After days brimming with sunshine, rain blew into New York City.
It washed Madison Square Park leaving the late Friday afternoon sunshine to spray across the yellow leaves.
And, on Saturday, Skittle-sized icy hail pellets pounded against our front windows bringing late Fall’s chill.
Actionable Marketing Lesson of the Week
► Everyday Heroes
We all love the Marvel super heroes. We wait with baited excitement for the next film since we’re all kids at heart. We want someone strong to save us, especially during uncertain times.
We’ve become so used to the superheroes in our films and other media that we overlook the everyday heroes in our midst.
Last week was Veterans Day, November 11th. It celebrates the men and women who selflessly serve this country in the military. Circular wreaths celebrated Veterans Day while high above Madison Square Park an American Flag flapped in the wind.
I get it. My dad was a veteran of World War II. He served in the Signal Corps in London, but he never talked about his military experience there.
My hero is Tom Deirlien, Co-founder and CEO of ThunderCat Technology. I met Tom in the early days of internet advertising.
Tom is a West Point grad. For those of you who don’t know—it’s tougher to get into and out of than Harvard, Yale or Princeton. In addition to a stellar educational record, you need a reference from a Senator or Congressman and the right type of traits.
As a reservist, Tom got called up to serve in Iraq even though he was too old. He could have refused, but Tom went anyway.
In that conflict he earned both a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Tom was severely wounded in Iraq, but with determination and grit, he recovered.
In 2018, Tom received the prestigious United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Patriot Award for his work on the TD Foundation, a non-profit that gets medical help to save children.
TD Foundation helps an average of 75 families per year at a cost about $2,000 each.
For me, Tom represents the ideal of what an American hero is.
Who is your everyday hero? What makes this person a hero to you?
Are your employees heroes for your brand?
► Art Talks
On Friday night we visited the Whitney Museum to see the Jasper Johns exhibit. The artist, who remains active at age 92, lent the museum art and notes from his personal collection.
This exhibit is interesting from a marketing perspective since it’s showing concurrently at the Whitney and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Usually, major art exhibits move from museum to museum like travelers on tour. This show a new vision for how to use co-marketing to increase awareness.
Further, unlike many exhibits, this one doesn’t show Johns’s work in chronological order. Rather the pieces of art are grouped by themes.
As a marketer, it underscores that you can transform your content and products by presenting them in different ways to inspire your audience.
After making a reservation and paying, The Whitney Museum sends you an email with a QR Code that links to your ticket. QR Codes, the little black and white squares, are having a post-covid resurgence.
When you get out of the elevator at the Johns’s Mind/Mirror exhibit, you face a wall of prints and it’s difficult to tell which way to walk. Since there’s text and a description on the left side of the wall, most people start there and move left to right.
But the problem is this leads to the end of the exhibit. So you wind up going backwards through the galleries.
Fortunately, a guard pointed me in the correct direction. He said that the curators believed visitors would realize that the space to the left was more open and go that way. But, in reality, without a sign, visitors didn’t know which way to go.
This highlights a common marketing problem. We spend so much time with our marketing that we don’t see it from our audience’s eyes. As a result, we make obvious errors.
If you look closely at the small text next to each painting, some have an arrow pointing to the right. The guard explained that the arrow is a play button and the number is the index for that painting in the audio tour. #GoodToKnow
While I understood that there was an audio recording, as a marketer, I wondered why they made it difficult to find. It wasn’t the usual answer that they didn’t want to spend the money since they had created an audio to accompany the exhibit.
Why they didn’t they include a QR code that people would understand how to use? Because they thought their symbol was obvious.
Actionable Marketing Lesson:
- Don’t assume that your audience has the same insights as you. Use your owned media to promote your content marketing as broadly as possible.
For example: The Whitney could have promoted the audio tour with a QR code on the ticket and added signage in each gallery? Obviously the Whitney understood how to use QR codes since they used them for tickets.
The Whitney guard, Garfield Harry, was a former advertising executive. He quit his job to follow his visual art career. He views his work at the Whitney as part of his education since he can get into any museum in the world with his employee badge.
Further, Harry uses the opportunity to talk to people about his art. He shows his work in Red Hook, Brooklyn on weekends. Working in the museum lets him meet people interested in art.
Even better, he showed us his QR code business card.
Actionable Marketing Lesson:
- Spend time where your audience spends their time.
New Posts on the Actionable Marketing Guide:
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NYC Marketing Minute
► Location, Location, Location
In the Meatpacking District, we passed a sign on the street notifying locals that the television show, The Blacklist, would be filming there on November 17th. Television and film crews are regular sights around the City. I walked by a crew filming a segment of The Blacklist earlier this summer in Madison Square Park.
If you live in the neighborhood this means the streets will be filled with massive trucks and crews.
What does it mean for you as a marketer?
Location is a key element of your marketing; Place is one of the four Ps.
In The Blacklist and other shows, the scenes filmed in New York City make the place into a character that adds depth to the show.
For you, where your business physically exists can add credibility to your brand.
Alternatively, use location to be present where people congregate.
For example, on Friday, Good Kind Pure, a new fragrance line for women, installed a pop-up installation opposite the Flatiron Building.
In honor of World Kindness Day, they created a white artistic forest to lure passersby to test their fragrances. They included places for people to take selfies. Their staff even took the shots for you.
So assess how your location can enhance your brand and business.
Plan Ahead: Mark Your Calendar
► December 7-8 – Voice 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. Find out how conversational AI is Transforming the Customer Experience.
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