:
-6/16: Pivoting with Purpose Events with Victor Cho, CEO of Evite
-6/23: E-Commerce Trends with Sarah Hofstetter of Profitero
-6/30: How to Communicate Effectively with Recruiters with Don Leon, Managing Partner of Donald Leon Search
-7/14: Secret Financial Lives with Ben Zeidler and Gunny Scarfo, founders of Nonfiction Research
Request access to RSVP:

June 9-12
The previously-Chicago-only event is now virtual and coming up soon. I'll be speaking about how to build and run a successful B2B community. Of course, I will be including examples from many others, with a bit of experience covering mistakes I've made that others can learn from.  

June 15-16
"Discover strategies, insights, and connections for driving more performance through your Partnerships." I'll be on the panel 6/16 about building communities that drive results.

July 1, 6pm
First Wednesday is back! We have dozens of great people RSVPing for this fun NYC tradition that is now open to anyone virtually. Len Bilello might even by you a drink.

Events for May and June include conversations between Jack Myers and luminaries such as Ford's Lisa Schoder and Jim Motavalli, Madison Avenue Manslaughter author Michael Farmer, and LUMA's Mr. Lumascape Terry Kawaja. 


I'm working on sourcing more jobs for this. In the meantime, check the resources below.

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

Digital Marketing Manager
Via their marketing lead Jen, who discovered the opportunity in this very newsletter: "I wanted to share a role we have open at Journey and are looking for a great candidate to come and focus on building out the email/push and overall CRM strategy, looking to optimize our customer journey for better growth and conversion. If you know of anyone great, please send them our way!" Apply below, and let me know if you want me to refer you.

Brand Marketing Manager
Philadelphia / Remote
Here's a great role from an ERA-backed startup: "Stix provides women the products, education, and community they need, starting with a better pregnancy and ovulation test. Founders Cynthia Plotch and Jamie Norwood created Stix because buying high quality products should be easy and delightful, no matter the result you’re looking for... We are looking for a dynamic and creative individual to lead the charge on brand marketing and drive strategy for a rapidly growing marketing budget.

Various roles
Remote or MD
BurnAlong needs some marketing talent in various roles for this health & wellness tech company.  

-Demand Generation Manager
-Senior Marketing Manager
NYC / Oklahoma City
Check the link for the detailed job descriptions; "Tailwind is a 50+ person, fast-growing, marketing tech company with offices in New York City and Oklahoma City.  Our visual marketing software is loved by 100,000s of small businesses, helping them grow through effective digital marketing."  

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
  • 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
  • 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
  • TechNY Daily: While more technical, there are also some sales and marketing jobs at NY startups.
  • VC Job Boards: Eniac 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.


Share your personal link.

David Berkowitz, publisher


100+ TECH RECOMMENDATIONS (updated semi-regularly)


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