Episode 29: What’s Needed to Scale-Up Marketing with Anastasia Valentine

This talk with Anastasia Valentine is about scale, something that’s clearly baked into everything she does.  Anastasia heads up Marketing at Rhonda.ai which is owned by IMI, but she has also been a CMO at startups and mid-sized companies, a seasoned speaker, and a strong proponent of developing future leaders. Here are links to Anastasia’s personal site, her profiles on LinkedIn and on Twitter

In this episode she shares:

  • How she scaled herself up from a tech support job and looked for ways to develop herself so she would meet the requirements for larger roles. 
  • Why marketers should know non-marketing roles and how to build trust with peers across the company so that when executive buy-in is needed, the bonds are firmly in place 
  • Why it makes sense to put marketing and sales under one umbrella
  • How present-day Artificial intelligence, despite it being more A than I, has a pivotal role in marketing’s future
  • Why, when it comes to being true to their values, marketers have a higher calling to choosing where they work.

For complete Show Notes, go to: 

People, Products, and Concepts mentioned in this episode: 

Shopify and the rise of Headless Commerce

Jim Sterne

Resources on the Worldwide AI Summit site


Evaluate companies you’re considering working for by these three values:

  1. Do they have a talented, inclusive team?
  2. Do they have an incredible product?
  3. Are they committed to giving back to their community?

Episode 28: Thought-Leading Content on LinkedIn with Darryl Praill

This episode talks with someone who has used LinkedIn as a platform for promoting branded content. It nicely complements Episode 27 on LinkedIn Ads with AJ Wilcox

In his three years with VanillaSoft, maker of SaaS-based sales software, he has brought them visibility in the form of a podcast, virtual events, and conference keynotes. This exposure and the resulting growth in pipeline revenue has resulted in Darryl being promoted to Chief Revenue Officer for the company. 

Listen to this episode to hear:

  • How to draw global attention to a brand by being yourself. 
  • Choosing who makes the content – the founder or a person hired to do this.
  • How to devote time to creating content, by pushing your own ego out of the way.
  • Why you shouldn’t pay too much attention to your likes and comments statistics.
  • How the use of Video falls in and out of favour with LinkedIn’s algorithm 
  • How you can turn a larger competitor’s strength into a disadvantage by how you position yourself on social media.

People/products mentioned in this episode:





LinkedIn Live

WIIFM – What’s in it for me?

How the company that best markets itself ends up the winner – VHS vs Beta 

Connect with Darryl on LinkedIn

Episode Reboot

Just communicate the way you already do in sales meetings and casual discussions, but do it online.

Episode 26: Wrangling Performance out of Site Content with Michel Fortin

Michel Fortin Wrangling Performance out of Site Content

Today we’re talking about how to think strategically about website content.  The primary reason we’re told to focus on content is SEO, but the true beneficiary of well-structured content isn’t the search engines. Another myth is that focusing on keywords will win the SEO contests when it’s actually more about “topical clusters.”

To improve how your content performs,  it all boils down to following the fundamentals of communication. My guest is Michel Fortin of Shelly Solutions, whose strategies get to the heart this. He is a 30-year marketing veteran, who has done copywriting and marketing as a coach, under his own consultancy, and within an agency. He’s active in industry associations spoken on stage at conferences, holds industry certifications, and has written hundreds of published articles.

As you hear our conversation, you’ll hear him refer to many sources: a half-dozen books that guided his thinking on sales & marketing, several tools, conceptual frameworks, and companies he’s worked with. Also listen to him tell, on a personal level, how as a young salesperson, an ADHD-related condition called Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD) led to him writing marketing content and becoming so good at it that he left sales to sell his copywriting services.

Concepts Mentioned:


Neuro-linguistic Programming


AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

How prepared is your audience to take an OATH:





The PESO Model of Media

SERP  – Search Engine Result Page

Google’s EAT acronym:




Google’s BERT algorithm


Eugene Schwartz’s Breakthrough Advertising

Al Ries & Jack Trout’s The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

Brian Tracy’s Psychology of Selling

Dan Kennedy’s No BS Direct Marketing

Tom Hopkins How to Master the Art of Selling

Tony Alessandro’s DISC Assessment 

Tim Conley

Data Transformation client MB Foster

A/B Testing Tools



Google Optimize

Episode Reboot: 

Don’t try to please the Search Engines, try to please your site visitor.

Episode 25: Conversational Marketing with Andres Tovar

Conversational Marketing with Andres Tovar

Are you speaking AT or speaking WITH your prospects? Companies are increasingly turning to messaging agents to chat with their prospects. This show focuses on how marketers can use this technology to have conversational interactions with their audience.

I’m speaking Andres Tovar, with a Southern-Ontario based marketer who has built chat-based campaigns for many organizations. He began offering his skills on a contract-basis while he was still in school, doing a business degree at the University of Ottawa. His work was noticed by a faculty member, who hired him for the business school’s own marketing. Since then, he has picked up industry certifications and set up his own consultancy called Noetic Marketer which serves mainly B2C clients.

Andres will talk about the two types of chat tools: ones that use someone’s social log-in and ones that are native to a website. He takes us through selecting the steps in the customer journey when chat interactions make sense. Tips are given on how to brand a chatbot and how to script a bot’s reactions so they flow nicely towards a human touch-point.

People/products/concepts mentioned in this episode:

Whatsapp messenger







IBM Watson

Episode Reboot:

Put chat functionality on product pages or other places with a call-to-action.

Episode 24: Social Media Marketing with Amanda Relyea-Voss

In this episode I talk with Amanda Relyea-Voss (who also likes to be called Mandi), owner of a social media marketing agency that serves B2C and B2B companies. Listen for the ways Mandi has used social media to interact with prospects and how this has propelled them to buy from her customers.  We talk about creating social posts from a single piece of content, what kind of text and images to use, applying hashtags and the KPI ratios you can use to measure your effectiveness. 

You can connect with Amanda on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as well as find out about Amanda’s agency, likeavosssm.com

People/products/concepts mentioned:

OttawaKiosk, local site within CanadianKiosk 



Social Media Rule of thirds

Social Media Marketing World

Episode Reboot:

Once you have built your organic audience, consider leveraging it by using the platform’s lookalike audience feature to put your content in front of a wider audience.

Episode 23: Qualifying Prospects with Martin MacArthur

Remember as a kid at the amusement park – you must be this tall to go on this ride? This closely parallels a key part of all complex sales – Qualification. 

So when marketing gets a lead, capping off their piece of the process, sales is far from the end, it’s actually the beginning of their work with the lead. The main question that sales has to answer is “Is this buyer capable of buying from us?”  Are they tall enough to ride this ride? 

The process of answering that question requires a rep to do offline research as well as having one or several conversations. In larger sales where multiple internal people are needed, the lead may not progress to involve anyone else, because the rep spoke with them and determined they aren’t a sales-qualified lead. The process varies depending on the company, but in all cases, it takes a bit of human intuition. There’s a whole art to it.  

To get a salesperson’s perspective on how to do this, I spoke with Martin MacArthur, who is passionate about getting on the phone and helping companies fill their pipelines with qualified leads that  drive sales. Let’s get into that discussion.

Cover concepts including how we arrive at a qualified prospect




People and Products mentioned:

LinkedIn profile reviews

Retinitis pigmentosa (condition which affected Martin’s sight)

Martin MacArthur’s LinkedIn profile 


Look into these good books about conversation:

Crucial Conversations

How to Talk to Anyone

A More Beautiful Question


Episode 22: Digital Marketing Through Uncertain Times

Today’s episode is a simple solocast of me talking to you. I’m recording in an extraordinary time when stress is being put on healthcare, public institutions, whole industries and even entire economies. All the uncertainty out there is invading our digital marketing world. What’s going to happen? Just thinking about current events can induce fears about budgets getting cut, teams getting shrunk and we feel an existential threat to our very career. 

To help, the first part of the episode goes through how uncertainty affects everyone’s mindset. I share what some authors like Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and Kurt Vonnegut have observed about these reactions change over time. By understanding them, we’ll hopefully cycle through these emotions more quickly. 


Peter Drucker said we shouldn’t scale back at times like this, but to make investments that “enable a business to make its future. That, in the last analysis, is what planning for uncertainty means.” So having dealt with how we respond to uncertainty as humans, I devote the rest of this episode to how we can respond as marketers.

I talk about investments we can make around planning, doing, analyzing and improving processes. I share resources that have helped me during crises so the way I market fits with new outside realities. Hopefully it helps propel you to act in a way that you can look back on with pride when it’s all over.

People/Products/Ideas Mentioned:

Mr. Micawber from Charles Dickens’ “David Copperfield”

Pandora’s Box

Andrea Bassi, co-author of “Tackling Complexity”

Apollo 13

The Shawshank Redemption among other ‘Man in Hole’ movies

Craig Ferguson final “Late Late Show” monologue

SWOT analysis

Porter Five Forces Model

Business Model Canvas popularized by Alex Osterwalder and Ash Maurya

Anzoff Matrix

“An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth” by Chris Hadfield

Mark Schaefer’s Content Shock

Shell Oil’s There Is No Alternative (TINA) Scenario Planning

Dr Flint McGlaughlin, Founder MECLabs, on marketers using their art to help others in crisis. 


Go find another group who would benefit from clarity on their strengths and ways to express their value to their audience.


Episode 21: Writing Persuasively for your site visitors

In this episode we talk about how to write persuasively for prospects. Our guest is Nik Paprocki, the founder of Websuitable,  an ROI driven digital agency serving small businesses all across Canada.

Like many in the agency space, he has seen enough bad copy to almost expect it, but when he was researching some product purchases, he found himself being drawn in by the copy they wrote. It wasn’t hard-hitting, buy-my-product Direct response writing that worked on him, rather it was copy focused on helping a buyer, giving answers to their problems.

He feels this use of copywriting is just as effective in terms of generating leads, because it speaks to everyone, not just those who are in-market to buy from you now. He felt so strongly about how it works that he swung his whole agency around to this writing approach.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to find insights on what problems buyers have, and tactics to write in a way that convinces buyers you can relate to them.

People and Products mentioned:


Nik’s preferred places for insights on what problems buyers have, so you know what to write copy about:


Episode 20: Using Video to make Content more engaging

Today we’ll talk about the production of videos to use in your marketing, all the way from the planning stage to the appearance of the final product.

Casey Li is the CEO and Founder of BiteSite, a Custom Software and Video Production Firm based in Ottawa, Canada. He started the company in 2012 after years of passion for the two fields and today, BiteSite serves small to medium businesses in the Ottawa area helping them execute their vision.

Listen as Casey takes us through the steps that his production company follows for making any video. You don’t have to involve an outsourced firm to make your videos, but you can use the same principles at any scale so your final product ends up telling a story that will keep viewers engaged.

People and Products mentioned: