THE MARKERS E-NEWSLETTER - Philly daily roundup: Tech meetup comeback; Fundraising advice; More OIT shakeups


The return of tech meetups in Philly post pandemic has been a slow burn, but group organizers are finally back and ready to connect again.

Dozens of people attended Super Meetup on Wednesday as part of Philly Tech Week 2024 presented by Comcast. Many members aimed to connect with other like minded meetup organizers and attendees. It turns out, these groups are opportunities not only to network, but to learn new skills that can translate to the workplace.

“Once people come out to a meetup, they get hooked,” Joe Woods, a member of Philly JavaScript Club, told “We just need to convince people to come out.”

Meetups help people with similar interests make new friends

“I love these kinds of events where you just get to come together,” Woods said. “It’s great to meet as many … READ MORE.


Side Street Gallery Hosts Groundbreaking Exhibition Featuring AI-Generated Art by Founders Trip Denton and Harvey Weinreich.
Philadelphia, April 2024 – Side Street Gallery, a beacon of artistic innovation and inclusivity, is thrilled to announce its upcoming exhibition showcasing AI-Generated Art by founders, Trip Denton and Harvey Weinreich. The exhibition will take place on April 5, 2024 at 5pm – 8pm, marking a significant milestone in the gallery’s years-long
commitment to supporting emerging artists and pushing the boundaries of artistic expression. Trip Denton and Harvey Weinreich, graduates of Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), first pioneered the use of computers in the arts in the early 1980s.
Leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), they have embarked on a groundbreaking journey to create AI Generated Artwork that challenges conventional notions of creativity and authorship. “We are excited to unveil our latest venture at Side Street Gallery, where art and technology converge in a celebration of innovation and imagination,” said Trip Denton. “Our AI-Generated Art represents a fusion of human ingenuity and machine intelligence, offering a glimpse into the limitless possibilities of artistic expression in the digital age.”
Harvey Weinreich, co-founder of Side Street Gallery, added, “As technology continues to shape the way we create and experience art, Side Street Gallery remains committed to fostering a vibrant and inclusive arts community. Through AI-Generated Art, we aim to spark dialogue, provoke thought, and inspire creativity in all who encounter it.”

The upcoming exhibition at Side Street Gallery promises to be a captivating exploration of AI-Generated Art, showcasing a diverse range of pieces created by Trip Denton and Harvey Weinreich. Visitors can expect to be immersed in a world where algorithms and creativity converge to produce mesmerizing works of art that challenge perceptions and
ignite the imagination.

Join Side Street Gallery on April 5, 2024, for an unforgettable experience at the intersection of art and technology. Admission is free, and all are welcome to attend and experience the future of creativity firsthand. Complimentary wine, and cheese. Side Street Gallery is located at 812 Chestnut Street, Suite 2E, Philadelphia PA 19107.


Join us at Artist Karen Rodewald’s Closing Reception and Business Card Mixer at Side Street Gallery: Come Support Shop Small Saturday within the arts businesses RSVP on our Group Page – Art Social

#closingexhibition #shopsmallsaturday and #smallbusinesssaturday 

—-> Come attend our event this Saturday! Enjoy the magnificent artistry of Karen Rodewald @karenrodewald while feeling the vibe, swapping business cards and connecting with like-minded individuals and business professionals, creatives and crafters.

All are welcome.  

Come on down between the hours of 3 pm – 5 pm to SIDE STREET GALLERY Center City Philadelphia

Complimentary Wine and Cheese until all gone. 

SAVE THE DATE: First Friday Arts: Guest Artist: DECEMBER 1, 2023


Maryam theWeb Design Diva – 6/2/2023

The Lansdowne Night Market took place June 2nd – one of the hottest days this year thus far. Beyond the excitement of coordinating the festival, Tiara Orange, originally from Baltimore, MD had her mother and sister drive up to be near while she balanced such large responsibilities. Orange is the President of Lansdowne Business & Professional Association, who also has her own fashion design and marketing company, which means she is used to wearing many hats. When Orange was notified of a possible rainstorm, she expressed “let’s keep it going!” The uncertainty of rather the rain would come would create a bigger loss from all the coordination. The Lansdowne Night Market was packed at 6 p.m. with visitors, neighbors and shoppers. There was a live concert, vendors – including Maryam’s Mark & Co, along with a beer garden. One gentleman expressed being the first African American winery. While many went to visit the wine bar, others listened to the band while vendors pitched to make sales. The vibe was beautiful regardless of the weather. When that storm said hello, most vendors stayed to continue the show along with the band, who became magically covered with a tent. As the rain poured, many who attended whipped out their umbrellas and continued bopping around. Only three vendors decided to pack up and say their goodbyes with hopes to return to the fall night market held during December 2023.

This ‘people’s university’ is set for an overhaul. The city breaks ground on renovations to the Paschalville Free Library. - $13.2 million renovations

Nate File – 4/27/2023


Leaders and community members break ground for renovations to the Paschaville Free Library branch on Wednesday. Pictured (left to right) are Kelly Richards (with shovel), Otis Bullock, Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, and Mayor Jim Kenney. Wearing white is Maryam Muhammad, a Southwest Philly native, next to her son Isa, in blue. ~Nate File

When Maryam Muhammad was a high school student in Southwest Philly, her English teacher brought her class to the Paschalville Free Library one day to teach them how books are cataloged.

Muhammad found the intricate system fascinating, and became a regular at the Paschalville branch — her son Isa started reading early because she brought him in for library programming in the mid-2000s, and she got to know her neighbors through events over the years since.

But the Paschalville Library hasn’t been renovated since 1995. As at other Free Library of Philadelphia branches and public spaces in the city, funding became scarce, and the infrastructure and staffing of Paschalville suffered.

“A lot of us felt as if Southwest had become neglected,” Muhammad said of what it was like seeing the library deteriorate.

On Wednesday morning in Southwest Philly, city officials and community members — including Muhammad, who… READ MORE FROM THE INQUIRER

The East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention celebrates 22 years of connecting Black comic book creators with fans

Nate File – Inquirer – 5/20/23

Lynne Marie Finley became fascinated by comic book heroes when she was young. Luke Cage and Misty Night, two of Marvel’s first Black superheroes that came after Black Panther in the 70s, first grabbed her attention. But when Finley, now 47, first saw Storm from the X-Men comics with her Black skin and silver hair, it was “striking.”

When Finley came from her home in Maryland to Philadelphia last weekend for the 22nd Annual East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention, there was only one character for her to dress up as.

“They didn’t throw her in there just for diversity’s sake,” she said, referencing Storm’s critical role in one of Marvel’s most successful franchises. “They had some plans [for her].”

ECBACC is an annual gathering in Philadelphia for creators and fans of Black comic books and fantasy, bringing in people from across the country.

Finley is a regular here, taking in the comic book vendors, panel discussions, and cosplay competitions each year with everyone else.

“[You] get to see images that look like us … A lot of the other cons, you don’t see a lot of Black art and Black characters,” Finley said.

“You get to find something a little different and something that looks like you.” 

In 1988, as Yumy Odom first arrived in Philadelphia, he noticed that the comic book creator and fan community here was not very connected. “I don’t think that [people] knew they had that many creators in this one city,” he said.

Odom has been a comic book fan since he was a boy in New York. His mother gave him several issues of X-Men, Fantastic Four, and other comics to read while he was hospitalized with an arm injury, and he’s been…

“They Found Someone Cheaper”: Customers Refuse To Pay This Web Designer. Web Designer Gets Revenge!

Rokas Laurinavičius and Ilona Baliūnaitė

Some people view a contract as toilet paper, thinking they can wipe their butts with it and flush it down the toilet whenever they like.

Reddit user and web developer No_Concept_9848 had clients who were exactly like that.

They signed a document, agreeing that he would build them a website and they would pay in three installments.

However, one completed project later, they had only wired a third of the sum and refused to transfer the rest saying they had decided to go with another developer.

So No_Concept_9848 decided that he too doesn’t need to play by the rules and took revenge. When everything was said and done, he made a post on r/MaliciousCompliance detailing how it all went down. Here’s [some of] what he wrote.

As the role of technology has grown, so too has the role of precarious employment in the economy. Statistics on exact numbers vary depending on who compiled the numbers, but according to one 2017 estimate by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, temporary agency work, on-call work, contracted work or freelancing is the main source of income for more than 10% of US workers.

Generally speaking, examples like the one you just read aren’t that common. According to the 2021 Global Survey on Freelancing, self-employed people are busy, engaged, and optimistic. Over 60% of freelancers have enough or too much work, report satisfying relationships with clients, say they’ll meet their financial goals, and remain committed to being their own bosses.

These findings fit well with demand trends: over 90% of companies depend on freelancers and plan to increase their use. Markets and professional specialties vary — some regions and industries are more mature than others – but, overall, freelancing is a strong industry. However, without  READ MORE.

from Grand Opening to Grand Closing to Grand Rest...And Great Next Steps

After making the decision to put on her own business superhero cape to add diversity in the Comic Book Community, the store ” Amalgam Comicbooks and Coffee has closed it’s doors. Ariell who goes by “Head Nerd in Charge” spoke with Maryam briefly on goals. Ariell explained of course she has more she will be doing but she’s also relieved to have some time of her own to herself. Ariell’s first thing to do is “rest!” Having a store offers a load of task, long days, she explained “there’s always something due.” She truly loves having Amalgam Comic Book and Coffee, sharing such a treasure to the community and says she has other ways to share with the comic book community. The stores website has been parked as their team redevelops next steps in their journey. For updates visit the Amalgam Facebook Page.

SSTI Locz hair show: good energy vibing vendors!

The 2022 Locz Hairshow and Business Expo occurred Saturday, October 16, 2022 hosted by SSTI was a cozy weekend vibe for some but not many. The event was weekend long. Saturday had a few bustling businessmen and businesswomen in attendance. Mostly vendors setup their merchandise, covering the room full of smiles and great spirits inside the Temple University Student Center located off North 13th Street in Philadelphia, PA. The various vendors offered products ranging from Eagles bikinis, and blankets, culture clothing, natural vitamins, hair pomade,  handmade lotions, and handmade jewelry, essential oils and there was some performances. (Not much art)! Maryam’s Mark was there promoting, networking and list building. The Israel United in Christ came, embracing the stage in unity and sharing doctrine. There was also an outstanding spoken word performance, you could even get on stage to learn the cha-cha, shortly followed by the Muslim Hip-Hop Performances. On Saturday, there was an issue with the hair show and fashion show vendor – sadly the hair/fashion show did not commence as the coordinator of the hair/fashion show segment caught covid. Attendees’ numbers were low throughout Saturday, not sure rather the cancelled fashion show is the reason for low turnout or rather the event needed more exposure but energy stayed high amongst the vendors – regardless. Many vendors exchanged information on business growth, next ventures and ways to stay connected with each other beyond the weekend’s Locz Event. SSTI host an annual events.
Visit Survive Strive and Thrive for updates on what they’ll do next. 

Saturday’s Event Video Clips Loading.

That company's 'About Us' page may be full of fake pictures of 'people' who don't actually exist

  • Some companies are using AI technology to put fake “staff” on their “about us” pages.

  • An Insider report by Evan Ratliff found numerous examples of firms using such images.

  • One company owner said he added fake employees to make his company appear bigger than it really was.

Some companies are using fake, AI-generated images of “staff” who don’t exist on their “about us” pages in an attempt to make their company look bigger.

An investigation by Evan Ratliff for Insider found companies were using Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) software to create AI-generated pictures on their websites to give the impression that these “people” were staff members.

Ratliff spoke to Lukas, the man behind an Austrian test-prep company called takeIELTS, who confirmed he had used several fake images on its “about us” page. Ratliff noticed several anomalies in the “employees,” with one wearing only one earring and another with one side of his face shaved closer than the other.  Despite the company appearing to… Read More

Paintings made during a lengthy hospitalization bring a Bucks County boy with autism a new audience

A year ago, painting watercolors was just another way to give a Bucks County boy with autism periods of peace during a long, difficult hospitalization. 
Now, Emmett Tolis’ paintings, which depict such ordinary things as a slice of pizza, the Flyers logo, or a sausage on a fork, are attracting a wider audience, with some decorating cards that sell to customers as far away as Tennessee and Missouri, and more than 50 of them on display at the entrance of a Doylestown arts shop. Sales of the cards online and at local markets have brought in about $10,000 over the last year.

For George and Elizabeth Tolis, of Jamison, the paintings offer a… Read More.

Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen owned 2 pro sports teams before he died in 2018. Rumors are swirling about their fate — and now Nike's founder could pay $2 billion to own one of them.

  • Speculation is mounting that late Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen’s pro sports teams could be sold.

  • Nike founder Phil Knight already submitted a $2 billion bid for the Portland Trail Blazers.

  • Allen’s trust has sold off other assets, including property and a yacht, since his death in 2018.

When Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen died in 2018, he left behind a collection of assets ranging from multimillion-dollar properties to a 414-foot megayacht.

While much of it has been sold in the years since, two expensive — and high-profile — holdings remain: the NBA’ Portland Trail Blazers and the NFL’ Seattle Seahawks.

The fates of Allen’s pro sports teams have been unclear since his death, when his trust passed into the hands of his sister, Jody Allen. Jody Allen hasn’t given a single interview in the intervening years, which means… READ MORE.

Allen paid $70 million for the Blazers back in the late 1980s and promised to keep the team in Portland — today, the Blazers are valued at $2.05 billion, according to Forbes.

Yahoo Finance Tom Brady, Kim Kardashian top list of most impersonated celebs selling NFTs: Report

Crypto scammers are now leveraging celebrity influence to target vulnerable consumers.

BrandShield — a cybersecurity company specializing in detecting and removing online threats — identified the 10 most popular celebrities who have promoted NFTs, crypto wallets, and digital assets in the past year, and found that NFL icon Tom Brady tops the list when it comes to the most impersonated personality across social media with 2,889 impersonations (17.49% of the top 10 list.)

Actor Matt Damon (13.79%) and former professional boxer Mike Tyson (13.56%) followed the Super Bowl-winning quarterback ,with Kim Kardashian (12.05%) and Paris Hilton (10.92%) rounding out the top five.

“It’s a wild west…”BrandShield CEO, Yoav Keren, said about the rise of crypto & NFT scams

Most impersonations were found on Twitter (TWTR), the report noted — a problem that Elon Musk specifically underscored amid his current takeover bid.

Faux accounts masquerading as the Tesla CEO have, in the past, pushed crypto-related scams, while other fraudulent accounts have…


Ex-Disney CEO Bob Iger takes stake in Canva: $40B

Key Points
  • Former Disney CEO Bob Iger has made an investment in Australian graphic design company Canva.
  • Canva announced a $40 billion valuation in September.
  • Iger has made several investments with his own money since stepping down from Disney’s board in December, including delivery company GoPuff and toy maker Funko.
Former Disney CEO Bob Iger has acquired a stake in Australian design

company Canva and agreed to be an advisor to the closely held company.

“We’re incredibly excited to welcome Bob Iger as an investor and advisor,” said Canva spokesman Lachlan Andrews in a statement. “Bob brings a wealth of experience after 15 years at the helm of one of the most loved and most creative brands in the world and we’re looking forward to working with him.”

Iger and Canva declined to comment on the size of the investment. Canva raised…


(Photo : Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney) Bob Iger at El Capitan Theatre on November 18, 2021 in Hollywood, California.

how we help perfect choice health care...

We, Maryam’s Mark and Co, LLC were excited to develop a new working relationship with Reginald Spotwood, owner of Perfect Choice Home Health Care. Spotwood was extremely dissatisfied with his prior online marketing partnership. Spotwood made the decision to leave their organization for several reasons. The prior company wasn’t responsive, email only – if a response was sent, employees hard to reach, clarification on analytics weren’t offered, notifications on internal changes weren’t discussed, often being given offered the “run-around” when searching for answers. While focused to grow his own organization and maintain his customer base, Spotwood desired better customer service. Helping Spotwood navigate through the sinking ship with his old marketers by helping him switch hosting platforms, cancel his plan while retrieving most of Perfect Choice Home Care’s intellectual property, re-developing his now new wordpress website design, assisting with migration needs, and offering online and radio advertising and marketing tips. This journey has been a breath of fresh air for my team, and I’d say for Perfect Choice Health Care as well. We hope to continue working with Spotwood, and Perfect Choice Home Healthcare agency this 2022, and beyond.


how we assist the phl picture company...

Another existing business we enjoyed assisting this year was The Philadelphia Picture Company. Meeting with business owner, Seth Bradley at his 69th Street photography studio, we learned about his venture, his longevity in the photography industry and Bradley’s interest to use the world wide web as a tool to “scale.” Redeveloping Viewing Bradley’s photographs is just breath-taking. Going through The Philadelphia Picture Company’s internal catalog in order to select images for his newly designed website and sitemap, I am often at a loss for words – which is rare. As an artist, myself, I am taken away by his large beautiful body of work. Bradley’s photography business offers services to Colleges/Universities/Child Care Centers, as well as weddings, maternity shoots, and special occasion events. The Philadelphia Picture Company’s website re-design has been an ongoing and outstanding project. Visiting The Philadelphia Picture Company’s website now, versus in the past – you will see some definite changes, including easy to use sitemap which increases user navigation, branding to ensure customers visually recognize their company logo, a variety of images per service provided given it’s own specified page. We will be working on features to allow you set an appointment, and pay your deposit in order to book your session, in advance. Can’t wait to get back to it!



Kavontae Smalls

Black e-commerce is venturing into virtual reality with the first-ever Black Virtual Mall. Created by serial entrepreneur and native of Brooklyn, New York, Alquincia “Akanundrum” Selolwane, the virtual mall is mirrored after the traditional mall experience full of shops, a food court, and even entertainment like a movie theater.

But unlike brick-and-mortar malls, which have been in decline since the early 2000s, the virtual mall taps into the booming e-commerce genre.

“The movie theater hosts entertainment and informative content for you to consume for free, then there’s the food court that actually works and functions and you can go to the restaurant of your choice in your city, and you can activate the Uber Eats, Grubhub, or whatever they have, and get food delivered to you,” Akanundrum describes of the virtual experience.

She continued, “when you go to the stores in the booths, they’re individually outfitted with their own branding, and…  READ MORE


Spider-Man: No Way Home Makes $37.1 Million on Monday

Image Credit: Sony Pictures / Marvel Studio

By Jamie Lovett

When asked by Muhammad “Well what’s your thought – without giving spoilers {on Spider-Man No Way Home} “It picks up right after the last one and I think it delivered what fans wanted and confirm some things that others predicted. I think it was Tom Holland’s best performance and I loved their take of past villains. It was exciting and very emotional at the same time with an ending that leaves you thinking “can’t wait for the next one!” There are two post credits that sets the stage for the next phase, both I loved,” stated Luis Delgado – Animator & US Coast Guard.

Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: No Way Home made $37.1 million on its first Monday at the box office. Combined with its $260 million opening weekend gross, the second-highest in box office history behind only Avengers: Endgame ($357 million), Spider-Man: No Way Home now has a running domestic box office total of $297 million. Spider-Man: No Way Home also had the third-biggest opening of all time at the worldwide box office. The film has generated a huge amount of excitement among fans and has generally been lauded by‘s Spencer Perry gave the film a 4-out-of-5 five score in his review. He writes:

Spider-Man: No Way Home marks a clear line in the sand for this character, a delineation point of where things might go. Throughout the movie, the implication is that this… READ MORE.






Shop Small® and American Express
Business Wire

Illustration by Julia Emliani

As consumer spending continues to rebound, U.S. shoppers showed up in a big way for the small businesses in their communities during this year’s Small Business Saturday on November 27, positioning American Express’ (NYSE: AXP) 12th annual event to be one of the most impactful shopping days of the holiday season. The results of the American Express 2021 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey show that total reported projected spending among U.S. consumers who shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday reached an estimated $23.3 billion1, up 18% from $19.8 billion in 20202 and an increase from pre-pandemic spending in 2019 ($19.6 billion).

“We can all make a difference when we Shop Small® and American Express is committed to encouraging consumers to do so all year long through our goal to drive $100 billion in consumer spending at small businesses over the next five years4.”

Over the past 12 years consumers reported spending an estimated $163 billion at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, since American Express started the movement in 20103. This year, thousands of American Express Neighborhood Champions across all 50 states celebrated Small Business Saturday in their local communities.

“This Small Business Saturday, communities coast to coast came together to show their support for the small businesses they cherish,” said Elizabeth Rutledge, Chief Marketing Officer at American Express. “We can all make a difference when we Shop Small® and American Express is committed to encouraging consumers to do so all year long through our goal to drive $100 billion in consumer spending at small businesses over the next five years4.”

As communities continue to navigate the effects of the pandemic, particularly underrepresented business owners who… READ MORE.

Key Takeaways:

  • Online shopping at a small business on Small Business Saturday was up slightly, with 58% of shoppers reporting that they made a purchase online, compared to 56% in 2020 and 43% in 2019.
  • More shoppers were eager to support independent restaurants with 54% reporting that they dined or ordered takeout from a small restaurant, bar or café, up from 48% in 2020.
  • 70% of respondents reported Small Business Saturday makes them want to encourage others to shop at small, independently-owned retailers.


US ecommerce sales increase 6.8% in Q3 2021

Consumers spent more than $1 in $6 online in the third quarter

-Jessica Young – Digital Commerce 360

U.S. ecommerce growth continued to taper during the third quarter, again outpaced by jumps in consumers’ offline spending, according to a Digital Commerce 360 analysis of U.S. Department of Commerce figures released Thursday. Yet online retailers managed to not only sustain the massive gains they made in the digital sales channel since early 2020 but actually grow them year over year—no small feat given the unprecedented e-commerce demand during the pandemic that spurred shifts in shopping behavior.

Online sales hit… READ MORE.


Black Friday Tips & YOUR GIFT

By: Maryam the WebDesign Diva

This past weekend Maryam’s Mark and Co, LLC turned the big 8! Help us celebrate our business birthday by taking your sales by the jugular with our guidance. It’ll be just as great as birthday cake, instead it’s a business conversion tool.What are you receiving for our business birthday? We figured the perfect gift would be online marketing tips and a workbook that will help you keep it all together, in a list – PRINTABLE. A Harvard Study says the best way to remember and carry out success in task building is to actually write it down. Our Black Friday Tips sheet share insights on email marketing practices along with a list of online best selling products. In order to keep our business age relevant we listed the top eight products. There’s many routes to take in order to start your own e-commerce store along with finding manufactures. We didn’t include the routes on starting your own e-comm store in the workbook, but subscribe to our YouTube channel because that’s an upcoming topic I will discuss to my subscribing markers! Back to our Black Friday Tips Workbook. How do you get  very beneficial gift?

A Harvard Study says the best way to remember and carry out success in task building is to actually write it down.

We are only asking you to do three easy things.

1. Download  and PRINT our Printable Fun-sized Black Friday Markers Tip Sheet with Planning Workbook. (pdf format)

2. Write down your top goals and planning strategies for Black Friday.

3. Share our pdf workbook link with a friend you have in business. (We request you share our link, rather than sharing our actual pdf – come on, it’s our business birthday – do things our way).

Now, if you really want to help us blow out our business birthday candles, it can be a number 4. A birthday bonus so Maryam’s Mark can be on the receiving end, a little but no pressure – we are givers – I hope that’s obvious! Only if you’re really ready to celebrate big, if you’re up to it – call our design line for extra assistance on your Marketing strategy, we will help with action planning using our tools.

NOTE: Black Friday is 11/26/21. Less than 20 days away. Get to it!

Call 267-474-6713
Limited Time Offer: Free – Expires 11/12/21
*Regular Price $5.00
PDF Document Size: 4.25″x 9.25″
Fits Normal Printer Paper



A Big Startup Mistake: Hiring The Wrong Head Of Marketing

By: Kimberly A. Whitler
Forbes Senior Contributor

Talk to young, aspiring marketers and many will glamorize working at startups-no bureaucracy, rapid-fire decision making, and a disproportionate level of responsibility. In contrast, many will disparage large firms-slow, bureaucratic, pain-inducing decision making processes. Yes, you can move faster in a smaller organization but there are a number of new and different challenges that make succeeding in a startup environment difficult.

To better understand why startup CMOs fail (and how not to fail), I turned to Matt Hirst, Partner at West, a venture studio that specializes in designing, building, and launching brands.

Kimberly A. Whitler: You used to work at Google and now work at a company that has visibility into a number of startups. Can you share insight on why so many startup CMOs fail?

Matt Hirst: I think many CMOs (or senior marketers) underestimate their ability to wear all the different hats required at a startup. This is especially true if they are joining a company that hasn’t previously had a marketing department to-date.

In a large company you have the benefit of a team that you can rely on for specific functions. For example, the insights and data team will usually be different brains from the creatives. In a start-up, you have to wear all of those hats from one day to the next and, frankly, that’s a lot to ask of one person, especially when they are new to the role.

Whitler: What advice can you give people faced with this challenge?

Hirst: It’s important that you start off by being honest with what type of marketing you are predisposed to doing and therefore where your blind spots are. We often talk about the ultimate marketer being a three-headed monster of Brand Marketing, Product Marketing and Growth Marketing. Most marketers are predisposed to one of those disciplines, maybe two, but very few are world-class at all three. That’s okay – and common – but when building something from the ground up in the hyper fast-paced startup world, you need to be prepared to access all three disciplines interchangeably and so it’s critical to know where you excel and where your blind spots are.




People are looking for businesses online all the time. According to BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey: Businesses that are online are seeing growth of online search each month. Potential for your company searched online: 69%



By: Jim Chappelow 
Clips from Investopia

Recessions are difficult times. Many people suffer economically and even more worry that they might, too. But for a select group of professionals, a recession may actually be an opportunity to thrive and grow. Here are some of them.

Key Takeaways

  • Not all businesses and industries feel the same pain during economic downturns.  Some businesses even benefit as consumers cut back on substitute products and other competing options.

Get on your mark to starting your online store. Buy hosting then contact MaryamsMark at 267-474-6713 for Website Development Services.


No matter what the economy is like, both people and businesses have to pay taxes and keep their finances in order. It can be even more important in tougher economic times.
Accountants are likely to experience an increase in business during a recession, since many people and small businesses may require the help of a professional to ensure they’re making use of all the tax benefits available to them, and that they have a clear understanding of their income and expenditures as cash flow tightens.
Also, it has become common for new government benefit programs, loan guarantees, and financial regulations to be rolled out, updated or expanded during recessions. For example the federal government recently passed a slew of new economic stimulus measures intended to compensate for the economic damage being caused by the government response to Covid-19. Accountants can help people understand and navigate the new requirements and benefits of these changes for their business and personal finances.


The CARES Act provided over $2 trillion in new spending to compensate businesses and taxpayers for the economic damage inflicted by government efforts to combat the coronavirus. At the very worst, some people may require the services of an accountant if they’re forced to file for bankruptcy.

Healthcare Providers

If any industry can be said to be recession-proof, it’s healthcare. People will get sick in good times and bad, so the healthcare industry isn’t likely to experience the same level of cutbacks or job losses.

Financial Advisors and Economists

People who have substantial assets want to ensure that they’re well taken care of, especially during a recession. Financial advisors often see an increase in work as people become concerned about the stability of their investments and seek guidance on how to protect their assets.

Economic Uncertainty

When the future of the economy is in doubt, demand for financial and economic advice goes up.

Beyond matters of personal finance, people seek advice and insight regarding current and future economic trends or paths to recovery. Economists often see massive increase in demand for their services and consultants, government policy advisors, and even media personalities as the general public, businesses, and policy makers grapple with the recession.

Auto Repair and Maintenance

In tough economic times, people are less likely to purchase a new car. Instead, they’ll repair their old car.

Home Maintenance Stores (But Not Builders)

Many people will choose a do-it-yourself home renovation or upgrade rather than consider selling and moving during a recession.

Home Staging Experts

It is more difficult to sell a home during a recession, but some people have to do it. People who specialize in home staging thrive as the housing market becomes increasingly competitive.

Rental Agents and Property Management Companies

People who may not be able to afford to buy a home during a recession, and people who were forced to sell for financial reasons, still need a place to live. The answer for many, at least short-term, is a rental.


Recessions also often lead to an increase of shared living arrangements and people moving in with parents or extended family members.

Grocery Stores

For many, dining out during a recession starts looking like an extravagance. Supermarkets often see an increase in sales as people choose to cook more meals at home and even entertain their friends at home more often.

Bargain and Discount Stores

People cut back on luxuries during a recession but that doesn’t mean they never buy anything that isn’t strictly necessary. There’s even a tongue-in-cheek economic theory called the Lipstick Index that argues that sales of cosmetics will always rise during bad times because they’re a relatively affordable luxury.

Image Comics Workers Form Union

By: Ryan Leston
Staff Writer: IGN

Staff at Image Comics have today formed Comic Book Workers United – a new union to support its writers and artists.

Announced via an official statement, the union aims to support creators in the comic book industry and was launched today by several key figured at the company.

“We, the workers of Image Comics, have formed a union,” reads the statement.

“For years, comics publishing workers have watched our professional efforts support creators and delight readers. Sadly, we have also watched that same labor be taken for granted at best and exploited at worst. Keeping our heads above water was the new normal before the pandemic and since its onset we have been expected to take on even larger workloads with fewer resources.”

The comic book industry on the whole has been rife with issues – largely focusing on creative rights and IP ownership, as well as the rights of freelancers. But now, it looks as though Comic Book Workers United will bring support to staffers.

“Our workforce, and the comic book and publishing industry as a whole, is overtaxed and undervalued,” explains the statement. “This is detrimental not only to general staff but also to the creators we are paid to serve and the audiences they in turn work to entertain.”

“We love what we do,” it continues, “But loving what you do doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t READ MORE

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By: Maryam the Design Diva

“I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.” -Oprah Winfrey (*Oprah invested 10% of herself to net $700M in 48 hours, what are your possibilities of self)?

Authentic Pays…

During Mid-October 2015 the mega media lady paid well into herself by just being HER! Who? Oprah Winfrey that’s who! Oprah invested in her personal & professional worth which is something she has done continuously since airing as a TV talk show host. This Miss Billionaire & Queen, Ms. O purchased a part of the Weight Watchers empire with a 10% stock interest which in 48 hours became a flipped growth which increased 92% in the WW company!

So ask yourself: Are you as willing to invest in you the way Oprah does for herself & her empire?

Oprah Winfrey sold about 2 million of her 7.5 million shares in March 2018, netting around $110 million, while her remaining stake of 5.5 million shares is now worth more than one-half billion dollars. That marks an extraordinary return since she bought 10% of the company at $6.79 per share in October 2015.


Consider investing 10% of your personal earnings into starting your own business and growing your marketing plan. Get started with your website, email marketing and online Google Cloud Service now.

What are you waiting for? Our experts are on standby. Call 267-474-6713.


By Alan Farley

Dillard’s, Inc. (DDS) reports second quarter 2020 earnings after Thursday’s closing bell, with analysts expecting a major loss of $4.68 per share on just $959.0 million in revenue. The brick-and-mortar retailer charged higher despite posting an even larger first quarter loss in May, with bottom fishers also ignoring a 46.3% year-over-year revenue decline. The stock was removed from the S&P MidCap 400 in June because it longer met mid-cap criteria, striking another blow against the once popular mall anchor.

Key Takeaways

  • Dillard’s market capitalization has shrunk to just over $600 million.
  • Wall Street is highly bearish on the long-term outlook, with no analysts posting “Buy” ratings.
  • Long-term technicals warn that Dillard’s stock could eventually drop into the single digits.

The earnings release will provide the first look at the battered group’s second quarter performance, with Macy’s, Inc. (M), Kohl’s Corporation (KSS), and Nordstrom, Inc. (JWN) set to report in the next few weeks. Price action has been downright terrible in the past three months, with these issues hovering dangerously close to March’s multi-year lows. Of course, their problems began well before the pandemic, with formerly loyal customers abandoning shopping malls in favor of e-commerce and big-box superstores.

MARYAMSMARK MINUTE: Avoid this downward spiral. More customers are able to search and show online now more than ever. Don’t miss out on allowing your products from being found online. Get your business services and products online fast. Call our Web Dev Team to start your online store. We are here to help: 267-474-6713

Former Tech Entrepreneur Bucking Trends

By: Alison Coleman
Forbes Senior ContributorDisruption caused by the Coronavirus pandemic has left thousands of U.K. nurseries struggling. Research from Ceeda shows that summer nursery occupancy stands at just 48%, compared with the average of 77% in Spring 2019. Many are facing permanent closure.

However, one nursery operator is bucking the trend and defying the Covid-19 impact to enjoy a 96% occupancy rate. The Fennies nursery group was started by Steven Fenn and his nursery practitioner wife Sarah in 1992, with the opening of their first site in South Croydon, London.

Fenn had previously worked as an engineer before moving into technology in the early 1990s. Three years ago, he sold his last technology outsourcing firm and decided to focus all his efforts on the nursery business, embarking on an ambitious transformation and expansion journey that doubled the size of the entire operation and its revenues.

Key to the group’s success is its tech-enabled, quality-driven agenda and novel management standards that not only benefit the children but also their parents, leading some to dub the nursery brand ‘Soho House for kids’.

Nurseries for under-fives have become a commercial commodity in recent years. With the Government’s provision of universal childcare grants for under-fives, the sector became ripe for enterprise, and flooded with margin-seeking, cost-cutting investor cash.

However, Fenn’s prime objective was to create a premium nursery experience based on a strategy of retaining every element of running a nursery in-house. From nutritionist and chef-prepared healthy meals to cleaning, recruitment and education teams, the group has established internal specialist divisions for each, maintaining accountability, and delivering optimum results.

The company now has 11 sites around the south of England and turns over £14 million annually. The unorthodox nursery management strategy proved crucial to keeping all 11 sites open during lock-down to cater mainly for children of key workers and those with special needs.

Fenn says: “Over the past three years we have acquired and developed three new sites investing a total of £10 million for these projects, while a further £4 million was invested in bringing the existing sites up to the standard and specification of our newest schemes.”

The biggest challenge created by the expansion was transforming a traditionally staid culture and ethos, and for this, a new senior management team was appointed to oversee a major restructuring of all departments and reinventing of a culture of success across the brand.

“By offering continual training and development to individuals, our management team can support the front-line nursery teams more efficiently and give them the tools and support they need to fulfill their roles,” says Fenn. “Our structure ensures we remove the operational tasks from the nursery manager so that education remains the prime focus.”

The transformation of the business is underpinned by…



Modern Technology Trending Innovation Concept

Digital Trends and Then…

By Shawnene Vance
Maryam’s Mark Contributor

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The Future of Digital Trends to Market in Your Business – what’s the best way, why and is there a how? Let Maryam’s Mark’s & Company experts tell give you the coffee to get going!

Digital marketing is major contribution for businesses no matter the size, small or large. There are a few things to consider as importance with digital marketing from Digital Marketing Philippines.

  • Digital Marketing Facilitates Communication with Target Audience– Communication is helpful with sharing of videos, photos, and easier way of promotions and advertising. I cannot tell you many times while on Facebook, while using my mobile phone I was engaged in promotions and adverting methods that kept me entertained and enjoying the interaction.
  • Helps Build Brand Reputation– brand reputation helps paying customers and turn them into loyal customers and then focus to your brand ambassadors.
  • Digital Marketing Entices People to take Favorable Action– excellent use of clever and innovative ways to entice adaptations using calls-to-action.

Why is this so important?

Technology is tremendously changing, businesses and competitors are finding ways to gain new customers while maintaining the engagement of existing customers. Based by the article of CONVINCE AND CONVERT, 6 Trends in Digital Advertising That Take Us from 2017 to 2020, had many “jaw dropping ideas on the next way to be innovative and “know your customers!”

The Major two features of this article in which I’d like to elaborate on is Augmented Reality of Snapchat lenses and Google lens.

Reality Technologies explains, that (AR) Augmented Reality is a superior version of reality where people can view the physical real-world environments with augmented computer-generated images over the user’s view of the real-world with current awareness of reality.

This involves with a mobile device such as a tablet or mobile phone where the viewer will use the app of a location either outside on the streets or within the home to add something related to technology in real-time.

How does Snap chat and Google Lens plan to use this feature? How is AR beneficial to your business? Imagine a consumer wanting to buy a pair of glasses, dress, or necklace and she would like to see the benefits of what the item would look like before she purchases these items from a store. Snapchat is already known for adding mask, crowns, and glasses to a user’s face and is prompted to take a photo or video with this item. This enables the use of real-life “try it before you buy it” with the use of Snapchat app.

The use of Google Lens app has the ability to allow your smart phone to not only see what the viewer see’s but also understand what the viewer see’s to help information in real-time such as recognizing addresses, books, and other objects stated from

Google Lens would be beneficial to consumers based by finding the right product in its location in a store, or knowing exactly where an address for a store or restaurant in real time just by position your phone to a location and knowing the items sold, price, menus and the like.

Secondly, data mining with the use of visual search. The uses for Meta-Eyes is so outrageously clever for marketing needs and has so many benefits to your customers’ every move it is almost as if you were right there with them! The benefits to Meta Eyes allows marketers to view images that their customers post on social media feeds. Allowing advertisers to know specifically advertisements that are relevant base by the consumers’ interest.

Meta Eyes works by

1)      Either using a hashtag monitor and categorize Instagram content.

2)      Automatically recognizes the Instagram content and categorizes them.

3)      Then reports the data by a detailed analytics program for inspection.


Considering these trends as beneficial to your business, using these digital marketing tools provides focus in transforming data based by consumers and viewers’ behaviors and interest to create ads in response to their actions in a subtle, efficient, and significant way.


Be on top of digital marketing- do not just pick the most efficient for your business, although, that would be a great idea. Always think of what your business has to offer, your products and services. Then research how the latest digital marketing tool will benefit your ROI for your marketing investments!
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A Calendar and Our Connection

The COVID19 Stigma on Small Business


I have checked my calendar two or three times, and guess what – nothing says “released” yet from these Stay Home orders. I’m hearing soon some stores in West Pennsylvania will start re-open however have numbers for anything declined? These numbers are like math equations – confirmation, estimations, rational numbers – decimals and then carry the day. Will the economy survive or not? Do we have enough sand to wait things out or do we need to rush back to the boardwalk and go swimming at he beach? Businesses located on the coast are already seasonal, right? Closures of the beach during warm weather isn’t the best financial decision but what if you open too soon, risk your health – and then who will open your business after COVID19 has passed on?

People it looks like a case of “HEALTH vs.  ECONOMICS!”

Your store and your happy place will be there, with new customers after this time is gone. Let this crazy crisis pass. Connect to your customers using a different method.  We can help you start an online store and   you can use email marketing. We understand it’s a difficult time for any business owner, and we’re here to help you get through it. That’s why we’ve created our new Client Markers Resource Center.  We will help you plan ways to connecting with your customers – online while creatively growing your business. Think of it as this just time for a change.

Don’t allow this invisible bully to make you close down completely or re-open to soon. You are busy in business regardless of COVID19. Do what Ludacris said to this COVID19, and “drop bows on em,” by staying committed to your business. Use the Maryam’s Mark Client Markers Resource Center today to shape your business back on track now.