Interested in marketing, writing, and business?

I post ideas from crazy to great, share the best stories that I find on the net, and work hard to provide great content to my readers. From the practical business uses of social media to information on direct mail, I’ve probably written a post on it.

Get involved! Leave a comment and challenge my thinking, or share your tips for success.

This is going to be fun.

How to Sell a Tent

Posted by on Mar 7, 2017 in Ryan's Thoughts | 0 comments

How to Sell a Tent

You’ll never sell a tent by saying its waterproof.

You’ll rarely sell a tent by talking about the size.

Campfires sell tents.

Hot dogs sell tents.

Friends and families sell tents.

Shooting stars sell tents.

Wet swimsuits on a rope between two trees sells tents.

Adventure sells tents.

The fact that your tent is waterproof only plays into the equation when rain comes while someone is out doing all those other things. If your tent passes the test, your brand story will become “I was out at Buffalo Pound last August when a huge storm hit. It poured all night, but we were completely dry the next morning. I love this Cabela’s tent! It’s never let me down!”

Lessons Learned in Marketing: The Phoenix Group Podcast

Posted by on Feb 23, 2017 in Audio, Ryan's Thoughts | 0 comments

Lessons Learned in Marketing: The Phoenix Group Podcast

Recently, I was contacted by David Bellerive from the Phoenix Group, a large advertising agency that services some of the most notable brands in Saskatchewan and beyond. They had started a new podcast and wanted to have me on as a guest to talk about the Saskatchewan Science Centre and the work that I do there, along with my small but amazing team.

I was honoured to even be considered for the podcast. Some of the previous guests include Kip Simon of 22 Fresh, Great Western Brewing, and Mike Tennant, one of the people behind The Age of Persuasion, a long running CBC Radio show about advertising.

I really enjoyed the conversation I had with David before, during, and after the podcast, and I hope that you can find a few minutes to listen to it! We talk about some of the things I think are the most successful in marketing right now, and I even share one of my fails from last summer’s campaigns.

Really, you should subscribe to the podcast and listen to all of them (I believe they are published every two weeks), but to get you started, here’s the episode that I was a guest on.




Where To Be In Social Media for 2017

Posted by on Dec 30, 2016 in Ryan's Thoughts | 0 comments

Where To Be In Social Media for 2017

If you were starting a new business on January 1, 2017 – which social channels should you invest in? 

I specify a new business because if you read this blog, then you probably already have some existing social media channels that you use. If they are still working for you – keep it up! But if you’re looking to start fresh, look no further than these 4 sites:


There’s no question here, Facebook is the leader in the space. I’m a little hesitant to even call Facebook social media anymore, because Facebook has become a full-fledged publisher and ad platform in it’s own right. Any social benefits that you happen to get from using it are just gravy. That’s an important distinction, because you’re unlikely to start fresh with Facebook and organically grow to thousands of likes, unless you have some amazingly unique content. The good news though, is that Facebook ads are likely still the cheapest and best way to reach a new audience, no matter where in the world it is. TIP: Even $20 can make a huge impact. Save your money and start small.


Owned by Facebook, but different! Instagram today is what Twitter was in 2012 – growing fast, exciting, and actively used by millions of people. You have to be here or you are missing out on the most engaged truly social platform on the planet today. TIP: Don’t stick to photos – video will transform your account.


Get your account and reserve your name. How often should you be posting here? That’s up to you and your business. You can do almost anything with Snapchat, but I love it as a complement to other social media channels – an avenue where you can share behind the scenes content and special bonuses for your biggest fans. TIP: Even if you don’t think you’d ever snap, get your account just so that you can create geofilters. Create a cool overlay for your business and upload it to Snap with a geofence around your business location and run it during a few busy days. You’ll get some interesting background analytics on how many times the geofilter was seen and used – you just might find out that Snapchat is a favorite of your customers! (Hint: It probably is.)


If you’ve mastered the 3 platforms above, get on YouTube. The one thing that all of the above platforms have in common is VIDEO. If you aren’t doing video in 2017 then you aren’t in social media. In all honesty, Facebook is going to be a much faster and easier video platform for you to use, but I still strongly believe in YouTube, especially for lasting content and branding purposes. YouTube faces threats, but the ways that I see it being used, not just by entrepreneurs but by KIDS absolutely blows my mind. This is a long-term play, just ignore the trolls. TIP: Regular content rules if you want to build a subscriber base. BONUS TIP: You have to watch the first 5 seconds of any ad – say what you need to say in that time, while hooking people to watch the rest. It’s not easy, but it is worth it.

Agree? Disagree? Did I miss your favorite platform? Let me know in the comments below.