SparkToro Blog

5-Minute Whiteboard: Why You Can’t Just Crank Up Marketing to Get More Sales

CEO/Sales Leader: “Hey marketing team! We’re behind on our quarterly sales goals and only have 3 weeks left. Do some marketing why doncha?! Crank up them SQLs!“ Marketer: “Yeah, that’s not really how this discipline works. It’s a long lead cycle between awareness, branding, and conversion, and…“ CEO/Sales Leader: “Sorry exec team. Marketing underperformed and that’s why we didn’t meet…

How Do You Create a Great Marketing Strategy? | 5-Minute Whiteboard

This week, I’m going back to basics. Not because you need a refresher course, but because so many of us are frustrated in the weeds of marketing precisely because we can’t see the strategy forest for the tactical trees. I’ve written before about how too few marketers grasp the difference between strategy and tactics. If you’re struggling to get a…

5-Minute Whiteboard: How Obsession with Attribution Warps Marketing Investments

Why do 90% of marketing dollars flow to paid/performance channels that provide attribution? HINT: It’s not because ads are 10X more effective than organic investments. It’s because ads aren’t just measurable, they’re attributable. Your CFO, CMO, and CEO can get in a room and look at the CAC:LTV ratio of every performance channel and feel like they know where they…

5-Minute Whiteboard: Measurement vs. Attribution

Howdy SparkToro fans and welcome to the first edition of a new series we’re experimenting with—short, whiteboard style explainer videos. This inaugural video covers a concept that’s crucial to the future of marketing: measurement vs. attribution. For the last 20 years, we’ve lived in the golden age of attribution. Measuring the kinds of metrics I talk about in the video:…
Product SparkToro Startups Team

SparkToro Year 3 Retrospective: Investor Payback, Systemic Challenges, and V2 on the Way

3 Years ago, SparkToro launched in the midst of a world-changing pandemic. In 2021 and 2022 I wrote updates about this business’ journey, both because I love to transparently share the adventure, and because we’re passionate about spreading the model SparkToro’s used to fund, grow, and bring value to customers. Let’s continue that tradition today 😊 Here’s the good news:…

New Research: Dark Social Falsely Attributes Significant Percentages of Web Traffic as “Direct”

When site owners and marketers log into their analytics tools to determine how visitors discover and reach their properties, they expect accurate information. Unfortunately, that data is often massively flawed. SparkToro partnered with Really Good Data in a recent experiment to drive 1000+ visits across 11 major social networks and observe how Google Analytics categorized these referrals. Special thanks to…

“High Quality Content” is the Most Useless Phrase in Marketing; We Can Do Better

Did you watch the television program Ted Lasso? You probably did; it has the ubiquity of the 1980s’ The Golden Girls in an era of deeply fragmented viewership. I enjoyed the first season quite a bit, but after watching the second season, was so repulsed by the folksy, smarmy, saccharine shallowness that I stopped. Season 2 somehow made me feel…

AI-Generated Content is the New Floor

Anyone can make it. Most of it is at least OK. Some of it’s pretty good. A few folks are already sharpening their skills at prompting AIs to generate increasingly high-quality material. But, the core problem with content created by large language model (LLM) outputs is that it’s so cheap, so accessible, so ubiquitous—it’s not merely table stakes; AI content…
Data Product SparkToro

NEW: Custom Search & Custom Audiences Offer Incredible New Ways to Use SparkToro

Three years ago, if you wanted to uncover which podcasts Data Scientists listened to, or find out which social accounts were most followed by people who talk about Organic Chemistry, you’d need months of surveys, interviews, and manual data collection. Then, in April of 2020, SparkToro launched, and high-quality answers to those questions could be found in seconds. Since launch,…