Marketing Trends
Marketing Trends
Sep 29, 2021
Leading the Charge into Democratizing Education and Building Community (not just Content) with Wes Kao, the Co-founder of Maven
Play • 53 min

Let’s be honest, content is king. And the challenge today is finding ways to make that content not just resonate with people, but also more helpful by giving users a community that not only creates a lasting impression, but one they can benefit from. Wes Kao knows content, and as the creator and co-founder of Maven, what she sees as the answer to improving the online course education experience for instructors and students. Paralleling the development of the technology along with curating a powerful roster of instructors, Maven has already seen financial success before the platform has even hit the market. This reflects Wes’ nuanced approach to modern, content creation. While quality still reigns supreme, the days of begging for subscribers might be trending downwards, in favor of a more hyper-personalized approach.  

“Like and subscribe is dead because people used to need hundreds of thousands of followers to be able to make a living online.Things are shifting so that if you are a creator these days, you can make a pretty healthy living from a smaller audience of true fans who love what you do and want to, uh, want to engage with you and are willing to invest more in, um, in your content because they find it so valuable.”

And what is it that consumers are valuing these days? Community. The days of online interactions are on the rise,, which means those users are looking for new ways to flex their creative muscles.  Wes, knows how to curate these communities and In this episode of Marketing Trends, she delves into the way she approaches hiring, growing and developing her business, as well as shares some of the nuggets of wisdom she gleaned from her time with Seth Godin. Wes has so many insights! Be prepared to take a few notes and learn a lot. Here we go!

Main Takeaways:

  • Focus on Behavior in Marketing: There is often too much emphasis placed on the next and newest marketing tools, instead of a focus on the actual principles of human behavior. Being able to answer those deep marketing questions, knowing how to increase or decrease desire, is where you can have real impact. The basics of understanding people and cognitive biases are the pillars of what makes for a good marketer.
  • Keys to Hiring Well: Having a good team makes for a successful company and knowing how to suss out the right candidates means taking a few extra steps aside from having a verbal or in-person interview and looking over their CV. When you’re going through the hiring process, make sure that you look beyond the candidate's resume, and focus on some of their ancillary activities. Seeing that people have side projects, personal websites, newsletters, etc. will show you about how a person presents themselves online, what they care about, and how much effort they put into their work. Take home projects are also a great way to ensure that you’re hiring someone who can do the job you have for them, and not just someone with some cool job titles in their past.
  • Community has Become More Valuable than Content: Videos, lectures, articles are a dime-a-dozen and you get can really high-quality content about almost anything for free online today. If you want to make it in the content game, you have to focus on the community aspects of your business that you’re offering. Provide ways for people to connect with like minded people and develop relationships with them. That’s when people will open their wallets.
  • ‘Like and Subscribe’ as a Business Model is Dead: You used to have to rely on big numbers of followers or view counts to be able to have a successful business, or influences, but what matters now is less about overall numbers and more about the level of active particitants that are viewing your content. Spreading vanilla messages that resonate with a mass audience is not what drives engagement. Hyper personalized content that the listener or viewer can relate to is.


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