Fun Times At The Crunchies With Yahoo!

Feb. 10

Last week, I attended the 8th annual Crunchies with my good friends from Yahoo! Hosted at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, the Crunchies is the Oscars of the technology industry. It’s all about honoring the best innovations in technology from the past year. I had a blast at the event and wanted to share today some of my big takeaways.

Ian Lopuch Crunchies

First and foremost, it’s good to be in digital marketing. It’s good to be a valued Yahoo! partner, the premium sponsor of this event and so many others. Yahoo! really knows how to treat their top partners. I’m talking about a special VIP lounge with amazing food and drinks. I’m talking about the best seats in the house (we sat in a balcony suite right next to the stage, and right next to some of the most important people at the entire event). I’m talking about an exclusive pre-party and after-party. Thanks to Yahoo!, I really had a special time.

Second, it’s all about the networking. In our industry, we all work such long hours. It’s easy to lose sight of the relationships and networking side of things. I’d like to argue today that it’s all about the people and networking. I have built a truly lasting relationship with the incomparable Yahoo! team over the years, and this relationship has added true value to my career. More than that, it’s just plain fun to spend time with great people! Yahoo! has a really special and talented team, and I learn so much every time we hang out. Get out there and invest in your business partnerships, they might just turn into friendships!

Third, it’s important to take time to be inspired. This event honored some seriously incredible accomplishments. I’m a tremendous fan of Customer Acquisition marketing because this career offers so much responsibility. It’s just like being a "Mini CEO". I’m talking about responsibility over: P&L, strategy, huge budgets, large teams (in many cases), technology platforms, cross-functional work, new ideas, growth, results, and so much more. Awards shows like the Crunchies are the perfect time to get inspired. In an inspired state, we all bring our best ideas and work to the table. Combine the overall inspiration of the event with an inspiring premium sponsor (Yahoo!), and I left ready to do my best work ever!

Thanks, Yahoo!, for an amazing VIP experience, and for being the best partner ever!

Hanging Out At the Yahoo! VIP Lounge

PPC Ian and Yahoo at the Crunchies

Images in this post ©

My 2015 Goals

Jan. 17

Happy New Year! While it’s already 1/17, today’s post is my first one of the new year. I’m excited to be back in business blogging and sharing my thoughts with the world!

Happy 2015

If you’ve been reading PPC Ian for a while, you know that I take great pride in documenting my goals at the beginning of each new year. I don’t always hit all of my goals, but I consider that a really good thing. It’s all about shooting for the moon, learning, and growing each and every year. If you don’t shoot for the moon, you’ll never know what you could have achieved! Last year, I had a ton of goals, 9 to be exact. (Check out my 2014 goals.) This year, it’s looking like another year of lofty and aggressive goals, although the themes of my goals are certainly changing as I get older and learn!

Goal 1: Invest In Family

The older I get, the more I realize it’s all about family. 2015 is the year of family for Nicole and I. "Family comes first" is what I tell everyone on my team at work. 2015 is the year I truly live my own motto. I’m so excited and blessed with an amazing, magical, and truly special year ahead!

Additionally, I have a sub-goal this year of spending more time with my parents. I was reading a post the other day on Yahoo! about things people regret not doing in their 30s. High up on the list was not spending enough time with their parents.

Goal 2: Grow My Career and Help Others Learn

My life’s mission largely revolves around growing my career, and helping others build their careers. It’s crazy because the more I learn, the more I have to learn! Marketing is such a fun career in that the learning never ends. Right now, I’m totally obsessed with offline marketing. While I started out in digital marketing, I’m finding that I’m just as passionate, if not more passionate, about the offline channels. I’m truly thankful to be in a position to manage all paid marketing channels for my employer. I’m dedicated to giving back and helping others learn and flourish within this amazing career path.

Goal 3: Invest In Great Business Partnerships

When things get really busy, it’s sometimes easy to lose touch with important business partners and friends. (Fun note: Most of my important business partners end up becoming friends!) My goal this year is making an ongoing conscious effort to thank my friends and business partners for everything they do. My favorite method of doing so: Lunch or coffee on me!

Goal 4: Optimize My Life and Have Fun

My life is very, very complex. I’m a master at handling complexity. I thrive in the complexity and have built an art and science around this practice. That said, optimization is all about cutting away the complexity that is not helping. This year, I’m trying to get rid of some of the stuff in my life that is not adding value. I’m mostly talking about material possessions here. However, I’m also talking about tasks and processes.

I believe that the practice of simplification will bring fun and joy to my life, in both the short run and long run. I also believe that the process of simplification will make room for new, great things. There is only so much mindshare available. I look forward to the new, amazing things ahead!

Moreover, simplification is core to financial success. Keep your life simple, and you have fewer financial obligations. Few financial obligations is the absolute key to long term peace and happiness, in my opinion.

Goal 5: Embrace Spirituality

Nicole and I visited Maui back in September, 2014. We absolutely love Hawaii and find a lot of peace and spirituality in the magic that is the Hawaiian Islands. As we departed for our trip, Nicole had an epiphany: "Ian, we’re going to church when we return from our vacation." As mentioned in my recently revamped about me page (check it out!), Nicole is always right and always has the best ideas. Long story short, the rest is history! This year, I’m dedicating time each and every day to reading The Bible. Our Pastor challenged us to read the entire Bible in a single year. I’m going to set the bar a little lower, knowing how busy I am. I’m going to read half The Bible this year, and the other half next year. I’ll be slow, but steady!

Goal 6: Keep Running

Right near my office, there are some truly amazing trails. I’ve been taking full advantage of that fact and going on some really long 5+ mile runs throughout the week. I’m so fortunate to have that opportunity to take a run during lunch, before work, or after work. I’m dedicated to my health and will keep running this year. This is a super easy goal for me because I find so much calm and joy in running. Running is my time of meditation and when most of my empowered ideas come my way. Want to come up with great business ideas? Go running!

Goal 7: Discover New Rap and Hip Hop Music

I’ve been listening to Backspin radio on SiriusXM. I thought I had exhausted all of the good rap music from the 90s and early 2000s. I was wrong! I’m still discovering new rap music each and every day. I’m especially enjoying the Ed Lover show. This goal revolves around discovering new music that motivates and inspires PPC Ian. As a sub-goal, I’m spending a good amount of time discovering old school songs from the 70s and early 80s that have inspired many of the modern rap and R&B songs. I continue to be amazed at the inspiration I can draw from good music.

Goal 8: Save Money and Grow Cash Flow

Whether it’s dividend-paying stocks, peer-to-peer lending, starting new business ventures, or really anything that can drive sustainable cash flow, I’m all over it! In conjunction with the simplification mentioned above, I want to create long-term cash flow that makes my life easier as each year passes.

Goal 9: Stay Calm and Avoid Conflict

This one is best illustrated through example. Today, I was at the bank with my wife. Someone blatantly cut us in line. Did I say anything? Not at all! The old Ian might have said something, but the new Ian doesn’t care. Later today, we witnessed two people fighting in the parking lot. Apparently, one guy opened the door of his BMW on the other’s Audi. In retaliation, the wife of the Audi owner allegedly punched the BMW owner’s car. The fight was starting to escalate quickly, and we didn’t want to stick around to watch. Long story short, everyone is on a tight fuse around here. Professionals are working very hard. Stress in the Bay Area is at a high level. It doesn’t matter how much money someone has, as illustrated through the BMW and Audi example. I’m dedicated to exercising special caution since I see a crazy environment developing in the Bay Area. I’d rather let someone cut me, than have to deal with any drama!

Goal 10: Share My Good Fortune and Help Others

Customer acquisition marketing has been good to PPC Ian. I’m dedicated to helping others this year and beyond. I’m especially interested in helping those less fortunate around the SF Bay Area.

Image of 2015 © fotolia – cienpiesnf

It’s All About Learning

Dec. 30

Are you learning each and every day? If you’re in the world of digital marketing and customer acquisition marketing, you should be!

Learn Lead Earn

With 2015 approaching, I wanted to share a guest post that I just wrote for the 3Q Digital Blog. My guest post highlights ways in which you can Learn From Your Digital Marketing Agency.

I truly enjoy working with great agencies. Even if you manage your customer acquisition in-house, it’s always ideal to have a second pair of eyes auditing your campaigns. The best teams often include a combination of in-house and agency employees working together in tandem. My guest post offers advice on how you can collaborate with and learn from your trusted agency partners. I hope it helps you maximize your learning in 2015, since it’s all about learning!

Image of Learn Lead Earn © iStockPhoto – almagami

Picking Your Multi-Channel Agency For 2015

Dec. 22

With 2015 approaching, it’s the ideal time to think about your team. I’m talking about your internal team, and also your agency team. Do you manage a complex, multi-channel digital marketing program? When I first started in this field, our industry was organized in more of a channel-specific manner. These days, however, it’s all about the multi-channel approach. And, this is where team comes in. To manage an effective multi-channel digital marketing program, you need to assemble a great team, the best team ever!

I’m a huge fan of agencies. One of my favorites is 3Q Digital, the authors of today’s whitepaper: Should One Agency Manage Your Multi-Channel Strategy? I’m thrilled to share today’s whitepaper because it presents all the right frameworks to think about your staffing approach in 2015. It’s unbiased, covers all of the viewpoints, and includes 13-pages of helpful knowledge around choosing the right internal employees and/or agency(ies) for your digital strategy. Best yet, it’s written by David Rodnitzky, CEO of 3Q Digital.

Some highlights from 3Q’s multi-channel agency whitepaper:

  • How to think about the different digital channels. Which channels build brand, which drive direct response, which do both? Before selecting your team, first think about the channels that are important to your business.
  • How to determine if online advertising is truly core to your business. Assessing how critical digital advertising is to your business will determine if you build your team in-house, go with an agency, or do both.
  • Pros and cons of agencies. I really thought this was cool. Even though the whitepaper is written by a digital agency, it’s truly unbiased and shares all of the pros and cons. Before adopting any approach, it’s good to have honest expectations.
  • What are the three types of agencies and how do they differ? David covers the three types of agencies, and the pros and cons of each. Again, I truly appreciated the unbiased and honest approach.
  • David shares his "deep dive" approach to selecting an agency. Once you’ve crafted your overall team and agency strategy, you need to audition multiple agencies. David’s framework provides a great way to ensure you pick the right agency for you.

I hope this whitepaper helps shape your strategy heading into 2015. Now is the time to think about your team, and build your team heading into the new year.

3Q Choosing Agencies

Image in this post © 3Q Digital