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Working the Relationship Spectrum, Part I


With the post-pandemic societal changes, here’s one I don’t think we’re prepared for: the amount of time and energy expended in reorienting relationships.

I’m going to get to just how and why these shifts are taking place, but how I got there was convoluted.

I keep a book report journal where, longhand, I write synopses of and takeaways from every book I read or listen to. I won’t put a book away physically or digitally until doing so; I’ve been doing this since 2004, so there are several journals full of these writeups.

Catching up over the holiday weekend, I wrote my notes about the book Optionality by Richard Meadows which at times offered a well-reasoned and well-researched treatise about how to maximize one’s opportunities. Other times, it reads like it’s only written for people without families, friends, pets, hobbies, interests, or other commitments beyond earning a living a few hours a day. Enjoy.

Meadows cited the oft-mentioned Dunbar’s Number, coined by Robin Dunbar, that refers to how we can keep about 150 relationships active at any time, and this is a natural facet of societal organization. What I had forgotten before doing my book report is that Meadows referred to there being a spectrum of closer and more different relationships, all with their own ‘Dunbar Numbers.’ That’s why I reread all my notes and keep these journals.

Researching this further (I was skeptical about how well-researched Meadows’ book is), The Atlantic just ran an interview with Dunbar who has a new book out called Friends, and I’m pretty sure it’s not the teleplay of the reunion special. Dunbar does indeed offer a range in terms of the number of active relationships, from intimates (your partner – or your partner and a half) to known faces:

  • Intimates: 1.5
  • Close friends: 5
  • Best Friends: 15
  • Good friends: 50
  • Friends: 150
  • Acquaintances: 500
  • Known names: 1,500
  • Known faces: 5,000

This alone was comforting, as I have 15,300 contacts in my Google Contacts database and feel like I’m below-average at remembering names and faces. This is a reminder that I may just meet too many people – and these are just the ones whose contact information I save – so I may only know 10% of their names.

Also noteworthy: it adds a layer of realism to the series Friends that seemed lacking by the size of their Manhattan apartments. They all had five close friends.

What was most striking in the Dunbar interview is the discussion of relationships as work.

Dunbar said in The Atlantic, “It takes about 200 hours of investment in the space of a few months to move a stranger into being a good friend. This fits with our data, which suggests that close friends are very expensive in terms of time investment to maintain… It just means friendships require work.”

That work becomes more pronounced the closer you get. As someone whose circle of intimacy changed during the pandemic from one to zero, I have an even more personal appreciation for the time investment that comes with maintaining intimate and close friendships.

Dunbar said when you form a new committed, intimate relationship, that comes at the expense of two close relationships that you can no longer maintain, and those have ripple effects throughout your circles.

What Dunbar doesn’t say in the interview is that when you have your intimate relationship move somewhere else in the circle (for me, I’m fortunate, as it shifted to a very close friendship), that leaves room to cultivate new relationships and create a different kind of ripple.

We can now get some sense of the expenditure of effort. What we still might not be ready for is how many people will be spending an unprecedented amount of energy (by modern, Western standards) in reestablishing, reevaluating, and reworking relationships.

There’s a lot more I want to write – and that I already wrote – but I’m going to save more for next week.

If you are up for deepening some connections in person, we have First Wednesday coming up today, and we’ll thank our guest sponsor Peter Shankman who is promoting his Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team in Training fundraiser.

Support that, make some new friends, and if you’re a known name or face to me, say hi so we can become acquaintances.


PS: Yes, we Serial Marketers are meeting in person this First Wednesday! (5pm local time) If you’re in NYC or in Seattle, we’d love for you to come and say “hi”. The NYC event is co-hosted with our insane and generous friend Peter Shankman (@petershankman), who is racing the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii to raise $150k for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Why not help him achieve his goal and donate to a good cause? http://shankman.com/ironman

PS 2: Newsletter readers can earn 2 $CMO (about $16 today) from the latest coin drop — no catch. Enjoy the bonus this week.

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

Upcoming Serial Marketers events:

Starting this week, Salons are back to their full 1-hour format. All events are on Wednesdays at 5 pm ET. First Wednesdays of the month are in person. Starting from 7/28, last Wednesdays will be Upstream SpeedUps.

  • 7/7: First Wednesday Co-Hosted with Peter Shankman – in-person social chat in NYC
  • 7/14: Salon with Chris Fronda, founder, Logictry [ZOOM]

July 7, 5 pm
First Wednesday, our fun NYC tradition led by Zack Rosenberg, keeps going strong. This month’s event is brought to you by… an amazing cause. Our insane and generous friend Peter Shankman (@petershankman) is racing the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii to raise $150k for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Why not help him achieve his goal and donate to a good cause? http://shankman.com/ironman
 on Meetup.

July 7, 5 pm PDT
Via Zachary Rozga in the community:
“Seattle has reached the 70% Vaccination threshold. And now it is time to shed the virtual happy hour networking event. Instead of recreating the wheel we are adopting a long standing very successful model from the New York advertising/marketing/media community called First Wednesday. This is bring a friend, grab a drink and talk shop.”

July 9, 1 pm
“Have your email metrics plateaued? Need to improve your email channel? It’s time to make your emails conversational.
Join this webinar to learn how to turn your static emails conversational from Drift’s Sr. Director of Demand Generation Charm Bianchini. She’ll discuss how conversational email helps improve reply rates, scale outreach, and unlock email’s hidden potential.”

July 14, 12:00 pm
“Be a part of a half day event that will focus on the intersection of Screen Content + Podcasts: NATPE ContentCast. This preeminent industry event for Producers, Creators, Marketers and Monetizers, will help you navigate the intersection of file & frame to drive Revenue, Brand Extensions, and Talent Influence and prevail in the fight for digital audience.”

July 14, 12:30 pm
“In this session, seasoned designer Lidia Varesco Racoma will show you how she bridged the Adobe–Canva divide. Learn the basics of setting up, navigating, and creating and editing graphics in Canva. Plus, we will review advanced branding and sharing features that will help create an organized and brand-focused workflow.”

July 15
“Digiday’s first-ever publisher golf outing will bring together publishing executives for a unique day of golf and mingling. Hosted at the beautiful Galloping Hill Golf Course, you’ll have the chance to connect with peers over a casual round of golf and networking functions.”

July 15-18
Via Mike Volkin in the community
“This event has been created for one thing only: to help you scale your business now. That’s why I’m bringing in some of the top business people from around the world. People who have taken companies from $1 million dollar valuations to $500 million dollar valuations and taken companies public.”

July 15, 1 pm
Via Lana McGilvray in the community:
“PR Curious? I’ll be joining Onclusive president Sean O’Neal and Stacey Hedman of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to share tips for measuring whether your messaging is resonating internally and externally with stakeholders including employees, management, customers, partners and the media.”


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

Via Ari Berkowitz in the community:
Multiple openings on the Social Marketing team, including:

  • Associate Social Marketing Manager
  • Associate Influencer Marketing Manager
  • Social Marketing Manager
  • Senior Social Strategist
  • Content Creator
  • TikTok Content Creator
  • Group Director


Content Production Manager
Remote anywhere
Via Eric Tash in the community
“We’re seeking a Content Production Manager (CPM) to manage the end-to-end process of planning, producing, and distributing Inturact’s client’s content. It is important that this role takes no hand holding and we are looking for someone that can take our production & distribution process to the next level.”

Demand Gen Manager
Remote US
Via Melissa Wallace in the community
“The Manager of Demand Generation will be responsible for the strategy and execution of marketing programs that capture and nurture leads across multiple channels. In this role, you’ll be responsible for programs to generate and nurture leads via events, SEM, email, retargeting, targeted social advertising, and cooperative marketing with partners.”

Sr. Manager, Performance Marketing
“The Sr. Manager, Integrated Media reports to the Director of Media, guiding strategic planning, budgeting and execution, and analytics for offline, video, publisher direct, programmatic, search, social, and affiliate media to support the PetSmart brand.”

Vice President of Marketing
New York
* Proven track record developing and executing growth plan for enterprise adtech/martech business to achieve significant growth through effective use of lead generation and content marketing optimization
* Experience and proven metrics leading growth from $ single digits to $ double digits within a short timespan
* Has redesigned or created a successful lead/demand generation engine from scratch, in addition to having significant account-based marketing experience
* Confidence and ability to pitch CEO and Board Members as well as externally pitch to enterprise CMOs and engaged in industry thought leadership on behalf of the company

Head of Marketing
Dallas, TX
Collaborative, well-rounded, and a strong communicator, the future Head of Marketing has:
* Well rounded marketing experience – digital, performance, content, brand, communications
* Ability to lead the vision and execution of marketing strategies
* Ability and desire to build, scale, and managed a team of high performers
* Success in marketing function for high-growth DTC company in heavily regulated industry
* A strong communicator, comfortable with ambiguity and collaborative nature of high-growth startup

Brand Manager
Los Angeles, CA
“Self-starter who moves quickly, yet strategically with an affinity for product, and is excited about continuing to scale Fancy Sprinkles Products, the future Brand Manager has:
* 4-6 years proven track record in driving strategic brand management for DTC eCommerce brands
* Expertise with food, beauty, jewelry, personal care, spirits — DTC ecomm in house or relevant agency experience
* Works hands-on in campaign management from briefing, to ideation, to execution. Content background with strong storytelling and project management skills. Ability to be successful with marketing budgets in 1MM-5MM range.
* Results driven mentality with track record of value creation in previous roles, and passion to innovate in the category”

VP Marketing
Head of Customer and Partner Marketing
United States
“Bbot is a rapidly growing startup that makes contactless ordering technology for bars, restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality establishments. This position is full-time and is remote work from home.”

Influencer Marketing Manager,
Influencer Marketing Strategist,
other roles
Long Island City, New York, remote options
“We are Performance Branding experts, working with scalable and enterprise brands including Nike, Spanx, and Shake Shack. We leverage digital channels and creative to grow our clients. Data drives our decision making and enables us to operate like trusted business partners. WITHIN works with brands to collapse the funnel between performance and brand marketing unifying objectives, targets, strategy, and implementation.”

Director of Marketing
Via Dwight Griesman in the community
“The Director of Marketing at Severalnines will be expected to craft and execute strategies that drive traffic of high-quality leads to our website to contribute to the growth of our community user and customer base. The Director will also develop the strategy to craft content that both acquires, converts, and educates our current and potential customers before, during, and after the sales process.”

Demand Marketing Manager
Product Marketing Manager
San Fransisco, CA, Open to remote
“CaptivateIQ is on a journey to modernize the world of incentive compensation. Our hope is that people will feel more connected at work if there is greater transparency in how they are rewarded for their efforts. We partner with amazing companies like Carta, Intercom, Gong, and Newfront Insurance to simplify their commissions. Since launching in 2017, we have raised $63M and are backed by leading investors including Sequoia Capital, Accel, S28 Capital, Amity Ventures, and Y Combinator.”

More via Hunt Club
* Mizzen+Main: Director of Growth Marketing (Dallas, TX)
* Stealth Mode Marketing Agency: Head of Brand Strategy/Founding Partner (United States)
* NXT Ascent: Chief Growth Officer (United States)

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
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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.


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

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 FocusGrowth, and ReFocus plan. To receive your rebate, please contact me after you book the course.

My Software Tutor
Get a 15% discount on live online classes that teach practical, functional, business-centric Microsoft Office software skills (Excel today, PowerPoint coming soon). Use code SERIAL15 to redeem. Premium members get a 25% discount.

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.

Northarc Media
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).

Get lifetime access to this file management tech with three seats, all free. (Premium members get five seats; see the Slack channel for details and a custom link.)

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