Unmarketing at Ryerson University

I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend a talk with Scott Stratten (aka Unmarketing) at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University (aka my alma mater). I made a point of getting my own copy of the book, Unmarketing: Stop Marketing, Start Engaging that he could sign should I have the fortune of meeting him in person. I wrote about the book in a previous post here.

Me and Scott Stratten aka Unmarketing

Me and Scott Stratten aka Unmarketing

Some of the talk I recognized because they were topics that were brought up in the book, but it was better hearing him tell it instead of just reading it. He also had new material that I’m hoping will also be covered in his new book. He kept the crowd interested and engaged. Funny thing that he was talking about not feeding the trolls when in the Twitter stream that was going on (#unmarketingRU) a troll who happened to be in the audience kept throwing things in that were quite rude, including saying that Scott didn’t know what he was talking about and that attending this talk was a waste of time. Well, guess what, Dumbass? You just proved his point that people are more likely to bitch on Twitter than in person. He hid behind his PDA and yelled it virtually rather than standing up and telling us off himself. Moron.

A couple of the main points that I got from this talk:

  • Don’t put anything up on the web that you don’t want to see on a billboard
  • We are passive in person, aggressive online and CANADIAN!
  • Marketing doesn’t matter if the front line doesn’t buy into it
  • You can’t teach awesome
  • And the phrase: “For the life of Chuck Norris!”

One of the funniest stories he told was about a fellow co-worker who spent real money to buy a virtual chicken in Farmville on Facebook. Really??? “Give me back your man card.”

I had the pleasure of asking him a question first at the event regarding QR codes for business cards. I know how using these is a big pet peeve of his if not done correctly, so I figured I would get his opinion. I’ve used the code to go to my LinkedIn profile, then they made some changes to their site that prompted the person to install the app rather than just going to the mobile site. I then had it go to my About.me page, but not sure if it really does any good. I then found a website that will allow for a download of a vCard. You enter your information on the site, it encodes it and then allows the person to download the vCard right into their address book. This is something I could get used to. He did answer my question during the event and I was able to clarify why I was asking the question during the reception held after the talk. He suggested that the vCard idea is the best one of the three. I still have to figure out how to code my Twitter handle into a link on that card…

My Signed Copy of Unmarketing

My Signed Copy of Unmarketing

Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to come and speak to us Scott. It certainly wasn’t a lecture and you could have sold tickets and people would have come, not only for free. Oh, and by the way, there were some people trying to scalp tickets to get into the event. I feel sorry for the people that actually paid the money since it was a free event. I would have paid to see him speak. It was worth it and I look forward to more engagement and less marketing in future.


Book #3 – UnMarketing

I’d been following Scott Stratten on Twitter for some time and had always wanted to read his book, Unmarketing. When I found out he was going to do a talk at Ryerson, I knew the time had come. After reading it, I wondered what took me so long? All I can say is that I’m making up for it now. Every client that I meet that doesn’t get it, I tell them to read this book.
Unmarketing by Scott Stratten

The main theme that I took with me (obviously, other than the subtitle: “Stop Marketing, Start Engaging”) is that traditional marketing isn’t going to cut it anymore. People want more transparency in their lives. You can’t fool them anymore, so just be honest! Talk to your clients and fellow human beings. Most of the time, they talk back.

I have been following many of the practices he discusses in the book, but didn’t have any good stories to go along with why I was doing what I was doing. Scott gives great examples and stories in bite-sized chapters which makes it very easy to flow through it and feel like you’ve accomplished something.

One of my favourite chapters is #35: Transparency and Authenticity. There are a number of consultants out there that that will tell you it’s all about the numbers: Number of followers, number of likes, etc. Though these are a good measure in most cases, it isn’t everything. It’s more important to do a few tweets that are worthwhile and engaging, rather than just broadcasting your blog/website to the world.

I run a small consulting business that helps small to medium businesses not just create a web presence, but also learn how to navigate social media. I spoke with a new client yesterday who wants to learn how this all works. I said since we weren’t meeting for a few days, he had some time to do some reading. I told him to get this book. And so should you.

His next book is coming out very soon, so make sure you get this one as well as the next. Follow Scott on Twitter @unmarketing. I’ll talk about his talk at Ryerson very soon.



I had the pleasure of attending an event called HoHoTo last night. I noticed that a number of the people that I follow on Twitter were going to be there, some I’ve met before and some I’ve been dying to meet. I’m now really starting to get the idea of social media and engaging people. Just meeting online is not enough.

One of the things that I’ve learned from Scott Stratten (@unmarketing) is that you should #FollowFriday fewer people, but with reason. I’ve got a few today, but all have good reasons. PS. I have yet to meet Scott, but it’s on my list!

Firstly, I had the pleasure of meeting April Dunford (@aprildunford) at Product Camp last year. She was one of the people who helped me understand the difference between Facebook and Twitter. Thanks to her, I am an active Twitter user. I finally got the chance to see her again last night since last year.

These skills improved over the few months with the help of someone that many of you know and love, Alex Blom (@alexblom). I met him at the next Product Camp because of his comments on Twitter. We chatted over lunch and he has become a very good friend. With his guidance, I was able to find my way to #HoHoTO last night, not because he told me to go, but because of the people that I’ve met through him and his teachings of the “finesse” of Twitter and social media. I even started writing this wonderful blog.

Through him, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and hopefully will continue to meet further these amazing people:

Joe Puopolo (@jpuopolo and @stickeryou)

Karim Kanji (@karimkanji and @wearethirdocean)

Carolyn Van (@carolynvan and @wearethirdocean) – We haven’t met yet, but turns out we graduated from the same faculty at Ryerson. Discussions will be had!

My last #FollowFriday goes out to @HoHoTo. Though the event was held last night, there will be a Hangover Auction on Monday night for all of the unclaimed prizes from the raffle. They have raised over $61,000 for the Daily Bread Foodbank so far. Let’s see if we can do better. Thanks go out to all the organizers who did a wonderful job. Because of this event, I got to go to a holiday party this year. Please follow them and show your support for the Daily Bread Foodbank, especially if you couldn’t make it last night. I had a blast!

And lastly, for all those “haters” out there, if you spent as much time helping others and positively contributing to the world for things that matter, the world would be a better place. If you don’t like it, don’t follow.

Have a wonderful holiday everyone. Peace.