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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.

Words of Wisdom from Vinod Khosla

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Vinod Khosla and Kevin Delaney

Vinod Khosla is a seasoned Silicon Valley investor and entrepreneur who is unafraid to speak his mind, however controversial his ideas.

Last Friday, Vinod did just that during a fireside chat moderated by Quartz editor-in-chief Kevin Delaney at General Assembly’s New York City campus. The conversation was live streamed exclusively to subscribers of Front Row, GA’s monthly online learning service. Viewers were encouraged to submit questions for the Q&A section that followed.

Vinod shared his view on a wide variety of topics including innovation, success, and Elon Musk. We’ve highlighted a few of our favorite quotes below, but encourage you to watch the hour-long video:

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