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The Turtle and the Heir


You don’t always choose your areas of expertise.

For instance, did you know that you’ll never see an Oreo ad with someone eating more than three cookies at a time?

That’s because a single serving of regular Oreos is three cookies. Or at least that was the case when the agency I was at was working on the account.

My cousin sent in a photo of his daughter having one of those Norman Rockwell-esque Oreo moments, and there were four Oreos in the frame. It was rejected for the campaign we were working on due to the rule violation.

My latest area of expertise is turtles.

Yes, turtles.

They’re reptiles, in case you’re wondering. You probably knew they weren’t amphibians, even if they act amphibiously.

I’ve met my share of tortoises, but I only learned recently (thanks, National Geographic Kids) that tortoises are land animals with taller shells and stumpier feet, as opposed to their sleeker, web-footed turtle cousins.

I’m learning all of this because my kid determined she was a cat person, but the cats we adopted hated humans, so after finding them a new home, we kept looking for cats. But then, at PetSmart (which I only now see is a clever alternative to writing PetsMart — one of the more brilliant brand uses of intentional capitalization), while she was looking for cat supplies, we saw a pair of turtles, and both of us couldn’t stop watching them.

We learned that they like heat. They might have salmonella. They don’t do a whole lot. You have to clean their tank every other hour. They will live longer than Jimmy Carter, and way longer than Jimmy Hoffa.

I get it.

But now, somehow, instead of deciding between a cat and a dog, we’re deciding between which of the two turtles we are going to take home and name Swimmy.

I can’t make any Swimmy Hoffa jokes to her yet. She’s seven.


So what’s Swimmy doing in a marketing newsletter, beyond giving me one of the greatest opportunities for a title that I’ve had since the pandemic started?

I think one of the reasons my kid likes Swimmy so much is that Swimmy is neither a dog nor a cat.

She knows a lot of cat people. She knows a lot of dog people. She’s not surrounded by turtle people.

Until I asked my friends on Facebook for advice for a future turtle owner, I didn’t know if I knew any turtle people either.

I keep asking her every damn minute, “You’re sure you want a turtle? Really? A turtle?” And she reminded me how many times I’ve asked her some version of this question. That seemed to make her want the turtle even more.

I was going to get her two cats. I was planning on getting her two turtles too until I discovered you need something approaching a 100-gallon tank. You know how much real estate a 100-gallon tank takes up in Manhattan? I’d have to find a new job.

Dad joke time: what’s the best career choice for turtles?

Tort law!

Turtle humor — it’s so much funnier than cat humor.

My kid’s reminding me about two things:

First, we don’t have to pick what was originally on the menu. Charting your own path can be so empowering. Catch people off guard.

Second, as soon as you do, there’s a high from it. I remember when I told my friend Garth Holsinger that I was exploring the CMO role at the agency MRY back in 2013. Not many people had a job like that, especially one focused on marketing as opposed to sales. I can still hear Garth saying on the other end of the line, “An agency CMO. That’s weird.” It was that moment that I knew I wanted the job.

If weird isn’t for you, that’s great. I’m jealous of you.

But if you like things a little weird, or a lot weird, ask yourself if you’ve tasted that lately.

Ask yourself if there’s an option out there that isn’t one of the two on the table right now.

Ask yourself what you can do for your own customers or prospects that they’re not expecting — that’ll make things a little weird for them because they haven’t had that option before.

If that scratches some itch, it’s like ambrosia. You’ll be craving it.

Even if it means that you’ll wind up inheriting a turtle a decade from now that’ll live with you well into your 70s.

That’s weird.

But sometimes whatever feels so weird can also feel so right.


PS 1: Between when I wrote and published this, my kid was over turtles. She accepted they can’t do much, and you can barely hold them. But I still liked the column, and we still might get something weird. Stay tuned. When you see a column entitled, “Not by the Hair of My Chinny Chin Chinchilla,” you’ll know we got somewhere good.

PS 2 If you want to try game and esports advertising, Thece is running a great deal. Get 10% off their Getting Started Kit — just let them know Serial Marketers sent you.

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Keep checking out the #jobs channel in Serial Marketers for more. Here are some great opportunities shared there or sent to me directly.

Marketing Manager
Remote, US-based
Via Marc Goldberg in the community
“You will be responsible for developing and executing public relations and marketing tactics for our team that supports the business. You’ll bring existing and relevant industry experience and quickly build new relationships. We want your help with PR, managing social channels, helping with sales collateral and finding new customers via paid and earned channels.”

Various roles
Via Sabrina Caluori in the community:
“I am acting as the Interim head of Strategy at a boutique digital and social agency, GLOW. We have incredible clients in the entertainment, retail and luxury space including nearly every major TV broadcaster. Looking for Brand Strategists, Social strategists, community managers and content creators at all levels. We are looking for both Freelance as well as Full Time at all levels. Please email  with a note about why we should choose you and your credentials (resume, TiKToks, whatever gives us a sense of your work.”

Head of Revenue Marketing
Chicago or remote
“A self-starter with the ability to build programs from scratch and who thrives when creating clarity and strategic direction for teams, the future Head of Revenue Marketing has:
* 8+ years of experience in demand gen or performance marketing, preferably at an agency, consultancy, or high-growth SaaS technology company and 4+ years of management experience
* Strong growth track record, with case studies of driving B2B programs with a focus on digital, ABM, and lead management
* Prior experience building a sizable owned audience, and creating programs to drive expansion within active customers.”

Commercial Marketing Manager
New York (temporarily remote)
“As an integral member of the global marketing team based in New York, you will be responsible for driving revenue through excellence in proposal storytelling, unique pitch experiences, and general best practices for the wider commercial teams. You will work in close partnership with the product, commercial, and partnerships teams and with the global marketing team to deliver compelling, differentiated, and bold pitch and proposal marketing efforts.”

Director, Product Marketing and Senior Manager, Product Marketing
Remote EDT or CDT
Via David Markowitz in the community:
“We’re a remote, growing Marketing team spanning US and Europe.  Showpad is one of the leading sales enablement (SaaS) platform providers; we have a great collaborative environment and culture, with lots of Tier 1 clients (over 1,200+) and a strong leadership team.For these roles, I’m looking for individuals w/both a strong B2B content creation mindset as well as a strong product marketing focus.  Partner marketing experience is key for that role. Due to the need for close collaboration with our EMEA teams, we’re focused on EDT/CDT locations.”

Digital Marketing Manager
Remote available in 12 states
Via Eric in the community:
“We are searching for an insatiably curious, creative, and data-driven ecommerce marketer with a strong PPC and paid social track record and strong marketing analytics chops to help drive K-12 student enrollment for our online math programs.”

Manager, Marketing Operations
Chicago or remote
Able to understand and use data from multiple sources to formulate reports and presentations that communicate marketing insights, the future Manager, Marketing Operations has:
* 5+ years overall marketing experience, 3+ years experience in marketing automation
* Salesforce proficiency required; Marketo preferred, open to Pardot or Hubspot experience as an alternative
* Experience coming from another B2B or B2B SaaS company

Head of Marketing Demand Generation
Via Krista in the community:
“I am hiring for a global head of demand-gen (director level role). Please check it out and apply online + shoot me a note.”

Head of Sales
“A natural leader and player coach who knows how to build and motivate a successful team, the future Head of Sales has:
* 8+ years direct sales experience, expertise in selling enterprise software
* Track record that exceeds sales quota (ideally $1MM+)
* Passion for value selling and easily and successfully builds deep and trusting relationships using a consultative approach
* Comfort with technology and demonstrating products directly with prospects
* Understanding of the concept of “tying the golden thread” and is a creative and out of the box thinker”

Senior Product Marketing Manager
Atlanta, Georgia or remote ET, CT
Via Shari in the community:
“Do you love telling stories to bring products to life for customers? Is your passion identifying and solving for customer problems? Do you love asking questions to dig deeper and learn more? Are you looking for an opportunity to grow a new product offering in a fast-paced environment?”

Chief Brand Officer
Remote US
Qualifications for the Role:
* 15-20+ years of experience building high growth consumer or B2B category creating businesses to success
* Deep experience building a global brand
* Excellent communication skills
* Strong curiosity
* Business, market & customer data-informed decision making

More via Hunt Club
* LMX Labs: Head of Marketing & Communications (NY)

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.
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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
  • Remotists: Remote startup jobs, chronicled weekly
  • Sales Hustle Stack: Find platform-based gigs and other creative ways to earn some extra cash
  • Startup.Jobs: There’s a section for marketing jobs
  • Teal Job Tracker: A free Chrome extension to manage and enhance 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.


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