Bita Shahian, Author at General Assembly Blog

About Bita Shahian

Bita Shahian works for GA as an independent consultant. Shes great!

A Peek inside L.A.’s Flourishing Tech Companies: Nasty Gal, The Honest Company, Fullscreen and TOMS


On February 28, 2014, 10 aspiring tech entrepreneurs, winners of General Assembly’s LA Tech Insider’s Look Tour, embarked on a one-day exploration of L.A.’s most promising tech companies, traveling from Downtown to Culver City to Santa Monica, where they visited their headquarters and held discussions with founders and technical leaders. A special thank you to NastyGal, The Honest Company, Fullscreen, TOMS and Launchpad LA for supporting our winners on their adventure.

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A Deep Dive into the Future of Digital Marketing


Packed House at General Assembly's Los Angeles Campus

On November 11, 2013, General Assembly’s Los Angeles campus welcomed Michael Carney of PandoDaily and Greg Bettinelli of Upfront Ventures, two esteemed thought-leaders in the tech industry, for a fireside chat on topics in digital marketing. Here are three highlights from their conversation:

1. Good design is taking center-stage

Greg believes that thoughtful visual design should be embedded in the soul of a brand from inception; and should encompass UI, UX, copywriting and even the pitch deck (that means no Arial font). Marketing is a commodity, and very few companies grow organically purely though acquiring users; the goal should be to build an organic demand-side business.

2. Current marketing challenges

Greg claims that for digital marketers, cross-channel attribution is the “boogie man” under all of our beds and in our closets. The massive shift to the mobile world and the multitude of devices the average consumer uses on a daily basis is a huge pain point for marketers, as it is increasingly difficult to track consumers across multiple device platforms, in addition to the looming concern for user-data privacy.

Greg firmly believes that anything non-targeted and non-dynamic is not cost effective. This leaves room for new marketing channels that are popping up with innovative ad formats, most notably Instagram, which is incredibly powerful because of it’s reach and frequency of use.

3. Advice for aspiring digital marketers

For budding digital marketers who are on the lookout for strong role models in the space, Greg recommends checking out the very effective strategies of leading travel and real estate companies, which includes Zillow, Trulia, Kayak and Hotel Tonight.

Recommended readings for marketers include eMarketer, Sean Ellis’ new online community, MarketingLand and AdAge. The quarterly report from Mary Meeker on consumer and technology insights is also a must-read for marketers.

Perhaps no point better illustrates Greg’s outlook on digital marketing then the following takeaway: “The conversation you have with customers spans across your site/app, paid & earned marketing and overall packaging, so focus on getting the right customers and not just the sheer quantity of sign-ups.”

Interested in expanding your digital marketing repertoire?

Check out our digital marketing course offerings here.