Your 2024 Marketing Starting Lineup

Your 2024 Marketing Starting Lineup

2023 was a spectacular year for marketing podcasts! All my friends at Marketing Podcast Network absolutely crushed it. And for my little show, the Marketing Starter Podcast, well, we had a pretty darn good year. We got some big bumps in listenership and hosted 21 world-class guests! I wrapped up the year with a fantastic episode on customer experience with Dan Gingiss, aka The Experience Maker, but there were many other great marketing minds that I got to sit down with throughout the year.

It all started with my good friend and founder of CMO Huddles, Drew Neisser, where we talked about Selling (Marketing) through service. Soon after, I got to hang out with Robin Daniels and talk about how to remove the tension between brand building and delivering results. Then I met with Kent Lewis, Hema Thanki, Karla Jo Helms ★, and Ethan Beute, MBA, to name a few more. Every guest had a unique take on starter marketing that formed from their unique backgrounds and work styles. From product marketers to public relations leaders, chief marketing officers to chief evangelists, we put pins all over the map!

2024 is bound to be even better. Today I’m kicking off season 4 this week with my first guest of the new season, Bryan Law, CMO of ZoomInfo. We dug deep into how being distinctive is more valuable than being different – a great tip for marketing starters kicking off the new year.

Be on the lookout for interviews with Ali Hanyaloglu, Dorothea Bozicolona-Volpe, Steven MacDonald,  Oliver JP Osborne, and more in 2024!

Have a listen and tune in twice a month at or on your favorite platform.


3 Considerations For Marketers When Chasing AI

3 Considerations For Marketers When Chasing AI

By now, every marketer is aware of AI, as it’s the hottest issue in marketing since email marketing debuted nearly 40 years ago, and everyone has been talking about it in depth this year. Most of the content out there to date has been focused on getting the world up to speed on all the interesting tools that marketers have at their disposal and how to use them to ease marketing efforts.

But the question is, just because AI is the shiny new toy for marketers to play with, should you? My quick take is, yes, why not, as long as you dont use a set-it-and-forget-it attitude. In this article, I want to call attention to a few things to consider before you jump into AI head first.

1. Brand & Tone

Let’s be honest, robots sound like robots and if you copy and paste from Chat GPT, your customers will sniff it out. AI is fantastic at writing information based on what it learns about your business, but it doesn’t understand your brand’s complete uniqueness, yet. Human oversight is essential, as AI algorithms lack the contextual understanding required for more complex brand communication. It can however discern patterns and nuances that define a brand’s voice by analyzing vast volumes of consumer interactions and content that already exists about your business.

2. Confidentiality & Privacy

AI-powered analytics let you process vast amounts of consumer data, so you can tailor marketing campaigns. However, this capability raises concerns about the confidentiality of personal medical information — if it’s a concern for your customer, then it should be a concern for you. As AI delves deep into consumer behaviors and preferences, there’s an inherent risk of mishandling sensitive data, potentially leading to breaches of confidentiality and privacy. Striking the right balance between utilizing AI’s insights and safeguarding customer information has become paramount.

3. Differentiation

Back to my brand voice point above… If you just copy and paste what AI creates for you, then how will you maintain differentiation and a competitive edge? You have to be intent and specific in the way that you use AI and make sure that you aren’t doing the same thing that every other business is doing. Through data-driven insights, AI can distill invaluable information about consumer preferences, behaviors, and trends, allowing marketers to craft more targeted and relevant offerings. The key here is never forgetting who you are as a brand and what you believe in and keep it unique.

The Sum

From personalized customer experiences to enhanced engagement, and data-driven insights to predictive analytics, AI is redefining how marketers connect with their audience and operate within their landscapes. The integration of AI not only improves marketing operational efficiency but also enables marketers to provide more personalization and stand out from the competition. Ultimately, AI empowers marketers to embody innovation, customer centricity, and adaptability and ultimately helps them be more human in their approach to marketing.

This post was originally posted in partnership with PCCA on their blog in a pharmacy marketing format.

Celebrating My Book-Versary

Celebrating My Book-Versary

This week I celebrate the one-year anniversary of publishing my very first book, The Marketing Starter: How an Entrepreneurial Spirit Will Make You a More Savvy Marketer. And after selling a ton of copies, giving a ton more away, collecting some fantastic reviews, and of course, helping fellow marketers, I can safely say it’s been quite a year!

From time to time I have people ask me how sales are going, but honestly, as cheesy as it may sound, that was something I never cared too much about. Sure, sales have been pretty good for a first-time author, but it’s not like I pine over my Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account every night watching my sales tick up. Actually, I think I have peeked at it a total of twice since launch.

What I cared about were two things. One, offering great advice to business folks searching for a unique path to navigate their careers, and two, building my personal brand, adding to my resume and checking a very cool item off my bucket list (I can say that now that I’m 40).

It was a great time to publish when the book came out in early 2022; the world was looking a bit brighter as the pandemic was finally weaning and business seemed to be getting back to normal. Now, especially in marketing, we’re starting to see more market uncertainty, which only further validates my hypothesis that marketers need to forge a starter path to make it.

Whatever comes in the future, I do know this: writing a book was one of the most challenging things that I have done in both my personal and professional life — especially learning to self-publish!

Just like last year, it’s time to pop some champagne!

Would you kindly help me celebrate by nominating me for the AMA’s Leonard L. Berry Marketing Book Award? All you need to do is click the link above to create a quick nomination account and fill out the form. Here’s everything you need:

  • Author’s Name: Tim Hines
  • Exact Title of the marketing book: The Marketing Starter: How an Entrepreneurial Spirit Will Make You a More Savvy Marketer
  • Date Published: March 28, 2022
  • Publishers Name: Marketing Starter Publishing

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read the book, and this post, and nominating me for the award!

Events are Back and so am I

Events are Back and so am I

Just like everyone else in 2020 and 2021, it felt like life was put on hold both personally and professionally. Sure, I kept the hustle going and made time to travel as circumstances would allow, but my passion for speaking and sharing ideas with the world certainly took a big pause.

When there are no events, there are no speaking gigs to be had.

I was able to do a few virtual conferences to keep the craft alive, but sitting in my home office dressed from the waist up is not the same as taking the stage in front of hundreds of eager minds all jazzed up from new ideas and in-person connection.

The great news is that events were back in 2022, which means so was I. I was able to pick up my speaking business once again and get back on the road sharing ideas and vibing with the crowd. For me, it all kicked off in Houston at AMA Houston’s Marketing Edge conference in January, where honestly, I felt like me again — feeding off the energy of the crowd, telling jokes, and sharing some hot takes.

It was so refreshing!

From there I crisscrossed the country from San Diego to Boston, Vegas to Kansas City, to keynote at 17 different events in marketing, pharmaceuticals, e-commerce, business travel, and healthcare. I even reached a professional milestone: speaking internationally for the very first time at the Global Business Travel Association European conference in Brussels in November.

Beyond that, I had the opportunity to do my first emceeing gig at DigiMarCon and Product Marketing World — which led to Akeneo hiring me to host their North American customer conference in Boston.

I guess I’m a professional emcee now, too!

The excitement for events was back in the air and that helped to drive some serious inspiration for me as a content creator. I was able to hone my craft and create some new talks that have given audiences and event organizers new insights. All of my content is now positioned about H2H or human-to-human communication (which, in business, we would think is a no-brainer). However, we seem to be drifting further and further away from H2H as time goes on. My talk on post-digital, Gen Y & Gen Z, and of course H2H all speak to this and professionals from a wide range of backgrounds have found them to be very inspirational and insightful.

All told, 2022 was a great year and it felt so good to be back on the road and on the stage. I’m looking forward to 2023 and everything it has in store.

See you on the road!

5 Tips to Survive the Post-Digital Age

5 Tips to Survive the Post-Digital Age

Some of us may be old enough to remember when the interstate freeways in the U.S. were built and transported people across the country in a matter of days and created the infamous suburban flight. And it wasn’t long before advertisers saw the benefit of erecting 50-foot tall banners to display their messages to commuters. Today, these billboards have become not much more than an aging distraction.

Here’s a news flash… our digital advertising is going the way of the freeway billboard.

In the new post-digital world, digital is now the boring normal and B2B marketers must find new ways to stand out to their audiences. Marketers need to immediately halt recycling their digital methods that numb potential buyers into a slow digital death. Post-digital marketers can mix up their strategies to reach buyers where and how they want, with the right message to win new business.

Here are my 5 tips to consider when working toward implementing your post-digital strategy:

  1. Don’t be selfish – It’s so easy to market yourself, but it’s not as easy to market a solution. We must not get caught up with glorifying our brand and focus on what the customers’ needs are and try to reach them where and how they want to be reached. I can tell you right now that it’s not through pop up ads!
  2. Creatively stand out – To avoid the billboard effect, we need to find new ways to stand out. We can supplement our digital with more content, conversational selling, account-based marketing, engaging influencers, or even hyper-personalization with hand-written notes. What is old can be new again!
  3. Deliver massive value – Customer expectations are at an all-time high and we must strive to meet them constantly (billboards won’t do it). Luckily it is easier than ever to listen to customers and understand what they want. Leverage the wealth of behavioral data from customers and prospects to better understand them and market with more value.
  4. Don’t expect purchases on first click – This should go without saying and could have been easily lumped in with the being selfish point, but just because you have a great campaign doesn’t mean someone will buy. Listen up sales people! Marketing is a journey of building trust and nurturing prospects before they buy – which is becoming more and more common in B2B. We need to reach them with multiple touch points like in point 2.
  5. Cultivate a user (human) experience – In the book, Marketing Rebellion: The Most Human Company Wins by Mark Shaefer, he teaches that marketers who behave the most human will build the deepest and longest-lasting connections with their audiences. So, we must think like humans, not products or services, to connect with humans to ultimately make a sale.

I recently gave a talk on this very subject at the Product & Growth Summit this past September, where I covered what marketers can do to step up their game. I also went a little deeper into the concept of post-digital – you can watch the talk here ?

Get the slides here ? 

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3 Reasons to Say YES to Virtual Events

3 Reasons to Say YES to Virtual Events

Like all speakers over the past 18 months, I have seen my speaking career deflate like a helium balloon two days after a 10-year-old’s birthday party. The pandemic response has all but wiped out the live events industry, forcing resourceful groups to hack their way through creating virtual meetings and conferences, thus limiting the volume and scope of engagements for speakers.

If you would have asked me a few years ago if I would have attended all-day virtual conferences and spoken to large groups while sitting in my home office wearing workout shorts — and that this would become a cross-industry norm — I would have said ‘HELL NAW!’

Alas, this is the world we live in now. The good news is, live events are picking back up and even amidst this new Delta surge, in-person events are visible on the horizon.

I have attended and participated in a few virtual conferences and while they are lackluster compared to their in-person counterparts (Zoom fatigue is real), they are a great place to sharpen your speaking skills and practice your material. Think of how a stand-up comic will hit up an open mic or two to try out new material between tours. Even the greats stop by for random late night, unpaid bits at the Comedy Cellar.

I’ve got a few reasons why you should say YES to virtual speaking gigs until we’re back to normal.

  1. Keeps You Sharp – Just like how your muscles will atrophy after skipping the gym for six months, so will your speaking skills. Certainly there’s no better way to fine tune your delivery than the adrenaline-pumping experience of dominating a stage in front of hundreds of attendees, but that’s just not a reality right now. So, instead of hanging up your dancing, I mean speaking, shoes, get your practice in at virtual events. You can still create great content and honestly, it’s an even bigger challenge to keep someone’s attention online vs. in a ballroom for 45 minutes. There are just so many distractions at home.
  2. Keeps you consistent – Just like a job seeker, a speaker shouldn’t have huge gaps of time with no activity. Granted, event planners and content curators will completely understand this 2020-21 gap or lull that all speakers will have in their resume, but wouldn’t it be great to have a slight edge over the competition? So even if your engagements are virtual, it’s good to have that engagement listed in your timeline even if the footnote is that the event was 100% online.
  3. Keeps you relevant – Every pro knows that this speaking thing is a bit of a popularity contest. And the most popular speakers win. When you keep up your appearances, even when virtual, it helps to keep you top of mind and gives planners something to talk about and reference. Virtual engagements, while seemingly less impactful, can and will keep you relevant especially because many of the events that perhaps you would have spoken at in-person have now moved online.

The bottom line is this: virtual events may not be as glamorous or have a big draw, but they do offer the ability to keep up regular speaking and create an opportunity for continued exposure. So, even though they pay pennies or sometimes nothing at all, bite your tongue before you blurt out a sharp NO. Take the opportunity to do something lightweight where you can try out some new material, or venture into a business sector that you haven’t tried before. In the world of speaking, there’s always something new to learn, even if it’s virtual. So, keep an open mind and take what you can get to stay sharp, relevant and consistent.

Have a look at my recent session on how Gen Y and Gen Z are reshaping travel and work with the Oregon BTA from the comforts of my home office ?

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