SPOS #318 – How To Be Business Awesome (And UnAwesome) With Scott Stratten

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Welcome to episode #318 of Six Pixels Of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast. Will businesses ever get it right? Will they ever be able to please all of their customers all of the time. It’s doubtful. While social media has put every company on the spot in terms of having to respond and do the right thing, not a day goes by when someone doesn’t have a complaint that is blasted on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and beyond. What’s a brand to do? On top of that, if we have customers complaining all of the time and everywhere, does it create a level of noise where, ultimately, there is no brand impact because of the sheer volume? It’s something that Scott Stratten has been looking at (and taking part in) for some time. He blasted out of the marketing gates by gaining a massive following on Twitter (currently approaching 130,000 loyal followers). He converted that popularity into a best-selling business book, UnMarketing – Stop Marketing. Start Engaging, and a speaking career. More recently, he launched his second book, The Book of Business Awesome / The Book of Business UnAwesome. As with everything Scott does, it involves humor and personal stories of how businesses are getting it right and getting it woefully wrong (you can flip the book upsidedown to choose your awesome or unawesome adventure). Here he is… the guy known as Unmarketing. Enjoy the conversation…

Here it is: Six Pixels Of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast – Episode #318 – Host: Mitch Joel.

Download the Podcast here: Six Pixels Of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast – Episode #318 – Host: Mitch Joel.


  1. Thanks Joel/Scott – great Conversation. You can’t have the light, without the shadow -and there are countless examples of this on-line. “Social Extortion” is great terminology – because it’s happening and sadly that is often the only way to gain a response from larger companies. That being said overly defensive “brands” can jump on a Social Media comment, not fully understanding the context and literally attack the writer of the comment without understanding the initial concern. Often these could have easily been resolved, before the 3-4 replies into the fully visible and public social media interaction, which reads like an almost ugly he said/she said argument. It’s not a case of a “24 yr old running the Social Media”, but I would assume an business owner not fully understanding the medium, but defending his brand and not asking questions before jumping-in to discredit the complaint or comment.
    Again, very topical – who knows, perhaps “The Book of Business UnAwesome” will flip upside down with the Apple Kindle Reader on my iPad?

  2. I realize I’m behind the curve in commenting on a three week old Podcast, but I’ve been struggling to find the time to organize and craft my thoughts on what I consider to be an incredibly important issue that you and your guest Scott Stratten seem perfectly content to merely dismiss.
    Would like to preface my comments by first stating that I love you podcast and eagerly await each week’s new installment with baited anticipation – I was turned on to your blog by Chris Brogan and his reference in one particular post to you being a former “serious music journalist,” and as musician and music junkie turned marketing professional, you seemed a perfect match to my tastes and sensibilities.
    Secondly I would like to state that I am not gay, and though I have very important friendships with gay men and women, I have no political agenda when it comes to “gay issues” – in fact I’m disgusted that in the midst of the country’s worst economic crisis in my life time, our government has chosen to focus on such overtly social issues that should not even enter into the political arena.
    And finally, I am not a democrat or republican, liberal (bleeding heart or otherwise) or conservative – I stand firmly in that middle of the road space occupied my moderate independents.
    Despite my unabashed affection for your podcast, I’m deeply disappointed by the comments made and attitude portrayed by you and your guest Scott Stratten regarding Chick-Fil-A owner Dan Cathy’s public statements opposing gay marriage.
    Dan Cathy is constitutionally guaranteed the right to say whatever he thinks – he’s free to spout epithets about spics and niggers and chinks and kikes and fags and anyone he can present religious justification for disparaging (God Bless America!) – Cathy can scorn them all to his hearts delight from atop of the highest church steeple he can find.
    Regardless of his justification, however, be it religious, philosophical, animal or mineral – it’s still discrimination – period.
    Scripture from the Bible has been used to justify discrimination against women, blacks and other minorities, Jews and any religion that’s not Christianity – but if there’s good profit in it, I guess that’s cool, right?
    Everything exists in context – art, literature, societies, companies, marketing messages – and historical context is going to ABSOLUTELY BURY Chick-Fil-A.
    Were these comments made in 1964 and Cathy was funding the forces opposing interracial marriage – which the Supreme Court finally universally legalize despite popular and “scriptural” (look it up) opposition – would you be looking back and applauding Cathy’s efforts to rally is narrow-mind, “redneck,” Christian fundamentalist (because I assure you not all Christians oppose gay rights) base to the tune of record-breaking chicken sandwich sales?
    Apparently so, because in your position as a marketer, you are somehow exempt from making judgment or stating opinion. No, you sit up in your high ivory tower, coolly dispensing purely subjective critique, while – wink-wink nudge-nudge – speak into your sleeve about the “true” nature of your personal feelings, which you’re absolutely compelled to refrain from sharing.
    Instead opting to laud the business acumen of rallying consumers around discrimination based policies and declaring that Cathy’s comment really don’t rate too high on the discrimin-o-nation meter: “Well, he didn’t say they wouldn’t serve gay people…” (thank God at least a little of Cathy’s publicist’s coaching took hold and he didn’t totally spill the “politically incorrect” beans about his feelings on “the gays!”).
    This attitude is akin to saying: “Hey, that Hitler, what a guy! I mean, I can’t speak to his politics regarding this whole “ethnic cleansing” thing with the Jews. But what a brilliant autocrat – he really rallied German society behind a unifying cause, and lifted them out of the worst social and economic crisis in the country’s modern history!”
    You have voice, and even better you have an audience and a platform to reach that audience. Don’t give me the “clinical” overview, Professor Marketing, give me the truth about how you really feel. Your business critique is certainly valuable, and I (we) want to hear it, but don’t pretend like this issue does not involve discrimination.
    I am a Seth Godin fanatic, which you also purport to be, so I think you’ll appreciate this sentiment.The most powerful Seth Godin blog post I’ve ever read simply states: “Be criticized or be ignored, you have the choice of one or the other.”
    So, when it comes to Chick-Fil-A, what’s your choice, Professor Joel?

  3. My choice is always simple: I’m for people. Period. You can follow my work here or anywhere to know how much I believe in equality. Period.
    I say that on the show. The conversation wasn’t about my opinion on the matter. It was about the play that the company went with.
    Overall, my comment would be: they sell chicken. If I were them and I believed in inequality, I would probably just shut up and sell chicken.

  4. I appreciate your candor, and apologize for my somewhat overt zeal in response to one small aspect of your conversion.
    The almost clinical nature of what I consider a to be a black and white issue – discrimination is discrimination – however, really bothered me (ping-ponging around inside my head for several weeks) and I had to speak up.
    As a fellow Howard Stern devotee, I also echo your sentiment of: Shut Up and Sell Chicken!

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