July was an exciting month at Sprout, our social team hosted Sprout Sessions–a live, digital marketing conference that spanned five days and topics ranging from how non-profits can optimize for social to content activation for restricted industries. From Charity Water’s presentation on brand storytelling to Tito’s Handmade Vodka’s insight on managing social in a regulated industry, there was plenty for Sprout’s marketing team to learn.

Still, I believe it’s important to look outside of our organization and to keep abreast with what’s happening throughout the digital marketing and tech space. That’s one of the reasons I found Openview’s in-depth look into Slack’s $1.1 billion dollar success particularly interesting. Below are five articles I shared with my team last month:

Facebook Expands Messenger Ads

In mid-July, Facebook announced it would be expanding its global advertising options to include messenger ads. According to Facebook, ”People will see Messenger ads in the home tab of their Messenger mobile app. When they tap on an ad, they will be sent to the destination chosen during ads creation. This can be your website or a Messenger conversation.” Given the intimate nature of Facebook Messenger, I’m interested to see how brands expand their content strategies to successfully conquer this new ad format.

The Secrets to Slack’s $1.1 Billion Dollar Success

In the B2B SaaS industry, a great product is obviously advantageous but it isn’t enough to ensure success. You need to be a strategic partner to the organizations you’re trying to sell to. This starts with content that positions your brand as an authority, paired with ads that target the right audience, in the right place, with the right messaging, at the right time. This in-depth look into Slack’s multi-million dollar growth strategy highlights the business results that are possible when a SaaS marketing strategy is done right. From the messaging platform’s minimal use of landing pages to its full-page ad in the New York Time’s, this behind the scenes look is a must read.

Balancing Productivity & Exhaustion

Steve Magness, a coach of top runners, and Brad Stulberg, who writes about the science of human performance, sat down with New York Magazine to talk about their new book, Peak Performance. The authors discuss why we need to “reconceptualize sleep as part of the work” by examining an equation made popular by athletes–stress + rest = growth. After reading this interview, I thought of my own routines and habits differently and am looking forward to seeing what other tips and tricks I can glean from their book.

The Age of the Woke CMO

Digiday explores what it means to be a CMO in the age of Trump. Once risk-averse, CMO’s from companies such as AirBnB and JP Morgan Chase are speaking out on topics ranging from diversity to immigration laws. Which lead me to wonder – should CMOs take a stance? What are the benefits and pitfalls of staying silent on decisive issues? I decided to throw this question back at my team to see what they had to say. I don’t necessarily have a clear answer and am not sure there is one. However, as our political climate intensifies, I’m committed to keep grappling with this question.

Can Emoji Evolve Into a Meaningful Language?

As marketers in the social space, emoji are a heated subject. Love them or hate them, emojis have changed how brands and people communicate. Chips with Everything, is a weekly podcast from The Guardian that aims to answer a specific question related to digital culture. On this episode, Dr. Vyvyan Evans, the author of The Emoji Code, dissects the language of emoji.