Editor’s note: I wrote this column on the train to New Jersey to visit my father in the hospital after I heard his health took a turn for the worse. He passed away less than 24 hours after I arrived, and he was surrounded by several close family members (myself included) in his final moments.
I’ll have much more to say about Dr. Daniel Berkowitz, who I knew as Dad, in my eulogy, and probably in future columns. It still felt fitting to keep this edition as-is, written before I could process how little time he had left.
This newsletter is published a day early, arriving in your inbox just before the funeral; if you’re curious to join virtually, the service will be streamed at https://www.wjcenter.org/
In the meantime, this edition is dedicated to my dad:
B: 5.1.1940, Siberia
D: 12.5.2021, New Jersey
During this time of personal and professional transitions, I’m stuck thinking about the peak-end rule and how it applies in contexts far beyond those originally intended.
I’m writing this essay on a train to New Jersey to visit my ailing father. The WiFi is off, and it feels right to keep this essay raw.
I remember the broad brush of it from Daniel Kahneman’s social psychology bible, Thinking Fast and Slow. The peak-end rule is based on his work with Barbara Fredrickson to describe how we remember experiences.
The rule says that we remember an experience based on the most salient moment of it – usually the highlight – and how it ended.
I remember my trip to Egypt, for example, based on how it felt standing inside the Great Pyramid, and then how it felt as I wrapped up the trip on my birthday, going from Abu Simbel back to Cairo for a bizarre but vivid dinner. That’s an overwhelmingly positive halo across the whole trip.
I remember my first job as a mix between what it was like joking around with my college suitemate who I was able to get hired as an intern there, along with the last day of packing my stuff in a garbage bag when they unceremoniously fired me. That memory isn’t as good.
A job already feels like an ambitious application of the peak-end rule. An example Kahneman gives in the book is from a colonoscopy. The idea is that if you end a painful procedure in a positive way, the memory of it can be encoded as far less uncomfortable than it was.
Maybe the colonoscopy example is a reason I’m thinking of the rule right now. My dad practiced as a gastroenterologist for 50 years.
What if we widen the colonoscope?
Instead of looking up our own butts (literally and metaphorically), let’s take in a broader view.
How does the peak-end rule measure a person’s life?
That seems like a question for novelists, or at least for the most introspective among us to assess about ourselves.
Let’s narrow the lens slightly.
How does the peak-end rule measure a relationship, especially one that ended or is going through a transition to another phase?
That’s what I was thinking about on the walk to Penn Station to catch this train. How would the peak-end rule measure my time with my father?
That I didn’t get hit by a cab or distracted pigeon on the way to the station is as close as I’ve ever come to a miracle.
What would the peak of my relationship with my father be?
And does that peak carry a positive or negative emotional charge?
As I walked to Penn, I was thinking of what the positives could be – his jokes, almost all inappropriate, and most involving animals in compromising positions; family holidays where he served as the patriarch at the head of the table; the trips with him to Haagen-Dazs in Mamaroneck Village; trips to visit his mom in Atlantic City.
There are all those memories charged with a +6, a +7, a +8.
There are some of those -8s, a couple of -9s, and maybe one or two -10s that are hard to shake.
How does one determine the peak?
How we celebrate the end of life seems to be designed around the peak-end rule. Few speak ill of those who pass, so we gloss over the darker pages of the biography and instead err on the side of hagiography.
A hero, like Representative John Lewis, is remembered as a saint.
A flawed person is remembered as a person who happened to be flawed.
The peak-end rule affects our memories of practically everything, and thus it is one of those hidden forces that shapes who we are.
To think back on a marriage that ends, is the peak the wedding? Probably not – those are a lot of work and full of stress. Perhaps the honeymoon. You should hope it wasn’t the first date. The birth or adoption of a child, or welcoming a pet, could be a peak – but it could also be what exposes a rift in the relationship.
And then, did the marriage end with a transition to a supportive friendship or to an acrimonious conflagration? A positive ending can make it easier to feel like it was all worthwhile. And that end can be remembered even more positively if it’s what paves the way for one to grow into a new relationship where there are higher peaks to climb.
To talk about work now feels prosaic after all of this, but we are not separate professional and personal selves, or emotional and cognitive selves, or romantic and platonic selves. We are multitudes.
I think back to jobs I’ve held and how high those peaks were. I’ve left some triumphantly, and other times, I’ve felt left for dead. There are victories I savor from all of them. The end tempers the memories.
Let’s return to the colonoscopy example; I’m a little too proud to be a gastroenterologist’s son. My first PowerPoint presentation was literally a story about a bunch of toy intestines.
The professional equivalent of getting a colonoscopy for many of us might be giving a slide-heavy presentation, and such a presentation can be designed with a peak the audience savors and a flourish at the end so that it lands the way you hope it will.
We have control over the peak-end rule more than we realize.
What about your own experiences with the peak-end rule?
Does it hold up?
How can you engineer it for experiences you create and even in your own relationships?
It’s so powerful, so simple, and so hard to harness.
You need to make sure there’s that highlight you never want someone to forget. But also pay a lot of attention to how it all –
- The Martin Agency Is Adweek’s 2021 US Agency of the Year by Jameson Fleming
- A Classic Diva Marketing Holiday Post by Toby Bloomberg
- What Is the Weight of Culture by Valeria Maltoni
- How to Start Advertising on Amazon: 4 Key Ad Types and Top Performing Strategies by Chris Chan
HOW TO SHARE
Thanks to Mat Zucker, Nancy Harhut, E.B. Moss, Praveen Mishra, Amy Gittelman, Matthew Silverman, Jeremy Woolf, and Jason Gardner for spreading the word about the newsletter recently.
Share it with five others who subscribe and receive 10 $CMO coins, along with other rewards. Even one referral will net you a coin (try it out).
Here’s your own personalized link, with more referral rewards for sharing the newsletter. Visit https://referralhub.
Share via: Email | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn——————————
Please submit any events you’re hosting to our calendar at https://serialmarketers.net/
UPCOMING SERIAL MARKETERS EVENTS
- 12/15: Serial Marketers Holiday Spectacular (virtual), 5pm
SOCIAL TV DECEMBER NYC MEETUP (VIRTUAL)
December 9, 8:30am
“Join us VIRTUALLY for the 102nd installment of the revived SocialTV NYC meetup. December’s special guest will be David Berkowitz. The $5 attendance fee will be donated to the Food Bank for NYC. Their mission is to end hunger by organizing food, information and support for community survival and dignity. Food Bank For New York City has been working to end food poverty in our five boroughs for over 36 years. As the city’s largest hunger-relief organization, we employ a multifaceted approach centered on helping low-income New Yorkers overcome their circumstances and achieve greater independence.”
“Tech has never been more important in our lives and CES 2022 will bring the industry back together to experience the next generation of innovation. Over 1600 companies from across the globe – with more being added every day – will showcase the latest in digital health, food tech, automotive tech, NFTs, gaming, smart home, and more.” (Serial Marketers is partnering with Mediaocean as a perk for our members to have a great spot to work and learn. Request lounge access here.)
ASCENT SAAS: SPOTLIGHT ON MARKETING
“An all-virtual, intimate and exclusive gathering of the nation’s senior marketing leaders in SaaS. 150+ Senior CMOs & VPs of Marketing, 10 sessions, 3 industry keynotes, 3 interactive panels, endless networking…”
Via Jeff Pulver
“Historically my VON conferences helped accelerate the global growth of the Voice on the Net and Video on the Net worlds. VON helped usher in a new era in global communications. I envision similar opportunities at VON3. While elements of Web3 have been around for a few years, I believe now is the time to start pushing forward and explore the brave new opportunities available because of Web3.”
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.
Manager, Marketing Communications
Via Meagan in the community
“This role is highly complex in nature as it functions across all departments within the agency and a successful candidate must be a dynamic learner with the ability to orchestrate and complete projects across teams and regions. You have high standards for your work. You’re not afraid to ask questions. You’re adept at delivering strategic, creative and effective marketing communications through multiple formats. You are constantly pushing to build and expand relationships, produce creative and effective communications and find ways to offer strategic value to the marketplace that will generate more opportunities for Just Global.”
Via Yuval in the community
“CompStak envisions a commercial real estate industry in which accurate and transparent data leads to better, faster deals for everyone. We gather critical information that is hard to access, then make it instantly and seamlessly available to our platform members. We are seeking a motivated, experienced and proven marketing leader to join CompStak as the VP, Marketing. In this position you will be responsible for the strategic planning, coordinating, and execution of Marketing efforts while leading the Marketing team.”
SENTIENT DECISION SCIENCE
Boston or NYC
Via Todd in the community:
“If you or someone you know have an interest in joining a team using the best data-based behavioral science tech in the MRX industry, we are hiring at Sentient Decision Science on our #Advertising #Creative evaluation product team for several roles.”
Social Media Manager
“Imperfect is seeking a savvy social media professional to engage and grow Imperfect’s community across our organic social media channels. The ideal candidate is someone who is not only passionate about food, sustainability, and Imperfect’s impact on the world but also understands the power of social media and delivering delightful brand experiences across platforms. We have a solid presence (close to 400K followers on IG!) that we’re looking to cultivate and enrich in 2021. As the Social Media Manager, you will fine-tune and manage Imperfect’s social media efforts in order to increase our acquisition and awareness efforts.”
Director of Product Marketing
Via Dave Weinberg in the community
“We’re looking for a “customer first” focused leader who’s excited about growing business-critical product lines. In this role, you will develop strategic partnerships with your Sales, Customer Success, Marketing, Product, and Engineering peers, go deep in a problem space or domain, and translate your vision into a comprehensive go-to-market strategy. You will be expected to foster future leaders while building diverse and inclusive teams. This role will be a high-impact leadership position that will collaborate closely and strategically with other leaders across the company.”
Find more open roles via Candidate.co. Refer yourself or your friends, and get rewarded for supporting your network.
Also, check out 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.
- Before: A talent matching platform with the mission to end bias in the hiring process.
- 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 seekers; here’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: Aleph, Eniac Ventures, Pear, Sequoia, Union 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 Focus, Growth, and ReFocus plan. To receive your rebate, please contact me after you book the course.
My Software Tutor
My Software Tutor is offering all Excel and PPT courses through December 2021 at 50% off listed price. Learn the practical skills you need to succeed. Use promo code: SERIAL50. This code can be shared with friends and family. Register today on the MST website.
Get 10% discounts on campaigns. ReverseAds reverses the search ad process, outperforming Google at a fraction of the cost. To redeem, contact Thom Feltz by email.
Marc Lefton is offering brands a free one-hour consultation on your media mix to show how you can integrate programmatic. For agencies, you can get a free one-hour consultation on how to add programmatic to your service offerings. To redeem, contact Marc by email.
Sign up and use the promo code SERIALMARKETERS to get 20% off on any membership plan. Membership enables you to access all deals with unlimited usage. One deal should more than pay for itself.
Create an account and start a 7-day free trial for $125 in ad spend credit toward your first experiment with this multivariate testing platform. Redeem here. (Premium members get $175 in credit with a custom code)
Following a 7-day trial of this AI-powered marketing tool to generate ads, product descriptions, and more, use code SERIALMARKETERS for 35% off any plan for 3 months (premium subscribers get 50% off for 4 months).
No CommentsLeave a comment Cancel