B2B case study, simple brands, episodic content – and more! Here are this week's recommendations.

I've been going down the rabbit hole of craft coffee lately.

Turns out, it is similar to learning marketing in one crucial way.

When you first start off brewing specialty coffee, you're looking for recipes. How many grams of coffee? What is the ideal grain size for an excellent V60? How hot should the water be? You're looking for concrete answers and think, "If I can only make sure I do EXACTLY as told, it'll all be perfect."

As you get some practice, you learn that recipes are B.S.

It's not about recipes – it's about principles.

For example, you learn that a different type of roast needs to be ground at a different coarseness. So the answer to the question "What is the correct grinder setting?" quickly becomes "It depends."

As you progress, you forget about the recipes and focus on the principles. A lighter roast needs higher water temperature. If you taste the coffee is too bitter, it's probably over-extracted and you should adjust your brewing time. And so on.

The same process occurs as you learn more about marketing. At first, you're looking for a recipe. But good marketers stick to guiding principles. They test and adjust depending on the context or the results from the previous experiment.

This is why you need to get familiar with "It depends." You need to embrace it. Learn to enjoy it. There's no bigger kick than testing things out on your own and learning what works for you.

And that goes for both craft coffee and marketing.

Test your way to success,

⭐️ P.S. Where are you along the 'recipes to principles' journey of marketing knowledge? Drop me a line, and I'll try to give you some recommendations on how to progress!

Will this content help someone?
Go ahead and forward it!

Was the email forwarded to you?
Then get your own subscription!


Vassy's studio setup. Check out more about the course in the links below!

Pantone Color of the Year: When Marketing is the New Black

Every year, Pantone selects a new color that represents the current cultural climate. 'Color of the Year' is a marketing masterpiece that serves many crucial goals and injects excitement into the boring business of color standardization. I went down the rabbit hole and explored the campaign's origins, the process of selecting the color, and the promotion strategies that make 'Color of the Year' such a success. 


whole and cut pieces of fruit, symbolizing content repurposing

Study: Google named world’s “simplest” brand
This is an older story and the news value isn't why I'm sharing it with you. The interesting bit here is the discussion about the importance of simplicity and why it matters. Simplicity improves retention and preference. It's a way to deliver value to the audience. And, frankly, too many companies are bloating their products with additional features, making them harder to understand and use. This is a reminder that 'simple' is better than 'omnipotent'.

How to Invest in Episodic Content that Promotes Itself
Rand Fishkin says episodic content is "the best kind of long-term content investment most online brands can make" – and I definitely agree. However, there are a lot of challenges, especially with keeping a consistent schedule and promoting your content. This article will give you a flywheel framework to follow for success.

How To Write Meta Descriptions That Win A Ton Of Clicks
Meta titles and descriptions are your window to Google users. Nail them, and your CTR skyrockets – and your positions in the SERP go with it. This article will give you some ideas for making your meta description do the heavy lifting. There's a simple formula: This is a [what it is]. Learn how to [add the benefit] with this [describe it].

The Anatomy of an Amazon 6-pager
Amazon is famous for doing things differently. I love their approach to important meetings where team members get some required reading. This post covers the 6-pager format Amazon uses for planning key project priorities. I'd definitely implement something like that if I ever join a 'real' company again because it forces both the presenter and the audience to do the work and actually focus on meaningful discussions.

Provable Marketing Attribution is a Boondoggle; Trust Your Gut Instead
I might've shared this before, but it bears repeating. In the constant quest for measurable results, we might over-correct and miss some great opportunities because they aren't as measurable. But here's the kick: nothing is truly measurable. So you need to develop your soft analytical skills and start making some difficult judgments.


whole and cut pieces of fruit, symbolizing content repurposing

Course cohort training start on January 17

Most of my 'Strategic Content and Messaging' course is pre-recorded and available to watch at your convenience. But if you sign up for the Group Training tier, you also get access to 5 live sessions where we'll discuss content marketing and copywriting. There are also a few surprise guests jumping in - a mix of practitioners in strategy, audience research, content marketing, measurement, and more. 


Well, these were certainly on my reading list – hope you find them valuable.


Share the newsletter and get something useful

If you enjoy the newsletter, I'd love your help to spread the word! Share it with friends and colleagues who might benefit from it. And if you do, you'll get some special bonuses!

Here's how: You have a custom referral link (see below). Just copy and paste it into an email, on social media, or however else you'd like to share it. If others sign up through it, you'll get access to templates, monthly consulting sessions, and more to come!

Generate your unique referrer link here!

Not your cup of tea? You can always unsubscribe (but I'll miss you!)