Check yourself.




Facebook takes a big step towards improving the customer experience


We’ve just wrapped up BFCM weekend and Facebook is probably the last thing you want to hear about for a while. But, the company made a big purchase yesterday that could make communication with your customers a whole lot better.

What happened? Facebook bought Kustomer, an advanced CRM, for $1B. It’s a big acquisition for Zuck & Co, and here’s what it means for marketers going forward:

  • Kustomer specializes in advanced messaging and automation. The company has built AI systems and flows that can help you create detailed auto-responses for customers who reach out to your brand through chat or DMs.
  • Businesses using Messenger and WhatsApp could reap the benefits. Facebook, in an official announcement, stated that API updates to WhatsApp and Messenger will allow for easier integration with partners. This could mean that, in the near future, chatting with customers on Facebook platforms is more streamlined.

You can read more about the acquisition here, and you can browse Kustomer’s offerings here. Facebook clearly hopes that the acquisition will help businesses on its platform be able to automate repetitive tasks and messages easier.

PS: Raise your hand if you think that Facebook itself needs better customer service too…


Check yourself before you wreck yourself

It’s easy to want to jump straight into e-commerce. After all, those out-of-context, $10k per day Shopify screenshots aren’t going to take themselves.

But if you’re going to start an e-commerce brand, it’s a good idea to listen to successful business owners on what they wish they knew before they started.

Eric Bandholz, founder of Beardbrand, recently took to Twitter with a brilliant thread of things he wishes he’d known before starting his business. It’s a long thread, but here are some of the key points:

  • Don’t get too crazy. Eric recommends focusing on your core profitable products and your local market before going gangbusters with expansion. Building a portfolio of underperforming products is dangerous.
  • Email is important. Build automated email flows as soon as you’re able to – it’s 100% worth it. And, Eric says that the best way to get email addresses is by selling products.
  • Keep things in-house and short-term, to start. Eric recommends creating ads in-house to start. And advises against signing a long-term contract unless you’ve been working with the vendor for years.

There’s plenty more golden advice in the full Twitter thread. Give it a read here!


“Hi, my name is Monica and I want to tell advertisers looking to scale Native Advertising the secret to not losing money.”

Let’s say you try Native on your own and don’t know or have the right technology, you’ve lost before you even started. Going from network login to network login and using 3-4 hour-long reporting delays is a fool’s errand.

The secret is right in front of you: use the best technology that fixes the pain points of buying native while letting someone else manage the buys for you.

Maximus Native was created to dominate the native landscape with real-time data reporting for clicks, spend, & revenue, with the ability to make instant optimizations to ads & landing pages for our internal media buying team.

Of course, you could license Maximus from us for a reasonable price but that’s only half the battle. What else do I need to make this work, you say? Infrastructure already built for success locked and loaded with:

Established relationships with top network reps (Whitelists with the gold mine of traffic)
In house design team for custom creatives and assets
Over 20+ years of media buying experience

Our buyers leverage Maximus Native with established network relationships to gain access to the highest quality native sources including MSN, AOL, YAHOO, and FOX.

We are offering our agency services only to advertisers who know there is a pile of gold scaling Native Advertising but don’t have the time.

Ready to sit back and start collecting more checks? Start here by telling us about your offer.


Story-driven marketing: Tell, don’t sell


You know what Black Friday is, but have you ever heard about Force Friday?

It is a Star Wars merchandising event, created to celebrate the launch of Star Wars merchandising products.

According to analyst estimates, a Star Wars movie year is worth $5-$7 billion in merchandising revenue for Disney.

Stories are one of the best tools you can use to drive sales, and the Star Wars merchandise business is a ten figure example. That being said, it’s easy when you’ve got Han Solo and Baby Yoda selling your gear. So easy that you get to declare your own merchandise holiday…

However, there have been plenty other times when famous movies caused product sales to spike.

Back in 1986, in the seven months after the release of Top Gun, the sales of Ray Ban’s aviator sunglasses reportedly jumped by 40%.

Surprised? Read this:

When the movie came out, navy leaders said the movie led to a surge in interest at recruiting offices.

Men around America, hyped by the Maverick’s story, decided to join the military, thanks to a fictional movie.

Speaking of persuasion: This is living proof that a well-told and exciting story can create a cult of raving fans, without so much as an ask.

A recent example is The Queen’s Gambit. Have you watched it? It’s a trending Netflix series centered around the life of a female chess player during the Cold War.

The series was so inspiring that chess sets sales shot sky-high.

The unit sales of chess sets jumped 87% in the U.S., while chess book sales rose 603%. eBay reported a 215-percent spike in sales of chess sets and accessories following the debut of the show.

If these stories inspired you to include storytelling in your marketing, or improve it, this is just another proof that good stories work…

Get out there and share one!



CYBER MONDAY: It looks like this year’s Cyber Monday didn’t quite live up to the hype for everyone, with Dan Snow reporting that e-commerce sales on Shopify are lagging behind Black Friday. We don’t have final numbers yet, but it appears that the e-commerce push on Friday may have caused some burnout for shoppers.

INSTAGRAM: A new collaborative story has launched to celebrate the season of giving. Through today, Instagram is encouraging people to support nonprofits and small businesses.

YOUTUBE: Will changing your title and thumbnail get you more views with the algorithm? Find out the answer to that (and more questions) in this recent video.

MARKETING: Sure, you’ve heard about OnlyFans – but have you ever taken a deep dive into the platform’s growth and marketing? It grew far faster than other creator platforms this year, and Peter Yang breaks down some of the fundamentals behind the platform.

FACEBOOK: The UK will be the second country (after the US) where the company will launch Facebook News. The dedicated News tab will be released in January.


How many countries does Spain share a land border with? Hint: It’s not as obvious as it might seem.

You can find the solution here.


Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

It had to be aliens


There’s been a story circulating for a couple of weeks that’s *almost* made this Poolside Chat section a few times since the news broke. And since it looks like we’ve finally got a conclusion to that story, we’ll talk about it today.

Note: For a better experience, play the X-Files theme song while reading this.

Here’s how it started: A couple of weeks ago, a helicopter flying over a remote section of Utah spotted a 12-foot tall silver monolith in the middle of the desert.

It was pretty much unexplainable, and the internet had a field day with theories about how it could have gotten there – and more importantly, who could have put it there. In fact, a Reddit community called r/FindTheMonolith racked up thousands of members in days.

In a matter of days, people figured out that the monolith was installed sometime between 2015 and 2016, based on satellite imagery.

The ending to the mysterious story finally broke this week: The monolith has disappeared. Was it taken by the person who put it there? Stolen by a pack of highschoolers? We’ll chalk it up to aliens.

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