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On Praxis: User Acquisition Marketing at General Assembly

I’m not much for horse races, but I’m in the home stretch in my User Acquisition Marketing class at General Assembly. (How terrible was that?)

For the past 6-weeks I’ve been learning from Kate Huyett, the Director of User Acquisition at online dating site HowAboutWe. She’s pretty awesome, and the course is taught unlike other marketing how-tos that suffer from the practice of one idea per slide, which translates to one image per slide (because people don’t like to read, I guess?). That style plays to the strengths of an improv actor, but not to speakers trying to communicate a skill that an eager audience is trying to learn. [1]

Paul Graham addresses the difference between presenting and writing expertly rather thoughtfully.

What I have enjoyed most about the course is its emphasis on praxis:

Learning Balance: Theory vs. Practice

For me, this point above is where I learn the details of proper execution without sacrificing an understanding of the big picture. It gives me a certain degree of early “know-how” and is a fair simulation of what I will meet when experimenting with real dollars: challenges to consider, features to configure, and goals to achieve. It’s also not so specific that I couldn’t, say, take the knowledge learned in this class where we focused heavily on B2C application and apply it in a B2B setting.

I just emailed the team of a pretty exciting start-up to see if they’re interested in having their product serve as the subject of my final project, and integrated mock user acquisition campaign.

I’ll be posting the final project here in early October.

Update Final project is available here

[1] A discussion could be had about the goal of presentations in general. Are they to inform, inspire, or announce? Or are they to bridge the gap between what an attendee would interpret if he/she read the slides on paper and what the presenter intends to communicate? Or? Goes on…

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