88 episodes

Adam Pierno brings in guests to dissect events in culture, art, politics, business, sports and beyond to discuss the strategy driving it.


The Strategy Inside Everything Adam Pierno

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 17 Ratings

Adam Pierno brings in guests to dissect events in culture, art, politics, business, sports and beyond to discuss the strategy driving it.


    Getting Thas Naseemuddeen's incredible perspective

    Getting Thas Naseemuddeen's incredible perspective

    Most industries work in teams. The recent adaptation to the way we work has affected our approach in some simple and profound ways. As I've spoken to strategists and marketers, I've learned that this has impacted the way their assignments happen, or maybe just the way they feel. Work, or parts of work that was formerly done by teams in shared space or at least shaped or nurtured in hallway conversations, has become solo work. Passed from person to person digitally, like an assembly line, in which each person is not always clear on what they are meant to add to the product. It can all feel a bit lonely. Ultimately, each person has a role and a responsibility to the project. What decisions one makes probably hasn't changed. But they may feel more isolating, and more revealing about what is at stake in each case.

    When you listen to a choir, it's not always clear who is performing which part, while reviewing the 16 track recording tells you exactly who is doing what. Remember, we all dislike the sound of our own recorded voice. So it is with work, we want to know how what we do, what we decide fits in to the bigger picture, how our role contributes to the bigger result. When Thas Nuseemuddeen joined me for the following chat, she revealed a deep intelligence and curiosity about an incredible array of subjects. She casually dropped insightful comments faster than I could take notes. I realized in her role as CEO of Omelet, she is the type of leader thinking about challenges like these that her team may be facing. I never even asked, when she said something I've been thinking about deeply since: Making these decisions can be very lonely. Thas has a perspective on how all the parts of the choir should sound together, and we're fortunate to hear how she thinks in this episode.

    Links: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thasnaseemuddeenhttps://twitter.com/thaz7

    You want to read for yourself? Fine. Go then. Transcript: http://adampierno.com/getting-thas-naseemuddeens-incredible-perspective/

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    • 37 min
    Ben Perreira is learning through repetition

    Ben Perreira is learning through repetition

    How often do you look back at your old work? A funny thing happened during the recording of this episode. My guest, Ben Perreira began describing something he had done earlier in his career and made an off-hand joke about a decision he made. But we continued to discuss, and he arrived at an insight about what he learned from that experience. I got the feeling he hadn't thought much about that before, as in, he hadn't consciously recognized the lesson that he had clearly internalized.

    This week, someone posted a photo of something from a book on Twitter. And when I saw it, I smirked. "That's clever," I thought before reading the caption, in which I had been tagged. Because I had written it. It was a quote from my first book which was released in 2017 and I forgot all about it. It has literally* been five-hundred years since that book. It got me thinking about going back to our old works, the lessons we've already learned. The lessons we already created. In the meantime, I'm creating an online course for small businesses, based on the work I do for larger brands. Going back through my writing and work, it's a ridiculous amount of knowledge to sift through. Do you realize how much we have to know to make these decisions seem so simple?

    If you've been doing this strategy thing for a while, you've probably already thought about the request that just landed in your inbox. More than once. You might have already written about it, and almost definitely created some slides on it. I've been going back through the archives to remind myself all of the challenges I've already faced, which I believe gives me confidence for the next challenges to come.



    Here's a transcript of the audio: http://adampierno.com/ben-perreira-is-learning-through-repetition/

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    • 38 min
    Nate Nichols is creating space

    Nate Nichols is creating space

    For the past year, there's been a big reason for each of us to think about ourselves. My safety and security. My health. My job security. Basically protecting our small bubble. As vaccination happens en masse and we take our first tenuous steps back towards a physical social world, you may have noticed a broadening of your perspective. Things are transforming from the nearly squarish Zoom screen to the full surround of the real world.

    This means real actions and real consequence. There will be a million Medium posts on transforming who you are as you come back to the world. That can be as simple as ordering new pants from that no name brand on Instagram or by changing the fundamental way you relate to people. I don't expect I'll change that much, and I will grant you the same hall pass. As we come back, it will be easy to get caught up in the roaring aspect of the return. I am hoping I will be half the person in the new, real-world as I was hiding in my home for the past year.

    I had the opportunity to speak with Nate Nichols, founder and creative director of Palette Group and co-founder of Allyship & Action. If you weren't inspired to reconsider how you relate to people, or the space you make in the world, you should listen. I only knew Nate from social media, where most of us go to post our victories. Imagine my surprise when I was even more impressed by hearing the full context of what he's been up to and why.

    If you are building something (and many of you have told me you are) this episode will be instructive. As I prepare to re-enter to world, I'm taking some of these lessons with me, and wondering why I hadn't learned them earlier.


    You’re looking for the transcript, haven't you? You're so predictable. Well, fine. You can get that here: http://adampierno.com/nate-nichols-is-creating-space/

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    • 52 min
    You can trust Margot Bloomstein

    You can trust Margot Bloomstein

    What happens when a promise made by a company is broken? Complaining on Twitter. No more customer. You can lost trust one customer at a time, or en masse. When companies suffer surges in demand that let customers down (Clorox wipes) or just get caught with their hand in the data cookie jar (Facebook), customers begin to ponder the brand. When the promise is kept, there are no questions. Keep buying. Keep logging in.

    The core of a brand as a promise. It's the promise your company makes–and keeps–to its best audience. There's no brand without that promise that your company is going to perform the task or provide the product in your own special way - that the customer wants and cares about.

    Clorox Wipes have been out of stock for about a year. I don't grudge the company one bit, but my loyalties (if they ever existed) have evaporated. I no longer trust that I'll be able to find them, so I no longer look for them. Facebook has betrayed our collective trust so many times, I cannot believe I had to sign up for an account (friend me!) after three years away, knowing that they will exploit every 1 and 0 they gather about my digital behavior.

    Clorox has been replaced. I accept the reasons why their promise was broken. Facebook has lost all trust. I do not accept much of what they've done. I do not like transacting with them. I do not want to do it. The only thing I want less than an Oculus is an Oculus by Facebook. But then, they offer a powerful value proposition. I can connect with my family. I can connect with all the great people on Sweathead. I can advertise to prospects. All in ways I can't do as easily or as well without their service. I overlook their lapses in good behavior and good citizenship, because the benefits for me are more useful.

    At least I go in with eyes open, I tell myself, as each keystroke is streamed directly to Zuck's data cauldron. If only that were it; that I make this choice despite myself and move on happily with my day. This level of broken trust makes me reflect poorly on my own self-image. I'm a hypocrite for using this platform, the same way one might feel going back to a partner who has cheated on them. Using the service makes me feel bad. About myself. Because it has broken my trust, but I need to use it. Each time I use it, I resent it more, based only on how they've broken my trust up til now, but not factoring for the future failures that I fully expect at this point. Yikes.

    I spoke with the author of Trustworthy, How The Smartest Brands Beat Cynicism and Bridge the Trust Gap, Margot Bloomstein about how some brands design their communication and UX around building and maintaining trust, so their customers don't feel icky. In the book, she uses a collection of great examples to make her points, and goes pretty deep on the work they did to identify the point of trust and keep improving on that front.


    Here is a transcript of the episode: http://adampierno.com/you-can-trust-margot-bloomstein/

    Get full access to The Strategy Inside Everything at specific.substack.com/subscribe

    • 45 min
    Brianne Fleming connects pop culture to brands.

    Brianne Fleming connects pop culture to brands.

    When I write down my influences, I'm often pretty embarrassed. Terrible stuff like 80's metal, schlock horror and comedy like Mr. Show inform some of my basic sensibilities. Despite a college education and continued study, the academic and arts portion of my influence pie chart is hovering at about 20% on a good day. I'm able to draw from those sources when I'm in work mode, or if I take the time to think (remember having time to think?).

    Mostly, I've been adrift in a sea of pop culture and associated references. Now, that full of things I like, things the audiences that I'm studying like, things my kids like, and all the memes. In the absence of monocultural events, we've each become one of one in terms of our influence and application of those. One interesting development over the past year is the decline of American celebrity culture and gossip. Without mass pop-culture events and gatherings, the celebrity industrial complex has been vanishing like Marty McFly's siblings in his photo, circa 1955.

    As we return to normal activities, there are signs that people are anxious to return to theaters for movies and concerts. No doubt, there will be a return of the TMZ and other outlets along with this, and I'll be watching to see what it is shaped like now that we've had some time away from the onslaught of meaningless BREAKING NEWS on E! about a celebrity project announcement or breakup. I haven't missed it, and wonder if others will embrace its return. I suspect they will welcome the return of a meaningless distraction.

    I spoke with Brianne Fleming, who consults brand and is an instructor at the University of Florida, about her love for pop culture and how she applies the lessons she learns in pop culture to branding. I really enjoyed the chance to chat with her again as her pop culture territory is wholly different from mine.

    Read this episode’s transcript on adampierno.com: http://adampierno.com/brianne-fleming-connects-pop-culture-to-brands/

    Links: https://twitter.com/brianne2khttps://anchor.fm/brianne2k/episodes/Pelotons-Pop-Culture-Brilliance-w-Christina-Garnett--Adam-Pierno-eodtpp/a-a48ca3c

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    • 42 min
    James Gregson puts it together

    James Gregson puts it together

    Over the past year, I've been living almost exclusively online. If I had to guess, I would estimate I've watched more than 200 movies and competed a dozen series. I wrote and recorded a bunch. I've played video games and scrolled multiple marathons distance on Twitter. And then came TikTok. Oh boy, Clubhouse.

    In marketing, advertising, whatever, we call them 'experiences' (myself included) but I think that is what the youth would call "b******t". It's amazing how little of that screen time I have memories of. It has all blurred together. My memories are all of physical, real-world experiences. I'm not sure how many of those movies that I watched that I could name at the moment, through some were excellent.

    This weekend, I drove to a store to buy something for less than $10 that Amazon probably could have delivered in the same day because I couldn't stand looking at a screen any more. Going to Home Depot is no exciting feat, but I found myself looking forward to it, if for no other reason than it was a change of scenery. An experience (sort of), but not much more memorable than scrolling Netflix or Twitter. And when I had the product I needed, I had to check myself out. Ultimately, it was still me and a screen.

    I wonder when this is all over what the collective drive to escape screen experiences is going to do to our lives and culture. There will certainly a burst of imaginative events and retail, and I wonder how much they'll end up being odd fads versus long-term trends shaped by this odd year we 'experienced' together.

    This week, I have the fantastic James Gregson, digital creative director at LEGO, one of my favorite brands. I learned to love LEGO as a child, but continued loving it playing their video games and then assembling models with my own children. I followed James on (virtual) stage at a Brand Innovators event and was captivated by his point of view. He was kind enough to join me for this talk about combining the online and offline.

    Read the transcript for this episode here: http://adampierno.com/james-gregson-puts-it-together/

    Get full access to The Strategy Inside Everything at specific.substack.com/subscribe

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

Agency Consultant ,

Marketing & Advertising

The communications industry needs more of these podcasts by Adam Pierno. Inside The Strategy of Everything podcast each week you learn about a new executive in our industry who’s strategizing, pivoting and creating. Adam is truly a gifted host his unassuming, humorous, sharp and witty observations will help all of us discover new thinkers emerging in our midsts. Big recommend if you want to stay on top of relevant discussions happening in Marketing.

Hippowill ,

Engaging & inquiring voices in the creative industries

[An FYI disclaimer: I was a guest on the podcast, and I'm reviewing as a listener] I really enjoy the sweeping variety of topics covered by Adam and his guests on the show, and how either views about the creative industries and the job of strategy regularly come in and out of focus depending on the episodes, guests, and topics. Adam is inquisitive, sharp, and at the same time really open and friendly, pleasure to listen to. I highly recommend checking it out!

lewisontheroad ,


As a copywriter, I’m a little obsessed with strategy. I like the way the host, Adam Pierno, casually chats with other planners and agency-types about the strategy process - or whatever they feel like talking about that day. It’s fun, unrehearsed and ultimately insightful.

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