Tom Baron, big Burrito Restaurant Group -- The Open Boardroom, Ep. 10

The restaurant business is hard. It's a fast-paced high-stakes industry, and running a restaurant means keeping a grip on a dozen different variables--employees, product, customer experience, marketing, and so on. When Tom opened the first Mad Mex, he knew that he was making a gamble he could win.

Blog, Marketing, Podcast

Tom Baron, big Burrito Restaurant Group — The Open Boardroom, Ep. 10

July 21, 2016 • By

The restaurant business is hard. It’s a fast-paced high-stakes industry, and running a restaurant means keeping a grip on a dozen different variables–employees, product, customer experience, marketing, and so on. When Tom opened the first Mad Mex, he knew that he was making a gamble he could win. Today, some 14 Mad Mex locations later and now with more than 1100 employees across his full family of restaurants, of which Mad Mex is a part, Tom has learned a lot about what it means to run a successful restaurant.

In this podcast, Tom talks about everything from day one of his first restaurant to how he chooses new restaurant locations to the data that he uses to drive his day to day decision making. This is an information rich conversation with one of the smartest businessmen in Pittsburgh. I had a blast doing it, and I think you’ll have as much fun listening.

LinkedIn Marketing, Post-Acquisition -- Marketing with Marshal and Meesha, Ep. 11

If you haven't heard, Microsoft acquired LinkedIn, in a move that surprised pretty much everyone. At the time of this podcast recording, details on what exactly Microsoft planned to do with the professional social media platform were sparse, but even today, there is still a great deal of speculation as to what Microsoft stands to gain from buying LinkedIn.

Blog, Marketing, Podcast

LinkedIn Marketing, Post-Acquisition — Marketing with Marshal and Meesha, Ep. 11

July 14, 2016 • By

If you haven’t heard, Microsoft acquired LinkedIn, in a move that surprised pretty much everyone. At the time of this podcast recording, details on what exactly Microsoft planned to do with the professional social media platform were sparse, but even today, there is still a great deal of speculation as to what Microsoft stands to gain from buying LinkedIn.

For our parts as marketers, we dig into the opportunities that a tie-in with Microsoft might create for LinkedIn and for LinkedIn users, and we discuss LinkedIn marketing in general at great length. Is LinkedIn useful? How about LinkedIn Groups? Should you bother using LinkedIn for your business? We talk about it all in our newest episode. Thank you for listening.

Blake Harris, Console Wars -- The Open Boardroom Ep. 9

Important: This is the first episode of my new partnership with the Observer Reporter Newspaper, and it's also the first time I did a Skype interview for the show, so please excuse the shift in quality while we sort out the learning curve. This episode was an act of selfishness on my part.

Blog, Marketing, Podcast

Blake Harris, Console Wars — The Open Boardroom, Ep. 9

July 7, 2016 • By

Important: This is the first episode of my new partnership with the Observer Reporter Newspaper, and it’s also the first time I did a Skype interview for the show, so please excuse the shift in quality while we sort out the learning curve.

This episode was an act of selfishness on my part. I read the book Console Wars, a detailed recounting of the battle for the video game industry waged between Nintendo and Sega in the 90s, and I just had to talk with the author. This book, despite being about video games, is more like an enormous case study on guerrilla marketing and how to succeed as the underdog.

Blake Harris, the author, is interesting in his own right. His career has spanned screen writing, book writing, and podcasting, and that diverse skill set coupled with a willingness to grind and grind until he finds a breakthrough has opened some interesting doors. In this episode, Blake talks about everything from his research process for the book to how Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have played (and may continue to play) a role in his career.

To learn more about Blake Harris and his work:

Quicklinks:

Music credits: Song Title: Droplet — Artist: Jeremy L

Blog, Video Games

Video Games: Beyond the Screen

July 6, 2016 • By

Early in its rise to iconic brand status, Apple nailed a seemingly inconsequential detail: packaging. For a long time, businesses in general focused on the front end of a business relationship: Drive awareness for your product, convince people to buy that product, and then get that product in the consumer’s hands. Today—because of the work of brands like Apple—marketers and business owners realize that the full cycle of the relationship matters. Painstaking attention to the most minute details of things like onboarding and, yes, packaging.

To give you an idea of how much attention, research, and testing goes into the box for a product, the book Inside Apple recounts the story of how a designer spent months testing the size and colors of pull-tabs for the iPod box, even going as far as to design the box itself in such a way that “the tabs were placed so that when Apple’s factory packed multiple boxes for shipping to retail stores, there was a natural negative space between the boxes that protected and preserved the tab.”

Details that small matter.

Visit the Synersteel blog to read the full post on the power of great packaging.

Marketing with Marshal Meesha Ep. 10 -- The Power of Strategy Sessions

Too often conversations around marketing devolve to discussing specific tactics. Facebook. Email. Landing pages. For these tactics to be effective, they need to be driven by a big picture strategy that takes into account all of the pieces on the board and considers how those pieces can best work together.

Blog, Marketing, Podcast

Marketing with Marshal Meesha Ep. 10 — The Power of Strategy Sessions

July 1, 2016 • By

Too often conversations around marketing devolve to discussing specific tactics. Facebook. Email. Landing pages. For these tactics to be effective, they need to be driven by a big picture strategy that takes into account all of the pieces on the board and considers how those pieces can best work together.

In our own work, we often lead these strategy sessions with clients, using our outside perspective on the business to ask challenging questions and to foster critical conversations. You should make strategy sessions a regular part of your business as well, so we dedicated an episode to discussing how these sessions work and how you can get the most out of them.