Brian Balfour, Coelevate, Reforge

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Customer Success Director at Lithium Technologies

Brian, WOW! This is a fantastic post. Thank you for sharing such a wealth of amazing resources and information about the marketing ecosystem. Both myself and lots of people I know are going to get ALOT of mileage out of your kindness. :)

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Coelevate, Reforge

Awesome! I'm glad you are finding the content useful.

Growth Instructor at Tradecraft

Wow, this is definitely a labor of love, great stuff. I will say I think that priming the hard skills with some more inspirational thought leader-y stuff f (like Seth Godin) first, does wonders. I've taught marketing to good number of people and I've noticed that it makes people a little more tenacious. Thoughts? Also, can I quote you when talking about marketing education?

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Coelevate, Reforge

Definitely feel free to quote me!

I agree on the Seth Godin and thought leadership material. I'll find a way to include.

I also think some of the base layer subjects like Statistics would be more interesting and easily learnable if they were integrated through out the applied marketing layer. For example, you should be learning statistics as you are learning a/b testing or conversion rate optimization not as a disconnected subject. Unfortunately thats not the way the material is built right now.

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Excellent post Brian!
Great work.

Growth Instructor at Tradecraft

There is actually a course on Udemy that teaches statistics through A/B testing that sounds like what you're talking about. I can't vouch for it but maybe check it out.

Partner / Founder at Phiture

This is a really valuable resource for any growth marketer; fiercely practical and deeply insightful. Also, I haven't encountered a better reading list on this topic than the one presented here.

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Marketing Manager at Tweaky

Amazing knowledge bombs being dropped here Brian. Thanks for sharing all this. I've been consuming a lot of your content recently so thanks for adding lots of practical insights for startup marketers like us!

Love the reference to the T shaped marketer. Drew a lot of comparisons to the Distilled blog post about it :

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Coelevate, Reforge

Thanks! I'm glad you are finding my writing useful. I love a lot of Distilled content. I hadn't seen that one. Adding the link to my post.

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Director of Marketing at Playerize

Awesome, awesome post. Just sent it to my assistant.

The one element I think is missing is a lower layer 'tooling' baseline. It lives behind your "experiment on something" comment as well as some more topical learning elements like analytics, cro, content marketing etc.

Familiarity with prevalent tools is a huge win in the marketer applicant pool. Have you used / hacked with content platforms (WP, Drupal, tumblr etc), analytics platforms, email (mailchimp, drip vendors, intercom), chat (many), social (hootsuite, etc), ad platforms (fb, goog etc) and on... Almost ALL can be tested on personal projects.

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Coelevate, Reforge

Thanks Derek. Agreed knowing the tools is important. A lot of the courses teach a little about specific tools on that subject. For example the ab testing course talks about Optimizely and Google website optimizer. But I think you are right that there needs to be more specifically in two areas. One, a cohesive look at how to tie and use all these tools together to gain efficiency and capability. Two, depth of tool functionality. Some of these tools are extremely powerful (for example Google Analytics) but it's hard to find advanced courses and info. And if you want to get really advanced, how you can harness the power of some of the API's that offered from the different ad channels for custom tools.

VP of Marketing at Percolate

1. Bravo.
2. I kind of selfishly wish you'd stop writing posts like these because the quality of instruction is so high and actionable it makes it easier for people with less experience to potentially compete with me in some channel.

Coelevate, Reforge

Ha. Thanks Chris. You are the second person in a week to tell me #2. Maybe employ a reverse business model? People pay me not to post ;)

Seriously though, I appreciate the compliment.

ResearchGate, ResearchGate

This is a brilliant resource Brian, thank you. Haven't digested it all yet but is exactly what I needed. I have been trying to decide on how to further develop myself and you provide a great framework. Cheers

Founding Member, Head of Growth at Wag!

Brian - this is one of the best posts I've seen on customer acquisition, thanks for sharing! I'm currently writing a post on a list of tools I've used for growth & optimization at startups and will definitely reference your post to the readers

Coelevate, Reforge

Thanks! I'm looking forward to seeing which tools you use.

Senior Product Manager at Glassdoor

@bbalfour Simply the best blog I have come across on what to know before embarking on a career in online customer acquisition/ #onlinemarketing. Wish I had known this during #MBA

Buford Taylor, Tech Lead at Reforge Buford Taylor
Tech Lead at Reforge