Fun fact: Bloomberg keeps a “ wealth index” of the 100 richest people in the world. Ten of those individuals had no apparent headstart in life — they were born into poverty and didn’t have a college education. In my book Cumulative Advantage, I describe how all 10 of them took the same path to success. Indeed, it is a prescription for how we should all look at strategy and increasing our odds of success today.

What I discovered is that simply having a good idea is not enough to break through. …


I recently had an experience that reminded me of how we often overthink marketing. I observed our marketing discipline in a refreshingly simple form and wanted to share it with you.

I took some time off in Florida recently and spent a sleepy Saturday morning at an outdoor farmer’s market. This wasn’t your typical market filled with produce — it was around the town square of an extremely wealthy enclave of homes. Remember … I was VISITING! This was way out of my league.

My wife became preoccupied with some jewelry, and I was bored, so I started a conversation…


The cookie apocalypse rolls on, threatening our personalization and targeted ad efforts.

Google said it will block third-party cookies in Chrome soon, and that it won’t support any of the industry proposals for replacements.

This is something I predicted in my book Marketing Rebellion. Any time marketers take advantage of consumers, the consumers will revolt, and they will eventually win. The privacy moves by Apple and Google are simply a response to the inevitable.

There’s a lot at stake — online advertising is a $300 billion business and it pays for half the web!

My friends at SoloSegment recently produced…


I have written nine books and with each project, I grow and learn in extraordinary ways. I research, study, and write for two years. It’s like getting a new degree.

Since I have a smart global audience, it’s important for me always write in a manner that is clear and respectful to a diverse group of business professionals. I work so extremely hard on my books and I never want to see a review that says, “Mark is a great writer but the big dummy forgot about XYZ …”

So to make sure my work is thorough, complete, and relevant…


The people of the world have been whacked out by the fear, grief, and upheaval of a pandemic. Some of the consequences are obvious. We’ve learned new ways to work, shop, learn, connect, date, work out, and entertain ourselves, to name a few. But perhaps our marketing future will be determined by unintended consequences we can’t fathom at the moment.

It is going to take a long time to sort out what goes back to normal and what new norms transcend the pandemic. I’d like to want to share a weird little story that illustrates a much more subtle, and…


Today I would like to riff on a quote I saw the other day on LinkedIn. In fact, I would like to blow it apart. Here it is:

“When you strip everything away, marketing is the business of creating memories. This is how we create value for organizations.”

This quote came from a very well-respected senior marketing executive and it shows why I believe marketing is so lost today. Let me explain why.

The marketing fizz

Have you ever noticed the colored pull tabs on a can of soda or beer? They add a little splash of fun and color to an otherwise…


Is it just my imagination or is the topic of imposter syndrome being discussed everywhere these days?

Perhaps it’s the stress and insecurity of these COVID days or the new pressure to perform on so many social media channels, but there has been a lot of content on this topic lately.

Imposter syndrome refers to an internal experience of believing that you’re not as competent as others perceive you to be. It usually means you feel less worthy in social and public situations. Perhaps you may feel paralyzed to show up in an authentic and meaningful way.

The other day…


My friend Tiana Madera has an extraordinary podcast called “Torch.” She is one of the hardest-working podcasting professionals I know and I warmly recommend that you subscribe to her insightful show (expand your potential, spark your inner drive, find your voice!).

The other day, Tiana posted a quote from one of the guests on her show:

“Being famous on Instagram is basically the same as being rich in Monopoly.”

My first reaction was to laugh and think “yeah that is so right!” but then I thought about it some more and thought “wait … that is so wrong.”

Fame —…


I made a short and sweet video for you about some inspiration I received from my friend Ann Handley. If you prefer to read rather than view a video, an edited transcript about this idea of artisanal marketing appears below the video. Here we go!

Today I’m offering some ideas and observations on artisanal marketing inspired by a thank you note I received from Ann Handley.

There’s a cool lesson here that applies to content marketing, digital marketing, and even general business.

So let’s take a look at this thank you note, and the lesson that it taught me.


None of the people in this photo exist. They’re all deep fakes generated by a site called This Person Does Not Exist. Refreshing this site to see new pictures of made-up people is harmless fun. But what happens when these realistic fakes become moving images with voices and opinions?

What happens when one of these images is … you?

I host a small marketing leadership retreat called The Uprising. At our last online event, we had a mind-bending presentation from Nina Schick, the author of “Deep Fakes” explaining the implications of this emerging trend.

This discussion had a profound impact…

Mark Schaefer

Keynote speaker, strategy consultant, Rutgers University marketing faculty and author of 9 books including KNOWN, Marketing Rebellion, and Cumulative Advantage.

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