Tl;dr: New leadership, refined focus. Still serving enterprise marketers.
When Never Stop Marketing began all the way back in April 2008, the company was premised on two commitments to the market.
The Mission of NSM
Enterprise marketing readiness.
First, we wanted to educate and inform enterprise marketers about the implications of the arrival of disruptive technologies.
(The initial focus was on social media).
The second commitment was that we would give practical advice.
We wanted to offer immediate steps that enterprise marketers could take to leverage these new technologies for competitive advantage.
Marketing on the Cutting Edge
Over the past 12 years, it’s become obvious that just because we concluded that an emerging technology will be important, doesn’t necessarily mean that there is broad consensus among everyone.
For example, in 2008, it was far from clear to most large brands that Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social platforms would be a big deal for enterprise marketers.
Being on the cutting edge requires some degree of patience.
It was that patience that allowed us to serve clients ranging from #1 New York Times best-selling authors like Gretchen Rubin and Dan Pink to companies like Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson, with a slew of great brands and companies in between. Way too many to name.
Similarly, today, it’s not obvious to all that public blockchains are going to play a big role in the future of marketing.
One day, we believe it will be since it goes directly to things that marketers are supposed to care about…Trust and Value.
That’s why, for the past 4 years, Never Stop Marketing has sought to help educate and empower enterprise marketers about some of the possible transformations that blockchains will yield and catalyzed.
To that end, we
- published the CMO Primer for the Age of Blockchains (huge hat tip to Coby for the help on his one).
- hosted webinars and Immersion and Envisioning Days for brands and agencies.
- wrote hundreds of blog posts and articles and have spoken on tens panels plus multiple keynotes.
- Have sent a bi-weekly newsletter (hat tip to Carlos).
- Created educational materials with partners like the Internet Advertising Bureau (the IAB) to help their members understand how blockchain technology will affect advertising.
Opportunities in the Promising Blockchain + Marketing Segment
Despite all of these efforts, we haven’t had staff devoted to the mission of continuing to communicate these opportunities and to regularly work with major players in the advertising space to expose the best work and the best products in the space.
That doesn’t change the fact that we see meaningful opportunity at the intersection between emerging blockchain technology and the marketing function within large enterprises.
To show the lay of the land, The Blockchain MarTech Landscape (a huge hat tip to our wonderful researcher Lina) has grown from 22 projects to over 400 in 3 years. We’re not alone in seeing the opportunity. Many entrepreneurs see it as well, even though it may be further than any one of us might like.
On the advertiser side, there is an increasing number of pilots in the crypto/blockchain space. We’ve seen more interest from brands and agencies in our services. Enterprise awareness and interest is growing.
To illuminate these opportunities and to get the market excited, we have built strong recognition, good relationships, and a ton of IP.
In short, the opportunity is there for Never Stop Marketing to grow to become a premier provider of knowledge services to marketers and agencies as an ever-increasing number of disruptive technologies make landfall.
Blockchain first, but also AI, 3D printing, and 5G among others beyond that. We’ll have a lot of options in front of us.
The REAL Opportunity in front of NSM…It’s About Trust and Value
Blockchain, like AI, 5G and all the others, of course, is just a technology.
The real value comes from solving actual business problems for enterprise marketers and agencies.
There is a seismic shift in marketing towards improving trust, transparency and delivering on the promise of permission-based marketing. This is driven by a huge number of factors globally, many of which you know already.
Helping enterprise marketers explore how they can deliver value in a global environment of low trust….that’s where the actual opportunity exists.
That’s where we are going to focus.
NSM will continue to help marketers navigate the new trust- and value-enhancing solutions and capabilities. We’ll continue to provide Immersion Days, online training in partnership with trade groups, the Blockchain CMO podcast, and conferences.
[If any of these interest you, feel free to reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org]
New Captain of the NSM Ship
To fully take advantage of that opportunity and set the right course, NSM requires a different leader. One who is better suited for this part of NSM’s mission.
That leader is Donny Dvorin.
I first met Donny when he approached me at a ClickZ event in March 2018. That’s when he expressed interest in joining the NSM team.
Over time, I saw the kind of dedication and work ethic he has and what has made him such a successful executive for so long.
What’s more, I was astounded by the way he immersed himself in the study of blockchain technology. About 1 year later, he was truly a “crypto-first” thinker.
That’s when the conversations got more serious.
We both recognized that Donny, for a slew of reasons, would be the better leader to help NSM’s enterprise clients truly benefit from our expertise and worldview.
Donny has hustled and worked tirelessly to extend the foundation that I built and I am hopeful that he will take us to new heights.
As of last week, Donny is the new Managing Partner of Never Stop Marketing.
I have stepped back into the role of Founder.
He’s the captain of the ship now.
Now, some people might say, “Wait, Donny is also a sales leader at Brave, isn’t he? How is that going to work?”
My answer is simple…what Donny is doing is what all of us will be doing in the #FutureOfWork.
Many of us are going to want multiple, decentralized income streams that protect us against negative changes in a dynamic market. In other words, you become obsolete.
Even better, it’s synergistic.
Brave is a privacy-first browser with a blockchain-inspired business model that doesn’t rely on your personal data to make money. It has 12 million monthly users and has been my default for over a year now. You can sign up to become a Brave creator and earn BAT, if you have a blog or website.
Donny has also put his “skin in the game” into NSM by being a key investor in the future of Never Stop Marketing.
And we settled the transaction with the DAI crypto-stable coin. [I’ve blogged MakerDAO and DAI many, many times, if you want to learn more.]
So Jeremy, where will you be spending your time?
Of course, as Founder and a shareholder, I’m still involved with NSM and am here to support the team.
I like to say that “the day I stop blogging is the day I stop marketing..and I never stop marketing” so I have zero plans of stopping the NSM blog.
I am also focused on finishing The Non-Obvious Guide to Understanding Blockchain (without the hype) with my co-author, Natalie Petouhoff.
The other pursuit is also a “skin in the game” effort. I’m the co-chief investment officer of the Crypto Futura Fund. It’s for institutions and accredited investors who want exposure to the emerging class of crypto assets. [This is not a solicitation].
It’s certainly possible that I will fail miserably at one, two, or all three of those…as well as a number of other initiatives I may pick up along the way. It’s just the next part of the journey, I suppose.
The Road Ahead for Never Stop Marketing
Never Stop Marketing is about much, much more than Donny and me.
Without Coby, Lina, Carlos, Virginie, Brian, Amy, Chris, Christina, Mary and so many, friends, family members, business partners, and others, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
In some grand vision of the universe, though, Never Stop Marketing is more than a company.
It’s a mantra and a philosophy shared by those who believe it and practice it.
I’m excited that NSM has someone as committed and passionate as Donny to lead us into the future.
There’s a lot that can be done.
I hope you will look for ways to be part of the journey and thank you for being part of it until now.