In 2018, the world searched for “good” more than ever before — according to Google Trends. And in the U.S., some of the search trends (search terms that had the highest spike this year as compared to the previous year) appear to be a natural progression from 2017 (from Unicorn lattes to Unicorn cake), some were normal for the times (voting information), and some were quite entertaining (How to get the old Snapchat back). At least to us digital marketing nerds.

You may think that we’re getting into this just because it’s fun to look at lists. And yes…


Snapchat surgeries
Snapchat surgeries

A recent news piece caught my eye — Snapchat surgeries. People are turning to plastic surgery to make themselves look more like their filtered selfies. More like their Snapchat photos with filters of big shiny eyes, high cheekbones and bunny ears and such (we hope not that bunny ear part). It’s just one of the many ways in which our digital world is affecting our sense of self. More and more individuals are acting like brands, allowing the rules of online engagement to mold their offline actions as well.

So it’s no surprise that authenticity is a super hot topic…


My birthday is in July and I usually love celebrating. But by 11 AM on my birthday I was having a panic attack. I felt bombarded with messages from everywhere: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, email, text, phone, mail, pigeon carrier…

How to Do a Digital Detox - Social Media Addiction and Dopamine's Role
How to Do a Digital Detox - Social Media Addiction and Dopamine's Role

I felt trapped, overwhelmed, guilty for not being able to answer them all fast enough. And all sorts of other feelz. And you may say, nice Mana, good problem to have. Yes, I have a lot of love in my life. And I am truly grateful for every single message.

Still, it triggered a flight response in me. So…


Today I want to talk about a concept that’s fundamental to business success but that very few businesses take seriously, and even fewer individuals. We’re going to talk about mission statements. Or as one of my colleagues said — How to craft a mission statement that bleeds into everything you do.

But first, let me tell you about that time when I gained a speech impediment. No, not my accent, which is Romanian by the way so it’s been with me much longer than my speech impediment.

A corporate speech impediment…

I started my career doing digital marketing for a bank. A very very…


The One Cardinal Rule of Good Content Marketing
The One Cardinal Rule of Good Content Marketing

Have you ever posted something on social media and hoped for zero likes? We didn’t think so. No one invests time in content marketing expecting it will fall flat. We post on social media because we want something in return. We want the likes, the comments, and visits to our websites. And of course, we want our content to lead to more customers. So, if your content doesn’t do much, what should you do?

I will give you the one cardinal rule to help you create better content. The biggest rule of all. The one check you should do before…


I’ve been out for the count with pneumonia. Seven days in, I posted a selfie with my cat. One of my employees remarked I looked good, despite being sick. So I downloaded to her Mana’s guide to good selfies (and giving yourself a little pick-me-up in the process) when you’re sick. Here it is, full version:

1. Shower — then lay down for half hour and catch your breath.

2. Dry hair. Use a volumizing foam if you have straight hair. Try IGK Trust Fund Thickening foam (dare to dream a little). For curly hair, DRYBAR Velvet Hammer. …


At Lightspan we don’t fear a good debate. 8 strong intelligent women makes for 4 debate teams on some days. And we love it. We challenge each other, we discuss politics and society and we vent about dishonesty in product marketing. And we learn and grow together.

But what’s the point of a good debate if not to teach others too. It’s one of our missions at Lightspan, to always teach. So I want to bring to you today’s lessons.

In life and in marketing less is more

One of the discussions we had this morning had to do with war casualties. In light of the current anti-police-brutality…


“You’re too competitive.” I‘ve heard it one too many times in my life.

Colleagues give your boss feedback on you, and say you’re, “too competitive.” Dr. Phil writes about how to overcome your competitive nature. Parents contact self-help gurus to fix their children from being “too competitive.”

He also needs to be best. Because he has a younger sister, this is a very irritating fixation, because he’s always showing her how he’s better than she is, which of course he is, being two years older than she!

Stop. Rewind. Compartmentalize.

Separate those two thoughts. “Need to be best” and “showing her how he’s…


A friend posted this morning a question that brought back memories which got my blood boiling:

Ladies: I have become an apologizer again lately, constantly worried that I am speaking too much and standing out too much. How do I stop this?

Ah how many times I’ve said such things privately and quietly, afraid to say them out loud, afraid that they may become true. If I say this, am I going to be seen as “a bitch”? Am I being too aggressive? Am I being too direct? Am I abrasive? Am I pissing off anybody? Everybody?

So, I would…


And the truth

The longer I live in Chicago the more I realize how little non-Chicagoans know about this amazing city. Just recently I had an exchange that was quite unbelievable so for the love of Chicago, here are some questions and facts that will blow your mind.

Do They Serve Fish in Chicago?

Yes someone from Seattle actually asked me this just recently. Yes, there are many seafood restaurants. Many fly in fresh fish daily, such as my favorite seafood place, Glenn’s Diner. But Chicago also has local fish (salmon, trout lake sturgeon, lake whitefish, Walleye, bass, perch and many more) and local area fish farms. And you…

Mana Ionescu

President at @LightspanD Credo: Make no little plans. Be bold, brave &kind. #SCUBA rescue diver. Waging war on bad #digitalmarketing. #lovedat

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