5 Reasons Marketers Should Pick Up Reading in 2022

You turn in projects and assignments at the speed of lightning. You commit to helping every colleague who pings you on Slack. You work more than 40 hours per week. Your manager describes you as a go-getter, ambitious, and reliable.

Most days, you finish late. After work, you usually sit down, relax, and watch TV – until you pass out from after eating overpriced takeout food.

Does this sound like you?

If you felt seen or heard through this fictional worker’s story, you have a hobby crisis. In other words, work has consumed every waking part of your life. You no longer collect Pokémon cards, water plants, or even go on short walks. You work. You sleep. You repeat.

But having hobbies makes your life more fulfilling. Non-work-related activities improve your stress, free your mind, and can even better your job prospects.

Reading books has the added pro of making you a better writer – an essential marketing skill. More importantly, reading enables you to live a better life – and here are five reasons marketers should pick up a few books in 2022.

1. Reading expands your vocabulary

When writing an email or social media post, marketers have to cycle through online thesauruses to create engaging copy. But reading can also expand your vocabulary, thus improving your natural ability to write.

Researchers have confirmed this phenomenon. Students who read from a young age develop large vocabularies over time. But reading can really improve your writing at any age. After all, every book has potentially hundreds of new words and phrases for you to learn.

2. Reading reduces your stress

8 in 10 workers feel stressed on the job. Yet many of them carry that stress with them in their personal lives. And get this: reading can improve your stress levels just as effectively as yoga or comedy.

In fact, one study found that 30 minutes of reading lowers your blood pressure, heart rate, and feelings of distress – just like yoga or humor. Instead of spending an extra 30 minutes on work, consider setting aside that time to read.

3. Reading improves your ability to empathize

Managers have to communicate effectively with their colleagues from a leadership role. Sometimes, this power gets to their heads – prompting poor managers to foster toxic environments and create divisions.

You likely don’t have this problem – but long-term literary reading has proven to increase our ability to empathize. When you read a piece of fiction, you have to grapple with a characters’ inner emotions, thoughts, and struggles. To enjoy fictional work, you take yourself out of the narrative and dive into the head of someone else.

Even if you consider yourself a good manager, reading books will take your communication and understanding to the next level. Your perspective from reading shifts to consider another person’s inner monologue. You put yourself in a place where you better understand what someone else wants or needs.

4. Reading helps you sleep better

If you stare at a computer or phone screen right before bed, you likely get poor sleep. Science has proven blue light emissions from devices limits the number of hours you can get.

What can you do instead of scrolling on Instagram or watching YouTube? You can read.

In fact, the Mayo Clinic even recommends incorporating reading into your daily sleep schedule. After getting a good night’s sleep, you can improve your focus on work – thus increasing productivity and saving you more time.

woman blue books girl
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

5. Reading minimizes symptoms depression of depression

Unfortunately, 23% of workers report feelings of depression. While therapy and psychiatry offer solutions to stave off depression in the long run, books can also help reduce symptoms of depression – according to a study conducted by the Reading Agency.

After all, reading represents a form of genuine escapism. Unlike TV shows or movies, reading challenges your brain. You have the freedom to imagine how a book’s characters or settings appear to you. And reading is just really, really fun.

Now that you understand the benefits of reading, the best time to get started is now. Consider dropping by your local bookstore by yourself or with friends. Take a look through both fiction and nonfiction books – you might end up liking one more than the other.

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Top 20 Tech Companies to Work at According to Marketers [2022]

Bad companies suck. And working in marketing at a bad company sucks even more. But thankfully, online reviews help marketers steer away from poor work-life balances, micromanagers, and more.

To help job seekers out, Glassdoor releases a list of the best places to work every year. On the platform, employees review companies on their culture, benefits, work environment, and more. Glassdoor enables professionals to see which companies fit their needs best.

But Glassdoor’s ranking does not tell us much about each company’s marketing department. After all, what if a top-rated firm has a poorly managed marketing department? Without conducting additional research, you would never know.

But don’t worry – we got you covered. We aggregated Glassdoor reviews from marketers at top tech companies. By pulling detailed reviews, this list will help marketers better understand the best marketing teams across the tech industry.

Find out how the world’s top tech companies, including Microsoft, Apple, and Meta, rank according to marketing employees – featuring the good, the bad, and the ugly.

close up shot of a gold medal on a black surface
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels.com

#20: MathWorks

Company Overview

MathWorks specializes in creating mathematical computing software. Based in Natick, MA, the company currently has more than 5,000 employees.

To explore careers at MathWorks, check out their job portal.

Glassdoor Score

Overall Score: 4.3 (1,810 reviews)

Marketing Score: 3.6 (32 reviews)

Glassdoor Ranking: #22

Review Highlights


“Collaborative work environment

Almost limitless learning opportunities

Products that impact the daily lives of scientists and engineers all over the globe

Technical leader in many fields

Products that are mission-critical for many engineering companies

Respecting and investing in one another is a core company value

Lots of mobility within the company to explore new positions

Committed to building for the long haul.”

Principal Technical Marketing Manager in Natick, MA


“Limited career growth, particularly for women, senior women are treated as less knowledgeable than junior male colleagues, company said they would be looking into diversity in 2020, but nothing happened, no transparency on salaries or even the gender makeup of departments and management, looking at average salaries, I am making shockingly less than the average salary with my experience. I wish I had gone to another company earlier in my career.”

Product Marketing Manager in Natick, MA

#19: ServiceNow

Company Overview

ServiceNow develops cloud computing software to help enterprises manage digital operations more efficiently. Headquartered in Santa Clara, CA, the firm currently employs more than 15,000 professionals.

To explore careers at ServiceNow, check out their job portal.

Glassdoor Score

Overall Score: 4.5 (2,423 reviews)

Marketing Score: 3.7 (36 reviews)

Glassdoor Ranking: #23

Review Highlights


“Fantastic product that is truly transforming the world. Happy customers that help pave the way for future product needs. Culture is second to none. Focus on diversity, inclusion and belonging, and general wellness of all employees. Company priorities are clear and actionable. Frequent check-ins from executives (All Hands).”

Marketing Director


“The company is tortured in growing pains, dysfunction, and toxicity. First-time CMO, Alan Marks, struggles to unify the marketing org. He continues to make constant reorgs and direction changes and brings in new leadership to “fix” the problems. I witnessed lots of good people just unexpectedly get fired, making everyone nervous and living in fear they are next. Groups are working in silos and struggle to do any meaningful work due to bureaucracy and role duplication. The work quality bar is low, favoring speed. That is because everyone spends all the time in meetings and dealing with politics and not working. The company lacks basic processes that you would expect at a company this size (there is seriously no standardized hiring process). There is lots of hype around ServiceNow being a top company, but I have found the culture to be extremely political and toxic. Senior leadership operates in the command and conquer model with very little empowerment to its people.”

Marketing Director in Santa Clara, CA

#18: eBay

Company Overview

eBay is a notable e-commerce company that provides consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sellers with a bidding platform. The firm has approximately 12,700 employees who work primarily out of its headquarters in San Jose, CA

To explore careers at eBay, check out their job portal.

Glassdoor Score

Overall Score: 4.1 (4,586 reviews)

Marketing Score: 3.8 (92 reviews)

Glassdoor Ranking: #55

Review Highlights


“If you’re self motivated, there is a ton of opportunity at eBay. There is a lot of work to do and projects are available in all departments. I’ve been able to add so many tools to my belt purely by volunteering. At other companies, the scope of your role is much more defined limiting your chances to make huge strides in your skill set and career.”

Digital Marketing Manager


“eBay is constantly in a state of transition, going through leadership changes, drastic strategy changes, and mass layoffs nearly every quarter. These seem to be predominately knee jerk reactions vs. long term strategy based off data, innovation, and collaboration. Employee moral was very low throughout most of the time I was with eBay, due to a gross lack of communication and team building during major transition and layoff periods, a constant change in strategy requiring constant pivots, to the point employees are mostly fixing and reacting to changes, and due to a complete lack of regard for company culture. Suzy, the former America’s CMO actually told many employees that the last thing she should care about is culture; that instead employees should be grateful to work for eBay. Employees are worked so hard, given tasks that easily make up 70+ hours of work weekly, and while leadership encourages employees to speak up if they can’t handle their workload, when they do they are told that “this is just eBay. Take it or leave it”. During the most recent round of layoffs, eBay randomly put employees in positions that did not at all align with their skill set, previous roles, or career ambition, and actually demoted a good amount of employees with these changes.”

Senior Marketing Manager in San Jose, CA

#17: Autodesk

Company Overview

Autodesk provides software products for multiple industries, including engineering, manufacturing, media, education, and others. More than 11,500 employees work at the firm, with the majority located at their headquarters in San Rafael, CA.

To explore careers at Autodesk, check out their job portal.

Glassdoor Score

Overall Score: 4.3 (3,377 reviews)

Marketing Score: 3.8 (97 reviews)

Glassdoor Ranking: #21

Review Highlights


“Competitive compensation and benefits (depending on where you’re located), strong market hold, our customers do truly game-changing things with our software, best intentions with company culture initiatives, seemingly sharp and grounded CEO.”

Marketing in San Francisco, CA


“-Company ladder is miserable

-Hard to move in your role

-Salary increases are hard to get + small bumps when given.

-Give more salary vs. equity that vest over 3 years…”

Pipeline Marketing Manager in San Jose, CA

#16: Meta

Company Overview

Meta, formerly The Facebook Company, provides a number of technological products – including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and more. Recently, Meta shifted into the metaverse space and has invested significant resources into augmented reality and virtual reality technologies. Based in Menlo Park, CA, more than 58,604 employees help run this massive conglomerate.

To explore careers at Meta, check out their job portal.

Glassdoor Score

Overall Score: 4.3 (9,761 reviews)

Marketing Score: 4 (204 reviews)

Glassdoor Ranking: #47

Review Highlights




Excellent DEI Support

Ability to grow in your career

Support for growth and shift to any area you want, including a total career change

Excellent Salary

Amazing culture

Work Life Balance – but that is up to YOU.”

Product Marketing Lead in San Francisco, CA


“Constant org changes, everything is P0 without any thought to impact over activity, constant duplication of work across individuals and teams, instead of considering what needs to be solved for in terms of impact, money or headcount is immediately thrown at problems essentially making them more complicated.”

Marketing Manager in Seattle, WA

#15: Akamai

Company Overview

Akamai provides Internet and web security services in the cybersecurity and cloud service space. Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, more than 8,800 employees help run Akamai, which houses one of the largest distributed computing platforms in the world.

To explore careers at Akamai, check out their job portal.

Glassdoor Score

Overall Score: 4.5 (2,277 reviews)

Marketing Score: 4 (31 reviews)

Glassdoor Ranking: #17

Review Highlights


“Very innovative and customer centric company that has products that rock. The leadership is comprised of highly intelligent people who encourage people to challenge the status quo.”

Senior Product Marketing Manager in Santa Monica, CA


“Despite how large and well-oiled the company seems, the daily environment (including back-stabbing, lack of support and growth opportunities) comes down to each department and its management. While some parts of Akamai can truly be one’s dream workplace, others are incredibly toxic, run by people with no experience managing people nor desire to learn how to effectively manage or inspire their employees.”

Marketing Manager

#14: Zillow

Company Overview

Zillow provides an online real-estate marketplace for both renters and house hunters. Based in Seattle, WA, Zillow employs more than 6,400 employees who help manage the “leading real estate marketplace”.

To explore careers at Zillow, check out their job portal.

Glassdoor Score

Overall Score: 3.9 (1,448 reviews)

Marketing Score: 4.1 (40 reviews)

Glassdoor Ranking: #54

Review Highlights


“Zillow has amazing benefits and for the most part seems to genuinely care about employees. I would have given a 5 star rating for Zillow as a whole, but this review is about my time working in Marketing. Also, how ZO was handled has left a bad taste in my mouth.”



“- ZO pause and subsequent wind down was handled very poorly, marketing layoffs went from “we don’t know if your team will be impacted” to “your last day at Zillow is today” overnight. Many impacted did not even support the ZO business.

– Reasonings for ZO pausing and then winding down altogether seemed to keep changing, little to no transparency there.

– Lack of senior leadership accountability.”


#13: Qualtrics

Company Overview

Qualtrics is the leading experience management software, most known for its extensive surveying and insights tools. The firm has more than 4,200 employees, with many working out of its headquarters in Seattle, WA.

To explore careers at Qualtrics, check out their job portal.

Glassdoor Score

Overall Score: 4.2 (1,216 reviews)

Marketing Score: 4.2 (20 reviews)

Glassdoor Ranking: #60

Review Highlights


“Company seems to care about their employees – managers are highly encouraged and trained on how to engage and drive positive team and individual employee experience. The organization fosters an environment of trust and support – at least that has been my personal experience with my team and manager.”

Senior Product Marketing Manager


“Bad diversity equity and inclusion. The company is very white, very Mormon and it’s absolutely a “boys / Mormon club” at the top of the company.

Also faced antisemitism in a few instances directly as well as through the broader Utah community. Of course it’s not every person at all, but it’s enough that it impacted my experience.

A lot of chaos and difficulties transitioning from a mid size company into an enterprise size public firm.

Lacking senior leadership vision, very inconsistently applied other than hype and kook aid.

There is a culture of celebrating those that put out fires but not those that are planners.

Burn out is real.

Qualtrics has some nice benefits for sure but there’s also a bit of a meet the bare minimum to be able to say “us too!” With other tech companies. Then the leadership team pats themselves on the back for days.”

Senior Product Marketing Manager in Seattle, WA

#12: Cisco Systems

Company Overview

Cisco Systems has provided multiple technology solutions, including hardware, software, equipment, and other products. Headquartered in San Jose, CA, Cisco Systems currently has nearly 80,000 employees.

To explore careers at Cisco Systems, check out their job portal.

Glassdoor Score

Overall Score: 4.3 (26,749 reviews)

Marketing Score: 4.3 (468 reviews)

Glassdoor Ranking: #81

Review Highlights


“Hires the best talent so you’re always surrounded by incredibly smart and driven people – that are also humble and kind. You won’t find any “coasters” here. Great benefits and competitive salary. Incredible, gourmet free food on-site.”

Senior Marketing Manager in Ixtlahuacán, Colima


“Unless you are a superstar it’s going to be hard to move up in the organization. Compensation is also not competitive, especially for employees with longer tenure. Company appears to be on the cusp of becoming a big company so we have a lot of messy startup type processes and also a lot of overly engineered bureaucratic processes. Lots of new program management types who appear the be putting processes in place that serve no real benefit to the business.”

Group Product Marketing Manager

#11: DocuSign

Company Overview

As the name suggests, DocuSign helps organizations create electronic agreements through its notable eSignature. Located in San Francisco, CA, DocuSign currently has more than 6,200 employees.

To explore careers at DocuSign, check out their job portal.

Glassdoor Score

Overall Score: 4.4 (2,076 reviews)

Marketing Score: 4.3 (274 reviews)

Glassdoor Ranking: #27

Review Highlights


“- People genuinely want to work together and share the burden

– Work/life balance

– Amazing benefits and goals to create pay equity

– Hard work and results are rewarded by both public success sharing and career opportunities

– Leadership team that cares about people – employees and customers

– Focus on making the world a better place.”



“- High growth, so things are always changing – that’s good but also bad, meaning there’s consistent reorgs and changes that make longer term planning a bit hard and sometimes what you’ve done doesn’t get used because there’s a big shift right as you come out with a new enablement/asset for example.”

Senior Product Marketing Manager

#10: Apple

Company Overview

Apple provides a plethora of electronic and digital products, including the iPhone, iPad, Apple Music, and more. Although Apple has employees across the world, the company employs more than 90,000 employees in the United States – with a large part working out of its Cupertino, CA headquarters.

To explore careers at Apple, check out their job portal.

Glassdoor Score

Overall Score: 4.2 (28,870 reviews)

Marketing Score: 4.4 (149 reviews)

Glassdoor Ranking: #56

Review Highlights


“Work with smart, driven and creative people everyday. Excellent pay and stock. Great place for someone who knows how to navigate a highly complex organization and constantly innovate ideas and think progressively.”

Marketing Communications Manager in Cupertino, CA


“- Non-existing work-life balance. This is not an exaggeration. People will email well beyond appropriate business hours, ping, text, email like they text. Weekend and late night work is expected.

– Ridiculous overtime at no additional comp for salaried employees; this is “meeting expectations”. I’ve never been thanked or apologized to when interrupted on a Sunday afternoon. I have not had a weekend in a month. I did not get Memorial Day off, I had to skip Mother’s Day, I already know I will be expected to work Labor Day. What is the price of your time and life?

– Most execs and leads are men. My team is most female, on the ground level, while all leads are men.

I came from Google. It was an extremely tough decision to make. The creative is stronger here; there is no arguing that. That’s why I came. In comparison to Google, who also has peak moments of large work volume, my experience has been that Apple does not consider the cost and considerations of pushing for more work. The compensation isn’t as comparable to Google. The benefits are definitely not. The culture is teetering toxic. Essentially, on all other levels aside from creative and cool co-workers, I’d recco Google hands down.”

Marketing Communications Creative

#9: Microsoft

Company Overview

Microsoft is a developer of multiple technology products, most notably their computer software and Microsoft Office. Headquartered in Redmond, WA, Microsoft employs more than 182,000 professionals working across a wide range of functions.

To explore careers at Microsoft, check out their job portal.

Glassdoor Score

Overall Score: 4.4 (38,223 reviews)

Marketing Score: 4.4 (732 reviews)

Glassdoor Ranking: #28

Review Highlights


“Great company culture

Strives to be thoughtful and inclusive

Really does care about their impact on the world

Really does care about their customers

Lots of opportunity to experience different career paths

Flexible workplace (can work remote, can work your own hours, depending on the team)

Great benefits and pay – they care about keeping their employees happy”

Product Marketing Manager in Seattle, WA


“VPs are myopically focused on meeting quotas, regardless of whether they are sales or hiring based, as it massively impacts their bonuses.

Never forget this is a large corporation. They care about impact. And they treat their people well. But remember that at the end of the day, no matter what you have done, no matter how much you care, no matter how much impact you’ve had, you’re still just a cog. A cog they will emotionlessly cast aside, if it no longer helps whomever is the EVP, CVP or VP of an org. As all they care about is lining their pockets.”

Marketing Director in Redmond, WA

#8: LinkedIn

Company Overview

LinkedIn is a networking and careers social media platform with more than 810 million members. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, LinkedIn has more than 18,000 full-time employees.

To explore careers at LinkedIn, check out their job portal.

Glassdoor Score

Overall Score: 4.4 (4,958 reviews)

Marketing Score: 4.4 (104 reviews)

Glassdoor Ranking: #19

Review Highlights


“Hires the best talent so you’re always surrounded by incredibly smart and driven people – that are also humble and kind. You won’t find any “coasters” here. Great benefits and competitive salary. Incredible, gourmet free food on-site.”

Senior Marketing Manager in Ixtlahuacán, Colima


“Unless you are a superstar it’s going to be hard to move up in the organization. Compensation is also not competitive, especially for employees with longer tenure. Company appears to be on the cusp of becoming a big company so we have a lot of messy startup type processes and also a lot of overly engineered bureaucratic processes. Lots of new program management types who appear the be putting processes in place that serve no real benefit to the business”

Group Product Marketing Manager

#7: Adobe

Company Overview

Adobe provides highly-used computer software, including Acrobat Reader, Photoshop, and more. Headquartered in San Jose, CA, Adobe currently employs more than 24,000 professionals globally.

To explore careers at Adobe, check out their job portal.

Glassdoor Score

Overall Score: 4.4 (6,999 reviews)

Marketing Score: 4.4 (121 reviews)

Glassdoor Ranking: #16

Review Highlights


“I came over with the Workfront acquisition. I was excited to be part of this wonderful, well-known, beloved brand. The benefits are amazing. Lots of work life balance, healthcare is great, there’s a nutritionist on staff, tons of unheard of added perks…all top notch. Adobe executive leadership truly cares and has put a lot of thought and research into making Adobe a great place to work. But there’s a gap….”

Senior Marketing Manager in Lehi, UT


“You have to get a manager who wants to be a manager. You need them to fight for you, elevate you, highlight your accomplishments to senior management otherwise you get lost in the shuffle. They don’t encourage movement to other depts as much as other companies, and it can literally take years to get a promotion. The unspoken rule is you do the job for a year and then get the promotion. Also, be vocal and open with others about equity/stock/shares. I found out it was very unfairly distributed on my old team with some people in management lying about it without even being asked directly.”

Product Marketing Manager in San Francisco, CA

#6: Salesforce

Company Overview

Salesforce pioneered the customer relationship management space and has dominated since 1999. Although it’s headquartered in San Francisco, CA, nearly 70,000 employees work globally.

To explore careers at Salesforce, check out their job portal.

Glassdoor Score

Overall Score: 4.5 (11,730 reviews)

Marketing Score: 4.4 (245 reviews)

Glassdoor Ranking: #10

Review Highlights


“Intelligent and compassionate colleagues; good work-life balance; lots of resources to tap into; great managers who listen to feedback and encourage development; and inspiring leaders who walk-the-walk in terms of the company’s values.”

Product Marketing Manager in Chicago, IL


“-company culture is pushed hard but falls short

-hard to come across genuine colleagues especially if you have different backgrounds than them

-a bit hard for career growth, promotions hard to come across (even though they do provide personal development opportunities and trainings.”

Senior Product Marketing Manager in San Francisco, CA

#5: HubSpot

Company Overview

The other customer relationship management giant, HubSpot, primarily works with small-to-medium-sized businesses. Although its headquarters are located in Cambridge, MA, HubSpot employs more than 4,200 professionals – many of which work from home.

To explore careers at HubSpot, check out their job portal.

Glassdoor Score

Overall Score: 4.6 (1,880 reviews)

Marketing Score: 4.4 (131 reviews)

Glassdoor Ranking: #2

Review Highlights


“HubSpot has prioritized its culture and the wellbeing of its employees, unlike anything I have ever seen. From day one, I felt a noticeable shift in how I thought about work and how excited I was to get the opportunity to be a part of something so special. HubSpot is full of talented, diverse, and humble individuals that make me better every day.”

Senior Growth Marketing Manager in Denver, CO


“I’ve been at HubSpot for 6 months and I’ve never felt such burnout before. The workload is unsustainable and when I bring this up to my manager, I hear, “Oh that’s totally normal, all new hires feel that way.” This baffles me — if everyone feels overwhelmed, why don’t we recalibrate the workload/expectations? I see my team members editing Google Docs at 11, 12 at night on the regular, which indicates to me that the work/life balance on my team (in particular) is lacking. I dreamed of working at HubSpot for almost 5 years. Now that I’m here, I’m realizing that it’s not a good fit for me, which is crushing.”

Marketing in Boston, MA

#4: Google

Company Overview

Google is a widely famous technology company operating in the Internet-related services and products space. With its coveted headquarters in Mountain View, CA, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has more than 150,000 professionals.

To explore careers at Google, check out their job portal.

Glassdoor Score

Overall Score: 4.5 (29,599 reviews)

Marketing Score: 4.5 (469 reviews)

Glassdoor Ranking: #7

Review Highlights


“Managers are well trained around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness. Fun products to work on and several opportunity for upward and horizontal mobility (e.g. promotions and switching job functions). Increase opportunities for flexible work schedules between remote and in-office.”

Product Marketing Manager in San Francisco, CA


“Performance obsessed culture

Plague of imposter syndrome wearing everyone out

Crazy work hours”

Product Marketing Manager in San Francisco, CA

#3: Box

Company Overview

Box provides collaboration, content management, and other tools for other companies. Based in Redwood City, CA, this software firm currently employs more than 1,900 professionals.

To explore careers at Box, check out their job portal.

Glassdoor Score

Overall Score: 4.5 (794 reviews)

Marketing Score: 4.7 (24 reviews)

Glassdoor Ranking: #5

Review Highlights


“Best company I’ve worked for. They really care about their employees. When we were in office, there were great perks like an amazing cafeteria and coffee shop, transportation benefits, spacious office. Excellent culture firmly rooted in philosophies like “assume good intent.” Pay is competitive. Really like it here!”

Marketing in Redwood City, CA


“Box is not the place it used to be. It has become a highly political and autocratic environment where team leads no longer have autonomy nor are empowered to make trivial business decisions. The department is highly micromanaged and emphasizes “rinse and repeat” so creativity is not considered a value-add. There is significant concern with the lack of communication and transparency. Many people are leaving and/or are being let go and you learn about it when you see an empty desk. Box culture is highly acclaimed, but needs to be re-evaluated and prioritized in this department as it ranks the lowest in employee satisfaction. Box is no longer the fun, enjoyable and fulfilling place I once felt proud to work for. Significant changes must take place and fast or we’ll continue to lose top talent and will no longer attract new talent.”

Marketing in Redwood City, CA

#2: eXp Realty

Company Overview

eXp Realty describes itself as “one of the world’s fastest-growing real estate brokerages”. Located in Bellingham, WA, eXp Realty currently employs more than 20,000 professionals.

To explore careers at eXp Realty, check out their job portal.

Glassdoor Score

Overall Score: 4.8 (1,712 reviews)

Marketing Score: 4.8 (8 reviews)

Glassdoor Ranking: #4

Review Highlights


“Love the collaboration, the teamwork and overall comradery from the top down. I love working remotely and this virtual environment that eXp has built helps you feel like you truly are working one-on-one with your team. It’s been an amazing experience so far. So much positivity and excitement from leadership which has been truly motivating. This company is doing great things!”

Social Media Marketing Coordinator


“The onboarding process is pretty quick and you are really expected to jump right in. This suited me fine, but is a challenge. Luckily, there is tons of support available if you ask.

Director, Marketing in Oakland, CA


Company Overview

eXp Realty describes itself as “one of the world’s fastest-growing real estate brokerages”. Located in Bellingham, WA, eXp Realty currently employs more than 20,000 professionals.

To explore careers at eXp Realty, check out their job portal.

Glassdoor Score

Overall Score: 4.8 (1,712 reviews)

Marketing Score: 4.8 (8 reviews)

Glassdoor Ranking: #4

Review Highlights


“Love the collaboration, the teamwork and overall comradery from the top down. I love working remotely and this virtual environment that eXp has built helps you feel like you truly are working one-on-one with your team. It’s been an amazing experience so far. So much positivity and excitement from leadership which has been truly motivating. This company is doing great things!

Social Media Marketing Coordinator


“The onboarding process is pretty quick and you are really expected to jump right in. This suited me fine, but is a challenge. Luckily, there is tons of support available if you ask.

Director, Marketing in Oakland, CA

Finally. An aggregated list of the best companies for marketers. Bookmark this article for your next job hunt and keep a look out on what these firms do next.

To get started, consider looking into networking with other professionals. We developed an 8-step, extensive guide to upping your networking game – so you can start on the right foot.

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The Huge World of Wordle: Marketing Lessons from Queerdle, Taylordle, and More

People really, really love Wordle. Users take to Twitter to celebrate their daily victories. Others curse Wordle’s owners, The New York Times, for upping the game’s difficulty. 

It’s a mixed bag, really – but people keep talking about it.

Wordle challenges players every day to guess a five-letter word. Users have six tries before the game ends. And, sadly, if they fail, they lose their coveted streak.

Although the concept of Wordle has existed for years, the game recently exploded in popularity. Wordle reached more than 2 million daily users and trends every day on Twitter. In fact, some die-hard fans dedicated entire websites to strategizing the best way to play the game. 

Yet users felt Wordle needed more … pizzaz. And thus, Wordle gave birth to many unofficial spinoffs. From LGBTQ+ slang to Taylor Swift lore, Wordle alternatives reveal the power of shared bonds and segmentation.

The different types of Wordle games

Before diving into the marketing takeaways from Wordle’s popularity, we need to understand which spinoff versions exist.

  • QUEERDLE: LGBTQ+ vocabulary and slang. 
  • Star Wordle: Star Wars pop culture
  • Subwaydle: The New York City subway system
  • Taylordle: Taylor Swift-themed vocabulary
  • Nerdle: Mathematical equations
  • Lewdle: Profane words
  • Dordle: Two simultaneous games
  • Absurdle: “Adversarial” Wordle
  • Worldle: geography

I think you get the point. 

But how do these many different Wordle versions relate to marketing? And what can a simple word guessing game tell us about the power of segmentation?

The power of community

The different Wordle spinoffs underscore the power of community. Taylor Swift fans love guessing her song titles and Swiftie culture in Taylordle. Math whizzes can play to their strengths in Nerdle. New Yorkers can try navigating public transportation in Subwaydle.

These Wordle sequels stem directly from shared interests within communities. By slightly tweaking the Wordle formula, creators of these versions have created gamified spaces for people with similar interests. 

Intuitively, many might have avoided Wordle entirely without these personalized modifications. Maybe the standard Wordle just didn’t cut it for them. But with a few touches here and there, suddenly Wordle’s audience grew in both size and spirit – just on unofficial spinoffs. 

For brands, mirroring an audience’s interests has a big payoff. In fact, over 7 in 10 consumers prefer purchasing from companies with values similar to theirs. And the success of different Wordle versions implies consumers need only a little bit of customization to get pulled in.

Now, imagine if Wordle had the foresight to embed customization into its otherwise solid game. It could grow its user base without separate websites popping up. Maybe the New York Times would’ve bought it for even more money?

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The impact of customized, personal experiences

As marketers, we have to vie for people’s time. We have a product or service and want to get our audience to pay attention. But often, valuable customers turn away because our messaging fails to speak to them.

For example, if you receive a generic-looking email from a brand, you avoid it. But if the headline contains something personal, you likely want to see what’s inside. The power of personalization.

After all, 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that offers personalized experiences. In the context of Wordle, players flock to personalized versions because they interest them more. Who knows how many would have avoided Wordle if not for these spinoffs.

Wordle as inspiration for segmentation

For brands, the ability to create personalized content stems from customer marketing. Within this field, customer marketers advocate for current consumers of a brand through highly customizable experiences.

Senior Offline Community & Advocacy Marketing Manager of HubSpot, Christina Garnett, believes the explosion of Wordle reiterates the power of segmentation. 

As the creator of HubFans, a platform to turn HubSpot fans into official advocates, Garnett believes the many Wordle versions “can be broken into two different categories: entry for popularity and entry to avoid corporatism”.

To Garnett, the separate iterations stem directly from the game’s popularity. Since Wordle went viral, many other versions also got popular. Makes sense.

On the flipside, Garnett also notes how these different versions help users avoid corporatism. When The New York Times acquired Wordle, fans expressed concerns over a paywall implementation and worries about the game losing its authenticity.

The different versions helped those concerned over a corporate Wordle takeover find solace in user-created alternatives.

So, what can we take away from these many different Wordles?

First, when creating social media posts, newsletters, and other content, consider how different segments will react. Ask yourself if you could possibly create multiple versions to tap into consumers’ different interests and needs. Rather than creating one-size-fits-all content, create different types to maximize engagement.

And while you’re at it, maybe consider creating some content for the Swifties among us.

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28 of the Best Udemy Marketing Courses of 2022

In the world of marketing, things change – a lot. From new TikTok trends to the rise of cryptocurrency, marketers have to keep learning every day. 

But thanks to online certifications, marketers can easily keep their skills up to date. And while free ones provide a solid foundation, learning from experts in paid courses can take your knowledge to the next level.

Luckily, many platforms offer courses you can start right away. In fact, Udemy has hundreds of thousands of classes – including many in business, marketing, and more.

But not every certification on the platform is equal. So, we compiled a list of 28 of the highest rated Udemy marketing courses. From SEO to the Metaverse, these courses will easily set you up for success in 2022.

Although these courses were handpicked for their high-ratings and popularity, note that we may receive commission if you take action after clicking any of the following links. Commission helps us keep the Techie ToFu train running!

Digital Marketing Courses

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Digital Marketing

Need a refresher on all things digital marketing? Look no forward then this mega digital marketing course taught by two experts. 

The instructors, Pouya Eti and Alireza Etemadi, have taught more than 100,000 professionals on all things digital. Companies including Nasdaq and WordPress also use this course to train their employees.

Rating: 4.6 (9,997 reviews)

Total Students: 106,557

List Price: $109.99

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

At this point, every marketer needs to understand SEO. And Tomas Moravek’s top-rated SEO course will help you finally understand the moving parts of search engines.

Having taught more than 600,000 students, Moravek has worked in the field for more than eight years. Students will finish this course with a framework on how to rank higher on search engines.

Rating: 4.4 (616 reviews)

Total Students: 57,869

Price: $109.99

Alongside SEO, paid search makes up the other end of search engine marketing. And understanding how to master Google Ads and Google Shopping will up your technical chops.

The instructor, Lucas Wilde, has collaborated with several Fortune 500 companies, large marketing agencies, and more. As an expert in Google, Amazon, and Bing, his Google Ads course will set you up for success when navigating paid search.

Rating: 4.6 (278 reviews)

Total Students: 10,220

Price: $84.99

Google Analytics

Data-driven marketers are in high-demand – especially those with experience in Google Analytics. With more than 50 practical examples, this Udemy Google Analytics course will get you familiar with using numbers and data easily.

Instructor Pavel Brecik currently manages analytics for a leading eCommerce group in Eastern Europe. As a data-driven marketer, Brecik has helped more than 20,000 students master the complicated world of analytics.

Rating: 4.5 (6,265 reviews)

Total Students: 20,772

Price: $84.99

Email Marketing

Listen, email isn’t dead. According to HubSpot, 99% of people check their email every day. With facts like that, marketers ought to know a thing or two about email marketing.

In this course taught by Nik Swami, who uses email to get his businesses to six-figures in revenue, you’ll learn ten effective email marketing strategies. Instead of understanding theory, Swami will teach you strategies you can implement today.

Rating: 4.7 (327 reviews)

Total Students: 2,571

Price: $99.99

Affiliate Marketing

Not a lot of marketers know much about affiliate marketing. But affiliates make up a huge part of business’ traffic and revenue in often subtle ways. For example, the article you’re reading now comes from affiliate marketing.

Instructors Tim Godfrey and Aidan Booth will take you through the ins and outs of affiliate marketing and organic SEO. Having worked in affiliate marketing and website building for more than a decade, Godfrey and Booth have the credentials needed to up your marketing game.

Rating: 4.3 (1,093 reviews)

Total Students: 95,751

Price: $89.99

Social Media Marketing Courses

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Social Media

We communicate in different ways every day. Facebook used to rule social media. Instagram still takes up hours of our time. And TikTok has started to eat up more of it.

In this course, professional ad agency Coursenvy will help you tackle ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, and TikTok. Having taught more than 100,000 students, Coursenvy’s class will set you up for social media success in no time.

Rating: 4.4 (17,167 reviews)

Total Students: 108,797

Price: $149.99


Understanding social media as a whole helps. But sometimes you need to dive deep into one platform to truly understand it. With over one billion users, marketers have a lot to gain by learning about Instagram.

In this course taught by Entrepreneur Academy’s Benjamin Wilson, students can expect to learn how to grow their Instagram audience, convert followers into customers, and build their brand on the platform.

Rating: 4.5 (32,328 reviews)

Total Students: 166,290

Price: $149.99


Arguably, Facebook has had a lot of problems. Still, the platform sees more than two billion daily users. So, marketers leave a lot of money on the table by ignoring Facebook.

Instructor Joshua George, who owns and runs an award winning digital marketing agency, will take you through everything you need to know about Facebook. From marketing on the platform to setting up ad campaigns, students will finish the course ready to tackle Facebook.

Rating: 4.7 (285 reviews)

Total Students: 1,373

Price: $84.99


In recent months, Twitter has worked hard to make its platform brand friendly. And with trending content, Twitter ads, and more, marketers have a lot of different opportunities on the platform.

In this class taught by Joshua George, owner of an award winning digital marketing agency, students will learn how to set up effective campaigns using a step-by-step process. George also teaches the widely popular Facebook course – so he clearly knows his social media.

Rating: 4.7 (82 reviews)

Total Students: 495

Price: $84.99


TikTok has emerged as a Gen Z hub since its launch in 2016. And while brands have tried making campaigns on the platform, many have failed. In fact, corporate cringe on social media emerged as a legitimate concern this year.

So, to avoid cringe campaigns on TikTok, let instructors Darius Mora and Evan Kimbrell teach you everything about TikTok. Both have nearly a decade of work in marketing and social media. And get this: Forbes, CNN, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more have even featured their courses.

Rating: 4.5 (1,123 reviews)

Total Students: 16,479

Price: $109.99


Marketers, especially those in the B2B space, should know LinkedIn like the back of their hand. And LinkedIn has implemented tons of different ways brands can optimize lead generation campaigns – some more complicated than others.

Instructor Gustavo Escobar Henríquez, whose set of clients included Yahoo, Sony, Mitsubishi, and others, will take students through running successful lead generation campaigns on LinkedIn. With a focus on sales, this course will improve marketers’ copywriting for the platform.

Rating: 4.5 (1,875 reviews)

Total Students: 20,044

Price: $99.99


Did you know YouTube is the second most used search engine? Unsurprisingly, then, marketers have a lot of opportunities on the platform. From prevideo placements to popup ads, YouTube has a lot of moving parts.

Luckily, instructors Chris Haroun and Sacha Stevenson will help you get started on the platform. Haroun received his MBA from Columbia University and has raised over $1B in his career. Stevenson, on the other hand, has more than 1.3M subscribers on the platform. Together, they offer useful insights from both an influencer and business perspective.

Rating: 4.4 (1,569 reviews)

Total Students: 65,658

Price: $129.99


Most people think of Instagram or Facebook when talking about social media. But Pinterest has more than 431 million monthly active users. And get this: Pinterest ads look just like user-generated content. Everything feels seamless on the platform.

In this course taught by JC Marzett, students will learn how to increase traffic and sales in the longterm on Pinterest. With over 30 years of business strategy experience, Marzett will help you master growth on the relatively untapped platform.

Rating: 4.4 (1,539 reviews)

Total Students: 8,026

Price: $129.99


Reddit emerged as a formidable social media platform in 2022. From tons of niche forums to loads of user-generated content, Reddit has started to enable brands to advertise more effectively. 

Alex Genadinik, who has more than 10 years of marketing experience, will teach students how to use Reddit to promote brands and run campaigns. Reddit has only just got attention from major brands, so learn how to use it now before it gets too popular.

Rating: 4.2 (92 reviews)

Total Students: 518

Price: $29.99

Influencer Marketing

Every single platform, from TikTok to Pinterest, has influencers. And influencer marketing is one of the best ways to reach younger generations. In fact, many large companies have managers who work exclusively with influencers.

In this course taught by Marguerite Conradie, students will understand how to identify relevant influencers, conduct outreach, and execute campaigns. Using her eight years of marketing experience, Conradie will take you through a step-by-step process on developing successful influencer marketing campaigns.

Rating: 4.3 (82 ratings)

Total Students: 373

Price: $84.99

Content Marketing Courses

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Content Marketing

In 2022, content is still king. So, understanding how to create conversion-proof copy matters a lot as a marketer. You want users to read your blog or post and immediately take action. And that requires content marketing skills.

Instructor Brad Merrill, who has provided marketing training to large startups and Fortune 500 companies, will teach you how to write and create content that sells. From content creation to copywriting, students will finish the course with a solid understanding of content marketing.

Rating: 4.5 (3,613 reviews)

Total Students: 16,805

Price: $129.99


Not every marketer needs to write all the time. But any good marketer should know how to write engaging copy every so often. As noted before, content is still king, so writing still matters in 2022.

Instructors Len Smith and Sean Kaye will take you through their tips on writing copy that works. Smith has over twenty years of copywriting experience while Kaye has worked in marketing for the past several years. With their combined experience, Smith and Kaye will help students learn what goes into great copywriting.

Rating: 4.4 (5,867 reviews)

Total Students: 40,057

Price: $89.99

Podcast Marketing

While content marketing usually centers on articles, podcasts have emerged as a great way to reach consumers. In fact, Spotify even made podcasts a key part of its value proposition starting in July 2020 as more and more users listen to them.

Setting up a podcast takes a lot more work than writing an article, so instructors Phil Ebiner and Ravinder Deol will take you through their complete guide to podcasting. From finding the right equipment to promoting episodes, these experts will get you started in the exciting world of podcast marketing.

Rating: 4.3 (2,492 reviews)

Total Students: 107,243

Price: $109.99

Event Planning & Marketing

As the pandemic comes to an arguably slow end, in-person events have started popping up again. And while hybrid events will stay, marketers should brush up on how to host, plan, and promote successful in-person events.

In this class, marketing and entrepreneurship expert Alex Genadinik will take you through everything you need to plan an event. From pre-event marketing to managing vendors, students will finish the course ready to host events in the post-pandemic world.

Rating: 4.4 (1,234 reviews)

Total Students: 10,030

Price: $49.99


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Strategic Branding

In marketing, branding sometimes gets the short end of the stick. But understanding how to develop a brand voice, talk to audiences, and figure out brand positioning will improve your marketing in the long-run.

Steve Houraghan, who has written features for HubSpot, Marketo, and others, will take you through the ins and out of business branding – starting with strategy. Through this course, students will learn how to create a brand personality, develop internal branding, and more.

Rating: 4.6 (4,338 reviews)

Total Students: 16,518

Price: $119.99

Personal Branding

Building up your personal brand sets you up for long-term success. With a strong online presence, you can land coveted roles at top companies more easily. And with the rise of remote work, standing out helps you stay competitive.

Instructor Ronny Hermosa promises to make you the “Go-To Person” once you finish their course. With more than eight years of branding experience, Hermosa will take students through building an audience, creating content, and networking.

Rating: 4.8 (529 review)

Total Students: 3,092

Price: $119.99

Brand Management

Once you build up a brand, the work continues. Now, you need to manage you or your brand’s online presence.

In this course taught by branding expert Scott Lancaster, students will learn how to audit competitors, analyze audiences, and more. Having worked with thousands of businesses, Lancaster will teach students what they need to know to keep their brand thriving.

Rating: 4.7 (77 reviews)

Total Students: 1,355

Price: $84.99

Marketing Automation

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Marketing automation has grown into a killer industry. Companies of all sizes use software, including HubSpot, to automate email, social, customer management, and many other functions. And marketers who understand how to use tools including HubSpot are in high-demand.

Starting from scratch, instructor Thalita Milan takes students through different hubs provided by HubSpot. As a HubSpot expert, Milan will help you understand how to use HubSpot to create landing pages, send emails, and improve sales processes.

Rating: 4.6 (257 reviews)

Total Students: 950

Price: $24.99

Salesforce Pardot

Next to HubSpot usually comes Salesforce Pardot. HubSpot serves smaller companies while Pardot serves large enterprises. While both have similar functions, understanding how to use Pardot alongside HubSpot will make you incredibly knowledgable of marketing automation.

As a Marketing Automation Consultant, instructor Kelli Meador takes students through Pardot setup, email creation, list management, and more.

Rating: 4.3 (541 reviews)

Total Students: 2,148

Price: $94.99


Alongside HubSpot and Pardot, Marketo enables companies and marketers to automate processes. Again, depending on which tool would serve you best, learning Marketo might work better for you than other options.

In this course, Marketo Consultant Steven Moody will teach students how to use basic reports, create assets, and understand Marketo language.

Rating: 4.4 (390 reviews)

Total Students: 1,675

Price: $199.99

2022 Marketing Trends Courses

Metaverse Marketing

Platforms including Roblox and Fortnite brought fourth the rise of the metaverse. From Facebook’s rebranding to Meta to non-fungible tokens, marketers have started to eyeball the metaverse. After all, how can brands market themselves in these virtual worlds?

Henrique Centieiro, a Senior Blockchain Project Manager, will equip students with the tools needed to understand the metaverse. From understanding how virtual reality works to art NFTs, students will finally know how the metaverse works after taking the course.

Rating: 4.6 (1,041 reviews)

Total Students: 5,204

Price: $29.99

Non-fungible Tokens

As an extension of the metaverse, NFTs sound super intimidating. Yet many brands, including the NFL and NBA, have fully embraced NFTs. For better or worse, marketers should take time to understand this growing space.

In this course taught by Petko Zhivkov Aleksandrov, a crypto & stock trader, students will learn about popular NFT platforms, creating NFTs, and the environmental impact of them. The course provides students with a truly comprehensive overview of NFTs.

Rating: 4.7 (857 reviews)

Total Students: 6,243

Price: $84.99

And there you have it – a complete list of 28 of the best Udemy marketing courses you can start today. Remember to bookmark any classes you want to pursue, set up reminders to keep yourself accountable, and up your marketing game in 2022.

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8 Classes Marketing College Students Should Take [2022]

A lot of marketers never stepped foot in a classroom. In fact, some view getting a marketing degree as useless. After all, the field changes every day, so how can universities keep up?

Yet getting a marketing degree in 2022 still reaps a lot of benefits. You often have a better understanding of psychology, consumer behavior, and the more foundational parts of marketing through college. And the perks of networking while as a student certainly help, too.

But, in 2022, what skills should marketing students learn to stay competitive? Take a look at eight in-demand marketing courses you can take during your time in college.

1. Digital Marketing

If you go to a university with a robust marketing program, they likely offer digital marketing. In fact, a recent LinkedIn report noted employers have a high demand for digital-first marketers in 2021.

In a digital marketing course, you can expect to learn the foundations of search engine optimization, social media, paid search, and other areas. Instead of diving headfirst into a specific topic, taking a digital marketing class will help you better understand the entire landscape.

2. Marketing Automation

Currently, the marketing automation industry has seen huge growth. Companies understand the value in automating processes often delegated to coordinators. Now, thanks to companies such as Salesforce and HubSpot, technology automatically runs entire campaigns.

Because of the value of marketing automation, the industry is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 17.67%. And up-and-coming marketers ought to look into marketing automation courses offered by their universities.

If your school does not have a specific marketing automation course, consider looking into computer science courses. After all, computer topics including machine learning and artificial intelligence all feed into marketing automation.

3. Copywriting

As college students, we write a lot. But writing papers does not mean you can write emails, social media posts, and articles well. In other words, taking a copywriting course while in college will better prepare you to write more casually.

According to PowerPublish, businesses have started outsourcing writing to freelancers more recently. Why? Because they lack the writing chops needed internally. If you come out of college with a solid grip on writing for every day people, companies will flock to you. You can even start freelance writing as a side gig.

A great marketer with awesome writing skills makes for a competitive job application. So, look into your marketing, writing, or journalism department to find courses on copywriting.

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4. Data Analytics

In the past, marketing relied on a lot of intuition – and it still does. But companies want to shift its focus on data-driven decision making. Through data analytics, marketers create better campaigns, save money, and serve their customers in the best way possible.

In fact, Emerson College noted marketing analytics as a highly growing space within digital marketing. Moreover, through an analytics course, you can pretty much work in any industry you want. 

You can likely find a data-oriented course in your marketing or data science department, depending on your school. Even if it falls outside the realm of marketing, understanding how to use data will set you up for success after graduation.

5. Graphic Design

Marketers usually fall into two categories: strategy and execution. But if you know how to do both, you become a critical employee for businesses. And graphic design skills enable you to play two roles at once.

While graphic design jobs have grown at an average rate, the field of marketing has not. For smaller companies, especially startups, having a marketer with multiple skills really helps them stay nimble. 

If you take a graphic design course while in college, you can think of ways to market a product visually and execute those ideas. Knowing graphic design also comes in handy when building your personal brand.

6. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Companies rely heavily on inbound marketing. Through SEO, business create content to drive traffic and sales by ranking higher. Search engine optimization (SEO) often plays a massive role in the success of inbound marketing.

SEO revolves around the curation of relevant content to drive traffic to a company’s website. So, if you ever search on Google, the top results come from businesses with a solid SEO strategy. 

As a marketer, understanding SEO really puts you a cut above the rest. And SEO professionals are in high demand currently, so look into courses offered by your university.

7. Paid Search

Paid search marks the other end of search engine marketing alongside SEO. And while handling paid search campaigns on Google may sound boring, the industry has boomed in recent years. 

Unlike SEO, paid search typically has a larger budget. Specialists will select optimal keywords on search engines such as Google – ensuring their business hits one of the top organic results.

Interestingly, Paid Search Specialists have an expected growth rate of 20% – “much faster than average” compared to other jobs. So, if you want a high-paying job, consider looking into search engine marketing courses at your university.

8. Social Media

As a college student, you likely understand social media. We grew up with Instagram, Facebook, and everything in between. Now, companies want to tap into the power of social media. In fact, social media marketing even made CNN’s top 100 careers with large growth.

Social media marketing involves managing a brand’s accounts on different platforms. You get to interact with fans, potential customers, and, at times, haters. You get to manage a community and really develop a company’s online brand.

Given the importance of social media, many universities offer courses on it. While you might understand social media, a course on the topic will take your skills to the next level.

Alternative ways to get in-demand marketing skills

As noted, colleges have trouble keeping up with marketing trends. So, especially at smaller universities, you might realize they lack the courseload you want to take.

As an ideal alternative, consider looking into free online certifications. We created a helpful guide on taking certifications provided by companies including HubSpot and Hootsuite. 

Many recruiters and marketers view these courses as legitimate. By taking them in your free time, you will build the skillset needed to become a marketer in 2022.

Now that you have a solid understanding on classes you can take, check out your university’s marketing department for further information. You might even find something more interesting or useful not listed here. 

Just remember to think about courses in the context of your career: how will this class help me develop as a professional marketer?

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Breaking the Chocolate Mold: Marketing Lessons from a Sexy M&M

It’s the beginning of 2022. The world approaches its twentieth COVID-19 outbreak. A Cold War rests on the horizon. Minnie Mouse just got a pantsuit. The Green M&M lost her heels.

Is this hell? No, but close – it’s another lesson in corporate rebranding.

Mars – the company behind M&M’s – announced a complete redesign of their iconic M&M characters. Red will work on his kindness. Orange will learn to love his flaws. And Green will kick off the ole high heels in favor of a comfy sneaker. 

Historically, rebrands have always faced backlash. And die-hard M&M fans wasted no time bashing the company for de-sexifying their beloved chocolate beauty. Apparently, Green became something of a sex icon to fans for her circular curve, candied eyelashes, and, of course, white high heels.

To clarify, yes, we’re still talking about M&M’s.

But why did Mars do this? Did someone complain? Can we blame it on Gen Z? What about Millennials?

Mars wants to fit into today’s world

According to Mars, they modified their M&M characters to fit into a “more dynamic, progressive world”. Rather than focusing on each M&M’s gender, Mars wants to highlight their unique personalities.

Through the green M&M’s new look, Mars hopes to “better [represent] confidence and empowerment, as a strong female”. Red’s improved behavior embodies the company’s shifts towards inclusivity and belonging. And so on.

Brands move towards inclusivity usually after some form of backlash. For example, Victoria’s Secret tweaked their branding to become more diverse after years of controversy. So, did Mars face similar criticism for its M&M character designs?

After some research, kind of. The Wall Street Journal questioned how Mars could sell candy with a sexy M&M. But the journal published the piece in 1997, well over ten years ago.

In other words, Mars came out of left field with this rebranding. No major controversy or backlash prompted Mars to rethink how they marketed M&M’s. They just wanted to redefine the M&M brand on their own accord – but for more understated purposes.

Mars de-sexified the green M&M to pander

I’m sure the team behind this rebranding had good intentions. They likely felt pressure to modernize their characters before younger generations rejected them. And Gen Z will surely care about Mars’ push towards inclusion and diversity. 

Yet the rebrand feels like a class act in pandering. It comes off like a laughable attempt to appear “woke” while actually achieving nothing. At the end of the day, we’re talking about chocolate. So, removing a green M&M’s heels feels functionally useless.

Alternatively, why not sincerely promote feminism and inclusivity? Because of how little involvement consumers have when buying chocolate, a flat-shoed green M&M will not make people feel seen or heard. And it ultimately does nothing to help genuine initiatives.

Even worse, Mars acknowledged gender imbalance in their M&M characters. For those unaware, M&M’s feature four males and two females. So, to address this issue, Mars will use the two female M&M’s in ads more often.

But, what does this legitimately do? Why tout inclusivity as motivators for a rebrand while effectively doing nothing? It makes their rebrand come off as an attempt to go viral, which it did, instead of doing anything worthwhile.

Mars hopes to tap into Gen Z’s anxiety

The rebrand could have worked better if Mars appended it to something meaningful. For example, instead of promoting Orange’s relatable, Gen Z-esque anxiety, why not also highlight mental health resources? 

I find it strange to create a caraciture based on a generation’s anxiety. Orange’s entire persona centers on his intense fear of literal death. And given the fact he has a pretzel inside of him, his fears seem justified. 

In a strange way, Orange’s anxiety mirrors Gen Z’s fears around the climate crisis. Younger generations will inherit a burning, sinking world thanks to corporate giants like Mars. After all, the chocolate industry has notoriously contributed to greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation.

So, when Mars harms the planet and promotes an anxious, death-concerned M&M, it feels like an ironic slap in the face to younger generations. Mars understands our anxiety but would rather tap into it as a marketing ploy instead of doing something about it. Sweet.

The M&M’s changing their accessories underscores the point of rebrands: to get people talking. Even if Mars claims their “progressive” take on M&M’s pushes inclusivity forward, they really just want attention. 

After all, the absurdity of a green M&M losing her white high heels in the middle of a pandemic makes for a viral story. And, for better or worse, Mars got exactly what they wanted.

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3 Reasons Marketers Should Drop Brand NFTs in 2022

Marketers: we need to talk about NFTs. 

For those unaware, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) involve purchasing a digital asset and retaining ownership. Let me break that down even further.

Non-fungible just means unique or one-of-a-kind. If you owned the Mona Lisa, you retain ownership of a non-fungible Leonardo da Vinci piece. In this case, non-fungible tokens operate exclusively online.

So, instead of hanging an iconic work of art in your living room, you would simply own a virtual one. Not as exciting, but such is the nature of NFTs.

In the past few months, NFTs have exploded in popularity. Twitter added an NFT profile picture option for users. Reddit just did the same thing. Communities have propped up to unify NFT owners.

Of course, brands – in their ever-lasting desire to seem cool and hip – have immediately latched onto NFTs. The NFL created an NFT marketplace. Adidas released NFTs earlier this month, welcoming us to the “metaverse”. 

We are less than a month into 2022. And I am already tired.

NFTs represent a laughably easy way for brands to project modernity and innovation. Take some preexisting content. Slap on a few edgy, holographic visuals. Sell it through a crypto website and… boom. You got yourself an NFT.

But the issues surrounding NFTs, including environmental destruction, make any benefits derived from selling them completely useless. And I implore brands and marketers to reconsider their sudden interest in NFTs.

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1. NFTs make you look desperate to innovate

A typical senior leadership call in 2022 likely looks like this:

“So, I hear <insert marketing buzzword> is a super exciting space. How can we insert our brand into it?”

Any buzzword works perfectly. The metaverse, TikTok, and, of course, NFTs. Big brands tend to reek of this almost desperate need to prove their trendy nature. 

For example, when Clubhouse first launched, tons of marketers wanted to strategize ways to insert their brand into the app. But, as we now know, the platform almost immediately died down. And brands who opted to impulsively invest time in the app got burned.

In that same vein, marketers forcing brand NFTs feels like an attempt to fit in. Do we, as consumers, really need an Adidas NFT? How many of us benefit from owning a commemorative, NFT NFL ticket? Do we really need to own Jack Dorsey’s first tweet?

2. NFTs contribute to environmental destruction

To buy or sell NFTs, users usually have to go through marketplaces that use the cryptocurrency Ethereum. You don’t need to understand the technical aspects of cryptocurrency. Rather, understand that transacting with Ethereum requires literal energy. In fact, these marketplaces refer to this energy fee as “gas”.

Because of Ethereum’s size, the cryptocurrency currently uses the same amount of electricity as Libya. For some context, the country has nearly 7 million people.

While Ethereum has stated they plan on becoming more energy efficient, they still contribute greatly to climate change. And at the end of the day, for what? While cars certainly cause pollution, at least they serve a functional purpose for everyday people. Ethereum lacks accessibility and ultimately benefits very few people.

So, how does this play into brands jumping into the NFT game?

Firstly, many brands have made commitments to stop climate change. Yet selling NFTs and fostering the growth of this destructive industry undermines any environmental efforts.

Sure, other brands, including the NBA, use alternatives to Ethereum in their NFT transactions. But companies seldom emphasize the problematic nature of NFTs and cryptocurrencies in general. In other words, brands have done nothing to advocate against more harmful NFT transactions. 

Why are big brands doing this? Because they want money and view NFTs as a means to project coolness.

3. NFTs harm brand reputation among Gen Z

The explosive rise of the metaverse and NFTs triggered big brands to innovate. Companies desperately want to appear hip to Gen Z. And NFTs seem to represent a way to achieve relatability with the youth of today.

But the data suggests millennial men actually make up the majority of NFT buyers – not Gen Z. 

Additionally, we can better see how Gen Z views NFTs primarily through Twitter – in which over 4 in 10 users come from the 18 to 29 age group.

A quick search on Twitter suggests Gen Z vehemently rejects NFTs – with one tweet garnering more than 220,000 likes.

Twitter users also express concerns over how NFT impacts the art industry itself. 

After all, NFTs seem to empower artists to sell their art digitally. But one of the originators of NFTs argues these transactions have reduced the intrinsic value of digital art. NFT buyers have become more concerned with purchasing repurposed ape cartoon characters rather than supporting truly starving artists. 

Moreover, the entry of big brands into the NFT sphere reduces the ability for artists to sell their work virtually. Suddenly, purchasing an NFT featuring a popular cartoon character or celebrity outweighs the value of digital work from smaller artists. The industry fosters creative burnout and pushes out actual artists.

And any good marketer recognizes that Gen Z cares about social responsibility – a lot. So, when you contribute to an industry that destroys the environment and punishes small artists, your reputation immediately takes a hit.

From a marketing perspective, do brand NFTs sincerely foster consumer relationships, meaningfully improve bottom lines, and increase awareness? In the short-term, perhaps. But getting added to Gen Z’s shitlist while destroying the environment will not get you far.

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How to Use Reddit to Get Your Dream Job in 2022

Getting a job or internship in today’s landscape sucks. As a job seeker, you reformat your resume. You write the cover letter. You cross your fingers, hope for the best, and… nothing.

Career professionals can help you refine your application, but they cost a pretty penny. So, what more can you do as a struggling job hunter?

Here’s the perfect, underrated solution: Reddit.

That’s right, Reddit – a social media platform for community building and networking. Sure, most people use the platform to learn more about Minecraft or puppies. But there are thousands of Redditors using the site to get resume help, find jobs, and secure their dream role.

So, for a moment, ditch the costly career advisors, stop reading generic articles, and see how Reddit can transform your job search.

Using Reddit to Get Career Advice

Have you ever found yourself needing answers to a very specific question? Maybe you want to learn more about Salesforce’s interview process. Or perhaps you need advice on an internship with NBCUniversal.

Sure, you might pray to the Google gods to give you exactly what you need. But stop searching and consider Reddit as your go-to source for specific career help.

How exactly does posting to Reddit work? Follow these three easy steps:

1. Make a Reddit account

Go to the following registration link and quickly set up your account.

2. Follow relevant subreddits

When you create your account, Reddit will likely introduce you to subreddits you can follow. If you want to use Reddit strictly for career advice, feel free to avoid the more popular subreddits. Or, you can follow r/dogs for infinite cuteness. Whatever works for you.

The following forums will help you find a good landing spot:

3. Start liking and commenting on posts

Many subreddits have rules in place to avoid spam. To get around this, make a few useful comments on some posts to get upvotes from other users. Eventually, you’ll be able to freely make posts on most subreddits.

4. Make your post

Once you’re able to publish posts in a subreddit, simply craft one. Remember to adhere to subreddit rules. For example, in many subreddits, you can’t promote your social media accounts. 

When drafting your post, remember to include helpful details – but never drop personal information. You never know if a recruiter will eventually see your post. 

In a worst-case scenario, a recruiter might stumble upon your post and recognize you as a candidate. Not good. But you can easily avoid this by excluding personal information.

Here’s a sample post from r/internships to help you get started:

“I applied to the J&J R&D internship and did the digital interview about a month ago, but haven’t heard anything since. I’m wondering what the timeline for the selection process looks like, and if I’m still in the running. Curious if anyone else is in the same boat or has any insight on this. Thank you in advance!”

The poster includes specific details but reveals little about themselves. And they received tons of helpful advice from other Redditors.

Person using a laptop.
Photo by picjumbo.com on Pexels.com

Using Reddit to Find Jobs

Did you know Reddit can also help you find a job? 

In fact, several recruiters have made Reddit an integral part of their strategy. As a job seeker, you have a unique opportunity to meet recruiters in an unsaturated place. Most people flock to LinkedIn for jobs but only a few use Reddit.

To get started, take a look through these job posting subreddits:

While Reddit cannot make up the bulk of your job-seeking strategy, you’ll likely see better results on the platform. 

On LinkedIn or Indeed, you really have no way to contact the recruiter. But on Reddit, you can comment or even direct message the job poster for more information. In fact, given Reddit’s more casual premise, recruiters may feel more inclined to strike up a conversation with you during the application process.

In a sea of a thousand LinkedIn candidates, why not become a Reddit one?

Using Reddit to Find Internships

If you’re not quite ready to apply for entry-level jobs, Reddit can introduce you to internships, too.

While you can find many job posting subreddits, internship hunters will find most postings in r/internships. For example, those on the forum can see a remote internship posted just today. 

Of course, many use the subreddit to illicit advice – but recruiters recognize the space as a great opportunity to get interns.

Using Reddit to Learn about Your Industry

Has a recruiter ever asked you how you stay up-to-date on news and trends? Several candidates might freeze up because you have to actively search for information.

But on Reddit, you get news and information delivered straight to your timeline.

For example, as a digital marketer, I really enjoy r/marketing. And I’m not alone: Nearly 400,000 people use the sub to ask questions, post analyses, and discuss trends. 

Aside from marketing, Reddit has a lot of different subreddits for you to look through:

So, next time a recruiter asks you that question, you can confidently say “yes, I enjoy reading Reddit posts in r/marketing”. Done and done.

Using Reddit to Create a Personal Brand

Building up your professional brand takes a lot of work. On LinkedIn, you have to publish posts, interact with others, and grow your network. 

Did you know Reddit can help you build up your brand, too?

If you opt to attach your professional information to your account, Reddit can help you build up your expertise through the platform. In fact, many longtime posters end up becoming moderators of large subreddits. 

So, when searching for jobs, noting your experience in helping others really helps you stand out. 

As we can see, job seekers have underscored the usefulness of Reddit. We get it, LinkedIn rocks – but looking into lesser-known alternatives like Reddit can reap awesome benefits.

So, create that Reddit account, start following subreddits, and get that dream job of yours. You won’t regret it.

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How the Metaverse Revolutionizes Gaming, Sports, Fashion, and More

The metaverse feels like a futuristic mess. Is it Fortnite? Is it Pokémon GO? Is it Meta, the Artist Formerly Known As Facebook?

As marketers, we have to stay up-to-date on these trends – for better or worse. But the metaverse seems like a uniquely abstract beast. Inevitably, with the likes of Meta pushing this digital world forward, the metaverse will make its way into many aspects of our lives.

But first, for the last time, what the hell is the metaverse?

The Metaverse Explained

At its core, the metaverse is an umbrella term for a number of technologies, including:

  • Virtual Reality
  • Augmented Reality
  • Virtual Worlds

Before diving into these three areas, try thinking of the metaverse as an evolving way we engage with technology and communicate with each other. 

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) usually involves two things: a simulated, virtual environment and a headset to place someone in that environment. So, if a user puts on a gaming headset and finds themselves transported to a digital world, they are engaging with virtual reality.

In gaming, users will usually wear a headset while holding a set of controllers in their hands. The Oculus Quest became a popular headset among gamers because of its innovation in this space.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) sounds like a scary word. But you’ve likely engaged with AR already. Think of the number of times your smartphone helped you find your way home. Or how many people in your life played Pokémon GO when it first launched.

AR contains two parts: the physical world alongside digital inputs. So, unlike virtual reality, AR users can still see and engage with the real world. 

Virtual Worlds

Still, the metaverse includes virtual worlds even without VR or AR. And the gaming industry has really pioneered the prominence of virtual worlds. 

Fortnite, a player-versus-player video game, has more than 80.4 million monthly users. Roblox, an online platform where users can make their own games and play others, sees more than 43.2 million users every day. And while users play these games on consoles or PCs, they still make up a big part of the metaverse.

So, bringing it all together: the metaverse includes VR, AR, and other virtual worlds. Users can play games, interact with others, and explore digital environments all within the metaverse.

But a definition can only give us so much information. And while we can clearly see the metaverse in gaming, how does that look for other industries, including sports, fashion, and more?


Before we dive into other industries, gaming offers the clearest examples of the metaverse.

As we talked about before, Fortnite has started inching closer and closer to the metaverse. Released in 2017 initially as a player-versus-player shooter, users dive into an expansive virtual island and fight each other to win the game.

Since its inception, Fortnite’s community has exploded to millions of daily active users. Its Subreddit forum, r/FortniteBR, has more than 1.7 million members alone. 

Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite, have tapped into this loyal player base – launching different game modes with an emphasis on community instead of combat.

Using our working definition of the metaverse, Fortnite solidly falls into the virtual world category. Users play the game and interact with friends all through consoles and PCs.

However, gaming dominates VR and AR elements of the metaverse as well. 

Most notably, Meta’s Oculus Quest has enabled users to dive into virtual reality gaming. Trailers show players putting on the headset and fully emerging themselves into fantastical worlds. Have you ever dreamed about exploring fictional worlds from your favorite movie or book? With VR, you can easily do just that.


At first glance, sports seems like a pretty cut-and-dry kind of industry. Athletes play in person and fans watch at home or in a stadium. So, how does the metaverse fit into that?

Just ask the Brooklyn Nets, an NBA team marking one of the first sport entries into the metaverse. Through hundreds of high-resolution cameras placed around a basketball court and 3D renderings, fans can watch games in a truly immersive way. 

Dubbed the #Netaverse (haha), this VR experience will revolutionize the way basketball fans engage with games.


Fashion brands have tried for years to stay up-to-date with the times. After all, luxury brands often set trends – but they need to follow emerging ones, too.

As a result, several fashion brands, including Ralph Lauren, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton, have made starting moves into the metaverse. And rather than create their own immersive worlds, brands have opted to use other platforms – including Roblox and Fortnite.

In particular, Gucci opened a digital garden experience on Roblox to celebrate the brand’s 100th anniversary. The brand wanted to promote self-expression and individualism, so users enter the experience as a blank mannequin. And as they explore the gardens, their mannequins pick up different parts of the garden. At the end, each mannequin has its own unique patterns – reflecting Gucci’s values as a brand.

After the experience, Roblox users can also purchase Gucci-branded items for their avatar. 

Clearly, this metaversal example falls under the virtual world category. In fact, most luxury brands have focused on these kinds of collaborations. After all, why should a brand like Gucci make its own virtual world?


Sadly, media companies have had to grapple with millions of changes. Younger generations hate cable television. People want more on-demand content. And the metaverse represents another hurdle for the industry.

The majority of major TV companies have made small steps into the metaverse, including NBCUniversal. This past year, the media giant launched the Bravo Bazaar – an interactive mansion where users can shop for Bravo celebrity merch and sponsored products. 

Other entertainment & media companies have started working on grander entries into the metaverse. Just a few weeks ago, Disney received patent approval for a “virtual world simulator”. The company seems primed and ready to launch an immersive, digital experience in which users can visit theme parks at home.

Disney’s shift also represents how the metaverse enables brands to adjust to market shifts, especially those caused by the pandemic. In 2020, Disney saw a 66.9% estimated drop in attendance to its Magic Kingdom theme park – a trend seen across the industry.

But through Disney’s entry into the metaverse, the company wants to enable people to visit its parks in a more accessible way.


With the steady decline of retailers, many brands in the beauty industry shifted to eCommerce and online sales. And the pandemic simply reinforced the need for beauty brands to work on digitizing their products and storefronts.

Tons of brands have already incorporated AR filters to let users see how makeup looks on them at home. L’Oréal recently acquired AR and artificial intelligence firm, ModiFace, to help the brand develop more ways to help customers try on products virtually.

While several brands have collaborated with other video games, including Roblox, others have opted for less mainstream options. Perfume company Paco Rabanne worked with a video game called “Curved Space” to promote its futuristic perfume.

And as Vogue Business noted, the metaverse will work for beauty brands provided they focus on relevancy and context – regardless of a platform’s popularity.

As we can see, the metaverse includes an overwhelming amount of examples. I feel like I need to take a nap after looking into all of this. But by understanding how the metaverse works in other industries, we can better see how it might creep into our brands and businesses. 

And as marketers, you will soon have to figure out how you will make use of this growing and exciting space. Are you ready to enter the metaverse?

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How the Marketing Behind Insane and Deceptive Mobile Ads Works

Have you or a loved one fallen victim to a mobile ad encouraging you to save a king from peeing his pants? You’re not alone.

Like many others, I sometimes reach for my phone to keep myself busy instead of sitting alone with my thoughts. Two months ago, I finally downloaded one of those mobile game apps – one that resembles “Guitar Hero”. As a freemium app, I sometimes have to sit through 30-second ads before getting to play the game.

And wow, I have never experienced such quick, unmitigated, cringe-induced rage.

As a marketer, I feel compelled to recognize certain standards in the industry. Entertaining ads work really well with consumers while disruptive ones do not. Young generations generally hate ads. You get the point.

So, when I find myself watching these mobile game ads, I really, really begin to question everything I know. And we absolutely need to talk about it – someone out there has to know what I have gone through.

“Royal Match”: Help, the King is about to Drown

I have encountered probably twenty different versions of ads promoting “Royal Match,” essentially a basic puzzle game featuring a king and his castle. 

For example, in one, the king finds himself underwater – and you need to clear blocks above so he can swim to the surface. In every single one, the example game always fails. And it always challenges viewers with a snarky, “can you do it better?”

And you know what? I probably could. But that would be beside the point: the actual game has none of that.

Let me repeat, the game has none of these save-the-king puzzles. In fact, you literally solve puzzles to decorate the castle. These ads unapologetically advertise high-stakes, the-king-could-die-or-pee puzzles. But when you download the app, you just pick out drapery for his castle through mini-games.

Barring the legality of false advertising – which we discuss later on in this article – surely players of the game recognize this disconnect, delete the game, and leave negative reviews? Not at all – the game actually has a 4.7 out of over 449,000 ratings.

Nearly half a million people have played this game, so what gives – does misleading advertising work? In a sad way, yes.

In the world of mobile game advertising, companies want viewers of their ads to download the game. To compel users to do so, Royal Match has employed strategies dependent on frustrating, “I-can-do-better” gameplay and muted disappointment.

Firstly, every single Royal Match ad ends in a failure. And often, the sample gameplay features a player making an easily avoidable mistake. Immediately, we feel pulled in to fix the error of the player.

Secondly, saving the king seems like an arguably more interesting game. If the sample gameplay showed someone solving puzzles to decorate a castle, I surely would tune it out. 

But the gameplay seen on the ads is only a few degrees removed from what you actually do in the game. When users realize this after downloading, their disappointment becomes muted. In other words, the gameplay is close enough where it seems to not matter.

“My Fantasy”: Strangely Discriminatory Against Those in Need

In “My Fantasy: Choose Your Story,” a role-playing romance game, users get to participate in several different, often steamy scenarios.

Unlike Royal Match, My Fantasy’s ads seem to align with gameplay. In the ad, you see the main character – always a woman – fall into some weirdly misogynistic situation because a man dislikes their appearance. As the user, you must help the main character dress to impress.

Aside from the initially problematic premise, the game just advertises itself as playing glorified dress-up with some story elements. Interested viewers (i.e., not me) can download the app and have a fairly similar experience.

But the ads often have a far worse premise to them.

In one ad, a woman with unshaved legs walks into a pool. Suddenly, a lifeguard pops up and yells, straight-up, “no homeless people!”

The woman runs away and, of course, the sample gameplay tries to make her appearance suitable for the man but fails every time. She walks back into the pool, and the man calls 911. For some reason, the game always starts by shaving her legs – the one part of the gameplay that gives the user points.

It baffles me how ads for a game with more than 7,300 ratings appear to work. In fact, I see these same ads all the time.

So, from a marketing and advertising perspective, why do these ads get users to download the game?

As with Royal Match, the ads present a failure – and you, as the user, must download the app if you want to correct it. If you watch enough of these mobile ads, you will find yourself indefinitely frustrated.

Unlike Royal Match, however, the ads’ sample gameplay aligns with user expectations. When viewers download the game, they, too, can participate in digital misogyny and help the woman get a man.

As for the problematic, “no homeless people” nonsense, segmentation could help explain its purpose. The target market for these games seems generally older given its heavy reliance on gender roles to drive its stories. Therefore, interested users likely won’t mind the problematic content.

“Merge Mansion”: A Murderous Grandma on the Run

If you thought the previous set of ads both frustrated and concerned you, Merge Mansion will absolutely destroy you.

In the game, you essentially clean up a big mansion. As the main character, you work to refurbish an old home by playing mini-games. Pretty standard, right? Likely little room to insert a complex story, so surely a simple, wholesome game.

Not so fast.

In most ads, the main character seems to find herself devastated after her wedding. What happened exactly? We will never know. But she somehow finds her house burned to the ground, so her grandma hooks her up with an old home.

Then the ads usually show a few sample puzzles. At this point, the game seems pretty wholesome. A grandma and her granddaughter are on a mission to build a beautiful home. Lovely.

But suddenly, the main character hears the police. And who’s getting cuffed? Grandma. Why is she getting arrested? We will never know.

Before the police drive off, the grandma lifts her hand to the window – and the main character sees “he is alive” written on it. In another version of the ad, the grandma wrote “you’re next” on the palm of her hand.

I implore you to read that over one more time before moving on.

Yes, Merge Mansion’s ads are insane. Yes, the stories presented in these ads have no place in the actual game itself. But did this deliberately crazy advertising strategy work for Merge Mansion?

Given it went viral in late 2021, apparently yes.

Twitter users immediately gave these ads a lot of attention. Kotaku even ran a story dissecting the innumerable alternative versions of Merge Mansion’s ads. They even ran fully cinematic ads featuring Kathy Bates.

For just one moment, please think about how much money this game had to pay Kathy Bates to star in their ads.

The outrageousness of the grandma implying she killed her granddaughter’s husband alongside the complete disconnect between the ads and game made Merge Mansion go viral. Even if the stories felt like misleading advertising, it clearly hasn’t hurt their 4.6 rating on the app store.

Okay, so these relatively misleading, often insane ads appear to work. But how do mobile game advertisers keep getting away with this?

Misleading Mobile Ads are Illegal – but the Law Doesn’t Care

Unfortunately for many mobile game advertisers, falsely misleading viewers in ads is illegal per advertising rules established by the Federal Trade Commission. In fact, advertisers cannot “deliberately lie or mislead their audience about their product”.

Rejoice! Pack your bags, advertisers. You’re on your way out. In the words of grandma, you’re next.

But no, mobile games will continue to advertise this way – because the FTC just doesn’t care. Freemium mobile apps have little impact on the majority of consumers’ lives barring occasional annoyance (e.g., myself). And while a lot of these games manipulate consumers with low impulse control, advertising comes before any of that.

So, while these false advertisements are illegal, the FTC needs to enforce the rule to get them banned.

Until that happens, we will just have to keep on the lookout for more of grandma’s antics. Maybe Kathy Bates will kill her granddaughter through a puzzle. Who knows?

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