Why Web Marketers Should Invest in Demand Creation

Every month, hundreds of thousands of people search on Google for “upcoming movies.” And in the SEO and web marketing worlds, there are a lot of practitioners who’d argue that movie studios should be investing more effort into ranking in the lists, news items, and search results that show for those queries. After all, according to the Moz Explorer tool,…

Contrarian Take: Don’t Start Your Content Marketing with “What Do My Customers Want?”

If you’re in the business of content marketing, I know you’ve seen advice like this: “Start with your customer personas.” “Create content that will resonate with your customers.” “Great content is content that your customers actually want to consume.” It sounds compelling. But in my experience, it’s wrong. Or at least, incomplete. Why?…

How to Choose a Startup Name that Reduces Marketing Friction

A few months ago, I settled on a name for my new company. Since the launch two weeks ago, I’ve received the question, “why SparkToro?” a few dozen times. Unlike my prior entrepreneurial venture (in which I started with the very awkward SEOmoz.org, and later rebranded to Moz.com), I was far more thoughtful and intentional this time around. And since…

Why Elon Musk’s “People as Vectors” Analogy Resonates

In his keynote at INBOUND last year, Dharmesh Shah (Hubspot’s cofounder) shared a personal story of meeting Elon Musk and their short but powerful conversation about aligning people on a team as you would vectors in an equation. Unlike many folks in the startup world, I’m not a die-hard Musk fan. I appreciate his creativity and accomplishments, but also find…