Author: Jay Acunzo

So, this one time, a marketing blog called Jay Acunzo a “marketing antihero,” prompting him to immediately buy a Batman mask. Unfortunately, his wife won’t let him wear it in public. Luckily, when Jay isn’t traveling the world delivering keynote speeches, he’s building wildly entertaining podcasts for B2B clients as the founder of Unthinkable Media … and he’s probably wearing his Batman mask the whole time. (Don’t tell anyone, k?) Oh, Jay also advised brands on their digital strategy while working for Google, led the content team at HubSpot, and served as vice president of the VC firm NextView. He’s appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Fast Company, Forbes, and more. Salesforce once called him a “creative savant,” but as far as he can tell, there’s no good mask for that. Say hi to his unmasked face on Twitter or Instagram, or listen to the refreshing stories about driven makers and marketers on Jay’s podcast, Unthinkable.

By jay-acunzo published October 19, 2018

Fundamentals Are Essential for Content Success

“That guy is gonna kill us.”

I was 19, just starting to find my rhythm – as a man and, more importantly to my ego, as a basketball player. I watched as a 6-foot-2-inch chiseled dude strode onto the court at Trinity College in Hartford. We were playing pickup like we always did after classes, just around 4. Nine of us had been casually shooting and Muscles McGee made it a perfect 10.

“That guy is gonna kill us,” I thought. “Just look at him.”

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By jay-acunzo published June 13, 2018

The Most Important Question to Ask Before Launching a Podcast

most-important-question-launching-podcastMarketers everywhere are deciding if launching a podcast makes sense for their brands and their goals. There’s a lot to consider, and therefore, a ton of questions to ask. But one question is the most foundational and crucial thing to ponder – and I don’t see marketers asking it often enough:

“Are you any good on a microphone?”

That is half the battle. Check that – it’s 99% of the battle. If you have a great host, the rest gets so much easier. Just think: Would you rather listen to a dull host with great audio quality or an engaging host using so-so tech?

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By jay-acunzo published May 29, 2017

Creative Content: 3 Behaviors Driving Marketers


Editor’s note: You may have missed this article when CMI published it last year. We’re sharing it now because it’s the time of the year when we like to talk cold sweets (and remind you about the qualities needed for creative content marketers.)

Before we get into all that delicious content marketing stuff, let’s talk about eating ice cream for a second. (Stay with me, folks. It’s gonna get weirder before it gets normal again.)Continue Reading

By jay-acunzo published January 30, 2017

3 Hidden Lessons Behind Top Podcasts to Help Yours Stand Out


Every morning, I commute to work with about 20 of my closest friends. And they all fit neatly in my pocket.

OK, so I’m really talking about podcasts. There aren’t actual tiny people in my pocket. Except for Steve, the tiny person who lives in my pocket. Obviously.Continue Reading

By jay-acunzo published April 19, 2016

3 Unthinkable Behaviors Behind Truly Creative Content Marketers


Before we get into all that delicious content marketing stuff, let’s talk about eating ice cream for a second. (Stay with me, folks. It’s gonna get weirder before it gets normal again.)

When you eat a bowl of ice cream, is your goal to get to an end result as fast as possible? Do you turn to a friend or maybe a professional ice-cream-eating freelancer and say, “Hey, can you finish this bowl of ice cream for me? I just really want a messy bowl.”

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By jay-acunzo published January 24, 2016

The Content Talent Crunch: Time to Change How We Train, Hire, Nurture


(Editor’s note: When we find something of such significant value to our audience from another source, we want to share it. This article appeared in Chief Content Officer magazine, which excerpted it from Jay’s great blog, Sorry for Marketing.)

I have these two friends. Let’s call them Brendan and Amanda (because those are their names). These two friends are very, VERY good content marketers. They’ve built audiences at the top of the funnel. They’ve converted audiences down the funnel. They’re great at managing content teams. They’re prolific content creators and leaders. They’re so good that they can generate thousands of MQLs, SQLs, RTs, and other KPIs with one hand and drink an IPA with the other. LOL OMG.Continue Reading

By jay-acunzo published June 25, 2015

The Future of Content Creation Requires Humans Not Robots

A version of this article appeared in the June 2015 Chief Content Officer magazine in an exploration of the debate between machined and handcrafted content. The questions were supplied by Clare McDermott, CCO’s managing editor. My argument for handcrafted content is in these answers below. Want to hear the machined-content side? Read Ann Rockley’s response at our blog.Continue Reading

By jay-acunzo published June 1, 2015

A Crash Course in Narrative Podcasting (And Why You Should Create Them)


One of my favorite analogies I use to describe great content marketing involves the movie The Matrix. (Don’t worry, I mean the first one – not the so-so second or the can’t-believe-I-paid-for-this-crap third.)

Throughout the film, Neo gets pushed and poked and prodded to do great things by Morpheus. At first, however, Neo can’t do much of anything. Although he tries his best, he just ends up looking confused, scared, and generally despondent … which, if we’re being honest with ourselves, is a pretty accurate description of many of us when faced with the breakneck rate of change in our industry.Continue Reading

By jay-acunzo published March 18, 2015

Learn the Secrets Behind 5 Great Content Marketing Projects


Before I turned 12 and decided to become a content marketer (I was a weird kid), I wanted to be a biologist. I loved how the field allowed you to study all the “unseen” elements of a living thing that made it work. To the untrained eye, an organism is just that – an individual thing, a single entity. But trained biologists know and value how millions and millions of tiny, underappreciated parts all fit together to make the larger whole just plain work.

To understand great content is to understand that same idea – dozens of small, unseen choices, tactics, and techniques are really what make great pieces work well. So whether we’re creating blog posts, graphics, SlideShare presentations, podcasts, videos, or other projects, the devil is in the details. It’s the way a great videographer frames a shot. It’s the way a writer weaves a story throughout a stellar blog post. It’s the way an expert podcast producer fades emotional music into the show, then out again.Continue Reading

By jay-acunzo published January 29, 2015

The Critical Importance of “Segment Thinking” in Content Marketing


Here’s my nominee for the Most Obvious Statement of the Year award: Lots of businesses today create and market “content.”

I know, I know – stop the presses, right? (Or, more accurately, stop the CMSes.) But have you ever really stopped to consider the imagery that the word “content” brings to mind? What do you see? Lots of individual items flying around all over the place, no? We as content marketers interpret content to mean unique projects perhaps based on URLs or headlines, but definitely packaged as individual entities. We even like to say “pieces” of content.Continue Reading