About MarketingSherpa Blog

March 18th, 2014

MarketingSherpa is a research firm specializing in tracking what works in all aspects of marketing (and what does not.) So, we’re not an agency, consultancy or other vendor seeking your business. We’re not even available for private research — all our research is published for the entire MarketingSherpa community to benefit from. Our goal — to give marketers of the world the stats, inspiration, and instructions to improve their results. Our name “Sherpa” refers Admiringly to the Sherpas of Nepal who guide climbers up Mount Everest. Our goal is to be your friendly native guides who help make your tough climb toward great marketing results easier by handing you research on ‘what works.’ If you are interested in contributing to the MarketingSherpa blog, consider joining our team. Please review career opportunities here.

The MarketingSherpa Bloggers

Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS Daniel oversees all editorial content coming from the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa brands while helping to shape the editorial direction for MECLABS – working with our team of reporters to dig for actionable information while serving as an advocate for the audience. Daniel is also a frequent speaker and moderator at live events and on webinars. Previously, he was the main writer powering MarketingExperiments publishing engine – from Web clinics to Research Journals to the blog. Prior to joining the team, Daniel was Vice President of MindPulse Communications – a boutique communications consultancy specializing in IT clients such as IBM, VMware, and BEA Systems. Daniel has 13 years of experience in copywriting, editing, internal communications, sales enablement, and field marketing communications. Blog Posts | LinkedIn | Twitter

Gaby Paez, Associate Director of Research, MECLABS Gaby’s passion is to bring new perspectives to testing by analyzing customer behavior. Currently, Gaby is part of the business intelligence team leading competitive and industry research projects. Gaby joined MECLABS as a research analyst in October 2006. Since then, she has led research projects with Partners ranging from Encyclopedia Britannica and The New York Times to ActualMe and Bottega Verde. Before joining MarketingExperiments, Gaby worked on new media opportunities for The PGA TOUR, coordinated customer loyalty program research for Lands’ End, and managed Internet projects for British American Tobacco in Venezuela. She holds a B.S. in systems engineering from Universidad Metropolitana in Venezuela, and an MBA in marketing from Vanderbilt University.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn

David Kirkpatrick David Kirkpatrick, Manager of Editorial Content, MECLABS David is a reporter for MarketingSherpa and has more than 20 years of experience in business journalism, marketing and corporate communications. His published work includes newspaper, magazine and online journalism, as well as website content, full-length ghosted nonfiction, marketing content and short fiction. He served as producer for the business research horizontal at the original Office.com, regularly reporting on the world of marketing; covered a beat for D/FW TechBiz, a member of the American City Business Journals family; and he provided daily reporting for multiple LocalBusiness.com cities. David’s other media and corporate clients include: USA Today, Oxford Intelligence, GMAC, AOL, Business Development Outlook and C-Level Media, among many others. Blog Posts | LinkedIn | Twitter
Paul Cheney Paul Cheney, Exectuive Content Strategist, MECLABS Paul helps turn raw research into easy-to-understand content for MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa readers. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Covenant College. Before joining the MarketingExperiments and Sherpa team, Paul wrote grant proposals and fundraising letters for a mid-size nonprofit in New Jersey. He has also worked as a freelance Internet marketing consultant and copywriter for small businesses. In his spare time, Paul enjoys reading, writing poems, and dating his wife, Callie. Blog Posts | LinkedIn | Twitter
Selena Blue, Manager of Editorial Content, MECLABS As part of Primary Research, Selena edits everything copy, from blog posts to benchmark reports to articles. Before joining MECLABS, she worked in two nonprofits, writing and editing communications, planning events and developing media databases. She also did freelance work as a copywriter. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications and a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing and Management Communications, both from Florida State University. Outside of work, Selena enjoys reading, waterskiing and volunteering.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn | Twitter
Andrea Johnson Andrea Johnson, Copywriter, MECLABS As a copywriter for MECLABS, Andrea Johnson develops content for both MECLABS and its Research Partners – from articles to landing pages to emails to blogs. Her goal is to give audiences actionable knowledge that will create more opportunities and revenue, and help them be more effective, productive and happier. Andrea is a journalist who has more than two decades of marketing communications and public relations experience in B2B consulting, senior living and healthcare, nonprofit, real estate, and telecommunications.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn | Twitter
Brian Carroll Brian Carroll, Executive Director of Revenue Optimization, MECLABS Brian Carroll is Executive Director of Applied Research at MECLABS and CEO of InTouch, part of the MECLABS Group. Author of the bestseller, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale (McGraw-Hill), Brian is a leading expert in lead generation and he’s profiled and regularly quoted in numerous publications. Brian also speaks to 20,000 people a year on improving sales effectiveness and lead generation strategies. He’s been profiled and regularly quoted in numerous publications such as BtoB Magazine, Selling Power, The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, Target Marketing, Inc. magazine, Marketing News, DM News, MarketingProfs, MarketingSherpa, Software CEO and CMO Magazine.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn | Twitter

Courtney Eckerle, Manager of Editorial Content, MECLABS With a focus on inbound and email marketing, Courtney’s goal is to produce clear, interesting and actionable external content for MarketingSherpa readers. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Mass Communications and Film Studies from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind. She has worked as a writer and sports photographer for The University of Notre Dame Observer, and was a collegiate correspondent for USA Today College prior to joining MECLABS. In her spare time, Courtney enjoys kayaking, travel, reading and photography. Blog Posts | LinkedIn | Twitter

John Tackett, Manager of Editorial Content, MECLABS As a member of the MECLABS editorial content team, John helps turn raw research into easy-to-understand content for readers. Before MECLABS, John served for eight years in the U.S Army Military Police Corps as a military law enforcement instructor. John provided training to military personnel in the United States, Germany and Afghanistan. John holds his Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of North Florida, where he worked in radio broadcast production as a volunteer at Osprey radio. In his spare time, John enjoys reading, organic gardening, 5k runs and home beer brewing.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn | Twitter

Taylor Kennedy, Senior Research Manager, MECLABS As a senior research manager, Taylor’s day-to-day responsibilities include managing a group of research managers and analysts along with guiding major partner/project efforts. His specialties include email marketing, landing page optimization, lead generation and UX for responsive design and online testing. He has also worked on a number of projects to enhance the back-end integration of his partners and MECLABS operations. Taylor graduated from the University of Florida in August 2009, with two bachelor of arts degrees; one in Business Administration (international focus), and another in Political Science. Before working at MECLABS, he worked in the institutional financial services industry with Merrill Lynch. His other interests include surfing, running, reading and live music. Blog Posts | LinkedIn | Twitter

Emily Rogers, Senior Research Manager, MECLABS Emily’s position requires managing more than 10 projects for a Fortune 20 wireless company. She works to make its website easier to understand by developing testing strategies to increase usability, and ultimately result in an increase in revenue. Emily also works with MECLABS to ensure its teleprospecting programs generate the highest number of leads for its clients. Emily graduated in 2011 with a BBA in Marketing and an Advanced Business Communications Certificate. She began her career with MECLABS in September 2011.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn

Tony Doty, Associate Director of Optimization, MECLABS Tony is responsible for guiding and assisting all aspects of testing for our Research Partners. When not optimizing projects with our Partners, he is guiding other members of the team by providing key insights and training to support their professional development. Prior to MECLABS, Tony was a Product Management Consultant where he performed research to help companies optimize product offerings and marketing strategies. Tony holds a Bachelor of Science in Materials Science from the University of Minnesota and is a self-confessed data junkie. In his spare time, he enjoys playing video games with his wife Ashley, and spending quality time their dog, Barley. Blog Posts | LinkedIn

Emily Munns, Research Manager, MECLABS Emily is a member of the MECLABS research team and is the primary point of contact for multiple Research Partnerships. Her responsibilities include managing and monitoring projects and team members, which includes optimization strategies, test strategies and reporting. She enjoys interacting with her Partners on multiple levels, which is a motivating factor in her daily work. Emily holds a bachelor of arts in marketing and sports management from Saint Mary’s University-Winona. Emily enjoys going on trips with family and friends, and actively follows at least one Minnesota sport at all times.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn

John Cockburn, Senior Business Intelligence Manager, MECLABS John organizes and manages research efforts to provide competitive intelligence within a given industry to inform testing strategies for each Partner. This involves evaluating pertinent industry information, segmenting the competitive landscape, revealing competitive strengths and weaknesses and evaluating opportunities for testing. John attended Florida State University and holds a Master of Science in Demography. He’s particularly interested in the evolution of social media and mobile technology and how it will influence the means in which people interact and exchange information. In his spare time, John enjoys the outdoors and is a regular at the local boxing gym. Blog Posts | LinkedIn

Michael Groszek, Business Intelligence Manager, MECLABS Mike began his MECLABS career in March 2012 as a member of the research team, managing multiple Research Partnerships. He recently transitioned over to his current role as a Business Intelligence Manager, where he provides competitive analysis for Research Partners in the form of product and market research. Mike is highly interested in the constantly-evolving mobile and social media marketing trends and is working to find more ways to incorporate aspects of both into our Partnerships. Prior to MECLABS, Mike attended Florida State University, where he earned his Bachelor’s of Science in Economics with minors in Biology and Chemistry. In his time away from the office, Mike enjoys going to the beach, fishing, kayaking and skiing (although he often struggles to find quality slopes in Florida).
Blog Posts | LinkedIn

Matthew Hertzman, Research Manager, MECLABS Matthew works daily with Research Partners helping with optimization strategy and test implementation. Before joining MECLABS, Matthew worked with small businesses across multiple industries helping with accounting, marketing and Web development. Matthew holds his BSBA in Finance from the University of Central Florida, where he worked in marketing for Simon Property Group. When he’s not working, he loves to read, travel and play sports. Blog Posts | LinkedIn | Twitter

Erin Hogg, Copy Editor, MECLABS Erin’s role at MECLABS involves editing everything from blog posts, articles and newsletters to marketing sends and landing page copy. Before joining MECLABS, Erin worked as the Features Editor at Illinois State University’s student-run daily newspaper, The Vidette. She earned her B.S. in Journalism and minored in Political Science at Illinois State University. In her free time, Erin enjoys cross-stitching, watching movies and playing video games. Blog Posts | LinkedIn | Twitter

Ashley Hanania, Senior Research Manager, MECLABS Ashley’s time is spent guiding a group of research analysts and managers focusing on optimization and testing efforts on a Fortune 20 wireless company. Beyond improving visitor experience on the site, she specializes in providing client leadership, developing test strategy and team collaboration efforts. Ashley graduated with a M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications, Project Management Certificate and a B.A. in Business Marketing from Florida State University. In her spare time, she enjoys going to the beach, traveling and reading.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn

Martha Faulk, Research Manager, MECLABS Martha is responsible for managing projects for companies both small and large, and helping Research Partners determine the best places to test on their sites where they will gain solid learnings and see big lifts. Before MECLABS, Martha worked as a project manager for a small marketing firm. Martha holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of North Florida, where she also participated in two short-term study abroad trips to China and India. In her spare time, Martha enjoys spending time with family, going to live music shows and traveling.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn

Jon Powell, Senior Executive Content Writer, MECLABS Jon mostly works with financial industry Research Partners and is well respected around the lab for his keen test planning and scheduling abilities. Before joining MECLABS in April 2007, Jon managed relationships with advertisers and supporters in publications like Massage magazine and Chiropractic Economics. He holds a B.A. in Integrated Marketing Communications from Wichita State University and when not managing research partnerships, Jon spends his free time leading the nonprofit FIBC Traditional Taekwondo school.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn

Beata Bordas, Research Manager, MECLABS As a MECLABS research manager, Beata’s responsibilities include spearheading the design and development of optimization tests, and authoring online ad sequence reports containing feasible recommendations for her Research Partners. Beata earned her B.B.A. in economics at the University of North Florida, where she was involved in the Economics Society and the Finance and Investments Society. In her spare time, she enjoys going to the beach and travelling.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn

Rachel Minion, Senior Research Manager, MECLABS As a member of the MECLABS research team, Rachel is responsible for leading multiple projects for a Fortune 20 wireless company. With an extensive background in printing, social media, marketing communications and business management, Rachel brings to the table a passion for growing businesses from the ground up. Rachel holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maryland.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn

Gina Greco, Research Manager, MECLABS As a research manager, Gina works with her Partners in a multitude of different areas including landing pages, banner ads, email templates and shopping cart experiences to help optimize and test for increased results. She began her career with MECLABS in 2011 and has helped multiple Partners with test strategies and optimization efforts. Before MECLABS, Gina worked as a manager for Citibank and graduated with a degree from the University of North Florida, where she majored in marketing. In her spare time she enjoys walking her dog, Cannoli, on the beach and spending time with friends and family.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn

Jessica Lorenz, Visual Storyteller, MECLABS Jessica spends her time developing PowerPoint presentations for webinars, where she transforms thoughts and ideas into visuals. Before joining MECLABS, Jessica worked as a marketing assistant at a nonprofit organization. She attended The Pennsylvania State University where she earned degrees in International Studies (B.S.), International Politics (B.A.) and minors in Business, History and German. When she’s not working, she enjoys going on adventures with her husband, painting and playing with her cats.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn

Allison Banko, Reporter, MECLABS Allison digs into digital marketing campaigns to find what really works, and then interviews brand-side marketers to produce actionable case studies. Prior to joining the MECLABS editorial content team, she was an editorial intern for Good Housekeeping magazine and covered University of Florida athletics for a variety of news outlets. She also served as the entertainment editor of The Independent Florida Alligator newspaper and headed UF’s chapter of Her Campus Media. Allison holds her B.S. in journalism from the University of Florida. Allison enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching baseball and clocking in some quality time on Netflix.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn

Brittany Long, Optimization Manager, MECLABS As a member of the MECLABS research team, Brittany assists Partners in researching and testing their mobile and online sites. Before MECLABS, Brittany worked in the tourism industry as a research intern. She collected and analyzed data to gain insights about different visitors’ travel preferences to the state of Florida. Brittany holds a M.S. in integrated marketing and management communication from Florida State University, where she worked as an athletic tutor and teaching assistant in statistics. In her spare time, Brittany enjoys riding her bike to the beach, rock climbing and reading comedians’ biographies.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn

Taylor Lightfoot, Data Scientist, MECLABS Taylor applies his research experience and answers the data needs of Research Partners. Taylor has worked in diverse research labs, spanning social science, geography and economics departments/firms. He holds a master’s degree in industrial-organizational psychology from the University of West Florida and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin. A music, art and beach/outdoors enthusiast, Taylor finds time to relax through these activities and sometimes combines all three.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn

John Nye, Research Analyst, MECLABS John works on the conversion team with the responsibilities of competitive research, testing strategy generation and treatment execution for several Partners. Before the conversion team, John spent time on the MECLABS business intelligence team after his beginnings as a lead generation specialist. John holds his B.A. in management and marketing from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, where he worked within the business education department, athletics department, Advertising Federation of MN and radio broadcast for KSMR Radio. In his spare time, John enjoys playing sports, graphic design, photography and traveling.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn

Eric Coffman, Research Manager, MECLABS As a member of the MECLABS conversion team, Eric helps optimize Web presence – building on current online strategies, testing towards statistical validity, and presenting the findings from each test. Before MECLABS, Eric worked as a communications coordinator at a nonprofit startup working to introduce high school students to applied science and as a manager at a greenhouse and garden farm providing the locally grown plants and produce to veg heads in the area. Eric holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication studies from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls, where he worked in Charitable Gambling with a local American Legion. In his spare time, Eric enjoys the outdoors, biking, listening to all sorts of music, and relaxing with a good cup of joe.
Blog Posts 

Rebecca Strally, Optimization Manager, MECLABS Rebecca helps plan tests and design experiments for Research Partners. Rebecca holds a B.A. in history from Mercer University, where she worked and volunteered at several museums. She is currently working on an MBA at the University of North Florida part time. In her free time, Rebecca enjoys reading comics and cheering at roller derby bouts.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn

Shaun James, Research Manager, MECLABS As a member of the MECLABS conversion services team, Shaun helps optimize user experiences online. Before MECLABS, Shaun worked in the financial industry as a member specialist. Shaun provided exceptional customer service while opening accounts, processing consumer loans applications and many more financial transactions. Shaun holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication and an M.S. in communication & leadership from Canisius College where he played NCAA Division 1 basketball and worked as a graduate assistant. In his spare time, Shaun enjoys sports, photography and socializing.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn

Laura Harkness, Research Manager, MECLABS As a member of the MECLABS research team, Laura is responsible for multiple projects for a Fortune 20 wireless company. Before MECLABS, Laura worked as a public relations and marketing manager, and clerked for several law firms. Laura holds her B.S. in hospitality management from the University of Central Florida, and a J.D. from Florida Coastal School of Law, where she specialized in legal research and writing. In her spare time, Laura enjoys tennis, days at the beach, playing classical piano and playing with her Wheaten Terrier, Maggie.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn

Lauren Pitchford, Optimization Manager, MECLABS Lauren guides her colleagues in improving the online marketing efforts of MECLABS Research Partners. She develops test plans and strategies, hypotheses, and research questions to clarify what works and what doesn’t to drive the highest number of conversions and most revenue. Lauren has a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the University of Florida, where she graduated with highest honors and received the Advertising Federation’s Gold ADDY award in the Student Magazine Campaign division. While attaining her degree, she served in account services, advertising consulting, business development and graphic design at several organizations, including The Golf Channel, Planet Hollywood and Beloved Experiential. She is an avid student of life, with a passion for psychology and art.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn

Spencer Whiting, Senior Research Manager, MECLABS Spencer brings his extensive experience in small business, sales, marketing and startup management to MarketingExperiments. He has been involved with five startups as a senior employee and has four years of small business turn around consulting experience in businesses spanning the hospitality, B2B and nonprofit sectors. His creativity and understanding of what it takes to succeed in business today benefits our Research Partners by helping to create real-world solutions to achieve success. He is fascinated by the opportunities presented by the Internet to change business in a profound way. His passions in life are his wife, Snowden, ballroom dancing, the Boston sports scene and sailing.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn

Maria Lopez Fernandez, Research Analyst, MECLABS Maria graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.A. in mass communications with a concentration in public relations. Her experience includes nightlife promotion, event planning and coordinating, campaign strategy and social media marketing. In her spare time, Maria enjoys rowing and tennis. She is passionate about volunteering, cats, pandas and her sorority Alpha Omicron Pi.
Blog Posts | LinkedIn | Twitter

Other MarketingSherpa team members, present and retired, and contributing partners include: Dr. Chuck Coker, Kaci Bower, Stonie Clark, Adam T. Sutton, Todd Lebo, David Meerman Scott, Bob Heyman, Jen Doyle, Brad Bortone, Zuzia Soldenhoff-Thorpe, Jeanne S. Jennings, Chris Heine, Stefan Tornquist, Anne Holland, Sean Donahue, Natalie Myers, Boris Grinkot, Tom Sather, Jay Baer, Marcus Sheridan, Justin Bridegan, Chad Divine and Jonathan Greene.

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