I opened my closet door, and I was staring inside. A moment of paralysis set in.

I’ve had occasions this year and last to wear a blazer and a button-down — not many, but I’ve dusted off a few of the hanging garments.

This time, though, I was picking out clothes ahead of attending my first conference in 23-and-a-half months. I was going to encounter hundreds of people, meet new colleagues, and manage a marketing firm’s event sponsorship. The ordeal was a familiar one — how many conferences have I been to, 500? It has be more.

Yet this one felt significant. It was just another day, except that it wasn’t.

If you’ve attended an in-person conference this year and felt off, rattled, confused, ambivalent, hesitant, uncertain, or insecure, you are in good company.

Think of all the children going back to school this year who were remote for a year or more. We’re still those kids at heart. We might be excited, and we might have been looking forward to this day for too many months, but this is an age where normalcy is strange.

We’ve heard so many speakers tell us from the stage, “Expect the unexpected.” That didn’t prepare us for now. What we didn’t expect is that everything we used to expect would feel unexpected.

Arriving at CommerceNext IRL just north of Times Square this week, per New York’s regulations, all attendees were required to show proof of vaccination. Security guards checked that our identification matched our vaccination cards.

In the ad industry — disproportionately coming from left-leaning cities, counties, and states (we’re mostly not from Red COVID territory) – New York’s rules may spur the rebound of the conference industry. It’s hard to imagine so many hundreds of people showing up to this indoor event if it was a mixed crowd of the vaxed and unvaxed.

When I headed up the escalator to the ballroom floor, the curiosity began. Most attendees chose not to wear masks, but enough did so that those who masked up shouldn’t have felt out of place.

Social distancing was less a concern for most than personal space. I was aware more than I ever had if it felt like I was standing too close to someone. Usually, I felt like I was a couple of steps back from where I’d normally stand, and that felt right.

COVID colored every conversation. I often initiated those questions:

“Is this your first conference since the pandemic started?” For most, it was, though some had been to other retail-focused events in the previous several weeks.

To people visiting from out-of-town: “Have you been to New York since COVID hit?” The implication is that everyone from out-of-state has been to Manhattan before. It’s one of the things I love about this city. Everyone passes through here, and I’m optimistic that everyone still will, albeit less frequently for many of them.

To and from everyone: “Are you working in an office now?” The answers tend to fall on a spectrum ranging from “no” to “occasionally.”

My notes from CommerceNext, where I was the point person for WITHIN’s presence, centered on the mundane.

I liked the look of the free-standing collateral holders.

One sponsor’s booth stood out because all of its swag was branded in a consistent shade of red.

Another booth made me pause and appreciate the care to which its pen-holders looked like they were set up like flower vases.

I photographed the spread of mini black-and-white cookies at Shopify’s snack station, and I noted the treats (and collateral) that speakers placed at all the seats on their tables during roundtable sessions.

The closest I came to innovating with the booth I was running was hardly a masterstroke. While setting up the day before the show, I didn’t like how all our boxes looked under the table. I happened to have bedsheets that matched the corporate color scheme, so I brought them in the next day and used one as a drape.

Other photos that I took reflected the signs of times that I hoped would pass: a poster reminding attendees of their waiver of liability should a COVID outbreak hit; sponsored stations for masks; Purell on every table; green or red wristbands to indicate social distancing preferences. These too shall pass?

After writing a draft of this newsletter, I read more from the recent biography of Philip Roth. In that very section, Roth told his biographer, “You know what Chekhov said when someone said to him ‘This too shall pass?’ ‘Nothing passes.’”

I believe Roth means here that everything leaves a mark.

Individually-wrapped cookies placed on a table. Consistency of color. Ease of access to collateral. Lighting challenges when tweeting speakers’ photos. Conversations that quickly veered from updates on a CDP (customer data platform) to news from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

And through it all, with the usual chatter among exhibitors on how foot traffic was and whether the brand-side attendee interest met expectations, there was another sign of the mundane:

People were there for a purpose. There was business to do, and people were doing it.

The stakes are higher to send someone to a conference. Not only could an attendee be put at risk, but they could spread that to colleagues and presumably take down a corporation.

Ever work with a team where you’re flying with a bunch of senior leadership and someone says the unthinkable aloud? “If this plane goes down, our company’s toast.”

That was dark humor. COVID humor isn’t so funny. It’s unfunny because it’s true.

And yet, here we were. Here we are, even. You’re likely reading this as I’m back for another day, pondering the wisdom of handshakes and second-guessing my own judgment on whether to don a mask.

But there is business to do, there are friends to catch up with, there is information to share, and there are people to connect with who may in time make a profound impact on another.

Two friends I saw there reminded me that I introduced them to each other. The 30,000 people who interacted with the branded app they launched together had that experience, however indirectly, thanks to me.

This won’t appear on my LinkedIn profile under career highlights.

But the mundanity of it, delivered at that time at this event, is exactly what I needed.

In some way, to some people, all of it, against the odds, matters.



  • Join our Upstream event tomorrow as tax maven Stanley Foodman will share all you need to know about crypto taxes. After the talk, we will host a speed networking session (3 matches, 5 minutes each).
  • Serial Marketers offers a 20% discount for Thomas Kolster’s Masterclass on building a meaningful brand. Use code “SERIAL” at checkout. You can learn:
    • How to avoid purpose-washing and find your organization’s true relevance,
    • How to play a more meaningful and authentic role in people’s lives,
    • How to create behavior change at scale and ultimately unlock sales.

Hunt Club is a candidate referral platform that is shaking up the traditional recruiting industry. By joining Hunt Club’s Expert Network you can connect your colleagues (or yourself) with incredible opportunities for their next career move AND get rewarded for it. Join the Hunt Club Expert Network here; you simply sign up and upload your connections! (Don’t worry, Hunt Club won’t reach out to your network without your approval.)

Once you join, you’ll have access to a dashboard where you can view all opportunities the Hunt Club team is working on, refer candidates, share roles with your network, or sit back and we’ll reach out and request an introduction if we think someone in your network is a fit.

Please reach out to Maddy at Hunt Club (maddy@huntclub.com) with any questions or to learn more about the Expert Network.

Recent pieces published or shared by Serial Marketers and friends:


Thanks to Mat ZuckerNancy HarhutE.B. MossPraveen MishraAmy GittelmanMatthew SilvermanJeremy Woolf, and Jason Gardner for spreading the word about the newsletter recently.

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Please submit any events you’re hosting to our calendar at https://serialmarketers.net/events/. All times are ET.

Upcoming Serial Marketers events:

  • 9/30: Crypto Tax AMA with Forensic CPA Stanley Foodman (5pm)

September 30, 5pm
Forensic accountant Stanley Foodman, CEO of Foodman CPAs & Advisors, understands crypto inside and out. Beyond complex domestic and international tax planning, he’s also a partner in a crypto company. Ask Stanley anything as we try to understand how cryptocurrency and NFT purchases affect our bottom line.

September 30, 6pm
“The 4 IP buckets: Patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret
What are the differences between the different types of IP
What does each protect? Does it matter which one you use?
Join us and learn to understand what intellectual property can you protect.”

September 30, 7:25am – 16:15pm
“Customer-centric leaders from the likes of Google Cloud, Amazon, Dropbox, Fiverr and DocuSign will be spilling the secrets on their tried and tested strategies. In just one day, you can learn how to reduce churn, bolster your customer retention, develop customer advocates that work for you, hone in on the importance of community & tie all your customer-centric strategies to driving revenue.”

October 4-14
“Join our expert instructors for live, interactive courses that have been curated to help you maximize traffic, conversion, and sales during the holiday season. This free series offers a beginner track and an advanced track, each with specific e-commerce tips and strategies based on your business needs. Whether you’re new to e-commerce or a seasoned veteran, there’s something here for everyone.”

October 5, 12pm
“Fragmentation of media consumption, deprecation of legacy identifiers, and increased privacy expectations necessitate reliable identity and data capabilities in order to engage the new connected consumer. Join Adweek and TransUnion as we sit down with leading industry executives to learn how enterprises are leveraging data and identity to power successful marketing strategies.”

October 6, 9am
Maxwell Place Park | Hoboken, NJ
“Propelify is an annual innovation event that welcomes thousands of attendees for talks, tech, startups, exhibitors, interactive experiences, and more. The 2021 experience will be full of excitement and impact for speakers, sponsors, and attendees.”

October 6, 12pm
“Voice AI Marketing specialist Instreamatic and personalization expert A Million Ads are running an exclusive Audio Innovation Forum! This online event will feature a range of case studies and brand new consumer research as well as vivid discussions about the latest innovation in audio advertising and how to drive better engagement and results for brands and advertisers!”

October 7, 5pm
“Please join us for a monthly power hour of womxn supporting womxn in a safe, open learning environment where you will leave inspired and more confident to express your voice and gifts in the world. Created for change makers, business leaders, and emerging social impact visionaries. Come as you are, open to receive, learn new ideas, and offer your wisdom.”

Submit projects by October 8
Get the recognition you deserve with our friends at BOLD Awards! 20 Categories, 20 Judges, submissions from 50+ countries, and counting! BOLD Awards is looking for the BOLDest companies and individuals powering breakthroughs in digital industries – from mobility, cybersecurity, AI, agritech & more.”

October 12-14
“Reuters Events: Strategic Marketing 2021 brings together the world’s most influential CMOs and marketing leaders to discuss the impact of brands on society, leverage new digital touchpoints, and unleash the opportunities that come with this shift in consumer-brand relationships.”

October 13-16
“Coin Nations 2021 brings together executives, investors, entrepreneurs, and professionals in decentralized finance.
You will participate in Matchmaking networking and interactive discussions about the latest innovations, opportunities, and challenges surrounding Crypto, Blockchain, CBDCs, DeFi, NFTs, Wallets, Exchanges, and more!”

October 14, 9:30am – 7:00pm
Manhattan, NY and virtual
Via Danielle Hughes in the community
“This is the conference for designers looking to become entrepreneurs, and for design entrepreneurs looking to become better businesspeople. You have studied design at the university level, you understand design principles, and you’ve learned all the design tools the world of tech has to offer. Now you are ready to find financial success!”

Last-Minute Tips for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
October 14, 2pm
Via Randy Levy in the community
“The challenges for marketers this holiday season are formidable: Shoppers are planning to start making their purchases earlier and privacy changes may impact the results you rely on for planning and measurement. Not to mention the perennial challenge of breaking through the messaging deluge to get your customers’ attention during the holiday season. Despite these challenges, there are proven ways to refine and optimize your email strategy to land your message with your ideal customers at the right times and in the right places.”

October 20, 1pm
Via Melissa Wallace in the community
“Join us for a brief discussion on display advertising and how conversational ads are changing the game, followed by:
– seeing a few real-life examples of conversational ads we’ve built for our customers
– creating your first ad in only 15 minutes (setting up the ad units, building the logic, and more)
– understanding what data and insights you can gain.”


Keep checking out the #jobs channel in Serial Marketers for more. Better yet, subscribe to get updates from our job listing board. Here are some great opportunities shared in these places or sent to me directly.

Lifecycle Marketing Account Manager
NY, Remote OK
“The WITHIN team is growing and we’re looking for a passionate, motivated Lifecycle Account Manager who is willing to take the lead across multiple retention channels such as email, sms, push, app, and more. This is a unique opportunity in a rapidly expanding company.”

Marketing Operations Manager
Remote US
#AI #nocode #customerengagement
“Ushur is looking for an experienced, data-driven Manager, Marketing Operations to manage all operational and automation initiatives on the Marketing & Sales team. The individual in this role will be reporting to the Senior Manager, Marketing Operations and Sales Development, to help lead the administration and management of all marketing tech stack integrations, lead routing, field mapping, and optimizations of functionalities.”

Head of Marketing
Remote US
“We’re looking for our first marketing hire, a Head of Marketing that will create and lead this function. This is a high-impact leadership role where you will report directly to the CEO and own PopSQL’s holistic marketing initiatives and growth targets. A proven track record of marketing results within SaaS is highly desirable.”

Account Executive
Remote US
“The ideal candidate will possess strong sales, interpersonal and organizational skills. They should be comfortable with multitasking and be able to budget their resources in order to meet the assigned quotas for their role.
Responsibilities include:
* Full-cycle sales (cold outbound, set appointments, hold meetings, and close)
* Achieve sales objectives
* Attract high-quality customers and set proper expectations
* Follow sales ops processes
* Act as a brand ambassador

Director of Marketing
“Entrepreneurial, leads with integrity and confidence, the future Director of Marketing has:
* 6+ years experience in performance marketing touching SEO, paid search, paid social, display, product orientation, programmatic
* B2B SMB / Mid Market SaaS strongly preferred, open to high growth B2C internet orgs
* Strategic Executor – 2+ years of people management experience overseeing SEO and paid media teams, can hire, lead, and manage individual contributors to be more cohesive
* Ability to own critical top of funnel metrics (strongly focused on traffic and lead volume) and strategize with the team on how to execute”

Marketing Campaign Manager
Remote US (Pacific, Mountain, or Central time zone)
“We’re hiring for a marketing campaign manager who wants to join as the second marketing hire on our quickly growing team. You will be hyper-focused on generating demand for our sales team (bringing in qualified leads) by leading account-based marketing efforts and supporting integrated marketing campaigns. Were a small, but mighty team. You’ll be tasked with testing and identifying the most effective and efficient channels to drive demand and doubling down efforts where it matters.”

Sr. Director of Performance Marketing
Remote US
“Player/coach leader who can think at a strategic level to set direction and inspire the function, the future Sr. Director of Performance Marketing has:
* 10+ years of experience leading (and building) performance marketing strategies – demonstrated history of running and optimizing omni-channel campaigns for consumer-focused brands
* Prior experience working with consumer-focused brands with high-consideration/long sales cycles
* Data-driven approach to drive innovative marketing programs leveraging a broad channel mix (search, social, display, TV, podcast, traditional and more) – ability/experience to support customer segmentation strategies”

E-commerce Coordinator
Remote anywhere
“We are looking for a proactive, smart, and hyper-organized E-Commerce Coordinator to support the day-to-day operations, maintenance and ongoing improvement of our direct to consumer websites. Working within the Marketing Team and closely with our Ecom & Digital Manager you will be responsible for organizing and uploading new products within our websites and increasing new & returning traffic and revenue by analysing best sellers data and completing weekly merchandising.”

Vice President of Growth
NY or Remote US
#launchplatform #consumerbrands
“The future Vice President of Growth has:
* Marketing leader with 10+ years of experience and proven success scaling a DTC CPG brand(s) by multiple channels. Experience hiring, building and developing a team of marketers/data analysts
* E-commerce, DTC + omni-channel experience within consumer goods, food/beverage, beauty, and/or retail
* Ability to own high level strategy for all existing performance marketing channels including Google ecosystem, Paid Social, Content Marketing, Influencers, SEO + ability to implement new channels”

Marketing Director
Remote US within the Pacific time zone
“The Marketing Director will be responsible for creating and executing a comprehensive, multi-channel marketing plan to accelerate the growth of Candidate. This role will be a pivotal leadership role at the organization and require you to dig in at both the strategic and tactical levels. You will have management responsibilities across a variety of marketing efforts including brand positioning and awareness, product marketing, paid media, email marketing, website, social media, PR, and sales enablement.”

More jobs via Candidate.co:




Director of Growth Marketing
New York, NY
Via Chris Gorges in the community
“We are seeking a Director of Growth Marketing to lead our acquisition strategy across online and offline growth channels. This role will be responsible for allocating and deploying a large media budget and managing a growth marketing team that plans, executes, and analyzes acquisition tactics that drive sustainable and efficient CAC at scale.”

Product Marketing Manager
Remote US
Via George Valdes in the community
“We’re looking for a Product Marketing Manager to join the Monograph team. You’ll help build the future of how landscape architects, interior designers, and engineers, manage their business. Oh, and we work a 4-day work week.”

Head of Demand Generation
New York
#documentation #customersupport
“Smart, hardworking, transparent, and kind, the future Head of Demand Generation has:
* Highly experienced marketing leader with 3+ years specializing in B2B demand generation and Account-based marketing
* 2+ years managing and building a Demand Team
* High growth B2B Enterprise SaaS industry experience // Documentation Platform + Content + CX // Digital Transformation
* Ability to drive strategic ABM campaigns, integrated marketing channels, improve revenue generating operations and customer experience and understands KPIs”

More jobs via Hunt Club:

Marketing Manager, Enterprise SaaS
Remote US
Via Eric Tash in the community
“You’ll set the marketing strategy and co-own revenue goals with sales and product leaders as part of an integrated go-to-market team. You’ll work closely with the product team, as well as the digital marketing and communication specialists to plan and execute product launches and marketing campaigns to meet or exceed the sales pipeline goals. Excellent opportunity to grow to Marketing Director position with a fast-growing startup.”

Demand Generation Manager
Product Marketing Manager
Remote OK
Via Chris Kuehn in the community
“Negotiatus is the fastest and easiest way to purchase, manage spend, and submit payment across all of a business’ vendors. Our platform oversees tens of thousands of orders per month, many millions in spend, and thousands of users. We’ve grown quickly since our founding in 2016 with the help of great investors and customers and are looking to continue that trajectory over the next few years.”

Seattle Metro Area
“The speechwriter will be a key member of the Global Communications team within the Communications Division. This role will report to (and work closely with) the Deputy Director for the Foundation Voice team and will be responsible for all aspects of crafting high-quality speeches and other written content in support of the foundation’s communications goals.”

Find more jobs on the Serial Marketers job board.

Other job resources:

  • Advisable: Get instant access to top marketing freelancers
  • AMA Job Board: Listings from the American Marketing Association (maybe you can also ask them anything)
  • Beeler.Tech: Job listings for ad operations, programmatic account management, sales operations, and more.
  • Braintrust: A new freelance platform where you are the owner and where freelance talent keeps 100% of the bill rate.
  • Built in NYC: Jobs at a range of levels and functions, as long as you’re okay working in this quaint, backwater hamlet.
  • CareerList: Here’s a form for companies hiring and a form for job seekershere’s the public list with tabs for both
  • Content Writing Jobs: Content marketers, enjoy
  • Creative Women of Color: List yourself in the database and find talent, via Women Who Create
  • Demand Curve: Growth and marketing jobs
  • DiscoverTheTalent: An initiative designed to build partnerships with businesses to advocate, train, and hire military spouses
  • ExecThread: Senior roles spanning a range of verticals and cities; membership is free but fully vetted (this uses my referral ID to get you in faster)
  • Ex-Equinox Media Talent: A spreadsheet of available talent (permission given by those listed) who are recent ex-Equinox media folks.
  • Gently Ventures: Helps scale businesses by finding the right talent
  • GLG: Get paid to share your topical expertise; it can lead to some interesting conversations at a potentially decent hourly rate
  • Growth Collective: Apply to join this network of notable freelance marketers
  • Grace Blue Transitions: A portal for hirers and seekers with resources from this exec recruiting firm
  • The Hired Guns: An array of jobs in marketing and related fields at brands, agencies, and media companies
  • Hue: Amplifying voices of people in color working in marketing
  • Hunterz: A way for connectors to get paid to introduce startups to large enterprises
  • Lead5: A paid service for executive roles, plus intel on changes with companies and PE investments; you can try a risk-free weeklong trial to see if it’s any good for your needs
  • Lunch Club: Match 1:1 around predetermined goals with accomplished professionals (free)
  • NYC Ad Jobs & Networking: A popular Facebook group
  • One Club for Creativity: COVID-19 jobs Board
  • #OpenToWork: There’s a channel in Serial Marketers where you can share what you’re looking for
  • Pangea: Where you can hire college freelancers (and college students can get gigs)
  • Pocit: A platform connecting people of color with jobs in the tech industry
  • Questions to Ask for a Marketing Role: What questions should you ask when starting a new marketing role or job?
  • Remotists: Remote startup jobs, chronicled weekly
  • Sales Hustle Stack: Find platform-based gigs and other creative ways to earn some extra cash
  • Serial Marketers Job Board: Post regular and featured listings and subscribe for updates.
  • Startup.Jobs: There’s a section for marketing jobs
  • Teal: One place to organize and manage your job search.
  • TechNY Daily: While more technical, there are also some sales and marketing jobs at NY startups.
  • VC Job Boards: AlephEniac VenturesPearSequoiaUnion Square Ventures
  • VentureLoop: Free startup job listings; their paid option is $15/month and might surface more leads (but it might not).
  • Venwise: Submit your job interests here and get in front of their roster of hiring leads; select “Serial Marketers” under “How did you find us”
  • Wanted: Wanted helps top talent in tech and marketing find a job at your desired pay.

Do you run or enjoy other job listing sites? Let me know, and I’ll share them.


Below are offers extended to the Serial Marketers community. To share your own or access the Premium member discounts, review membership options here.

GPO: Generate at least 20% more organic traffic. Doing a strong job in SEO but wonder if more traffic can be had? GPO will custom-build an AWS instance that will become a subdomain of your site, and generate at least 20% more traffic the first year. Contact Cory Cox in the community to redeem.

ContactSmarter: ContactSmarter is an AI tool that generates over 40% call booking rates without requiring human intervention. More details.

Markman Speaker Management: Get 15% off the half-day customized virtual training session “Get Speaking Engagements” for individuals or corporate staff through Sept. 30, 2021. Contact Steve Markman to redeem.

Thece: Get 10% off their Getting Started Kit — just let them know Serial Marketers sent you.

Get 5% back on any bookings of the

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