Jay-Z doesn't want to have dinner with you 😭

Happy Sunday!

Welcome to the first edition of The Marketing Tree Newsletter, formerly known as Cindy’s Marketing Newsletter (for like a day.)

I could go on and on about why I decided to give this newsletter a name, but I’ll let one of the top leaders in marketing explain it:


Why “The Marketing Tree?”

In many ways, trees are similar to marketing.

  • The most beautiful trees you’ll ever come across took a long time to get that way. The most well-rounded marketers have been doing the work for a long time.

  • Every tree has branches. Some are strong, while others are weak and easily broken. There are many different branches of marketing - some more meaningful than others.

  • All trees have leaves, which fall throughout the year, making room for new leaves. Marketing is constantly evolving. There’s always some trend that gets outdated and dies, only to be replaced by something new.

As a marketing professional, I have to constantly read books, blogs, listen to podcasts, you name it, in order to stay relevant.

This newsletter is a way for me to help you become a better marketer (even if you’re not a marketer) by bringing you on my journey.

There’s so much noise in this space. It can be so hard to figure out where to start. I’ll be cutting through that noise and bringing you easy-to-understand advice that you can apply in your career.


Everyone is a marketer.

No, I’m not saying that to be sarcastic. I genuinely believe that everyone is a marketer.

Think about it…

  • You had to market yourself with a great introduction, resume, and interview to land your job.

  • Ever thrown a birthday party, baby shower, or any personal event? That invitation, the program, the decor… it’s all marketing.

  • Figuring out the easiest, less confusing way to get people to RSVP to your party - that’s conversion optimization, which is a form of marketing (and my personal favorite.)

I could give you a list of 100 ways you’re using marketing in your everyday life. However, I wouldn’t be a great teacher if I didn’t introduce you to the Rule of Three.

What’s the “Rule of Three?”

Basically, people digest information and make better decisions if they’re only given three options.

It’s also the way your third-grade teacher taught you how to write an essay.

  • Introduction

  • Three supporting paragraphs

  • Closing

And the way I plan to set up this newsletter (I think.) This leads me to the third and final section (before the closing, of course.)


Jay Z doesn’t want to have dinner with you

If you’ve been on social media for a while, you’ve probably seen this question going around for years:

What would you do if you had the opportunity to take $500k in cash or have dinner with Jay-Z?

No other context is given. You don't know how long the dinner is or if he's even going to share business information with you.

Some people argued that the knowledge you'll get from having dinner with a billionaire like Jay-Z would eventually be worth more than $500k.

While that's a valid point, I was always team, take the $500k and spend the time and money learning how to turn that into an empire. What good would his advice be if you don't have any seed money to grow?

This past week, the man himself (well, one of the companies he's a stakeholder in) let us know what we should do.

Cindy, why are you talking about this?

First and foremost, Jay-Z is my favorite artist of all time. I’ve loved his music ever since I was way too young to be listening to it. His Hard Knock Life Tour was the first concert I ever attended (I think I was in 10th grade.)

But this is a marketing newsletter, and I’m sharing this as an example of great marketing without being salesy.

Nobody likes being sold to. And marketers don’t like to be salesy. Or at least we don’t want to be. But sometimes we can’t get out of our own heads, and it comes out as super salesy.

But it doesn’t feel good to the marketer or the audience. And when things don’t feel good, people don’t buy.

Back to the tweet from Tidal

They paid attention to what was going on in the world of social media and took the opportunity to answer the question for everyone - and their tweet went viral. (I didn’t even see it on Twitter initially, I saw it on Facebook.)

Now, this tweet can be taken two different ways.

  1. It’s Jay-Z, as a stakeholder in Tidal, telling you to take the $500k.

  2. It’s Tidal giving you advice as a company that’s seen success from having many dinners and money from Jay-Z.

Here’s the takeaway from this tweet

Stay up to date on what people are talking about on social media. And find ways to respond or apply what’s going on to your posts in a fun and engaging way.

Here’s an example from Shopify doing a take on Drake’s new album cover

Here’s Drake’s new album cover:

And Shopify’s remake:

Did it increase Shopify’s sales? Probably not significantly, but it was fun, well done and ultimately gives personality to their brand.


And that wraps up my first newsletter.

I know it was long. But I want to be thorough so that you learn something

I’ll be back next Sunday with more marketing things.

If there’s anything marketing-related that you’d like me to cover, reply to this email and let me know.

I hope you have an amazing week!

- Cindy Rodriguez