Nick Westergaard

By Nick Westergaard on August 29, 2016

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Branding in the Age of Disruption with Geoffrey Colon

geoffrey colon

“The new normal is that there is no normal.” Geoffrey Colon opened this week’s episode of the On Brand podcast with these daunting words. Colon, a self-described data punk, DJ, podcaster, and author, serves as a communications designer and Microsoft. He also just released a new book on this very topic Disruptive Marketing. We discussed all of this and more on this week’s episode of the podcast.

Enjoy This Episode Now

About Geoffrey Colon

Geoffrey Colon works at the intersection of marketing, tech, and popular culture. Data punk, DJ, podcaster, and author, Geoffrey is a communications designer at Microsoft, where he markets search advertising products for Bing. He has written for The Futurist, Advertising Age, and Fast Company, and been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Billboard Magazine, The Guardian and The Los Angeles Times. He has also appeared on NPR and Cheddar TV.

Colon has written his first book Disruptive Marketing: What Growth Hackers, Data Punks, and Other Hybrid Thinkers Can Teach Us About Navigating the New Normal (AMACOM) out now on Kindle, Audio and Hardcover.

Prior to joining Microsoft in 2013, Geoffrey was vice president of digital strategy at Ogilvy & Mather, digital community supervisor at 360i, and social media strategist at Bond Strategy and Influence in New York City. Colon has done work for and with several of the most influential brands including Spotify, Netflix, American Express, IBM, The Economist, USA Network, WWE, History Channel and Red Bull. He also has worked with several high profile music artists including Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, The White Stripes, and Moby. He is a graduate of Lehigh University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Geoffrey is host of the weekly marketing podcast for eccentric minds Disruptive FM, producer and host of video blog series The Disruptive Marketer and regularly writes on LinkedIn, Medium, DisruptiveMarketer.net and the Microsoft Search Advertising blog. He is an avid speaker on the global marketing conference circuit.

Episode Highlights

Forget the technology. After scaring us about the new normal and the constant disruptions marketers today face, Colon reminded us not to start with the technology. It’s easy to get distracted by these bright, shiny things.

Segmenting or stereotyping? “Sometimes we focus too much on demographics. On millennials and baby boomers. Instead of on interests and roles. Both B2B and B2C marketers can do this.”

Why engagement matters. At times, digital engagement can be a buzzword in marketing. However, Colon cautions us not to under-estimate simple engagement. “This can be entry-level predictive analysis. They want to hear from you. What really motivates your audience?”

What business brands can learn from celebrity brands. Colon has worked with many artists and musicians. Due to the disruptions around us, both business brands and celebrity brands have to constantly adapt to stay ahead. Celebrities are small, scrappy, and fearless. This makes them open to trying new things, experimenting, and even failing. You’ve still learned something — even from a failure.

What brand has made Geoffrey smile recently? “Aerie. They’re now creating digital ads that use real women instead of models. As a father with daughters that really makes me smile.”

To learn more, go to his website geoffreycolon.net. You can also connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

As We Wrap …

Before we go, I want to flip the microphone around to our community … Recently Rebecca Selby gave a shoutout to our episode featuring Samantha Hersil of Schwinn. Thanks for listening Rebecca!

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!



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Nick Westergaard
Email Brand Driven Digital

is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.


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