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Sweathead, A Strategy Podcast

How do you get good at strategy? Whether you’re into brand strategy, advertising strategy, digital strategy, social media strategy, or you just love doing strategy but you get frustrated at how people use the word, Sweathead will help you delve into the practices and minds of some of the world’s most wonderful strategists. We're in our fifth year and have surpassed 1,200,000 listens! Hit SUBSCRIBE, tell your friends, and leave a kind rating. Real-time action is @markpollard and @sweathead.You can find strategy classes and "Strategy Is Your Words" here: http://www.sweathead.com.

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Starting Out In Social - Jack Appleby, Creative Strategist

LA's Jack Appleby is a Director of Creative Strategy. He has touched projects for Beats by Dre, Microsoft, Rockband, and more. Almost a decade into a career that has focused largely on whatever social is and with a title that now suggests a broader remit, we chat about the challenges facing social strategists at a time when few get training.We discuss:- Best Practice Machines- What's up with "engagement"?- What is social strategy?- Could other types of strategists do social work?- The skills social strategy folks need- The Los Angeles agency zeitgeist- Video game marketing- What is a creative strategist?You can find Jack at https://twitter.com/JuiceboxCAFor more internet:Facebook group: http://www.sweathead.coInstagram: http://www.instagram.com/markpollard


27 Nov 2018

Rank #1

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Onboard Your People Properly, Please - Mary Ergul, Strategist

Mary Ergul is a strategist who wants to see companies help strategists start new jobs well. So she made a deck called “Sinking Isn’t An Option” (http://bit.ly/strategyonboarding). Grab the deck, fill it in, and help your fellow strategists fly... or, at least, not drown. Mary mentions working at Havas a few times. She recently left and is joining Madwell.You can find Mary here https://twitter.com/MaryErgul and here http://maryergul.comFor more strategy talk:1. Newsletter: http://www.markpollard.net/email-newsletter/2. Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/markpollard3. Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/markpollard4. Facebook - join 7,000+ strategists: http://www.sweathead.coThe Kickstarter for "Strategy Is Your Words" launches November 5th.


23 Oct 2019

Rank #2

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Communications Planning Basics - Julian Cole, Strategy Consultant

Julian and I have just launched Season 2 of The Strategy Megaclass. It's called F**k Yeah Rainbow Cannons. And it's coming to NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle in March and April. It's a full day of strategy training covering words, briefs, ideas, and strategy frameworks.Details and tickets are here http://www.strategymegaclass.comWe thought we'd use the occasion to talk through some work by S'well, Burger King and ClassPass, as well as discuss strategy practice work that Harriet (@minimalstrat), Bram Draaijer (@DraaijerB), and Sanika Tilway (@tillwaytweets) have posted on Twitter to #ShowYourStrategy.Hannah Molly Baker's ClassPass case studyhttps://www.hannahmollybaker.com/classpass-positioning-campaignHarriet - Selling fountain pens to office workershttps://twitter.com/minimalstrat/status/1226120048902918144?s=20Dram - Selling wall paint to new house ownershttps://twitter.com/DraaijerB/status/1225792494018887681?s=20Sanika - Selling speed dating to introvertshttps://twitter.com/tillwaytweets/status/1223692880826568704?s=20The Strategy Megaclass -> http://www.strategymegaclass.comJulian https://www.planningdirty.com/Mark https://www.instagram.com/markpollard/


24 Feb 2020

Rank #3

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When Creatives And Strategists Can Work Together - Greg Hahn, CCO

Greg Hahn is one of the world's most prolific and best known creative leaders. Chances are that if you've lived in America–yet alone worked in the advertising industry here–you've seen his work. Or his team's work. Greg started at Fallon in Minneapolis then moved to BBDO in New York where he rose to Chief Creative Officer. He spent fourteen years at BBDO. But he's not there now.In this interview, we discuss how Greg is thinking through his future, how strategists and creatives can work better together, work and identity, as well as simpler stuff like, "What makes a portfolio good?".You can find Greg here https://www.linkedin.com/in/greghahn777/The LinkedIn post we reference is here: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/greghahn777_last-week-i-got-to-attend-my-own-wake-it-activity-6658133906765697024-JDDgSweathead strategy school is in session: http://courses.sweathead.co

1hr 1min

1 May 2020

Rank #4

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Your Work Life, Strategy Exercises, And Questions - Sit And Talk, New York

In this episode, I share some thoughts about the past couple of weeks, some real talk from a recent Instagram story about your work life and WHAT ARE YOU DOING, as well as run you through 10 strategy exercises and answer a bunch of questions. Thanks for hanging out with me.You can find 10+ hours of training videos here for the next week or two: http://www.sweathead.co

1hr 22mins

21 Mar 2020

Rank #5

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How BBDO Does Business Development - Nicole Landesman

Nicole Landesman is Head of Business Development at BBDO in New York, where she helps potential clients navigate everything BBDO has to offer. And she was once a planner.We discuss:- The BBDO new business process- What’s going on inside a marketer’s mind during a pitch- What makes a useful pitch brief- Moving form planning to business developmentFor more strategy talk:1. Strategy newsletter: http://www.markpollard.net/email-newsletter/2. Strategy drawings: http://www.instagram.com/markpollard 3. Strategy Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/markpollard4. Join 5,000+ strategists: http://www.sweathead.coNew book "Strategy Is Your Words" out soon.


12 Apr 2019

Rank #6

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Starting Out In Strategy - Natalie Kim

Yo! It's Natalie Kim from We Are Next. After 10 years in the agency world with her last role being Director of Strategy at Firstborn, Natalie now runs We Are Next where she helps people new to the industry navigate how to get into it and thrive once they are there.We discuss:- Studying advertising in college- The most common question of new strategists- Informational interviews (what are they and what's the point?)- Recent strategy job trends- Patience You can find Natalie at http://www.twitter.com/natalieykim and http://www.we-are-next.com/For the video, visit http://www.sweathead.co You can find Mark at http://www.twitter.com/markpollard


10 Apr 2018

Rank #7

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Planning Is For Punks - Gareth Kay, CSO

Gareth Kay co-founded Chapter after a stint as CSO of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and leading planning at Modernista! in Boston. However, he's originally from England where he achieved a MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford. So his planning bonafides are well bonfided.In this 40-minute interrogation, I hit Gareth with 150 questions. OK. Maybe 30. It's fast-paced. We cover a lot of planning topics that some people might think are below them to discuss. Not us!- What is planning?- Planning vs strategy - does it matter?- Does planning work?- Has planning always had a credibility issue?- What makes a good planner?- Why does planning struggle in agencies?- Are there nuances in the USA that make planning harder?You can find Gareth at http://twitter.com/garethkVideo: http://www.sweathead.co Mark: http://www.twitter.com/markpollard Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dscjW5


1 Jun 2018

Rank #8

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Insights Are Life And Death (But You Take Them All Too Seriously)

An update about all things Sweathead as well as the talk from Google Firestarters in London mid-November. It's not the actual talk. It's a reading of an 11-page script of the talk. If you like it, let me know. Otherwise, maybe I'll delete it in a few days.Instagram http://www.instagram.com/markpollardStrategy class http://www.skl.sh/markpollardArticles http://www.markpollard.net


30 Nov 2018

Rank #9

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Putting Yourself And Your Campaigns Out There - Julian Cole, Comms Planner

Julian Cole was formerly the Head of Comms Planning at BBDO in New York. We've known each since around 2008. We've blogged, taught Skillshare, and spoken at conferences side by side. And now we're doing a strategy class in a bunch of different cities side by side. It's called The Strategy Super Sizer Megaclass. We discuss: - Revenge-astroturfing a bank by walking into it and yelling at it - The value of writing and putting yourself out there - Giving useful feedback about ideas - Working better with media agencies - An impromptu strategy for saving lamps from hypothetical extinction You can find Julian and his Planning Dirty newsletter here: https://twitter.com/juliancole And you can find out about the MEGACLASS here: http://www.strategymegaclass.comSweathead strategy classes are in session: http://courses.sweathead.co


9 May 2019

Rank #10

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The Problems With Pitches - Tim Dunn, Strategy Head

There's something pure and powerful about pitches - largely because the thinking rarely reaches the public and the time pressures force fast decisions, but they can be wrought with bad behavior. How do you deal with the bad behavior? Do you just have to put up with it?Tim Dunn is an English Executive Strategy Director in Canada. He loves pitches. He has a way with them. And, in this interview, we discuss how he has his way with them. You can find Tim here https://www.linkedin.com/in/timdunn/ and here https://twitter.com/timmcdunnFor more strategy talk:1. Newsletter: http://www.markpollard.net/email-newsletter/2. Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/markpollard3. Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/markpollard4. Facebook - join 6,000+ strategists: http://www.sweathead.coNew book "Strategy Is Your Words" out soon.


2 Oct 2019

Rank #11

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Live Action Strategy - Dos Toros, Mexican Food - Julian Cole, Davis Ballard

Dos Toros is a Mexican food joint. They are lunch-sponsoring the first occurrence of The Strategy Super Sizer Megaclass in New York. So we thought we'd throw around some ideas like the last episode Julian and I did together. Can we think out loud and messy and try - just try - to find a thread from problem to comms idea and tactics in less than an hour and then draw it up? Will any of it make sense? This time, we brought in Davis Ballard who provided research support (Thanks, Davis!). This is hypothetical thinking. And it's an unedited pod. If you think you can beat it, beat it!Julian and I will do a Live Action Strategy sesh live in our Megaclasses (NYC, Chicago, LA). You can find Julian's newsletter Planning Dirty (not Dirty Planning or Planking Dirty) and his Tweets here: http://www.twitter.com/juliancole. You can find Davis here: https://twitter.com/mrdavisballard.The Strategy Super Sizer Megaclass: http://bit.ly/StrategySuperSizerThe deck for the last Live Action Strategy sesh (Lamps): http://bit.ly/LiveStrategyLampsThe deck for this Live Action Strategy sesh (Dos Toros): http://bit.ly/LiveStrategyDosTorosSweathead strategy classes are in session: http://courses.sweathead.co

1hr 11mins

27 May 2019

Rank #12

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"Strategy Is Your Words" Book Excerpt - "Fighting Words"

We're about to hit 100,000 listens. Seems like a solid number. Thank you for listening and sharing it with your friends. It means a lot to me because this podcast is how I trap people into deep conversations. If you'd like to rate the podcast, which is something you've probably been contemplating, please do.  Recently, I finished the second draft of this strategy book I'm writing and I wanted to read out the first chapter - Fighting Words. There's still work to do but it will give you a sense of the attitude of the book.  There are two main sections to the book. The first half focuses on 24 words that I find strategists and account planners using (or needing to use) in their work (clarity, meaning, truth, impostor, lonewolf, etc). It's surreal philosophy of sorts. I want it to feel like I'm in your head because I'm channeling hundreds - maybe thousands - of conversations, emails, and meetings. The second half of the book is more practical. It compiles frameworks from my "Strategy! The Workout" training sessions, helps you understand how to apply them, while also breaking down what ideas, problems, insights, and strategy statements are.  I want to get "Strategy Is Your Words" onto desks and walls (posters) around the world. There will be a digital version but... I want you to touch this and be able to point to it.  I'm just starting on launch and marketing plans. I'm open to ideas :) Enjoy.  Mark For more strategy talk:1. Strategy newsletter: http://www.markpollard.net/email-newsletter/2. Strategy drawings: http://www.instagram.com/markpollard 3. Strategy Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/markpollard4. Join 5,000+ strategists: http://www.sweathead.coNew book "Strategy Is Your Words" out soon.


7 Mar 2019

Rank #13

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8 Strategy Minds Discuss COVID-19 - Sweathead Check-In

Natalie Burns - Brighton, UKAnnalie Killian - New York, USASheldon Lawrence Tarpey - Birmingham, UKJesse Alleva - Alaska, USASiddharth Seth - Chicago, USAAlexandra Suarez - Puerto RicoDillon Key - Arkansas, USAJoin 9,000+ strategists: http://www.sweathead.co

1hr 15mins

14 Mar 2020

Rank #14

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Turning Around An Agency - Rob Schwartz, CEO

Rob Schwartz is CEO of TBWA\CHIAT\DAY New York. A big agency brand name, TBWA in New York was a shining star then it faded. When Rob arrived, the culture had been decimated and clients were either leaving or very unhappy. In this interview, we discuss the turn-around story. Rob shares with us the business plan he shared with global CEO Troy Ruhanen and he discusses what they discussed before he took the role. He also describes what he focused on in his first few months. It's a very candid interview - although I can tell Rob is comfortable in candor. You can find TBWA NY here https://tbwachiatdayny.comRob is here: https://twitter.com/Schwartzie14   Sweathead strategy classes are in session: http://courses.sweathead.co


4 Sep 2019

Rank #15

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Strategy Jobs. What's Going On? - Erin Noel, Recruiter

Have you ever wanted to ask a recruiter... "Like, come on now, could you tell me what's really going on?" Well, I just did. And - BONUS - Erin Noel who's currently Director of Team Operations at Stink Studios was a strategist for 13 years before doing recruitment so she can speak to both sides. In this interview, we discuss:- How to honor yourself in your career- The 2 most common crossroads in a strategist's career- The art of compromise- Getting a job, keeping a job, and career twilights- Working with recruiters (and specific recruiters Erin recommends)You can find Erin on LinkedIn.Related article: Give Me That Strategy Job (Can you passion your way into a job?) https://mailchi.mp/mightyjungle/give-me-that-strategy-jobVideo: http://www.sweathead.coMark on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/markpollardEmail newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dscjW5


1 May 2018

Rank #16

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Strategy Work Is Creative Work - Ben Shaw, Strategy Head

Ben Shaw is Head of Strategy at BBH London. As an eleven-year veteran of one of the world's best agencies and one of the world's favorite homes to agency strategists, Ben believes that strategy is a creative role and that strategy departments need to contain more people from different backgrounds to be as creative as possible. We discuss both topics, including BBH's year-and-a-half mission to open itself up to people who wouldn't normally get access to an advertising career in London.     You can find Ben here https://twitter.com/benshaw BBH's Homegrown program is here https://www.bartleboglehegarty.com/careers/internship-homegrown Sweathead strategy classes are in session: http://courses.sweathead.co


11 Sep 2019

Rank #17

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Marketers Are The Frontline Of Creativity In Business - Josh Dean, CMO

This might surprise some of you but there are experienced marketers out there who really love creativity. Josh Dean is one of them. He's been the CMO at S'well (post-plastic bottles and containers), he's CMO'd Tommy John, he had a ten-year stint at Unilever, and he was VP of Brand Communications at Chobani.  I've sat in meeting rooms with him wondering, "What's he doing here?" I've wondered that because the wrestle with Josh is usually over ideas - to get to better ideas, instead of wrestling a marketer into believing in ideas. And this is what we discuss. You can find Josh here https://www.linkedin.com/in/mrjoshuadean/ Sweathead strategy classes are in session: http://courses.sweathead.co


16 Apr 2020

Rank #18

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The Philosophy of Strategy - Rob Estreitinho, Strategy

Philosophy is dope. Sure, some of the books are dense and the words longer than a giraffe, but we all have philosophies and can improve our lives by learning how to debate them with ourselves. Meet Rob Estreitinho, senior strategist at VCCP in London, and maker of Salmon Theory, a newsletter about the philosophy of strategy.We discuss:- Having A Thing - not just a CV- What philosophy is- The philosophy of freelancing- The philosophy of expectations versus reality- Going full-timeYou can find Rob at https://twitter.com/restreitinhoAnd his beautiful newsletter Salmon Theory at https://tinyletter.com/estreitinhoFor the video, visit http://www.sweathead.co You can find Mark at http://www.twitter.com/markpollard


15 Apr 2018

Rank #19

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Learning Strategy - Walk and Talk, Riverside Park

How do you learn strategy? In this episode we look at 15+ questions from strategists around the world and we discuss deliberate practice, sets, and practice as sanity. Ask questions here: http://www.instagram.com/markpollardFor more strategy talk:1. Strategy newsletter: http://www.markpollard.net/email-newsletter/2. Strategy drawings: http://www.instagram.com/markpollard 3. Strategy Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/markpollard4. Join 5,000+ strategists: http://www.sweathead.coNew book "Strategy Is Your Words" out soon.


18 May 2019

Rank #20