My Top 5 Hella Long Ago Marketing Tactics - Throwback Thursday

Throwing down the first throwbackthursday post with my top 5 hella long ago marketing tactics!  Only rule? You have to have actually executed and/or been involved in the brainstorming of said ideas! J CTA = Fax back your reply. Oh yes. True story. I even sorted the replies alphabetically to then type into my spreadsheet (and yes, we had spreadsheets back).Stuff it! The envelope that is – more specifically, the window envelopes – with a sure-to-get’em offer all typed up and ready to roll (typed up on a computer and then printed, give me a break, I haven’t touched a typewriter since high school). Oops – did I just type that out loud?Stuff it continued… Oh yes, made even more interesting when all 500, 1000, 2000 letters are dropped into a big messy pile and then have to be sorted one-by-one because you, er, umm, someone thought it would save time to use window envelopes. Meaning the names and addresses were all included in the letter header (I think that’s what we called it – header, right?)Take a walk on the wild side... So, you’re doing your grocery shopping and someone – a stranger – walks up to ask you if you’d like to open a new checking account. Seriously? Yes, it was an in-store bank location – I was one of the strangers – and we were backed up w/ announcements across the store sound system every 10-15 minutes, something like “Look for the girls from Bank XYZ walking up and down the aisles sharing ways to save with a new checking account at Bank XYZ.” It was a continual “just kill me now” moment.Hook, line and sinker! Back in the day, if you attended some of the same trade shows one of my previous company’s attended, you would have been walking by our booth and – what? Right in front of you was a quarter. Or maybe a dollar. Regardless, it was taped down and when you bent down to pick it up – as a surprising number of people did – we (as in the sales guys, not me, but I did egg them, er, encourage, them on) – walked up to reel you in to our booth. I can’t remember the ROI of it, but I do remember the sheer craziness – I just wish I’d had a video camera.  There you go – my top 5 hella long ago marketing tactics – so, what have you got, Topliners?  Cheers!Kristin

Wow - too funny my day started with a friend sharing 50 things only 80's kids can understand - it's definitely a throwbackthursday day Now onto your top 5 - first of all I'm a little frustrated  since #4 still occurs every time I go into my grocery now that there is a branch right inside the store again - I feel so bad every time I do the sharp verve with the cart to get away as fast as I can from them before they try to make eye contact  As for the stuff it - I remember the time before the window envelopes when we had to print out all of the labels and you did the half stick of the entire sheet to the desk so you could just quickly grab each one and stick it to the envelope and then just pray that whoever was matching the letters & envelopes did their job and you didn't have letters going to Mr Smith in Mrs Jones envelope  And I know direct mail is making a comeback - but in my early days I was the lucky one who had to go through all of the returned direct mail pieces to update the databases - boy oh boy that was loads and loads of fun sifting through hundreds or thousands (depending on the quality of the list used) pieces of returned mail!

Thanks Kristin Connell for bringing me back into the Topliners mix! I have been away from here for way too long! I got a good laugh out of this post - especially number one. In my first internship when I was in college one of my tasks was to fax promotions to potential customers. Fun times!  You also got me thinking that I do not even know the fax number for my office!

Because my background isn't marketing I don't have any funny stories like yours (which are AWESOME!).  However, I have plenty of old school sales stories.  I always loved the "go collect as many business cards as you can" contest.  I knew reps that would go to Subway and pull handfuls of cards out of the "win a free lunch" bowl (which may be an old school marketing tactic!).  I remember in my first sales job right out of school, I was handed a phone book.  That was sales enablement.  My favorite question when interviewing sales reps is "what is your most valuable sales tool?".  They have so much to pick from now!

marilyncox, I remember hearing that advice as well concerning business card collection at networking events where it seemed everyone was there to try to sell something to everyone else.  I went ahead and tossed my card one into the "free lunch" bowl once, and shortly thereafter was informed that I "won" and could invite up to ten friends to lunch and the organizer just wanted to discuss our finances from the time we would sit down until the time we received our entrees.  I invited a couple of people and let them know the plan, but they weren't up for hearing the spiel, so I bought lunch instead.  The poor guy called us from the other side of the dining room and I apologized saying I wouldn't be able to make it after all.  Having spent most of my life in sales, I felt pretty awful about wasting the poor guy's time, but the comfort level of my lunch guests was more important to me at the time, even if it was some bad sales karma out in the universe.


TBT - What was your first (paid) "marketing" job?

Someone asked me this question the other day and I almost answered immediately, but then I thought HMMMM... I was a girl scout and "marketed" cookies to earn points, I was an athlete and "marketed" my skills to earn a college scholarship - but what was my first paid "marketing" gig? It may surprise you - I consider my first marketing job my bank teller job WAY back in the day. I've mentioned in a previous TBT discussion that I was an in-store bank teller where you had to learn survival skills very quickly in order to do your job well, exceed quotas and keep customers happy. I learned all kinds of marketing skills in that role - including how to market myself into a client services officer role at the corporate HQ. I'll save all the details for a follow-up post, gotta keep'em wanting more, right?  So, Topliners, where did y'all start to grow your mad marketing skills?  Cheers!Kristin
I worked at a bead store & used constant contact to write weekly newsletters!
I was the Business Manager for the Keene State College Film Society. My duties included writing the copy for our schedule of films, updating our mailing list, and making sure the schedules were sent out in time. I also learned a lot about PR and spin marketing, explaining to the more pretentious people on campus (I don't believe the term 'hipster' had been in vogue at the time) that were not selling out by running more commercial films, but increasing our awareness among the larger student body. I also devised contests to better market ourselves; we made money on "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within," a somewhat notorious flop (only in terms of dollars; it is actually a good movie) in part because we had a raffled off a copy of one of the games.
Hmmm, in many ways I still don't consider myself a "marketer" ... so I guess, never.
Napa Auto and Truck Parts!  ***Enter James Brown singing...... "This is a mannnnnnnn's world"........ here****
LOL. Which begs two questions: 1 - What do you consider yourself to be? and 2 - What was your first job that put you on the path to where you are today? Inquiring minds want to know. 
Dude, you have been living the dream since early days, very cool! I bet you have lots of great topics for throwbackthursday - consider the glove thrown down for next week. 
I guess I consider myself an "aid".  A helper.  The job that put me here .... mmmm, probably the job of oldest sibling.  Wanting to help and please.  In reality, a job as a project manager in a marketing department.  It was easy to spot all the inefficiencies.  Then we purchased some software called "Eloqua".  I fell in love, rewrote my job description, invited myself to a bunch of meetings and the rest is history.
Sweet! I have an eerily similar story from back in my banking days, with the exception of the software being Eloqua because (choke) it hadn't been invented yet. The bank president asked me to implement the new marketing system and as the project launch drew near, he asked me to write the job description. I was like - where has this been all of my life - I wrote it, handed it to him with my resume and told him I wanted it. Somehow, that worked - my database marketing career was launched - and the rest, as you said, is history. So cool...
The roots of what got me here are a combination of journalism and graphic design. First "real" journalism job was editing / writing/ photography / layout at the UW-Madison's Daily Cardinal newspaper as a college freshman. There were no "computer graphics" courses on campus (it was 1988 after all), layout was done by running copy/ads through a waxer (yes, involving actual wax); that week's color was indicated by applying sheets of rubylith to the intended areas of color (wonder how many of today's Photoshop users know that's the reason why Photoshop mask is red and semi-transparent?) and zipatone was used to lay down lines on the page. First "real" graphic design was drawing a line of greeting cards featuring two gender-neutral fish spouting alternately sweet and pithy sayings. Aaaaaaand somehow I'm here : ) Very glad too. 
Jennifer, very cool! I worked on my college newspaper as well - Wednesday nights were always a lesson in procrastination (as in best practices) - way back in the day, circa 1991-ish. Hmmm... I wonder if it's too early to start building a predictive model as to what makes a Modern Marketer? Leigh.Burke-Oracle - I think we're on to something here. 
Jennifer,I've been to a bead store - once in Sanibel - it was a very difficult experience for me (too many choices, overwhelmed by the possibilities). If I'd had a newsletter with tips and tricks to refer to, I think that would have helped immensely. 
Rayden - too funny! I can relate from my banking days - I was one of a handful of female executives - it didn't ever bother me, but seemed to cause the good ol' boys some consternation every now and then. Not my problem! 
When I was 8 years old my family had a Cookie business called ANZACS, a popular cookie in New Zealand and Australia that we decided to bring to the US Market.  We were about 5-10 years ahead of our time meaning we did not have the ability to market our products on the web. It was all Gorilla Marketing.  I would go with my parents to Draegers and other high end supermarkets or bakeries in the Bay Area. I would pitch our product to anyone willing to listen and had my speech down pat after just a couple times, I had a natural gift for marketing. Since I was given $20 for each day I helped them, I consider it my first Marketing Gig 
Kudos! That's quite a skill set for an 8 y/o - and who can resist a cute little kid selling cookies? They get me every time!

Marketing Lessons from a Soccer Mom: Motivation is Key

This post was written for and originally published on: Marketing Lessons from a Soccer Mom: Motivation is Key - Business is Child's Play=================== I have spent an insane amount of time at the soccer fields this spring.  Between practices and games for my four year old and seven year old, we are there practically every day of the week. It has been a huge time commitment. So, when I see my 7 year old daughter slacking off, not trying, not running hard in practice, I am naturally a little perturbed. “Why are we spending all this time here if you aren’t going to try?” I ask. This leads to a conversation about how soccer isn’t “her thing” and she doesn’t want me to ever sign her up again. Ever. I agree to this, but say we need to finish out the season since she has made a commitment to her teammates. Fast forward, two days later. I take her to practice. I sit in my lawn chair as usual, expecting to see her slacking off, as usual. But no – what happens? She plays hard, and starts pulling out moves I have never seen this kid do! As if that’s not shocking enough, every night that week she goes out in the backyard to practice her footwork. On her own, without any prompt from me. I am left speechless, thinking, “what got into her?” I come to find out she has talked to an older girl on the bus who is on a select soccer team. This girl tells my daughter about the glorious life of a select player – you get cool uniforms and gear, and you get to travel to all kinds of glamorous places to play in tournaments. You just have to practice hard and show determination. My daughter is not inherently motivated to play hard. What she is motivated by, though, are her interests – fashion (cool uniforms) and traveling to fun places (away games). My four year old son doesn’t necessarily love soccer either, but he keeps coming back because he likes the snack he gets at the end of the games. (He actually told me that’s the only thing he likes about soccer.) This got me thinking. How many times do we send out campaigns and give the same offer to everyone on our list, expecting them to all be motivated by the same thing? How many times do we expect our prospects to find interesting what we find interesting? Couldn’t we possibly get a better result if we give them a reason to convert that directly connects to their interests? If I was sending an email campaign to my daughter to promote signing up for soccer next year, I’d put colorful imagery of the uniforms and gear and places where the tournaments are held. If I was marketing to my son, I’d simply put a big picture of an Oreo cookie and a Capri Sun. Both would get them to take action and sign up for another season (my campaign objective), but only because I had tapped into their unique interests and personalities. Oh the things you can learn from 5 days a week at the soccer field…
Where is the LOVE button? :) I, too, am a soccer mom to a 10 y/o on a club team and an 8 y/o on a rec team. (Plus basketball, baseball, softball and cheer.) Your analogy is spot-on and inspirational - I feel a new blog post brewing now - thank you for sharing Sarah! :)
Glad you liked it! I am actually relieved, our season is officially DONE! I am ready for a break.

The Value of a Corporate Playgroup; What I Do Every Friday at Four O’clock

My schedule is unpredictable. Between travel, project deadlines, and family commitments each week brings something new. And I like that. However, there is one hour of the week that always remains constant. Friday’s at 4:00 p.m. Every Friday at 4 I have my Corporate Playgroup. As a resident of the Midwest I’ve been plagued by the Polar Vortex. And, as an adult, I’m going stir crazy, but my children are worse. They need entertainment. Lately, their entertainment has included torturing each other. Having their friends over to the house has been a source of relief. The kids can vent their pent up energy. They play make-believe, work on arts and crafts, and build cities out of LEGOs. Playgroups are a creative outlet for kids. They share, learn, and have fun. Shouldn’t adults benefit from the same togetherness? That’s why I have a Corporate Playgroup. READ ENTIRE POST HERE:
What a great idea!!! I LOVE it Marilyn! 
Marilyn,I really like this post, it's one of my favorite "Business Is Child's Play" posts to date! I think you've captured the concept and value of "casual collaboration" very well - I noted on my LinkedIn share of your post that some of my best brainstorming sessions have been in very similar circumstances. How refreshing is it to step outside of agendas and just share? VERY!  Best,Kristin
We used to have ClubSM that was somewhat along the same lines but mostly revolved around people telling stories about customers and trips that they had recently been on.  It was a great way to share what we had learned, celebrate the success of customers, and identify trends. I have been thinking a lot about getting something going again.
That's some good thinking!  Especially as an organization grows, finding creative ways to close the loop on communications is a bonus.

Which Superhero are you?

Ok, so I can't wait until friday_fun this week and I feel compelled to post something interesting. Not that the chats about API's, PostgreSQL, dangling participles and all aren't interesting in their own way, but that's not my thing. Inspired by Kristin Connell (whose name only seems to come up for me if I type Kconnel and not Kristen_Connell - heatherfoeh why, why!!) and her post about Superhero or Sidekick?  I want to know the following... Considering the marketing POWER that is here on Topliners...what Superhero/Superheroine are you (not do you like, or do you most "relate to" but who ARE you)? You must also paste a picture here of the hero simply because it amuses me and I need to be entertained... I've always considered myself to be Mimic, a much lesser known member of the X-Men. After an accidental mixup of chemicals from his father Ronald's experiments, he gained the ability to temporarily copy the skills, physical traits, knowledge, and superpowers of any person within close range (approximately ten feet), which led people to fear him. That's right...fear me...
Since I'm an Eloqua Sales Engineer I guess that makes me Beast (also from X-Men).  Beast is the nerd who turns awesome.
Scott Winterton-Oracle - interesting I would have pegged you as Eloqua-man   Although I think the best Eloqua-men have to be Phil Chow-Oracle or francisco.dominguez because not only do they have Eloqua superpowers they also looks like Eloqua-man.  As for me, you'll have to give me until fun-Friday, since I'll need time to research super-heros, because I can think about the ones I like, but I've never thought about which one I'm like, but I love the concept & can't wait to hear some of my favorite Friday Fun gang respond (dliloia, mhalliday, Eytan Abrahams & krista.seidemann, Nadine N), not too mention fellow eloquans like jill.rowley, Jocelyn Brown-Oracle, Egan Cheung-Oracle & Laura Vogel-SiriusDecisions)
I am going to have to go with She-Hulk – the meek cousin of Bruce Banner (Hulk) who gets her powers after receiving some of his blood in a transfusion.  Why I chose She-Hulk:   First, her human name is Jennifer (coincidence?).  She is able to physically transform and become a stronger, better version of herself.  She has super human strength, speed, durability and agility.   She-Hulk can also exchange her physical characteristics and powers with the physical characteristics and powers of another being by simply focusing on a mental image of the person and willing the transfer to take place. From a marketing skills standpoint, this translates to being highly adaptable and being able to deliver results regardless of the challenge. I also like that this superhero has a dual personality – I am a Gemini and anyone who knows me will tell you that I can be very mild mannered but if you get on my bad side … watch out! Did I mention that initially She-Hulk’s transformation was fueled by anger?  
This is such a great post, and ice-breaker, for new members. As for me, I would say: I'm Spider-Man. Peter, an ordinary guy during the day; but when the sun goes down, a crime-fighter in a "web"-suit at night. That's how I feel when I come into work. Fighting the web optimization, and email spam-law crimes: hai yahh! Using my web-slingin' skills to get those messages delivered in the inbox, and making it to the front covers and headlines of your local social media networks. And at the end of the work day, put on my jacket and walk out of here like an ordinary guy again.
Wow! Great responses so far! jennifer.gonzalez I am floored by your response and at the same time think it's a perfect fit. So cool. Did you also know that She-Hulk doesn't "transform" into She-Hulk but that she is always big, green and sexy? Also, during the day when she isn't fighting villains she is a practicing defense attorney? Who else has a fun one to add? 
I know it is Wednesday but I was hoping to see more responses on this thread! Moving it back to the top in case anyone gets inspired to add a reply on their lunch break.
I relate more to Wonder Woman the warrior Princess of the Amazon. I am gifted with a wide range of superhuman powers and superior combat and battle skill. I am a mother of 4 and marketer extraordinaire. One of my previous boss use to say that he beleived I could make data sing and dance.
What fun! I'm super unfamiliar with superheros, though ... gonna have to research this one.
OMG! I'm so glad you asked this!  I've been this super hero since my college days at Cal.  Shaka Woman!  You've heard of Shaka Zulu, well Shaka Woman has her afro quaffed, her 1970 afro pik and a scathing wit as her tools in her arsenal!  She is bada**, not to be triffled with and down with Peace, Love & SOOOUUUUUUULLLLLLL. (and in my head looks a lot like Pam Grier)  
Of course, I'm superwoman! More specifically, Kristin Wells, who time travels to the 20th century, where the technology she had brought from the future gives her super powers. I've brought back the technology of the future (Eloqua) which gives me super powers over my sales and marketing team. Not to mention the fact that I'm just plain super!
I love the Shaka woman.Good one Amma
I would go with The Question. The Question is investigative television reporter Vic Sage who seeks to get to the bottom of a story, either on air or as a faceless vigilante. Originally applying Ayn Rand’s Objectivist philosophy to both his day and night jobs, he was reinvented as a Zen crime fighter in the 1980s (his Objectivist tendencies were deconstructed with the character of Rorschach in Watchmen), an urban street shaman in the 1990s, and an eccentric conspiracy theorist in the 2000s television show “Justice League Unlimited.” Vic was killed off in the comics and handed off his Question identity, but he was recently rebooted once again when DC Comics reset all continuity as one of the “Trinity of Evil” (along with Judas and Pandora), forced by a group of ancient wizards to spend all eternity wondering the Earth, seeking answers he will never find as punishment for his sins.  In all of his incarnations, he is always obsessively seeking answers to questions, striving to connect all the dots, and put all of the pieces of the puzzle together. Likewise, I always have to find answers to questions. A client is not getting an email? I have to find out why. Something did not execute properly?  I have to figure what went wrong. A new project requires changes to lead routing? I have to figure out how to do it. I am always looking for answers, solving the puzzle, and connecting all the dots. Likewise, his constant reinvention makes a great comparison as to how frequent the reinvention of marketing automation is and how we often have to update, rewrite, and reconstruct our marketing campaigns and programs as the needs require them.  Also, we both look cool in suits.  
Suit coolness....Stellar!!! 
Hey, all, for reasons that are somewhat clear to us, we have a number of clients that have created super power / super hero quizzes for occasions just like this:  #ImustFigureOutMyAlterEgoASAP For those of you that are stuck-- here's some help:  Which TECH Super Hero are You?   OR, if you are just wondering what your special skills are,  What's your Superpower?  might help.

TBT - What was your first marketing success?

After last week's discussion (TBT - What was your first (paid) "marketing" job?) and Kristin Connell throwing the glove, I got to thinking back to college and the work I did for the campus movie theater, and I was thinking about the first real success I had with marketing, and how mine involved traumatizing high schoolers, my fellow students, and making a profit of their torment, all thanks to mentioning the "box office poision" of "NC-17." The campus theater worked (at least when I was there) by dealing directly with studios to get film prints; we needed to make about $700 a week to break even (we were technically a non profit as we were a student organization, but we were one of the few that could actually give money back to the student activity funds if we made a profit on a film showing). This was my sophomore year, and my fellow film society board members and I had just taken full reign; we brought in a new faculty adviser, and we were now doing a lot of things on our own. It came time to do brochures for the new series of films; we showed a film for one week only as we were a calendar house cinema. One of the films we were going to be showing was Requiem For A Dream which was going to be released without a rating, i.e. it would not be R, PG, etc; if you have never seen the film is it is a very well made film which brutally depicts the effects of drug addiction and how low people can sink within it. I had to do the brochure, and I had a conversation that went something like this with the adviser at about 1:30 in the morning the day I had to get the text to the printers and send it to the website people so they could list the schedule online: Me: Requiem For A Dream is unrated; it was going to be NC-17, but they didn't want that so they are releasing it as unrated; should I write that in the brochure?Adviser: Sure...and, why did you call me at this me hour?Me: I needed advice and you're the adviser. So, I put that into the brochure, and we got it back a few days later, and then something along the lines of this conversation took place: Adviser: Why did you put "should be considered NC-17" in the brochure?!?!?! Are you crazy? You never list NC-17 unless you have to. People stay away from films with that rating.Me: You told me to put it in there.Adviser: This is why you never call me at 1:30 in the morning! We're not going to make anything on this film now.Me: Ellen Burstyn was nominated for an Oscar in it.Adviser: Yeah, I know, but, the NC-17 is going to keep people away because they think it is like Showgirls.Me: It's an Academy Award nominated movie, so it clearly cannot be like Showgirls.  He did not appreciate my logic there and lectured me for about 8 more minutes about how we were going to lose money, and that from now on all unrated films had to listed as "should be considered R." I was projecting opening night; I was in the lobby with the box office clerk before the show and we suddenly had a mass of people in the lobby; I had never seen this type of crowd there ever at that point. I had noticed some younger faces that I did not recognize from around campus, but did not think anything of it at the time; I figured they were freshmen. We did two showingss that night, and the second show was just as packed, also with some new faces. The clerk brought me the ticket stubs and the cashbox, and I looked at tickets; I thought he had ripped the wrong ones because the college students had their own tickets, and there were a lot of regular student/senior tickets and I had not noticed a lot of the senior crowd there. Me: You ripped the wrong tickets; these are the regular student/senior tickets not the ones for the college studentsHim: No, I ripped the right ones; we had an awful lot of high school students hereMe: You let them in?Him: You did not tell me not to. Not one to argue with his flawless logic, I let him go, and counted the take and was very pleased to have made $500 in one night. Saturday night, I was not working, but went to see the movie again (without having to project at the same time); I got there just before the show started and the box office clerk had said a lot of college students and high schoolers showed up. I went up the back way into the theater and saw that it was pretty full. Right at the end, I went back down to the lobby; I had never seen more shocked looks; if you have the seen the movie, you may understand why.  I saw these kids who had to be 15 at the most with the most horrified looks on their faces. Kid 1 (boy): Right in the gangrene...Kid 2 (boy): That was gross...Kid 3 (girl) (in tears)Kid 4 (boy): I...saw my dad's brochure...I thought it would be a [phrase meaning adult movie]. At this point, all I am picturing is the college getting complaints about exposing their children to something so brutal. I took over the box office and flat out refused to sell anymore tickets to anyone under 17; the adviser came down and just said "Good" when I turned away a flock of young teenagers. We had another great night box office wise, then Sunday rolled around, and we had a great turn out; we broke $1000 for revenue on Sunday afternoon. We saw this rush of students; a lot of whom had never been to see a movie there before, and a lot of whom only showed up for the commercial films we ran, to see this art house film. I was getting back from working Tuesday night, another great night, and went to see a bunch of my friends in the dorm, when I was asked Friend 1: Hey Allan; what's the deal with this movie you're running?Me: What?Friend 2: The movie. We've been talking about it, and my boyfriend and his friends were talking about it too.Me: Really?Friend 1: My professor brought it up in class.It said it was very good, but very intense.Me: It is.Friend 2: My boyfriend saw it said it was not what he expected.Friend 3: Why?Friend 2: He said he saw the NC-17 in the brochure at the student center and figured, you know, it was like [pejorative for adult movie], but it wasn't. His only reaction was to tell people that they had to see it to understand.  I had conversations like this for the rest of the week with various people; a lot of people saw the NC-17 part in the brochure or on the website and showed up to see it because of the NC-17. A lot were disappointed and traumatized for life, a few vowed never to return to the theater, but, a lot of people were just in awe, and talked to their friends about it and then their friends would see it, and so on. Word of mouth had gotten around, and students showed up in droves to see it because their friends were talking about it. We made a lot on it; I can't remember exactly, but I am pretty sure we broke $2,000 on it; it was at the time the highest film we had run in 2 years. That was my first marketing success story. I had managed to turn a profit on an art house film, and was able to spread the word around campus (and apparently the local high school) about the theater, all because I had "foolishly" mentioned that a movie should be considered "NC-17." We ran another film that ran into issues with a a rating and went released unrated later that year, The Center Of The World, and this time listed it as "should be considered R." We broke even on it, but I can't help but thinking if we could have done a bit better if we listed the "NC-17" instead. That was my first marketing success story; what is your first marketing success story?
OMG Allan King! A story! I'm saving this to read tonight - what an awesome idea and a great share!