Working with Allied Services brought out my love for marketing. I was hooked. I had helped someone become a successful, independent business man. I had assisted someone in achieving the American dream of owning his own business, setting his own rules, earning exactly what he was worth, and living the life he wanted to live.
I left college and became the Director of Marketing for an eleven-state agricultural co-op. Not many people walked out of class one day, and into a company car the very next. From there I went on to doing consulting jobs for television stations, educational course providers, and lots and lots of small businesses that wanted to be big businesses.
And then came the internet.
I was busy inventing products, working in classic channels of marketing those products to distributors, who then sold to consumers, so the idea of business marketing online really wasn’t on my radar screen. In 2010, I still didn’t have a Facebook account, and I was entirely invisible on Linked In. But that all changed when a consulting client brought me on board to “figure out” internet marketing. He had several products he had invented, or was ready to bring to market from other countries, but nothing he could find showed him a system for marketing those various products successfully online. I had a good track record for analyzing complex systems, from marketing, to financial markets, to ancient belief systems, to advertising algorithms, but I had never really turned my attention to the internet. When he hired my agency, I found a whole new dictionary of terms, a new set of rules, and a completely different media concept… but there was something strangely familiar about all of it. Like Champollion, who in 1822 first translated ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs by studying the Rosetta Stone, I could see something ghostlike and parallel to the world of marketing I had been using and teaching for 25 years, but somehow it was different. And then, like Champollion did when he realized the symbols in the ovals represented the names of kings, I found the key. The first step forward was in learning about social media. By then I had created multiple Facebook pages for clients and was running them just like everybody else. I was using the Fan pages to announce product sales, special events, discounts and deals. Response was mediocre, regardless of the “deal” being put forth in the ad. Unlike the Allied Services marketing concept, the “$1.99 Movie Rental” just didn’t have the punch it should have had. That’s when I employed another one of my business philosophies:
Step back. Move up a level. Change the rules.