Executive Summary

Ex-Professor (Finance, Sustainable Business, Management, Leadership) in the USA, China, and South / Central America, with Universities like Virginia Tech & Warren Wilson.

Jonathan Poston has a business / start-up focused Master's degree (business administration / entrepreneurship coursework), and experience owning P&Ls, building and leading best-in-class teams (+contractors, agency partners, cross departmental resources, etc.), defining & executing digital road maps, overseeing digital strategy development, planning, and testing initiatives.

  • Performance management & analysis of metrics, kpis, and goals.
  • Establishing standard operating procedures & processes for maximum efficiency.
  • Continuous performance optimization for digital campaigns.
  • Aligning with product & marketing managers, web developers & designers, along with primary stakeholders to deliver world class digital customer touch points.
  • Managing the curation and integration of digital platforms.
  • Proven track record of delivering results.
  • Deep understanding of user story and customer journey.

Outdoorsy Layoffs Because of Coronavirus

Outdoorsy Coronavirus Layoffs 2020 

outdoorsy layoffs 2020
I've been noticing a lot of layoffs announced on LinkedIn before they are even in the news, so I've been posting updates about these on my blog. The most recent layoffs I'm seeing look to be from a company called Outdoorsy which has 117 employees, based on the post below from someone whose LinkedIn profile lists Outdoorsy as their employer: 

Can you comment and confirm?

Colin Gardiner likes this
As have many others, I have had to say goodbye to a company and a team that I love. Though I am deeply saddened by the elimination of my position, I understand that global pandemics create a multitude of issues that the majority of us could not have anticipated. I know that this is hard for me, but likely harder for the leadership team who had to make these decisions. Please know that I am overwhelmed by and so thankful for how tactfully, gracefully, and compassionately you have delivered such devastating news. I am immensely grateful for the opportunities and hashtagadventures that I've been provided here. Life in a hashtagstartup is never easy, but I have been afforded wonderful friends, treasured hashtagmemories, and a hope that everyone will be able to experience the open road in an RV with their loved ones. This is not the ending for which I was prepared, but I hope to see Outdoorsy and everyone who remains stronger on the other side. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't terrified of what comes next, but I look forward to my next hashtagjourney. If you know of anyone hashtaghiring, please keep me and my colleagues in mind. They are hard working, passionate, talented, and deeply good people. You would be getting the absolute best.

Ezcater Lay offs Due To Coronavirus

Ezcater, another tech company to lay off workers

I noticed a LinkedIn post below indicating  a big lay off at ezcater, comment to confirm.
I received a call this morning telling me that I, along with several of my colleagues at ezCater have been laid off due to the Coronavirus. All I can say is thank you to everyone at ezCater for molding me into the individual I am today. I'm more than confident that you guys will bounce back stronger than ever. My journey at ezCater may have come to an end, but the memories, friendships, and experiences gained will live with me for the rest of my career. I'm looking forward to the next chapter in my career and as always - it's never goodbye but see you later!

Thumbtack Layoffs - Coronavirus 2020

Thumbtack Layoffs Because Of Coronavirus

Another tech company to do massive layoffs during covid19 is Thumbtack, as evidenced by the LinkedIn post I saw, below:

If you were affected feel free to post a comment with your linkedin to network.

Unfortunately my time at #Thumbtack was cut short last week due to the economic impact of COVID-19. Although my time there was brief, I have nothing but good things to say about the company. I stand behind their mission to help small businesses find new customers, something that they so desperately need in today's economy. I met some incredibly talented people and learned a lot in the short time that I was there and I wish the company nothing but success in the future. With that being said I am excited to see what opportunities are out there for me, if you know of anyone hiring, I would be very grateful if you would let me know. #covid19 #jobsearching #laidoff #siliconslopes

CorePower Yoga Layoffs - Coronavirus 2020

CorePower Yoga lays off 193 staff at five studios

Another industry that has been pounded by COVID 19 is Yoga. Yes, there is Zoom Yoga, but no amount of that has stopped yoga layoffs like what we see with companies like CorePower Yoga which is reported to have laid off 193 staff that operated within five of their studios. Their LinkedIn below says they have over 3000 employees, so while 193 cuts would only be a small percentage, it is still enough of a lay off to post about - especially if you can connect with some yoga instructors and port them into your zoom work out sessions - now you have a talent pool of yoga instructors to tap!

corepower yoga layoffs

Airbnb Layoffs Because of Coronavirus

Airbnb Layoffs | Covid-19 2020

Forced to refund trips and losing bookings to the tune of 1B (see here) during the coronavirus pandemic, Airbnb is suspected to be going broke, expect layoffs to follow. 

airbnb layoffs

With 14, 561 employees noted on LinkedIn, I am already guessing we'll be seeing posts in the same format as other tech company startup layoff posts: 

It has been great working with Airbnb, but after a massive round of layoffs due to coronavirus, I hope you can let me know if any roles open soon. 

Just 1 year ago, I was excited to start my journey at  Airbnb, heading up the digital marketing division of homes. The amazing culture of people-first  and the energy of growth was incredible. Everyone felt like family. Truly. I knew right from the beginning that this was my perfect job. I took on projects that I had never done and was able to take myself further than ever professionally.

Thank you Airbnb  - alumni forever #

In Theater Rental Amazon Prime - No Need To Go Out To The Movies

Amazon Prime Video Cinema Brings Movies Out In Theaters To Home

I just noticed on Amazon that you can now get access to the movies in theaters through Amazon Prime's Video Cinema. Here is the screen I see on my Amazon account: 

The theater movies that are available for home viewing as of 3/31/2020 through Amazon are: 

  • Disney's Onward
  • I still believe
  • EMMA
  • Bloodshot
  • Sonic The Hedgehog
  • The Way Back
  • The Invisible Man
  • Birds of Prey
  • The Hunt


Yeah, not that many for now, but I bet with the new world of no touch and social distancing there will be more coming soon.

Sojern Layoffs | Coronavirus 2020

Sojern Layoffs Due To Coronavirus

The travel industry has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic response. An example of that is a post I saw from LinkedIn on Sojern layoffs. It is interesting to see how a language of "alumni" is used for people who have been laid off, which could be a good way of bonding with others from the company who have been affected.

Last week was an incredibly difficult week at Sojern. COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the travel industry and like so many other companies, had to make the difficult decision to say goodbye to a number of our beloved Sojernistas. To my network, Sojern employees are undoubtedly best-in class. They are some of the most talented, dedicated, hardworking, caring individuals I’ve had the privilege of working with. If you are in search of top-rate talent, please post a comment or DM me so that I may share with those that have been impacted! Sojern will work thru this crisis and will thrive on the other side, while we honor the Sojern Alumni who laid the foundation over the past 12 years. If you are looking to fill roles ranging from: sales, account management, marketing, tech operations, analytics, people operations please let me know and I will make a connections. hashtagsojern hashtagworldtravel hashtagtravelandtourism

Should I continue to advertise with paid media & paid search during Coronavirus?

Yes, you should keep advertising during coronavirus, here's why

The knee jerk reaction is to stop advertising when a recession or crises occurs, usually because it is so easy to turn off the paid media / paid search  and because the first thing that comes to mind is - well no one is buying so why advertising, won't it be a waste of money? 

This article  makes it clear that advertising during a recession is fully warranted in order to maintain market share. It's just like why it is important to invest in stocks during a bear market even though the urge is to cash in and run.

Good business principles dictate that what is right is usually counter-intuitive, something akin to running straight into fear in order to resolve it. Granted some industries are thriving and will always thrive during crises and right now some of the businesses that are doing well during coronavirus might be toilet paper, bidets, meal planning (note Blue Apron's stock increase streak), medical masks, dog masks, hand sanitizer, medical supplies, cooking equipment like cast iron pans and grills, home gym equipment, games and movies that are streamed and played while hunkered down and social distancing. 


Coronavirus Riots USA - Will There Be Civil Unrest & Disorder?

Over The Coming Weeks Will Coronavirus Riots Start In The USA

For weeks, there have been lines at gun shops with people buying up protection and ammo in preparation for what seems to be inevitable chance of riots in the USA. Yes, a government stimulus is coming but it is 20 weeks out for some. Many families have had both earners laid off with landlords and mortgage companies not wanting to honor any government promises not to penalize those who can't pay. 

Whether there will be riots in the USA or not may be largely dependent on the location. For example, areas hit harder economically that were already on the brink could be more likely candidates for riots. Also, larger cities with high concentrations of people who feel marginalized or hurt by policies or more of less vulnerable may respond in anger and hit the streets in riots. 

The only thing that may deter riots is that it is dangerous to group up as the fear of infection from coronavirus may be enough to deter mass gatherings required for gang related activity to gain momentum. 

What do you think? 

Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh Economy Outlook During Covid

How Coronavirus is expected to affect Chapel Hill, Durhan & Raleigh

Currently, March 23 2020, real estate sales are strong in Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Durham. Houses are still getting offers within 24 hours of being lists and multiple offers are coming in. 

In the question, "Which areas will likely be most resilient?" featured in an article on LinkedIn titled "Where The Recession Will Hurt Most", there is a snippet: "Agricultural towns like Madera, California, and tech-focused university cities like Provo, Utah, and Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C., according to Brookings."

In this Brookings study about what places a covid 19 recession will hit hardest, we see that "among the 100 largest metro areas, the economically safest are mostly tech-oriented university towns. Provo, Utah is the least exposed, followed by Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C., Hartford, Conn., Albany, N.Y., and San Jose, Calif."

This is in contrast to cities focused on tourism and gas like Honolulu, Las Vegas, Laredo & Midland Tx, which are expected to be hit the hardest during the covid 19 recession. It is also expected that agriculture based cities will fair well.

Any other thoughts - comments welcomed.

Voice Search Optimization For Large Coporations

Voice Search Optimization Phases, Tools & Development 

Consider the Phases Prior To Implementing a Voice Search Optimization Strategy

 The first thing to understand about what it means for large businesses to get started with voice search is that there are phases. Before all of the phases, there will be discovery where stakeholders consider the cost and benefits of innovating an existing infrastructure and updating it to be voice search friendly, just like what was done with mobile. It took some companies years to upgrade to responsive, once they realized it was an inevitably.

Once the commitment is made on an executive level, and there is a voice search budget (which should at the minimum be 100k on the content side just to move some viable research into implementation - for development, depending on what kind of voice search application, more like 500k, unless it is an Alexa skill- the cost to create an Alexa skill starts around 50k for a reputable firm to take on a project like this) to do what needs to be done.

Then there is a research phase which involves using a lot of different tools and platforms.There is a planning stage phase where the competition is assessed and considered. There is finally the implementation phase where before anything is done all approvals must be made, and phases created for each (content, voice search app dev, etc.). Then once implementation occurs,  put tracking in place so improvements or modifications can be made, and learnings can be gained in order to evolve the campaign  / products as a whole.

Research Phase

The research phase of voice search optimization includes figuring out what phrases or keywords your customers will likely to be using. Because Google is now evolved to become more of an answers engine rather than a search engine much of the research phase will involve selecting and finding keywords and phrases that are more geared towards asking questions, and providing answers. So, you will need to find a lot of keywords that match those questions and shape the answers. For example a voice optimization search research phase for a restaurant may find people are asking, where is the best chicken sandwich near me, and the corresponding answer may be, the best chicken sandwich in X City (New York City, etc.) is at X. That content may also have ratings and other supporting content in order to validate that claim.


Once all of this is done then there is a lot of raw search data and a lot of opportunities that can be considered from this data set. This is where priorities are made based on business goals or where many of the keywords and phrases are eliminated because maybe they are too competitive or maybe they are just not relevant so there is actually a lot of planning that needs to be done to prepare a final strategy. 

Strategy Implementation

 The implementation phase is when all the planning has been done and a final strategic approach has been determined in terms of what voice keywords will be used, on what pages they will be used, on how the content will be created or modified, and how to accommodate those keywords. Usually during implementation there are number of approvals that need to be gained before making these changes. There are of course sub-phases to consider with this, which would be content planning and implementation graphic design that supports that content development.  For example consider a restaurant that wants its customers to be able to go to the website and order food right there from the website. That is a case where the web development team will need to create a order by voice application that lets visitors to that restaurant's website order by voice right there from an order page. That build will require it's own set of phases.

Other Considerations

Voice search tool sets and platforms

While there are a number of seo keyword research tools that can be used to figure out what types of keywords are being used for voice search commands and queries, such as MOZ, BrightEdge, SEMrush, Ahrefs, etc., it is important to note that there will likely be new voice search optimization tools or existing tools that are updated for voice search, so stay turned.

Partner with development

One thing to consider with voice search is that while voice search optimization can guide the process of selecting keywords and phrases that will be used in commands and queries that are made by voice A.I. assistants or different ordering applications set up to be voice oriented, many voice applications will actually need to be developed beyond simply optimizing content on a website for voice search Q&A. This may be as easy as developing a new skill developed on Alexa which is already a voice search oriented platform or as complex as creating a voice search ordering application from scratch which will be a much different, more complex mission. But either way voice search optimizers should be prepared to partner with development teams in order to get the most out of the voice search reality that is coming to our digital world in the near future.