Most “how to be creative” advice is self improvement advice. I’m going to flip the script a bit, and tell you how your environment is preventing you from reaching your creative potential.

Your creative blocks are probably 30% you, 70% them. It’s not necessarily your fault, but if you want to change things it is your responsibility.

To properly diagnose the issue, let’s zoom in on the components of creativity:

Volume of Ideas

When most people say “I’m not really a creative person”, what they’re really saying is “I don’t have a lot of ideas”. …

If someone asked you “Where does your eCommerce demand come from?”…

…how would you answer that question?

The answer depends on the information available. If you’re using today’s standard eCommerce stack — Shopify and Google Analytics— it can be hard to truly answer the question.

Why? Because there are three dimensions of eCommerce traffic, and the standard stack only does a good job of explaining one of them. Traffic is the lifeblood of your business (assuming you’re selling something people actually want to buy 😉), so you need to get a handle on all three.

The three dimensions of eCommerce…

“It’s not on brand.”

Those words are the bane of every performance marketer’s existence. And that’s why I loved this tweet from Nik Sharma. It also got me thinking about our current digital marketing landscape, and how it is changing who is creating new brands and what those brands sell.

The Rise Of Paid Social Prospecting

Paid social — advertisements that run on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Tiktok — has become a staple of many brands’ media spend in the past decade. …

Many people assert that they could never develop their own writing practice. But I think that anyone has the potential to share a unique point of view on their professional experiences, and doing so has the potential to do more for your career than a resume ever could. You have all the material, it’s just a matter of how you put it together.

When it’s job hunting time, most of us dig out our resume file from a dusty corner of our hard drive or Dropbox folder and struggle to update it in a way that will stand out. The…

The Mall still holds a place in the hearts and minds of 80’s and 90’s kids, as evidenced by Season 3 of Stranger Things, Mallwave and the explosion of blogs and vlogs documenting dead malls. And nostalgia is fine.

But the Mall also holds a place in the hearts and minds of most retail businesses today, and that is a problem. To survive rapid shifts in consumer behavior, retail needs to move on from Mall Mentality.

Mall Mentality can be distilled to a single core belief: the shared traffic assumption.

If you were a child of the 80’s and 90’s who had an average suburban upbringing, the following scenario is probably familiar:

It’s a…

Almost everyone in eCommerce land is going on sale or promotion right now. And there is a good reason for it:

  • We have reached 10% unemployment, so every brand and retailer is competing for a shrinking and increasingly wary audience
  • With physical stores closed, retailers are leaning on eCommerce cash flow to support their entire expense base, including payroll
  • Although the Covid-19 situation seems to be decelerating, there is uncertainty around whether fulfillment centers will remain open and for how long. Everyone is focusing on bringing in cash NOW

In this highly competitive environment, you’re probably going to have to…

For the past decade, digital marketing and online retail has been about churning through inventory — any inventory, at any price.

Digital marketing tells you to go big on Cyber 5, without stopping to consider if the customers you acquire will ever come back. Digital marketing takes a strictly near-term view: last click ROAS, today’s traffic numbers and today’s conversion rate. Digital marketing puts your business at the mercy of toll-takers like Google and Facebook.

And that used to work. When we were playing the game of eCommerce on easy mode, customers were easy come and easy go. But in…

Imagine this: you wake up tomorrow to find out that you’ll never need to work another day in your life. All your financial problems have been resolved — past, present and future. What would you do with your life?

When I ask most people this question, their answers reflect a desire to make up for lost time — they would pursue hobbies, work out more, make more time to see friends, travel. But take it a year down the line — is that enough material for an interesting or meaningful life?

Now imagine that you’re three months in to this…

I have experienced two ways of thinking about growth planning at consumer brands:

MBG* Consulting Method: This is also known as market sizing, aka what they teach you in business school. You look at the total dollar value of economic activity for a particular market and geographic region, then look at the relative market share of major players to ballpark how much revenue the company could realistically generate in a given period of time.

The growth of the market overall, as well as the growth and relative health of the major players, determines if your company will need to steal…

New York Fashion Week has been “dying” for a while now. But the Fall/Winter 2020 shows taking place this week saw a number of designers quietly (and not so quietly) drop off the schedule less than a month out from their show dates. The head of the CFDA — one of fashion week’s governing bodies — isn’t even showing in New York.

The transformation of NYFW is a symptom of the industry’s struggle to shift its focus from pure B2B marketing to a blend of B2B and B2C.

The business model for “fashion designers” when wholesale was still growing at…

Alex Greifeld

I used to design mom jeans (really). Now I help build bridges between quants and creatives and write about the future of retail.

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