Rebecca Caroe and Sam Irvine, two people on screen discussing AI

Marketing with AI – a warning

Sam Irvine is CEO of Copyright Licensing New Zealand – as a B2B marketer he understands the use cases for AI and marketing. There are two main ones, you can use it internally to manage processes as organisational AI and secondly for external outputs like campaigns and marketing material creation.

Good and Bad AI Actors

Sam acknowledges the time saving benefits of AI and he warns that many LLM training sets were created with scraped data taken without permission. He notes some legal cases in USA and Europe currently challenging this – Books3 which has 200,000 books pirated from the internet has been taken down after a  law suit.

The days of tech startups seeking forgiveness not permission are over.

New Zealand has a cross-party political group looking at AI right now but there aren’t yet any legal cases being heard.

Sam’s advice to marketers

Be careful about which tools you choose to use – are they ethical and responsible?

Nvida and Adobe have licensed all the images they use from Shutterstock and other photo libraries. The original creator is paid when you use their AI generated images.

A closed AI is one developed internally and trained on the organisation’s own data.

An open AI uses public data.

Three risks of using open AI

  1. Your input data will be added to the training set. Is this confidential information that you are authorised to put into the public domain? Sam warns against adding client data into an open AI system.
  2. The output you get could include copyright material taken from the LLM training set which could put you into the courts.
  3. You might get an answer which is wrong. Be careful around fact checking those outputs.

As the data sets are being withdrawn, the information used by open AI models is now getting older and less relevant. It’s incumbent on all of us marketers to use AI in the right way and embrace it while protecting ourselves and our clients.

Copyright NZ has courses on copyright, contracts and agreements including AI.

Watch Rebecca’s interview with Sam Irvine


Threads social – early thoughts

It launched. The “new” rival to Twitter. And there have been many attempts to become serious players in the social media space. Read the list of Launch > Defunction > Acquisition > Milestone.

Meta will be closely watching our early behaviour on the platform. What we do now may well influence the features, algorithm and future they build for Threads.

This is a rare opportunity to scale a new social media site backed by someone with the money and experience to do it differently (and frankly, Zuck needs some good publicity). Meta will start by doing everything to prove they are not Twitter, not Musk and will be using all their experience and expertise to make Threads a success. They probably won’t be able to resist monetising Threads in due course, but right now this is terraforming in real time. It’s exciting to watch and fun to participate.

How will ThreadsApp play out? My thoughts based on having being a social media user since August 2007 including 7 themes to watch are below. But first… what was ea

My Twitter bio

Halcyon days of the past

What was it like being on social media in 2007 – 2012?

At the time I was in London, part of a group which met in a cafe every Friday and shared, learned together and hacked our way through what had changed on blogs and social in the past week. We all learned a ton and it was a free-flowing exchange of ideas IRL which bonded us. We discouraged advertising and direct selling. We worked together based on what people said, did and knew.

Hats off to Lloyd Davies who founded the Tuttle Club group and thank you for introducing me to amazing bloggers (because those were our roots) like Euan , Kevin Whatley, Jemima Gibbons, SoloBass Steve Lawson, Toby Moores, Adriana Lukas, Mike Sizemore. You know who you are.

The free-for-all nature of discovering and learning was a heady drug. It was untainted by marketers and salesfolk. We read and liked and followed what interested us.

Yes the feed was a “firehose” which was unfiltered. But the scale was mostly manageable.

It was peppered with cute and meaningless features like “Pokes” and Throwing Sheep…. really.

Social media now

Today this world is transformed into a money making machine. From both sides – advertisers and brands chucking out messages, links, offers and “exclusive” discounts while users are far more tribal, abusive and clustered into pockets of mutual interest around news, sport and politics.

From a brand point of view it’s not all bad.

But we have had to get used to the slow inevitability of what Cory Doctorow calls the “enshittification” of each and every social media platform.

When a company is neither disciplined by competition nor by regulation, enshittification inevitably ensues.

They move from fun playground, to competitive boxing ring, to the gradual withdrawal of beneficial privileges into a paid-only format. Each step makes the experience less fun, less participative (unless you pay) and makes us ever more skilful at muting, filtering and speed reading. The pleasure and

The promise of Threads

What should you do now?

Dive over there now and join ThreadsApp (it’s in the App and Play Stores). When you get there, read and watch and learn and understand what a “pure” social media network is like before the negative influences start to dominate.

It’s fun. It’s a new frontier of simplicity.

Yes much of the first 24 hours of posts were themed around “what’s happening here?” and “what do I do now?”. But this will improve and develop.

What I’ve noticed so far.

  1. Most of us are only following people we already know on Instagram. But it does give a home-grown advantage to users who have a large following. This will change.
  2. Much of the featureset is familiar including quotes, retweets, carousels and comments. There is NO edit button. Interestingly, there’s no way to do a “thread” on threads…. you just have to comment on your original post. This will change.
  3. Many people are ‘muting’ accounts which don’t align with what they want to read/follow/learn. The self-preservation filtering process has already begun, and will continue. This won’t change.
  4. Folks using it in the same way they already use other social platforms for marketing / sales purposes are like tumbleweed. Nobody engages with a obviously sales-y link. This won’t change.
  5. Links off the site which are combined with an engaging message, question or observation get comments and replies. This won’t change.
  6. You can’t delete the Threads App without also deleting Instagram. So Meta’s leopard isn’t changing its spots. This won’t change.
  7. Currently there’s no filtering possible. Frustrating for me as I like to create the environment I want to hang out in. Th
Threads app, threads post, marketing on threads app,


My warning to marketers

As an industry we have a TERRIBLE track record of spotting a great opportunity and then (frankly speaking) shi*tting iin our own nest as we kill off the lovely thing we found with promotions, adverts and offers. This spoils it for us all.

Don’t do it.

Build your brand with meaningful, on-brand conversational posts and messages.

Yes if you have to link off the social platform to your site, do it. BUT remember the social platforms all understand how to manipulate, human psychology and behavioural economics. They will work to keep visitors on their platform and prevent them from leaving. Any way they can.

I’ve already spotted this when clicking a link to an article on a newspaper from Threads… I read it, clicked another link within that article, read another page, clicked the back button and instead of going to the first newspaper article, it went right back to Threads. Cute. I had to re-click the original link a second time to get back and finish reading the article. That sort of behaviour by me (a consumer) is unusual, it’s only driven by me REALLY wanting to read… most would give up and shrug their shoulders and go back to scrolling Threads.

You’re probably not fulfilling your marketing goals by trying to drive traffic to your owned assets. Work harder to build engagement around topics that align with your brand mission and. which showcase your unique wonderfulness.

And get over there and have a play around.

We all have the chance to build what the future will look like. As I said at the start of this post, Meta will be closely watching our early behaviour on the platform.

Don’t F*CK IT UP, please. For all our sakes.


Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, Pacific Women in Business

AWE Pacific Summit 2023

I am a panelist at the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs summit talking about Social Media, Marketing and communications.

Three talking points and answers

From your experience in B2B Marketing, what do you think our Pacific & Maori business women who target businesses as customers should focus on for their marketing activities?

  • Understand the customer – walk in their shoes
  • Keep good records – CRM
  • Businesses may look daunting as sales targets but they are made up of people – befriend them.
  • Use LinkedIn – buy a Premium membership and Sales Navigator
  • Build your email list from day one
  • Don’t build your house on rented land
  • Focus on local marketing first

Can you give some examples of SME women led businesses you have supported with your digital marketing insights expertise?  

  • Sue Skeet – Notice Match
  • Climber Property – Grace Hu
  • Equal Exes – Bridgette Jackson
  • PICMI – Genevieve Griffin-George
  • Catherine Stewart  Barrister
  • Method Recycling – India Korner

What are some tips you can give our Pacific & Maori business women for their digital marketing activities & campaigns? 

  • Buy expertise if you don’t have it yourself. Fiverr, Upwork
  • Learn how to brief
  • Find your tribe…. start very very narrow for your audience
  • Keep your owned digital assets at the core of your strategy.
  • Stay in touch regularly
  • Build community
  • Join the Marketing Association B2B SIG

Happy to give guidance to anyone who needs more detail on these topics.

Facebook “interests” crib sheet

A client wanted a list of all the different interests which you can select on Facebook to refine a advertising campaign.

Here’s some research

I found these pages which purport to have the full list of interests for Facebook advertising. some are more recent than others. The last link suggests a layering strategy which may help

Event Invitation Copywriting

Event invite copywriting – a “before” and “after” comparison.

First I analyse each paragraph – what’s it about?

The draft I was sent was structured like this

  • – The Promise
  • – Sow Doubt
  • – Question (which will be answered)
  • – List of Sales Points
  • – Speakers & event details

When I finished rewriting it, the order had changed to

  • – Open Question
  • – Sow Doubt
  • – Empathise
  • – The Promised Future State
  • – Sales Points [rewritten]
  • – Empathise again
  • – Feeling vulnerable
  • – The Promise
  • – Speaker and Event details

Why will this work better?

The emotional journey is defined and reassurance is included when the Promise comes later in the messaging.

Also the empathetic sentences help the reader to judge quickly if the event is ‘right’ for their needs or not. You don’t want tyre-kickers coming along, do you?

If you’d like to see the full text of before and after #copywriting #B2Bmarketing. Message me.

I would like to do more writing like this for #Brands who need #directresponse marketing done well.

Networking to find a job

There’s a recession coming.

What does that mean for marketing jobs? Two things – a lot of in-house teams will be “let go”. [I hate that phrase.] Secondly, a lot of freelance, contracting and short term jobs will be created.

When enterprise finds resources constrained, an easy way to de-risk is to use self-employed talent on an as-needs basis. You know the expenditure, the duration and it can be tied to project delivery too.

Will you win marketing contract work?

In all likelihood not, especially if you rely on getting hired from job adverts.

It’s supply and demand. The supply is too high and it’s very hard to stand out from the crowd. You won’t be the cheapest (some employers will want that); you may not be the best (they’ll hire someone they already know for this) and you likely won’t be the first to apply either.

What to do?

Use. Your. Network.

Yes, your friends, past colleagues, acquaintances and work connections are your network. They are key to getting your next work placement.

Anyone who puts forward someone they know for a job will stand out – you will go to the top of the pile, you have a recommendation and an endorsement from a trusted third party AND if you’re good enough, the employer won’t bother advertising the role.

That’s how to bypass the crowd and land your next marketing job.

LinkedIn Rocks

This situation is when you have a hidden advantage – the network you have already built.

I posted this onto my profile.

I need a BIG challenge.

And so I am looking to join a purpose-driven company who needs an experienced marketer. If you are in #B2B#SaaS, or #ProfessionalServices marketing …. read on.

I have worked with growing businesses from NZ, AU, USA, UK with #marketing and #brand strategy, go-to-market plans, CRM, SEO, copywriting, partnerships, communications and community.

I’m looking for my next challenge now. to do my best work. Full time or 1-3 days per week.

I’d appreciate an introduction to your business – or others you know.

Please share with your network to spread the word

In gratitude.

The result? Several nice public comments about my skills. In private – over a dozen serious enquiries from employers.

Why does this text work?

Firstly, it has a strong headline. It creates impact by being short and to the point.

The next sentence is only partially visible and the reader has to click the “more” button to read it. That tells LInkedIn that this is interesting content – which boosts the algorithmic display properties of this post.

The short list of industries and skills enable the reader to quickly qualify themselves in or out. This means you don’t get contacted by people who are not right for your skills and areas of expertise.

The “ask” is also short, and generously worded.

Hat tip to Justin who did it first.

Networking for jobs, find freelance jobs

trade show, marketing for trade shows, B2B marketing trade, trade marketing, channel marketing,

The Essential Checklist for Choosing a Tradeshow Company

You’ll need a lot of planning and preparation for a trade show. You must create a budget, craft your brand message, set goals for attending the event, and prepare your supplies in advance. Choosing a tradeshow exhibit company to assist you with this can help you to get the most out of your investment.

Craft your brand message

There are many things to consider when choosing a tradeshow exhibit company. One of the first steps is getting a good idea of your business and its offers. Once you have a clear picture of what you want to achieve, it’s time to start thinking about what you can do to make your brand stand out. One way to accomplish this is to build an integrated marketing campaign that includes print, online, and even electronic outreach. This way, your booth can be the center of attention while still being able to connect with your prospective customers. Another effective tactic is to offer giveaways that tie into the central theme of your exhibit. These may include promotional items such as pens, key chains, or t-shirts. However, it would be best if you were careful not to overwhelm visitors with too many choices.

Set specific goals for attending a tradeshow

You must set specific goals to make the most of your 7 Trade Show Booth Ideas for Small Budgets. While getting caught up in the event’s excitement is easy, setting goals can keep you, and your team focused. Whether you’re exhibiting your company’s products or services, setting specific goals will help you get the most out of your investment. The right goals can put you ahead of your competitors. Your goal could be to increase your brand awareness. An excellent way to do this is to make a memorable first impression. For example, you could offer prospects a personalized photo of yourself if they fill out a personality quiz. Or you can acquire a few email addresses. Identifying your goals before the event will make choosing an exhibit company that fits your needs more leisurely. Make sure your goals are in line with your marketing plan.

Set a realistic budget

Getting ready for a trade show can be a costly process. Setting a realistic budget to make the most of your investment is essential. Let’s start by planning early. One of the most considerable costs involved with exhibiting is booth space. The cost of a booth can range from twenty to thirty-eight percent of your total budget. While you may be tempted to go for a more affordable booth space, sacrificing quality can result in your trade show needing to be taken more seriously. For an adequate budget, you need to take into account several factors. These include the size of your market and your target audience. It is also essential to account for the amount of time you dedicate to your display and your goals for the show.

Follow up on trade show performance

If you are looking for a tradeshow exhibit company, you will want to ensure they can help you measure and improve your post-show performance. The best way to achieve this goal is to set objectives and metrics before the event. Those objectives should include the sales and non-sales goals of your team. Measuring and tracking the effectiveness of these goals is an essential aspect of any marketing campaign. For example, your objective may be to generate leads, but how can you determine whether or not those leads were generated through effective meetings, foot traffic management, and lead tracking? Some critical metrics for trade shows include the number of contacts invited to the show, the number of press distribution entries added, new connections made, and the progression of CRM prospects in the funnel view. However, you must note that these measures are just some of the ones you should consider.


Additional resources

3 simple new business hacks for 2022

I”m always looking for new clients and customers when working with a B2B brand n their marketing.

Sometimes I see a cute tool or tactic and today I’m sharing three of them.

Home page call to action

Loved this because it shows light humour and a pretty persuasive message. Yes, I have scrolled a long way down the page (this is just above the footer) and so maybe I SHOULD be booking a demo or contacting the sales team.

The copywriting is clear, simple and unambiguous.

Home page website call to action graphic. Clear copywriting.

Clear B2B copywriting

LinkedIn last names

Frequently on LinkedIn, people with whom I’m not closely connected have their last name (surname) hidden or only the first initial letter published.

For many, this is easily solved.

Clicm on the person and open their full profile.

Check the URL

LinkedIn uses your full name (as registered on the site) as your unique URL identifier.

You can probably work out the last name and first name from this URL.

How to find last name in LinkedIn URL


Improve your Social Media Bio

There are lots of list sites which allow you to publish a list of URLs which you’re associated or have profile on. Here’s a new one set up by Squarespace – BioSites.

As their launch promo says

  • Select a custom URL- Claim a free username to create a URL. Add it on Instagram, TikTok, or to any social bio.
  • Add unlimited links. Connect your followers to your websites, social pages, stores, videos, and more with your Bio Site.
  • Publish and share your link anywhere.
  • Connect your content
  • Use your mobile device to update your Bio Site in seconds and build consistency in your online presence.
  • Accept payments and more.

They make it easy for you by supplying template designs.

Alternatives are Linkkle and Allmylinks.

BONUS – my reflections on LinkedIn Groups and Company followers

I am constantly frustrated by LinkedIn Groups – they used to be great places to build community but since their prominence in the news feed has been dialled down to zero, most are invisible.

These used to be good places to find prospects – folks interested in your products and services. Since few people join groups nowadays, they are becoming a redundant part of the LI platform.

Time to make an offline list of the members and try to connect with them elsewhere – preferably on a platform or medium which you control.

Company follower lists are another good place to find prospects – and often competitors!

There are a range of ways to download these – contact me to find out the latest easy method.