Colin McMahon, Pittsburgh Comics -- The Open Boardroom Ep. 1

The Open Boardroom podcast was inspired by my insatiable curiosity. I am fascinated by the unique challenges that business owners face within their industries, so I often find myself putting on my journalist hat and conducting informal interviews with the people I meet.

Blog, Marketing, Podcast

Colin McMahon, Pittsburgh Comics — The Open Boardroom Ep. 1

March 10, 2016 • By

The Open Boardroom podcast was inspired by my insatiable curiosity. I am fascinated by the unique challenges that business owners face within their industries, so I often find myself putting on my journalist hat and conducting informal interviews with the people I meet. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot from seemingly unrelated business ventures that has changed the way I see the world and helped me to think more creatively about how I run my own businesses.

In the first episode, I sit down with Colin McMahon of Pittsburgh Comics to chat about the state of the comic book industry, what it’s like to own a comic book shop, and what he has learned from running a brick & mortar business for 10 years. As the first episode of The Open Boardroom, I was still figuring out technology and the format, so please forgive some of the interruptions in the podcast (a customer walks in early at one point and later a delivery man crashes the party), but Colin’s story is no less incredible in spite of my own shortcomings.

To learn more about Colin:

If you have any feedback, questions, or requests, please feel free to contact me. I’m happy to help.

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

Blog, Video Games

Interactivity and the Emotional Experience of Gaming

March 9, 2016 • By

This post contains spoilers for Fallout: New Vegas and the Last of Us.

The interactivity of video games sets the stage for them to have a deep psychological impact. Typically, this potential is discussed in negative terms. We talk about how games can become an addiction or how some titles glorify violence. As much as the industry dislikes this criticism, we have to admit that at some level it’s fair.

On the same token, however, video games need to be recognized for their ability to foster deeply emotional experiences and in some cases to inspire self-reflection. Unlike other forms of media—books, film, art—the active role of the player adds a compelling dynamic. You aren’t just watching a story playout. You are responsible for moving it forward. You participate. You become a character and feel what he or she feels.

This emotional potential has a number of implications. Before we dig into them, let’s explore a few examples of what I mean.

In the Mojave

Fallout: New Vegas drops the player into a post-apocalyptic Las Vegas wasteland. The game’s tone has it meandering from dark humor to outright darkness. Along the way, you have the option to travel with companions. Having a non-player character at your side makes combat a bit easier and helps you carry more loot. Of these companions, my favorite is Boone.

Boone is a grizzled sniper, a stereotypical brooding loner. At first, his character seems pretty flat. His wife died in the wasteland and he has quite a chip on his shoulder about it. As you continue to travel together, he shares more tidbits of his story. He tells you that a gang that calls itself The Legion is responsible for his wife’s death and that he suspects somebody he trusted betrayed him, ultimately triggering the kidnapping that lead to her demise.

…read the rest of this post on the Synersteel Studio blog.

Marketing Monday: Advertising Comes Last

Unfortunately, advertising is often lumped into the broader task of marketing. To maximize your growth, however, generating exposure should be the last step of your marketing process. In this video, I talk briefly about how to build your sales funnel from the product out.

Blog, Marketing, Podcast

Marketing Monday: Advertising Comes Last

March 7, 2016 • By

Unfortunately, advertising is often lumped into the broader task of marketing. To maximize your growth, however, generating exposure should be the last step of your marketing process. In this video, I talk briefly about how to build your sales funnel from the product out. Rather then spend a bunch of money on advertising to grow, you start at the conversion and retention stages and work backward to the stage where you build your exposure tactics.

Ep. 2: Search Engine Optimization -- Marketing with Marshal and Meesha

Welcome to Marketing with Marshal and Meesha. We talk about new developments in marketing trends and best practices to help you improve your marketing and build a successful business. In this episode: Google announces RankBrain, yet another variable in their search engine algorithm. What does RankBrain mean for your marketing?

Blog, Marketing, Podcast

Marketing with Marshal and Meesha: Ep. 2 Search Engine Optimization

March 3, 2016 • By

Welcome to Marketing with Marshal and Meesha. We talk about new developments in marketing trends and best practices to help you improve your marketing and build a successful business.

In this episode:
Google announces RankBrain, yet another variable in their search engine algorithm. What does RankBrain mean for your marketing? From a big picture perspective, how much should you care about search engine optimization (SEO) in general? The answers might surprise you.

Marketing Monday: How long should content be?

Many people assume that digital content has to be short. That's not always true. In fact, sometimes long form content is the most effective kind of content. What matters more is context. Sometimes, brevity is the best route to take, and sometimes taking a deep dive is more effective.

Blog, Marketing

Marketing Monday: How long should content be?

February 29, 2016 • By

Many people assume that digital content has to be short. That’s not always true. In fact, sometimes long form content is the most effective kind of content. What matters more is context. Sometimes, brevity is the best route to take, and sometimes taking a deep dive is more effective.