6 Mistakes to Avoid for Marketing Content

marketing content tips

Most marketing content sucks. It’s either too long, doesn’t specify a clear, compelling benefit, or doesn’t address the right audience. Here’s how to make sure that doesn’t happen to you. This applies to B2B, B2C, your own site, or a product listing on another merchant’s site.

1. Know Your Audience.

  • This should be easy for marketers, but for some reason they often miss the mark.
  • You get 1 second to grab someone’s attention.
  • Make sure you are really, really speaking to the audience and what’s important to them.
  • Pause before writing anything and think very hard about how they view the world, what it feels like to be them, and what’s likely to be important to them.

2. Keep it Short and Simple (K.I.S.S.).

  • No one reads anymore.
  • A Tweet is about the longest any marketing copy should be.
  • If it’s any longer, put it into one sentence bullets. Also, rather than just skipping lines, use numbers or bullets.
  • It makes it easier for the brain to process for some reason.

3. Focus on Benefits.

  • Many marketers assume the benefits of their products are obvious.
  • But that’s because they are already educated about it.
  • Never assume the benefits of your product are obvious.
  • A benefit is always increasing something good or decreasing something bad.
  • Whether it’s happiness, costs, revenue, or pain, tell your audience what the benefit is and then briefly how your product brings them that benefit.

4. Use Simple Graphics.

  • A picture is worth a thousand words.
  • It’s much easier for people who process a simple graphic that gets the message across.
  • If chosen well, it can also elicit emotions in the audience which can inspire them to want to do business with you.

5. Write & Design for Mobile.

  • Most Internet browsing is now done on smartphones.
  • This is especially the case for busy people with money, who are generally your target customer.
  • People’s attention spans are even SHORTER on their phones. Content needs to be short sound bites like little Tweets.


  • If you’re not AB testing, you’re leaving money on the table… period.
  • Also, have someone senior periodically review the content. They typically will be able to see things and make suggestions that more junior marketers aren’t able to see (yet).

Fidget Spinners Go Viral, Become Fastest Growing Product Online Ever, Grows 2000% in 3 Months to Over $25M in Online Sales

Last week, all of the sudden, my 6-year-old son had to have a “fidget spinner.” It’s basically a ball-bearing spinner (like a top) that spins for over 2 minutes and you can do tricks with it. Turns out by the end of the week, pretty much everyone in his class had one. And people who didn’t have one yet were waiting for theirs to arrive in the mail. My co-workers’ kids also all have them now.

It occurred to me that this could be a part of a rare phenomenon where an unlikely and unpredictable product line just goes viral, like the pet rock or beanie babies (if we you were alive back then).

As a leader in e-commerce measurement, we’re in the unique position to actually quantify the volume happening with such trends. It’s a use case of our e-commerce insights suite that I think manufacturers should be using a lot more: identify new product trends before your competition.

Our e-commerce data confirms that fidget spinners are going viral right now. Over 30 million (projected) searches in our data last month! On Google Trends, there is almost as much search volume for ‘fidget spinner’ as there is for ‘Trump’.

In fact, based on search volume across major retailers like Amazon, fidget spinners are the fastest growing, high volume product line ever. Well, at least since we’ve been measuring e-commerce, which goes back to early 2014. The term ‘fidget spinner’ reached 1 million searches in the least amount of time. Between January and February 2017, search volume for ‘fidget spinner’ quadrupled. By the end of April, ‘fidget spinner’ had more than 25 million searches. We excluded smaller volume search terms from the analysis.


This massive growth in searches matches the trend of units sold and total sales of fidget spinners over time. The total number of fidget spinners sold online in April is 127 times greater than the number sold in January 2017. The amount of sales generated from fidget spinners in April online is 55 times greater than the total sales were in January 2017. No matter how you spin it, this product is experiencing massive growth!


For frame of reference, Fidget Spinner beat out top search terms by 300% including staples like laptops and the new Nintendo Switch.


Incidentally, I think I’ll start a “curtain” business. I had no idea people were searching so much for curtains online. I would not have guessed that to be a top 10 search.

CPG E-Commerce Surged 36% to over $10B in the U.S. in 2016

CPG E-Commerce Grows 36% in 2017

In July of 2016 we predicted based on 1H 2016 sales that consumer packaged goods (CPG) e-commerce sales would surpass $10 billion in the U.S. with 40% YOY growth. We were correct.

View our detailed CPG E-Commerce 2016 report here.

Here’s a copy of the press release and a summary:

1010data Releases Industry Report: Consumer Packaged Goods Online Sales Surge 36% and Hit $10 Billion in 2016 Across Key Categories

Health Supplements, Pet Care and Cosmetics Drove the Growth in 2016

NEW YORK – March 2, 2017 – 1010data, Inc., the only integrated platform that combines self-service data management and analytics at scale with ready-to-use data, today announced the results of its 2016 Online Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) Industry Report. For the first time since 1010data began tracking this market, online CPG sales across key categories surpassed $10 billion. Of the CPG categories tracked by 1010data, the largest ones were health supplements, pet care and cosmetics, each of which generated more than $1 billion in sales.

Total revenue for key CPG categories in 2016 was $10.4 billion, up from $7.6 billion in 2015. The 2016 data showed a nearly even split in revenue between the first and second halves of the year, implying that consumers are buying CPG products online year-round and not just during the holiday season. Key findings from 1010data’s report include:

  • Health Supplements Was the Biggest Online CPG Category – With $2.6 billion in sales, health supplements represented 25 percent of total key CPG category sales and exceeded the size of the next biggest category by $1 billion.
  • Pet Care Grew 67 Percent Year Over Year – Pet care was the fastest-growing category among categories with at least $500 million in sales. Driven by specialty pet care sites with brands like Chewy and Drs. Foster & Smith, “natural” products experienced the most growth.
  • Laundry & Dish and Cleaners Continued Growing Due to Pantry Box and Subscription Models – Of categories with less than $500M in sales, laundry & dish and cleaners experienced the most growth, because pantry box and subscription options from companies like Amazon, Boxed and Jet have enabled customers to conveniently order and re-order products.

1010data’s report also notes that online CPG sales across key categories grew twice as fast as total ecommerce sales, which had a 16 percent year over year growth rate in 2016. Increasingly, more online retailers are offering two-day shipping and subscription services, which is driving the acceleration in CPG sales growth.

By analyzing top search terms, 1010data found that most consumers who buy CPG products online started their search on Amazon. The top search term on-site across all CPG ecommerce sites was “prime pantry,” powerfully demonstrating the mass appeal of subscription services online.

“With CPG sales hitting $10 billion in sales online across key categories, online ecommerce is clearly no longer an afterthought for brands,” said Jed Alpert, Senior Vice President of Marketing at 1010data. “All CPG brands need to understand how consumers are shopping in their categories and consider how ecommerce can help deliver a better experience and complement in-store sales.”

For a free download of the full report, please click here.

About the Study

Throughout 2016, 1010data tracked numerous sources of spending data, representing millions of consumers, to provide an accurate assessment of online and offline retail sales and market share. 1010data focused its research on key CPG categories: health supplements, pet care, facial care, cosmetics, drinks, snacks, baby, hair care, health over-the-counter (OTC), oral care, cleaners, shaving, hand body, laundry & dish, and sun care.

Conversation with Born Again Christian Uber Driver

Born Again! The Holy Spirit is Now In Me!

Man, this was an unexpected and wildly entertaining Uber drive to the San Diego airport. After about 5 minutes, he launched right into it. I spent the whole time trying to steer him toward a rational argument that I could actually understand. It never happened. This happened instead.

I have come away thinking that certain religious people are so brainwashed that they are incapable if even hearing a rational argument to the contrary. It’s like the critical thinking part of their brain is completely turned off.

I respect that people should worship however they want. But when they preach, I think they should be better listeners and pay more attention to their audience.

Below is my recount of the conversation based on memory.

Al (Uber Driver): That would spread the gospel in that nation of Israel, but because they turned and did not recognize the Messiah, they continued in their evil ways, he has put them aside for a period of time, but he always has a remnant of believers as he says to Elijah, I have 7,000. There’s always been a remnant of Jewish believers that have faith in Yeshua and his words. Until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in, in the end, then all Israel will be saved. The Gentiles are to make the Jews jealous for their own God.

Me: Here’s an important question in my opinion. I think in order to have the conversation that we’re having, talking about the Scriptures is really cool, but you’re using Scriptures to-

Al (Uber Driver): I’m using the Hebrew.

Me: You’re using things that were written thousands of years ago as your arguments. What I’m asking for is something outside of Scriptures, something that’s more recent or some kind of evidence that-

Al (Uber Driver): The Jews always look for signs and wonders, is what they ask. Jesus did all the miracles and everything and they still don’t.

Me: We don’t know that. That was 2,000 years ago. The most recent Scripture that they found was 300 years after that.

Al (Uber Driver): My friend has 1 BC papyra with Isaiah on it. My friend has the world’s largest-

Me: The stories of Jesus were written down probably 50-100 years after he died, at a time that they didn’t even know that the world was round and what caused disease or what caused lightning and thunder and didn’t know what stars were. We’re expecting these people to have recorded properly-

Al (Uber Driver): They were eye witnesses and they were all Jewish.

Me: You don’t know that.

Al (Uber Driver): It says that in Scriptures.

Me: That was 2,000 years ago. Why don’t you trust the Egyptian books from 2,000 years ago. They have a totally different story.

Al (Uber Driver): They worshiped a pagan God.

Me: How do you know that your Scripture is the right one.

Continue reading “Conversation with Born Again Christian Uber Driver”

Feelings = Facts According to Republicans

I don’t support any political parties. Tribalism is the primary cause of violence and injustice. I dislike the D and R platforms, but for different reasons. This short video by John Oliver explains one of the reasons why I think Republican politicians are evil, corrupt, liars and idiots.

They basically admit that facts don’t matter and they are OK playing to peoples’ feelings regardless of what is actually true.

What Amazon’s Press Release Didn’t Tell You About Prime Day

Amazon’s second annual Prime Day came back with a vengeance. Last year, customers complained about a lack of enticing deals and limited availability on hot products to such a degree that the hashtag #PrimeDayFail started trending. As a result, Amazon promised to not disappoint their beloved Prime customers this time.

That promise paid off: Amazon announced that this was their biggest day ever; Prime Day sales increased 300% since last year. Amazon, however, left out specific information about which products, brands and categories won the day. Using 1010data’s Market Insights, we’re going to fill you in on everything that was not released by Amazon. We looked at the top 1000 items based on units sold and here’s what we uncovered.

View full post here: linkedin.com/pulse/what-amazons-press-release-didnt-tell-you-prime-day-aaron-mendes

Just Finished Watching The Big Short

Great movie. Gotta say, it’s pretty infuriating. And, as if we already forgot, the same cycle that keeps happening every 10-15 years is starting again just recently in 2015. Instead of a “credit default obligation” or CDO they are calling it a “bespoke tranche opportunity.” We really just don’t learn, do we? 

Bankers are always looking for a new fancy investment gimmick that can make them a bunch of money at the expense of the masses. I’ll be keeping a close eye on this development.


UPDATE 2016-07-25: I was actually lucky enough recently to meet the real person behind this movie, Steve Eisman, (played by Steve Carrell). I asked him about “bespoke tranche opportunities.” He said they are a non-event. They are not anywhere near as threatening as the ending of the movie implies. And he also said, as cynical as he is about the banks, he thinks history is not on track to repeat itself in the near future. Was refreshing to hear from the guy who foresaw the financial meltdown of 2008.