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Lani Assaf (Maven) on Behavioral Science, First Principles, Free Will, and Education

Lani Assaf (Maven) on Behavioral Science, First Principles, Free Will, and Education

In this episode, we are joined by Lani Assaf, a startup marketer and marketing lead at Maven. We delve into various topics including user psychology, behavioral design, marketing, learning, and education. Lani shares her background as a dancer and how it influences her approach to marketing. 

Lani emphasizes the importance of understanding the customer’s journey and motivations, and they explore the impact of cohort-based courses versus self-guided courses on completion rates and also touch on the role of storytelling in marketing and the importance of setting goals and accountability in the learning process. 

The conversation concludes with insights on prioritization, low-hanging fruit in marketing, and Lani’s career choices.


  • The Definition of Lifecycle Marketing 
  • The Foundational Layer of Lifecycle Marketing 
  • The Power of Cohort-Based Courses 
  • The Effectiveness of Active Learning 
  • Just-in-Time Learning vs. Aspirational Learning 
  • Imposing Accountability and Goals in the Learning Process
  • Marketing as Storytelling 
  • The Concept of Storytelling in Marketing 
  • The Importance of Impact Over the Effort in Growth Teams 
  • Low-Hanging Fruit and Competitive Advantage 
  • Infusing AI-Powered Recommendations 
  • Asking for Help
  • Changing Your Mind 

Listen to the podcast:

Key Takeaways:

[00:08:48] The definition of lifecycle marketing 

lifecycle marketing is about helping users grow with a product and guiding the marketing strategy

[00:13:38] The foundational layer of lifecycle marketing 

customer and business value alignment, analytics, and user psychology are the primary factors in the foundational layer of lifecycle marketing

[00:17:08] The power of cohort-based courses 

cohort-based courses have higher completion rates due to social accountability and timeliness

[00:22:06] The effectiveness of active learning 

putting theoretical knowledge into action through immediate application leads to longer-lasting learning

[00:25:11] Just-in-time learning vs. aspirational learning 

discussion on the difference between just-in-time learning and aspirational learning, and how they apply to different situations and learner needs

[00:31:56] Imposing accountability and goals in the learning process 

benefits of setting accountability and goals in the learning process to maintain motivation, overcome plateaus, and continue to enjoy the process of learning

[00:33:42] Marketing as storytelling 

exploration of the definition of marketing as storytelling and the belief that most things in the world are marketing, based on Seth Godin’s definition

[00:40:51] The concept of storytelling in marketing 

humans impose stories on things because storytelling is powerful and marketing is storytelling

[00:45:43] The importance of impact over effort in growth teams 

effort is not a consideration in prioritizing for growth teams; impact matters more

[00:49:44] Low-Hanging Fruit and Competitive Advantage 

discuss the concept of low-hanging fruit and finding a competitive advantage in marketing and content creation

[00:52:06] Infusing AI-Powered Recommendations 

talks about how Maven used AI to provide personalized course recommendations, resulting in a significant increase in metrics

[00:56:59] Asking for Help 

discuss the benefits of asking for help and how it can improve relationships

[00:59:26] Changing Your Mind 

discuss the value of being open to changing one’s mind and the importance of being comfortable with it

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Alex Birkett

Alex is a co-founder of Omniscient Digital. He loves experimentation, building things, and adventurous sports (scuba diving, skiing, and jiu jitsu primarily). He lives in Austin, Texas with his dog Biscuit.