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Exploring Six Emerging Digital Advertising Platforms

Google and Facebook have established themselves as the market share leaders in digital advertising world. Bing/Twitter have matured over the years and everyone is thinking about Amazon (which is growing but still only a small percentage of spend when compared to overall Google and Facebook revenue). But what other options are there out? In this episode, Nicole and Jon explore the pros and cons of six alternative advertising options to consider experimenting with.


Attracting Eyeballs in the Modern Attention Economy

If we aren't sleeping, our attention is being drawn somewhere. We are consuming more advertising and content than ever. It's also harder than ever to stand out because of all the noise. In this episode, Nicole and Jon talk through how the changes in people's attention habits have influenced marketing decisions at Shape and how that led to filming a plane doing a fly by in the Oregon desert for a recent video.


The Ideas of Andy Raskin

Andy Raskin says he "helps CEOs align their teams around a strategic story — to power sales, marketing, fundraising, product and recruiting". Nicole and Jon have been mildly obsessed with Raskin's ideas and in this episode breakdown his 5 elements for developing a powerful strategic story of your own.


A Review of Rand Fishkin's Book "Lost and Founder"

In his book "Lost and Founder", Rand Fishkin chronicles his journey leading from the early days, through raising ~$30 million from investors, to ultimately leaving the company he founded. In this episode, Nicole and Jon discuss what resonating the most for them after reading the book and their thoughts on Rand's idea of a "startup cheat code" based on our experience in the startup world.


The General Stigma Around Advertising

Nicole and Jon both have made their careers as advertising professionals and heard all the sarcastic jokes at dinner parties about it. But why does it feel like more than ever people distrust advertisers and marketing? Polls show that advertising professionals rank alongside lawyers as some of the least trusted professions by the general public. While our hosts are a little biased, they have some theories as to why the climate is so negative in advertising and what our industry can do to...


Day-to-Day Ways to "Manage Up"

You have a big idea you want to implement at your company but you don't have the autonomy to pull it off. You need buy-in from your boss and maybe even the next layer of management. In this episode, Nicole and Jon talk through day-to-day steps you can take to "manage up" the ranks of the corporate ladder and increase your chances of getting approval for a new idea from management when it counts.


Inside the Mind of a VC with Julie Harrelson, Fund Manager, Cascade Angels

If you have tried to raise money for an early stage startup in Oregon in the last 5 years you have probably been in a room pitching Julie Harrelson, Fund Manager at Cascade Angels. She is an entrepreneur turned venture capitalist with a lot of great perspective on early stage companies and the changing demographics of the startup world. In this conversation, we dive deep into why Julie and her investors are looking for much more in a pitch deck then just graphs that go up and to the right.


The Facebook Roller Coaster

The months leading up to and following Facebook's congressional hearings in April of 2018 have been a roller coaster for the company. The stock took a massive hit when they announced on the last earnings call that revenue growth would slow over the coming quarters. Have all the scandals and bad PR truly inhibited the future of Facebook? Or is this just another stumbling block along the way for a company that will be around for generations. Nicole and Jon dig into what moves the needle for...


Dissecting the Business Model of Google (Alphabet)

Google (parent company Alphabet) has been one of the most valuable companies in the world for many years. Recently, they released Q2 2018 earnings. Revenues grew 26% quarter-over-quarter. That is incredible given the massive scale of their business and the fact they were fined $5B by the EU. Nicole and Jon talk about how Alphabet spends money to feed one of the most powerful business models ever created: search advertising. Can Alphabet ride the Google cash cow to sustain their position as...


The Power of Vulnerability with Michael Mack

An interview with Michael Mack. As co-founder and CEO of Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., he led an expansion from 2 to over 125 Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes restaurants in 15 states. But Micheal's journey would see him fired from the company he founded. How he handled being fired and the years following is a fascinating study in the power of being vulnerable.


When to Venture Outside of a Niche

Venturing outside of a niche can be the right decision to make. On this episode, Nicole and Jon talk about the power of having a successful niche but also lay out some scenarios where you may want to diversify your product, service or marketing. During the conversation they covered some of their own experiences and the founding stories of Twitter and Slack to outline how there can be benefits to looking outside your niche.


Making Big Career Changes

Making a big change in your career can be scary. In this episode of STC, Jon and Nicole talk about the times they decided to take a leap and the times when they decided the timing wasn't quite right. They also tackle: Is there anyway to know you are truly "ready" to make a big change?


Chatbots: A New Frontier

With the help of chatbots, companies are creating great experiences for visitors to their website. The rise of Conversation Marketing shouldn't be ignored by anyone responsible for driving results through digital channels. Jon and Nicole talk about the progression, usefulness, and future of chatbots in the digital world on this episode of 'Shape the Conversation'.


Voice Search: Separating the Signal from the Noise for Marketers

50% of internet searches will be spoken by 2020. It's a flashy stat but is voice search really changing marketers' strategies in today's landscape? On this episode of STC, Nicole and Jon put the spotlight on voice search.


Dissecting Mary Meeker’s 2018 Internet Trends Report

Every year, Mary Meeker releases an annual report that focuses on the most popular and interesting trends being seen in the broad spectrum of the "internet". Jon and Nicole dove into the slide show and pulled out 20 slides to discuss. On this episode of Shape the Conversation, they analyze the trends displayed on those slides and ask what the data means for the future of technology and humanity.


Balancing Emotions in the Workplace

Emotions run heavy in the workplace, but managing that emotion can make all the difference. Jon and Nicole dive deep into managing emotions and the importance of doing so during times of stress on this episode.


Your Business Does Not Need To Do "All of the Things" to Grow

You may want to do "all the things" for your business, but there are important decisions about what to do and not to do that need to be made throughout the business development process. On this episode, Jon and Nicole talk about Shape’s own do’s and don’ts and how important it is to be okay with the decisions you make. Your business does not need to do "all of the things" to be successful.


Good Problems vs Bad Problems

There are problems in every business venture, but how do you know which are “good problems” and which are “bad problems”? Jon and Nicole discuss their experiences with each and how to accurately address them on this episode of Shape the Conversation.


The World Doesn't Come to You

Starting a business is a large enough challenge, but getting your first customer is a whole other task. Jon and Nicole explain how they succeeded in obtaining Shape's first few customers and the difficulties that faced them along the way. Featuring special guest, Dana Barbato.


Going from Team Member to Team Manager

We've been lucky enough to get promoted to a manager role in our careers. But leading a team is hard. In this episode, we talked about what we learned from our experiences and how you can think about making the transition yourself.