Thanks to our supporters at Munch.
When my 9-year-old and I were bouncing around ideas for what to do over her spring break, she came up with a surprising request:
“I want to go on a train ride for more than 24 hours.”
We hadn’t done anything like that before. I checked the Amtrak maps. It didn’t take long to settle on our destination:
Fargo, North Dakota.
Yes, that Fargo.
The two biggest tourist attractions in Fargo are as follows:
The Visit Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center, where you can take pictures with the wood chipper from the movie.
Carol Widman’s Candy, home of North Dakota’s “chippers” — the chocolate-covered potato chips that are one of the most famous treats in the state.
It took about 20 hours to get from New York to Chicago. We were dutiful tourists, enjoying everything from Garrett popcorn to Giordano’s deep-dish pizza. Another 15 hours later, we arrived in Fargo at 4:30am in the freezing cold.
Thirty-six hours and several burgers later, we drove through Minnesota, visiting the famous Runestone Museum in Alexandria, MN, which supposedly has proof that the Vikings arrived in the Midwest before Colombus discovered the East Coast. Wikipedia, jerks that the editors are, seems to imply it’s all a fabrication, but I’d like to believe that there were real Minnesota Vikings just like how there were real New York giants (who happened to spend all their time traveling up and down beanstalks in New Jersey).
We drove our rented pickup truck onward to Minneapolis, where I’m both proud and mortified to say I experienced my first Rainforest Cafe in the nation’s largest mall, and we only discovered one hair in her ice cream sandwich. That has to be a record low, right?
So what, dear reader, could you possibly take away from this trip? Here are a few thoughts:
Go slow: It took, conservatively, 400% longer to get to North Dakota by train than it would have by flight. Beyond the perk of giving my daughter a small (but filling) taste of Chicago between trains, we got to truly enjoy the journey, and it became an integral part of our trip. The cliché of it being about the journey rather than the destination never felt more literal. While the second train was rather claustrophobic, it only added to the memorable adventure, and we’ll remember this trip way more than practically any of our flights — beyond the one where she threw up on me as a toddler.
But not that slow. During our steak dinner in the dining car of the Chicago-Fargo train, we overheard a passenger at the table across the aisle say how he loved trains so much. He described taking a train from Chicago to San Francisco over three days, staying over a night, and then taking a train back home.
It made me wonder if he was living the Paul Simon song Slip Slidin’ Away:
“And I know a father / Who had a son. / He longed to tell him all the reasons / For the things he’d done. / He came a long way / Just to explain. / He kissed his boy as he lay sleeping / Then he turned around and headed home again.”
That song gets to me. Every. Single. Time.
Always be selling: At the famous Hi-Ho Burgers & Brews joint in Fargo, I asked which burger was the best, and the server said whatever I liked would be the best choice (narrator: it wasn’t). An Uber driver on the way to Carol Widman’s, when asked about other recommendations for kids, said there was nothing else to do. Really. Nothing else, in a city of more than 125,000 souls, than eating chocolate-covered potato chips (that’s my kind of town). So much for trying to market what you have to offer. The visitors center needs to push the city’s charms harder to the locals.
Question everything. One driver in Minnesota who picked us up from the mall of America was named El Hadji Malick, which supposedly meant that Malick had gone on the Hajj to Mecca. I asked him if he’d been to Mecca, and he said no; his father added that when creating his Lyft profile. Malick was impressed with my pronunciation of his name though, and it led to my favorite exchange with a driver on the trip as I butchered basic words in both French and Arabic, much to my daughter’s fascination. Don’t take anything for granted. Any little detail that’s out of the ordinary can be a conversation starter.
Talk to everyone. A skill I had fun refreshing on this trip where we saw no one else we knew was striking up a conversation with anyone and everyone. Carole, our first train attendant, made that easy, as she was a natural gabber. We dined with a woman on the next train who seemed determined not to pay any attention to us nor her son as her head was glued to her phone, yet I managed to coax her into a conversation. By the end of the trip, I caught my daughter being more open to talking to people out of the blue. This past week since we returned, innocent people have kept getting shot by their neighbors, and I keep thinking about how we need to revisit the art of talking to strangers rather than shooting them.
Inspirational quotes work. We kept returning to the Mall of America during the short stay, despite my initial aversion to it, because my daughter was obsessed with tackling the walls at ClimbZone — an activity entirely new to her (and me). On the third day, she made it to the top of a 28-foot wall. She told me that when she got stuck near the top, she started telling herself inspirational quotes. Mind you, she’s nine. I never appreciated just how much those quotes can work. Find your mantra and live it.
An aside: I just checked with my daughter to ask which inspirational quotes she said. She said she couldn’t remember because she was sweaty and her arms and legs hurt so much, but she remembered talking to a picture of a bird near the top (a kiwi, specifically), telling the bird how cute it was. Defaulting to kindness in the face of adversity is a trait we’d all do well to master.
Know your place. Returning to the so often when we were only staying in Minneapolis for three nights may seem like overkill, but we were there as tourists to enjoy a week off, and my daughter was eager to master those walls. She got her Dippin’ Dots at Target Field where we watched the Twins play. She repeatedly spent 51 cents in those penny crank machines. Practically everywhere we ate had a kid’s menu (including some of the trendier restaurants in Minneapolis). This was a week to enjoy being tourists, not locals. We knew who we were, and we were damn proud of it.
And now we’re back. But this is one of those trips that’ll stick with me for the long haul.
Go far. Go slow. Go together.
And enjoy the ride.
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WHAT TO READ:
Recent content shared by Serial Marketers and friends:
- WSJ News Exclusive | Media Veteran Lou Paskalis Joins Group to Encourage Brands to Advertise on News by Megan Graham
- The Omnichannel Demand-Side Platforms Landscape, Q2 2023 by Nikhil Lai
- Fractional ad executives—why agencies and brands are hiring part-time workers for full-time roles by Lindsay Rittenhouse
HOW TO SHARE
Thanks to Cary Munk, Dan LaFontaine, Andre Archimbaud, Devin Brown, Justin Dank, Pauline Echols, Paul Robinson, James A. Gardner, Seth Girksy, and Michael Winter for spreading the word about the newsletter recently.
Here’s your own personalized link, with more referral rewards for sharing the newsletter. Visit https://
UPCOMING SERIAL MARKETERS EVENTS:
(times EST unless otherwise specified)
- 4/20: Serial Marketers & U of Digital present… Navigating Identity Management with Shiv Gupta, Founder of U of Digital.
- 5/2: 5-7pm. First Wednesdays in-person NYC, Mason Jar on E 30th between Park & Madison. See you there!
- 5/9, 6-8pm (NYC in-person): How Marketers are really using Generative AI. Nominal $10 fee – RSVP on Eventbrite. Thanks to BrainStation for hosting us. Learn more about scholarships for their bootcamps.
7th ANNUAL SPRING SOCIAL – EARTH DAY CHARITY FÊTE
April 22, Primary 26 Broadway New York
“Yorkseed / Jessica Sophia Wong / Mildred Shao (Hong Kong satellite event co host) cordially invites you to join us for the 7th Annual Earth Day Charity Fête to celebrate our shared planet with an evening of entertainment, drinks, food and conversation! In the spirit of global celebration, this is a cross continent joint satellite event happening in NYC & Hong Kong with all proceeds benefiting Conservation International. If you are in Hong Kong, make sure to get your tickets to our HK Earth Day event on April 23rd.”
April 26 -28, Washington DC
“ChargeX is a global ecommerce conference bringing together industry leading merchants, partners, and experts to discuss today’s most pressing challenges, network with peers, and hear from influential keynote speakers.”
April 26, Atlanta
“The Best Day in Email, CX, & Loyalty! 2023 marks the sixth annual EiQ Gathering, and just like in years past, we are excited to welcome leading brands and industry experts who are moving the needle within email, customer experiences, and integrated loyalty.”
CONTENT MARKETING WORLD 2023
September 26-29, Washington D.C.
“Content Marketing World 2023, the largest gathering of content marketers in the world, is in an all-new location, Washington D.C., September 26-29. Produced by the Content Marketing Institute, #CMWorld is jam-packed with keynotes, sessions, workshops, and masterclasses, covering all aspects of content marketing. No matter your level of expertise, you can customize your experience at #CMWorld 2023. Come learn, network, and have fun making meaningful connections with fellow attendees and speakers before, during, and after the event. BONUS: Use the code SERIAL100 to save an extra $100 on your registration.”
Keep checking out the #jobs channel in Serial Marketers for more. You can also see our full list of job resources here. Here are some great opportunities shared in these places or sent to me directly.
United States only
“Atlassian is looking for a Senior Product Marketing Manager to join our Enterprise Trust Product Marketing team. In this role, you’ll be responsible for developing and implementing marketing strategies and programs for cloud infrastructure and reliability across our cloud products, including the development of key messaging and campaigns. You’ll partner with the Cloud Infrastructure, Performance, and Scale R&D teams as well as support some of our data management teams for key feature launches and enablement programs. You will also partner with your peer enterprise product marketing teams to integrate cloud infrastructure initiatives into our enterprise sales motions.About you: You have 5-7+ years of B2B Product Marketing experience in cloud infrastructure for enterprise software. You have been responsible for creating, driving, and managing go-to-market plans and owning a product’s core messaging and positioning. You have strong technical acumen and experience collaborating with product teams and influencing R&D goals…”
Senior Manager, Performance Marketing
“Biobot is looking for an experienced and passionate Senior Manager of Performance Marketing (Demand Generation), to join our Marketing team. We’re a high-growth startup who is looking to accelerate our growth with the leadership of a seasoned performance marketer. As Senior Manager, you will be accountable for building and overseeing a team that is laser focused on our growth and acquisition, overseeing all paid with strong connection to owned and organic marketing channels. The scope of the role requires an in-depth knowledge of paid search, paid social media, ad-serving technologies, DSPs, marketing automation platforms and an advanced knowledge of account-based marketing techniques and platforms. If you like working in a fast-paced environment that trusts subject matter experts, inspired by the power of wastewater-based epidemiology, to drive results then this role is for you.”
VP, Product Marketing
“We are interested in every qualified candidate who is eligible to work in the United States. However, we are not able to sponsor visas at this time. Raistone offers a full suite of working capital solutions that support growing B2B companies. The firm has exhibited tremendous growth over the last year, and is scaling its business and launching new innovative working capital finance products to help small businesses thrive. The VP, Product Marketing will be a catalyst of growth and scalability by driving demand generation initiatives, creating product marketing content, and owning the go-to-market planning and execution for our product offerings and enhancements. This role combines the visionary leadership of an entrepreneur with the diligent execution of a product marketer.”
BREAK THE WEB
Via Jason in the community
“As the SEO Manager, you’ll use your experience, critical thinking, problem-solving, and creative strategizing skills to help develop, plan, and research client campaigns. Supporting our client’s BIG PICTURE, you’ll collaborate with various team members across SEO, Content, Digital PR, and Client Services to secure the brand’s SEO success while informing our POC about the SEO happening (and can communicate your insights internally). Since you love making data-driven decisions, you’ll analyze current performance and identify out-of-the-box opportunities that will be noticeable game-changers.”
Also, check out the Serial Marketers job board
Other job resources (see a full list here):
- Beeler.Tech: Job listings for ad operations, programmatic account management, sales operations, and more.
- Braintrust: A freelance platform where you are the owner and where freelance talent keeps 100% of the bill rate.
- Candidate: Featured marketing and sales jobs
- 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)
- Lunch Club: Match 1:1 around predetermined goals with accomplished professionals (free)
- NYC Ad Jobs & Networking: A popular Facebook group
- Questions to Ask for a Marketing Role: What questions should you ask when starting a new marketing role or job?
- Serial Marketers Job Board: Post regular and featured listings and subscribe for updates.
- 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”
Do you run or enjoy other job listing sites? Let me know, and I’ll share them.——————————
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