Gmail Hoping To Improve Open Rates With Image Heavy Grid View

When Gmail switched their e-mail layout to include a Promotions tab, e-mail marketers were thrown a curveball.

Instead of having subscribed marketing e-mails appear amongst their typical e-mails, Gmail users suddenly found a world of segregation. There are now three inboxes, “Primary”, for your main mail, “Social”, involving all of your networks, and “Promotions”, a new home for e-mail marketing messages. With the Promotions tab acting as a modern spam filter, users were less likely to click through to advertising e-mail content, affecting every organization sending newsletter content.

Thankfully, Gmail has announced the new Grid View, an ideal response to marketer’s very real concerns surrounding open rates.  Grid View gives marketers the opportunity to entice their audience, while readers get the best of both worlds – convenience, in an attractive, image heavy preview setting.

Gmail Promotions Tab Marketing

Gmail is currently accepting accounts willing to field test the feature, which offers convenient message style swapping, in case you find you would rather see the current text only view.


Thoughts on The Art of Marketing

A week later, we’re still amazed and inspired by the conference. There were many high value takeaways, but Seth Godin, Brian Wong and Keith Farrazzi were our personal highlights.  Through encouragement for authenticity and originality, lessons in personal humility and perseverance to cultivating profitable relationships, The Art of Marketing Vancouver was a definite hit.


Seth Godin.

Without a doubt, our favorite speaker at the event was the legendary Seth Godin. He inspired us to stand out, and railed against going with the crowd, lest we fit in, and become easy to ignore.

With powerful statements and an unflinching stage presence, Godin powered through his hour-long presentation in what felt like no time, with the audience hungry for more.  Being empowered by a leader who believes in working differently is an inspiration within the marketing world, where many still believe that to be average is to reach the largest audience.

“If I was going to a #StarWars convention, I wouldn’t dress up as one of the anonymous guys” -Seth Godin

Godin’s presentation was about distinction.  When you distinguish yourself from the rest by not competing in the typical upstream swim, but find another river of your own to cultivate, and people will notice.

Mass marketing isn’t efficient anymore. There are more weird people than there are normal.” -Seth Godin

Godin reminded us that tastemakers are no longer what most companies would call “normal”; the diatribes from earlier in the century that made every person want to be like the other no longer exist.  Classical normalcy has been replaced by specialized tribes of people, creating a balance of trends like never before.

Other favourite Seth-isms regarding risk taking:

 “The guy who invented the ship also invented the shipwreck”

 “You’ve been trained to hold back”

 “You don’t need to create a subculture, you just need to show up and lead them”


Brian Wong.

Our other highlight from the day was Brian Wong, of Kiip.  Brian was inspiring, with his infectious love for what he does and clear passion for his product, and the brands he has aligned himself with.

Between Brian regaling us with the story of his first job, first layoff and eventual success at Kiip, he was a highly refreshing, engaging and very funny speaker to take in.  Brian’s talent for business was matched by his humility in front of his audience, which ensured every member of the audience was in tune with his message.


Keith Ferrazzi.

A surprise was the human emotion that Ferrazzi was able to pull out of us. He managed to build a story around his personal life to inspire others in the workplace. His lessons went beyond how to connect with people at work, but how to be a better person in general, is something we need from time to time.

Keith had a lot to share surrounding the value of relationships and marketing.  With a fired up passion, Keith communicated the importance of tending relationships with people we know, those we could know better and those people we’ve been avoiding (we all have them).

The highlight of his speech was when Keith took us through a memory of his childhood, when his poverty stricken father went to a wealthy homeowner, to ask permission to take the child’s bike they had sitting with their weekly trash.  Keith mentioned that he had been embarrassed, but his father had lived by the adage “you never know, until you ask”.  After requesting to take the bike, the woman who answered the door provided him with a motorized go-kart, a significant upgrade to the original toy.

That story had us entranced, and with that, Keith closed with his People Plan – a document of goals of who you will be improving relationships on a timeline.  We felt so inspired, we hit the streets of downtown Vancouver in a near daze.


Art of Marketing Conference in Vancouver

The Art of Marketing 2014 conference is taking place next week, at The Centre in Vancouver For Performing Arts. We are incredibly excited to see the year’s big draw, Seth Godin, author of Purple Cow, Linchpin, The Icarus Deception, and more.  We’ve flown through all of his books, podcast episodes and blog posts, and we can’t wait to hear his latest groundbreaking lecture in person.

Here’s Seth discussing how we should reconsider the term “artist”:

Godin’s first publication was the landmark marketing text Purple Cow, where many quickly realized his keen insights into marketing and entrepreneurship. Godin’s brilliance mimics that of a great observational comic, namely his ability to look at everyday things and convert them into topics and angles that haven’t been considered.

Godin is also highly enthusiastic about what he does, which makes him all the more persuasive.

Let’s connect! If you’re there and want to chat about Seth Godin, hit me up on at

Facebook’s Fake Likes Should Make You A Better Advertiser

The popular video below makes a compelling argument not to advertise on Facebook. It’s been sent to us a few times for clarification and makes a ton of great points, but misses a few key ones.

Advertising his Virtual Cat, or Virtual Bagel to a global audience will generate fake likes and drive up cost. This is true, but what business doesn’t understand their audience enough to advertise to everyone in the world regardless of location, behaviour, or interest?

Of course there are click farms which can deplete your budget, but this should make your targeting options stricter, and force you to further define your audience. The reason online advertising is so effective is that we now have options to target exact audiences, and no longer require the broad blanket advertising methods of traditional mediums. Dancing around these click farms forces advertisers to be better and improve their strategy.

The video makes some very necessary and valid points, but unless you’re advertising to everyone in the world regardless of age, demographic or interests, this should be a non factor.


Job Posting: Search Marketing Specialist (Vancouver)

Search Marketing Vancouver Job

We’re on the hunt for another great Search Marketing person! If you or someone you know has some great experience in SEM & SEO, please drop us a line so we can chat.


Position Overview

We are looking for an experienced SEM / SEO person that can show great results from their past work. This person needs to live in the Vancouver area. It’s a full time position.

About Us

We’re a small digital marketing shop in Gastown, Vancouver. We execute data driven campaigns for clients across Canada and some in the US. We’re growing and have a lot of opportunity for those that can demonstrate their expertise. We’re very Search heavy, and do a lot of media planning and online media buys.


Your Responsibilities

  • PPC Management
  • Technical management of campaigns
  • SEO planning and integration
  • Reporting and updates on progress
  • Analytics and analysis
  • Social Media posting and management


Skills & Experience

  • Considerable experience in both SEO & SEM
  • You get the web inside and out
  • You’re mainly technically driven
  • Degree or diploma in a relative field
  • Familiar with front end code
  • Lots of experience with Excel
  • Ability to write in English at a University level
  • Facebook advertising management & execution
  • Ability to generate blog posts and create content
  • Ability to work as part of a team and understand ongoing client needs



  • Salary range is $40k-$65k+ depending on experience and performance
  • Performance bonuses
  • Education/Conference/Travel allowance
  • We’re reasonable people. If you need something, we’ll try and make it work.


Contact Us

Fire a resume over to and take a few moments to introduce yourself. While we’re only hiring for one position at present, we don’t expect that it will be long until we’re looking for more people, so we’re happy to get to know you even if this isn’t the exact time for you to join us.

And thanks in advance for the work you put into your application.

For reference, please visit our Search Marketing services page.

Facebook Friends Visualized

Thanksgiving 2013 – Flight Timelapse Video

This video shows the airspace on Thanksgiving, 2013 in the US. It’s always amazing to see data visually described in such a way. It tells a pretty powerful story.

Google: More Pages Does Not Mean Better Rankings

Here’s Google’s Matt Cutts explaining that adding more pages does not mean you’re going to rank higher for search queries. It expands the possibilities for more keyword opportunities, but Google doesn’t take page numbers into account when boosting ranks.

Also, his shirt changes colour.


Vancouver Gifs

Online Tourism Is Getting Parodied

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