Just Evil Enough: Rethink marketing for the attention economy.

Standing out in noisy markets is hard. It requires subversive thinking, unfair advantages, and campaigns that upend traditional thinking and outwit competitors. In this course, Alistair and Emily will help you reposition your brand, ignite your team, and reboot your career. It’s packed with surprising case studies, hands-on exercises, and powerful frameworks based on five years of research into the science—and art—of subversive marketing.

We won’t make you an evil genius. But we will teach you how to think like one.

Alistair CrollEmily Ross
with Alistair Croll and Emily Ross
Join the waitlist to be notified of upcoming cohorts.

A three-week, instructor-led course for marketing professionals who want to write their own rules.

There’s a reason you’re not clicking any more: The attention economy destroyed traditional marketing. It's not enough to learn new tricks—you have to invent them. Today's best marketers unearth new ways to create attention and turn it into profitable demand.

We’ve spent years studying the new realities of marketing. Just Evil Enough will reset your marketing career so you can stop writing press releases and start hacking markets.

Topics we'll cover

We’ll dive deep into the following concepts

See Curriculum
  • Master the RIPE framework to turn attention into profitable demand—again and again.
  • Search emerging platforms and shifting norms to unearth novel exploits—before your competitors do.
  • Hone your go-to-market strategy with reframing, subversive tactics, and message maps.
  • Learn from dozens of case studies to inspire your campaigns and reveal untapped markets.
  • Rethink modern marketing through neuroscience, game theory, threat modelling, behavioural design and more.
  • Leverage your asymmetric advantages to capture attention and deliver meaningful results in a noisy market.
  • Reinvent yourself as a subversive marketer who thrives in the attention economy.
  • Work hands-on with powerful frameworks you can use to guide your planning again and again.

Marketing Manager

You’re doing everything right. You’ve read the blogs, listened to the podcasts. But the game feels rigged. 

Business Founder

You’re spending too much time building products, and not enough time making people care.

Business Leader

Your marketing team is tired. You want to reset their thinking for the attention economy.

Meet your instructors

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Alistair Croll

Alistair is an entrepreneur, author, and business educator. He co-authored the best-selling Lean Analytics, and founded web performance pioneer Coradiant. He’s been a visiting executive at HBS, and has launched and chaired several of the world’s leading technology conferences. In his spare time he makes treasure hunts.

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Emily Ross

Emily is the founder of strategic consultancy firm Inkvine which designs and executes subversive marketing campaigns for award-winning startups and scaleups. She holds multiple qualifications in marketing, PR, analytics and problem solving. She consults for VC funds, international accelerators and is advisory board member at SXSW. However, she started her career as a professional fire and knife performer, where she learned first-hand about the attention economy. 

When you complete this course, you’ll see marketing through an entirely new lens. You’ll create unexpected, subversive go-to-market campaigns that cut through the noise of the attention economy—and leave your competitors scrambling to catch up.

Cohort-based Courses

A Better Way to Learn

  • Active Learning, not Passive Watching

    You’ll get up close and personal with Alistair and Emily in interactive workshops, and work with your peers in high-intensity breakouts. Buckle up, baby—it’s going to be intense. 

  • Learn with a Cohort of Peers

    Your fellow students have been hand-picked for their diversity of perspective and experience. You’ll learn as much from each other as you will from your teachers—and make lifelong connections with other subversive marketers.

  • Accountability and Feedback

    Don’t expect to take the Just Evil Enough course and simply get away with it. You’ll be held accountable for each of the learning outcomes you signed up for.

  • Additional benefits

    It wouldn’t be subversive if there weren’t a few surprises, now, would it? Expect the unexpected, with surprise guests, plot twists, narrow escapes, and a whole lot more.

Just Evil Enough shows how a small number of firms think differently about brands, products, and markets—and in doing so, achieve disproportionate, and often unexpected, success.

Professor Theo Lynn
Professor of Digital Business, DCU Business School, Dublin

Just Evil Enough captivated the attention of the founders in a manner seldom seen, and provoked so much discussion and reflection.

Sunil Sharma
Managing Director, Techstars Toronto

A rallying cry for marketers everywhere to stop writing press releases and instead find subversive, sustainable, brand-consistent ways to create attention they can turn into profitable demand.

Scott Brinker
Program Chair, Martech

Being Just Evil Enough is something every business needs to act on immediately if it is to survive in the attention economy.

Elena Poughia
CEO & Founder, Data Natives / Dataconomy / Dataconomy Media GmbH, Berlin

Your Just Evil Enough keynote is still fresh in my memory—one of the best I've seen in my career as an event organizer!

Christian Qvist Grønning
Head of events, Danish Marketing Association

Learn with a comprehensive curriculum

Each week, you’ll join in-person live classes, brainstorm in breakout sessions, complete reading and viewing assignments, engage with your classmates online, and work through powerful frameworks. By the end of the course, you’ll not only think about marketing in an entirely new way—you’ll have concrete plans for campaigns and go-to-market strategies that you can put to work immediately.


Reset how you think about marketing in the attention economy, and get your tools ready. Before the course begins, you’ll join your cohort for a preview of the weeks ahead. You’ll meet your fellow classmates, complete some fun challenges, and along the way, learn the tools and platforms on which we’ll be running the curriculum.

Recon—Platforms and Norms

See your market, platforms, and norms in a new light that reveals unexpected vulnerabilities. Next-generation marketing looks beyond customer demographics and psychographics (which tell you who) to motivations, platform mechanics, and societal norms to identify vulnerabilities you can exploit with your unique advantages. Mission 1: Build a situational canvas that captures how your market thinks, how its platforms function, and the norms, folklore, and hidden truths that shape it.

Invent—Asymmetric Advantages, Subversive Reframing

Find your unfair advantages, and upgrade how the market talks about you. You have unique advantages—from arbitrage, to disagreeability to automation. And your market has frames of reference with which it talks and decides about you. By combining your asymmetric advantages with a frame of reference that benefits you, you’ll shift the conversation in a way that emphasizes your strengths and showcases your competitors' weaknesses with stories that spread fast. Mission 2: Use an asymmetry checklist, reframing, bait-and-switch, and vitamin-to-cure thinking to invent your unique set of advantages. 

Plan—Motivation Maps, Backcasting

Use motivated reasoning, game theory, and brainstorming to reveal your best campaigns. Humans aren't rational. We're biased, fueled by motivated reasoning and constantly updating how we make decisions. Ignoring this yields campaigns everyone says they love that don't actually deliver. Superb, noise-cancelling marketing weaves together market realities, your unique strengths, and unconventional thinking. In our third live meeting, you’ll use backcasting, premortems, peer brainstorming, motivation maps, and other proven approaches to generate fresh campaign concepts. Mission 3: Generate five one-page plans that incorporate all you’ve learned.

Execute—Flinch Filters, Message Cascades, and Competitive Moats

Lubricate the funnel, flinch first, measure success, and delay burnout. Your customers are on a journey from the moment they hear about you to the day they cancel their contract. To win them, you need a sustainable, brand-consistent, novel plan that grabs their attention and links it to conversion and retention. In the fourth live session, you’ll put your best plans to the flinch test. You’ll use leading indicators to change the future, and build a Long Funnel message map. You’ll turn your hack into a competitive moat with network effects while delaying channel burnout as long as possible, to make the most of your zero-day exploits. Finally, you’ll stay ahead of your competition by moving to the next exploit while they're still catching up. Mission 4: Pull it all together into a five minute exploit brief, with one-on-one feedback from Alistair, Emily, and your fellow students.

Demo Day & Graduation—Unveil your Master Plans

Is your idea good enough to steal? Pitch your master plan to a trusted group of subversive marketers, get feedback, and get ready to apply your work to your business.

Be the first to know when the next cohort starts

Join the waitlist to be notified of upcoming cohorts.

Frequently Asked Questions

I work full time. Will I need to take time off?

No. This course is designed for working professionals. Each week we cover two 90-minute modules. You’ll have pre-class reading, group work, and supplemental tasks and exercises that can be completed around your own schedule. Many of the students will be using this course to work on campaigns and strategies for their full-time job.

Do I have to attend all of the live sessions?

Yes. This is an intensive course that involves both instructor-led and peer activities. If you’re unable to attend all six live sessions, consider postponing your attendance until a time when you’ll be able to devote your full focus and energy to the material. You won’t get the results you want—and will undermine your classmates’ experience—if you aren’t committed to the process.

Will I get feedback on my work?

Yes. Every student will get one-on-one feedback from Alistair and Emily, along with feedback from your fellow students throughout the course, and from guests we invite to join us along the way.

Why should I bother?

Most marketing sucks. It hasn’t been updated for the attention economy. Great marketers tell stories that tease and compel. They find exploits so cunning, their mark doesn’t even know they’re being targeted. They subvert, surprise, and drive real business results.

We’re building an elite squad of subversive marketing leaders. Join us if you dare.