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Mike Kaput

Mike Kaput is a senior consultant at PR 20/20. He joined the agency in November 2012 with a background in journalism. He’s a 2009 graduate of Denison University, where he majored in political science with a minor in English. Full bio.
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Recent Posts

Patagonia, the outdoor clothing retailer, was founded by climbing enthusiast Yvon Chouinard in 1973. It grew into one of the world’s most trusted high-performance retailers, thanks to a strikingly transparent and relentlessly authentic brand and business model. Over four decades, Patagonia has:

The brand has earned the respect of consumers who like to see the firm do good. And it has also helped the company do well: since 2008, Patagonia doubled the size of operations and tripled its profits.

Who says you can’t have it all? If you’re a marketer who wants to tap into the heart and soul of your company—and pass that message onto consumers—Patagonia has some lessons for you.

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Noah Kagan (@noahkagan) knows all about online platforms. He helped build one of the world’s biggest as an early Facebook employee. He hacked much of’s growth before it was sold for a cool $200 million to Intuit. And he currently runs a multi-million-dollar business at AppSumo, a platform that offers discounts on tech and marketing tools.

So when Noah speaks, we listen. One of his quotes on platform is also one of his most powerful: “Marketing has always been about the same thing—who your customers are and where they are.” 

But there are more places than ever that demand consumer attention. This year alone saw the explosive and nearly overnight rise of game-changing video platforms like Meerkat and Periscope. The number and type of channels where your customers live is more fragmented than ever, too.

This presents serious challenges to marketers, executives and companies. They are in the dark about which platforms they need to be on, and how many resources to commit to each one. 

The confusion leads many marketing decision-makers to commit a critical error: They think they need to be everywhere

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“While everyone else is debating this sh*t, I’m using it,” entrepreneur and marketer Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) told a crowd at New York Internet Week. He was talking about his success on newer social media platforms like Snapchat, and how we as marketers are guilty of talking too much and doing too little with different platforms.

There’s no magic bullet or secret formula. There’s just getting your hands dirty with different sites, services and communities. That’s how you determine which channels are valuable and get there before the competition.

To help you do that, here are five unconventional platforms you might want to dig into today.

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It’s never been more important for marketers to understand their company’s business fundamentals. This sounds obvious. We should know—and understand—how our companies make money, right?

Apparently it’s time for a wake up call. A full 80% of CEOs don’t trust their marketing teams, according to new research from Kapost

Let that sink in. Our job is to develop credible, profitable connections with customers—and with the people that hire us.

We must do better. Marketers are under more pressure than ever to measure their impact and prove ROI.

To help achieve that goal, I’ve listed below six business fundamentals marketers should measure and how to measure them. This list is a starting point: You may need other or additional metrics depending on your company’s business model and / or available technology.

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There is one tactic that top-of-their-game professionals use to create wealth, seize opportunities and drive success: cross-disciplinary thinking. They expose themselves to ideas outside their field and, as a result, make connections others don’t.

These connections create new business opportunities, creative (or even world-changing) ideas, and massive personal and professional growth.

Steve Jobs was a fan of this strategy. And plenty of top minds in every professional field use it daily to deliver results and lead better.

Marketers can receive the exact same benefits. By exposing themselves to ideas outside of marketing, they can, in turn, achieve better results in their campaigns and careers. This post is designed to start you down the cross-disciplinary path, if you’d like to reap the rewards it offers.

I’ve collected what I believe to be some of the best non-marketing resources to learn something new. I’d love if you offered your own suggestions in this post’s comments.

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If knowledge is power, BuzzSumo is a content marketing cold fusion reactor.

The tool tells you how content performs online and breaks down that performance by multiple metrics across domains, keywords or topics.

This data helps marketers like you better create, optimize and promote content.

Why is BuzzSumo important? Because a lot of marketers are bad at marketing.

Whoa there. Before you blast the comments section, let me explain.

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This article was originally published on the Marketing Agency Insider blog.


Peter Thiel co-founded PayPal and provided Facebook with its first outside investment. He also just wrote a book on startups called Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future.

Modern marketers have a lot to learn from Thiel’s entrepreneurship guide. Because really, this is a book about how to envision, shape and create the future, which is exactly what marketing technologists do. 

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“I, for one, welcome our robot overlords.”

Ken Jennings wrote that as he lost the quiz game Jeopardy to Watson, IBM’s super-intelligent computer. Jennings was the show’s most winning contestant, but was bested by the company’s collection of computing power and artificial intelligence.

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You’re a marketer. You need to come up with ideas. Lots of them—whether it’s content topics, creative new ways to generate leads or innovative customer loyalty incentives.

And you’re probably not generating ideas as effectively as you could be.

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Why? Because you ignored the headline. Maybe you ran out of time and wrote the first thing that came to mind. Or, you kicked a few ideas around and picked the best one. 

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