Insights from Nebo

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May 31, 2019

Cash Crop: How Marketing is Getting High on CBD

Move over kombucha — there’s a new health fad in town, and it’s called CBD. Yes, it comes from marijuana. No, it won’t get you high. And yes, it’s infusing its way into everything.

By 2022, the CBD industry is expected to make $22 billion. And in my Brooklyn neighborhood, I can definitely see why. At the local supermarket, CBD brownies sit next to the Kit-Kats. My favorite SoHo tea shop sells iced matcha lattes flavored with CBD-infused honey (and sprinkled with marigold petals, because everything in NYC is so gd extra).

The CBD craze has taken over my neighborhood, and it’s not stopping there. Carl’s Jr. is testing a CBD burger called the Rocky Mountain High. Kim K. had a CBD-themed baby shower. And in case you don’t believe that Kim is the ultimate social barometer, consider that “CBD gummies” was the third-most searched food query on Google in 2018.

Of all the health-freak fads, CBD is one of the most fascinating and complex, given its health claims and murky route to legality. Champions or critics aside, CBD stands to leave a lasting mark on our culture — especially when it comes to marketing and advertising.

That’s why today, I’m diving deep into the green gold rush and what it could tell us about the future of marijuana marketing.

May 22, 2019

How to E-A-T, Speak & Breathe Schema Markup

Right now, most SEO’s are adapting their strategies to optimize for a radically changing age of discovery. We are looking to optimize for E-A-T (or Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness, which is the acronym for how Google defines quality content), capture user attention with on-SERP optimization, and make a splash in voice search. However, many of the recommendations for tackling those three items boil down to “have a great site” or “produce great content”. If that makes you want to pull your hair out, you aren’t alone.

Luckily, structured data markup is the trusted tool in your SEO toolkit that can help you gain a competitive advantage in all three of those areas.

May 17, 2019

Unconventional Career Paths are the New Normal

May. It’s such an exciting time for college seniors. You’re getting ready to graduate. Maybe you have a job lined up. Or, if you were like me, you’re just trying to get through that freshman-level computer science class you put off until the last semester.

While I was ready to leave college, I was completely unsure about the path I was choosing. I had a moment where I thought, “Oh my god, I've completely wasted my time and I don't know if this is even something I want to be doing”.


What I didn’t realize then was that’s how many soon-to-be or recent graduates feel.

May 10, 2019

From Sketch to Print: Bringing a Dead Idea Back to Life

As a designer, it’s my job to bring ideas to life. But for every great idea that makes it to production, dozens of other crazy-amazing ideas die.

Every creative has an idea graveyard. There’s a lot that gets left behind in revisions, and a lot that changes from Version_1.psd to Final_V9_for_real_this_time_v5.jpg. Most of the time, we shed a tear, say a few kind words and let these ideas rest in peace. But this time, we did something different. We went full-on Evil Dead and brought a great idea back from the grave.

Last year, we worked on a fundraising campaign for a nonprofit. The plan was to build excitement around donations by offering some swag for donors. We generated tons of ideas, all of which would have made amazing gifts for donors. But in the end, we could only choose one. We ended up producing a series of original photographs, and they were a hit. The campaign was a success, but there was one idea that just wouldn’t die.

May 3, 2019

Why We’re Reinventing How We Design and Build Stuff

Nebo turned 15 this year. We’ve been very lucky. We’ve grown every year. We’ve never laid a single employee off. We’ve won a ton of awards. We’ve worked with some amazing clients, we’ve been a part of some exciting campaigns, and we’ve worked side by side with some of the most talented people in the industry who we call teammates.

However, success can have its downsides. Success can cause us to focus on what has worked and what is working, at the expense of what will work in the future. When you simply say “Don’t fix what isn’t broken,” innovation stops. Blind spots form and lead to sacred cows.

That’s why we believe in attacking our own work. We’re constantly critiquing, deconstructing and rethinking our own products, services, processes and methods to make them better. Over the years we’ve dramatically changed processes, restructured departments and even reinvented entire service lines (like PR, CRO and Social Media Marketing).  

But reinventing the interactive collection of services is a different beast. It’s more than attacking a single department — it’s slaying a den of dragons. UX, Design, Content and Engineering are all intricately connected. You can’t change one without affecting the rest. That’s why in the past, we’ve taken relatively smaller steps, evaluating projects in post-mortems or revising process issues as they arise.

But this year, we’re taking a big leap. We’re completely reinventing our interactive services from the ground up.