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Home » Marc Thomas — Navigating the Unconventional Paths of Growth Marketing, Anti-Playbooks, and The Creative Juice (TMMF #006)

Marc Thomas — Navigating the Unconventional Paths of Growth Marketing, Anti-Playbooks, and The Creative Juice (TMMF #006)

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“Many marketers, many founders know that something has to change… They’re terrified of doing something differently because they might fail when they go outside of the standard playbooks.”

— Marc Thomas

In this episode, we dive deep with Marc Thomas, a senior growth marketer at Podia, known for his unique blend of creative direction and growth marketing strategies. Marc opens up about his journey from launching a culture-focused magazine in Cardiff to the rollercoaster of founding a startup and embracing unconventional marketing strategies to drive growth.

Marc’s early adventures in journalism set the stage for a career built on out-of-the-box thinking and a willingness to challenge the status quo. His stories of DIY culture, punk rock ethos, and the lessons learned from a failed startup illuminate the importance of deeply understanding and relating to your audience. Marc shares his insights on leveraging cultural references to create meaningful connections with customers and the transformative power of stepping outside standard marketing playbooks.

Join us and learn how you can apply these lessons to your own marketing strategies for better engagement and growth.

Listen to the episode on your favorite podcast platform. Watch the interview on YouTube here.

Want to hear more episodes about using unconventional strategies in marketing? Check out our conversation with Derik Sutton and Kyle Bazzy from Autobooks on how they use Jobs To Be Done and deman-side sales to convert prospects.

What was your favorite insight or lesson from this episode? Share your thoughts in the comments below.



  • 03:01 Marc’s Journey: From Journalism to Founding a Startup
  • 07:53 The Importance of Culture in Marketing
  • 11:15 The Fear of Failure in Founders
  • 20:55 The Value of Experience and Empathy in Growth Marketing
  • 27:00 Understanding Early Stage Companies
  • 27:13 Positioning Strategies and Messaging Patterns
  • 28:27 The Importance of Customer Understanding in Positioning
  • 29:11 The Neglected Aspect of Positioning
  • 31:34 The Role of Customer Research in Business Growth
  • 32:57 The Fear of Change and the Danger of Standard Playbooks
  • 34:04 The Power of Unique Insights and Customer Research
  • 34:41 The Rinse and Repeat Anti-Playbook
  • 42:24 The Power of Narrative in Marketing
  • 46:22 The Use of AI in Marketing
  • 52:36 The Impact of Innovative Marketing Approaches
  • 54:14 Conclusion: The Future of Marketing


  • “I used that [magazine] as a way to open doors for myself and meet different people and to get into rooms that I might otherwise have done… it’s about influence and when you meet someone face to face you get a thing.”
  • “I am finally cashing in on years of listening to music, watching films, and reading books that no one else wanted to… If you understand somebody’s cultural interests, you understand them on a deeper level.”
  • “Companies who understand their customers deeply and intimately do tend to do better than companies that don’t… You have to build up an understanding of your customers if you’re gonna make any kind of progress.”
  • “What are ideas for novel channels, campaigns, approaches, messages that we can use to get in front of our customers in a way that makes them feel like these people get me more than anyone else on the market.”
  • “No one else, I don’t think I’ve heard of another software company that sponsored a plant-based cooking show to make a juice… But it works for our ideal customer.”
  • “Rather than using a single analytics report to tell the story of how effective something is, instead you should aim to build a narrative about how effective your work is.”
  • “There are very few, if any channels that you can actually attribute conversions to effectively… You have to build a narrative.”
  • “Creating a single database, which pulls in your survey responses, all that stuff and then puts it through a standardized system… is super important.”
  • “A lot of business is down to whatever context you’re doing it in is down to simply who trusts you enough to let you try stuff”

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