How understanding the id, ego, and superego can improve your branding

Let me begin by making it clear that my background is entirely in marketing. I took some elective sociology and psychology courses during undergrad— I majored in international studies with minors in political science and economics. So if you came here hoping for some deep, well-researched, or original perspective on Freud or his body of work in human psychology, you’re in the wrong place.

That being said, I have lately been fascinated with Freudian psychology and how it could be used to improve marketing campaigns. …


That’s right, I think I’ve worked out the secret to become successful at absolutely anything at all.

It’s worked for me when it comes to playing the guitar, writing music, music production, marketing, and even building a (small, I know) Medium audience. The more I think about it, the more I’m pretty sure it works for absolutely anything.

The thing is, it isn’t even very hard. It’s actually pretty easy. But it eludes people, and once I tell you what it is, you’ll immediately understand why. …


Many an SEO has gone astray by doing everything right.

Read all about search engine optimization, article after article on Medium or Moz or Hubspot, and you’ll likely come away thinking that you get it.

SEO is about identifying relatively high-volume and low-competition keywords, then building fast, robust pages all about them, you’ll tell your coworkers. You’ll bring up the skyscraper content marketing technique and how competitor research can give you the edge you need to achieve top 3 rankings, then wink and tell them that schema is the secret to achieving position zero. …


On trickery, emotional guilt, and flawed logic

If we’re honest with ourselves as marketers, we’ll admit that what we do can border on unethical.

People sell their time and labor in return for money. Marketers convince consumers to select a particular product or service when spending their money. The better we convince consumers to part with their hard-earned coin, the more successful we are.

This means using what we know of human psychology to our favor. The colors we choose. The copy we write. The emails and websites we build. It’s all for consumers. …


Email design, images, copy, the devil is in the details

I just got home from HighEdWeb 2019, which was an excellent conference on web technology in higher education. I learned a lot about the challenges facing colleges and universities, as well as the creative solutions they’re implementing to overcome them. But even more than that, I learned about what true, meaningful, and thoughtful inclusivity looks like.

I’m not really sure why inclusivity hasn’t come up in marketing channels that I participate in (much more regularly than higher ed ones). This idea of ensuring that everyone, regardless of race, sexuality, gender, disability, or any other attribute you can think of that…


There’s more that keeps us going back than just honest communication

You’ve probably heard it said that consumers only buy from those they trust.

It’s easier to understand what that means when you think of salespeople. Like, imagine you walk into a car dealership and one of their salesmen approaches you. He’s probably wearing a suit and tie. He’s probably friendly and gregarious. He probably shakes your hand, asks insightful questions about what you’re looking for, and then uses his expertise to suggest the right car.

You may decide you trust him. You may not — maybe there’s something in his mannerisms that seems shady, or he ignores your budget and…


Keep it clean and simple, implement trends, and get expert advice when you need it

In the SEO world, there’s nothing scarier than a big algorithm update.

It’s kind of like if you worked on cars for a living and all the manufacturers could snap their fingers and make it so that every car in the world suddenly ran on almond milk instead of gas. Sure, everything is mostly the same, but what might have changed? Is it possible that the fix you had in mind for that Camaro in the shop might now break it worse than before because of the almond milk thing?

Ok, maybe that’s not the best analogy, but you get…


If cursing is part of who you are, don’t dial it down to please customers

When you think about top brands and the way in which they communicate with their customers, you probably don’t imagine a lot of cursing. Marketing communications tend to strive for a level of professionalism that doesn’t include or condone vulgarity. In order to maintain a standard of family-friendliness and widespread market appeal, brands believe they have to use pristine language.

One argument for the maintenance of this status quo is simply that curse words don’t add meaning and, particularly in an age of decreasing attention spans, good communicators use the fewest words necessary to get their message across. …


Maybe it’s time we put them to rest

I used to make a game of replying to cold-call emails.

In my mind, cold-call emails were akin to spam. I didn’t want them. 99% of the time, I had no interest in the product or service the poor sales guy was schlepping.

So I had fun with it.

After a couple of emails, I’d write back in a passive-aggressive tone that clearly communicated my disinterest in the product while burning the sender just enough to ensure they wouldn’t bother responding.

Something like:

“Hey, Andrew — thanks for all the emails. I admire your persistence in the face of adversity…


Here’s why and how one company is already living this vision

I’m a digital marketer. I have been for ten years. But I use an ad-blocker whenever I browse the web.

That’s a dramatic problem for digital advertisers. If online advertising is so bad that advertisers themselves won’t even put up with it, why would we expect anybody else to?

We shouldn’t.

Advertising has a problem. It always has.

Most advertising, by its nature, is interruptive. Television and radio commercials interrupt the shows you actually want to watch. …

Scott Beckman

Digital Marketing Manager. Author. Guitarist and composer. Coffee addict. Cat owner.

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