Marketing Exercise: Part 2, Question Replies

Yesterday I shared the story of my most recent hosting of a business event and the marketing exercise I did to open it up.

I promised the replies from the exercise I conducted. So here they are.

  1. What is marketing?

Communication (11), show casing, business, awareness (2), honest belief, networking getting the word out, relationship, sharing information

  1. How is art life marketing?

It communicates (4), representation of idea, trying to inspire, communication, tells, a story, it speaks to you,

Ingrid & Dana at Greeters.

Ingrid & Dana at Greeters. Image courtesy Graham Lewis.


provokes reaction, expression/emotion, transparent, expressive, touches you, creative/inspiring, it’s a relationship, inspires possibilities, perception

  1. What population is the world’s most powerful buyer?

Women (8), China (5), US (2) – the human race, old/seniors (2), millenials (3)/online, men, Japan

  1. T/F Marketing is expensive

T = 1            F = 12            Not especially/not necessarily, can be (2)

  1. What can marketing do for a business?

Make it or break it, express your value, connections, increase exposure, exposure (4), inform, awareness, known – community, promote/success, make money, gain new clients, make it visible, grow it – network it – connect it, promote it (2)

  1. What’s the most important V word in marketing?

Variety, value (6), viral, visual (2), volume, victory (4), vichyssoise

  1. T/F Ginger is the marketing pro you want/need!            T = 16            F = 1

What would your replies be?

The orange replies were the ones I was expressly going for, having shared insights as such with this group of 45 – 60+ about marketing. Some of the others made me laugh, cringe, and ponder – and learn.

Marketing Exercise: Part 1, Ask The Questions

I’m a member of a local Chamber of Commerce. Not because it drives a lot of business for me.

Not by a long shot.

What it does do is provide one avenue to keep me sharp. I hone my chops and practice my presenting skills. I’ve made some terrific new friends, frolleagues and colleagues. And it gets me out of my office to new locations I’ve not been before. It’s a marketing maneuver. Show up, be present, be visible.

Last week I hosted, as I do annually. It’s an excellent included benefit to members who take advantage of it (why some don’t is positively mystifying to me!). As a chamber member you can sign up to host the Friday Greeters, a come and give a 30 – 40 second pitch to the others present. It’s lively, helpful (sometimes) and usually very good-humored. As I said, I don’t find a lot of business happens, yet relationship development does. I know it for this so that’s why I go, when I go.

Greeters, photo courtesy of the fabulous Graham Lewis

Greeters, photo courtesy of the fabulous Graham Lewis

As a host you get 5 – 7 minutes to present, being the sponsor of the event as it were. I started my time last week with an exercise. As each person arrived, I made sure to thank them, hugged (most of) them or shook hands, and gave them a small yellow piece of paper with 1 – 7 and my logo & tagline on it.

Once settled in, I posed the following to the entire group:

  1. What is marketing?
  1. How is art like marketing?
  1. What population is the world’s most powerful buyer?
  1. T/F Marketing is expensive
  1. What can marketing do for a business?
  1. What’s the most important V word in marketing?
  1. T/F Ginger is the marketing pro you want/need (okay, a bit of a stacked deck question here…)

We met at the Schneider Museum of Art, hence the connection in question 2. Also – I’ve earned an art degree and believe it to be a critical part of our human existence. We can gain much by taking in Art and connecting it to Marketing.

Only 19 of 60 guests turned theirs in…..which is a message into itself for perhaps another time.

Want to know what they replied? Tune in tomorrow for the results.

Exercises like this, quick in nature, very telling and insightful in resulting input, are great highly economical market research.

See, people think marketing is expensive, before they inquire with a true pro who, first of all asks them questions and gets the proper lay of the landscape. Then the two dig in together, marketing pro and business person.

The replies made me nod my head, shake my head, and laugh out loud with – thankfully – not too much WTF?!

For participating actively, I’m giving them all a special certificate to apply towards future marketing services. In my world, participation deserves recognition and reward. I appreciate their input, time and attention. And now I get to look forward to working with them.

What Do Mustang Sally And Elizabeth Gilbert Have In Common?

“All you wanna do is ride around Sally / Ride, Sally, ride…”

You’ve likely heard the familiar refrain from the Wilson Pickett original, Mustang Sally. It’s catchy and now I hope it’s in your head from a while…

That song implanted in your head (you’re welcome), I found myself dancing around my house to pump-me-up-for-the-day music thinking about the day thinking, “Hmmmm…I think this song and the TED talk I watched early this morning by Elizabeth Gilbert are absolutely connected.”

How so, you ask? Glad you asked.

Here’s how: Elizabeth stands firm on the ground of her deep and nothing-else-matters-as-much love for writing. Sally apparently wants nothing else or more than to ride around in her ’66 Mustang. An unerring vision of what they both want to pursue so do with a singular focus that no one, including themselves, can interrupt.

It was a prescient connection to start my day. See, I’m in the very beginning throes of writing my first book. I harbor no romantic visions of Writing A Book – it’s simply a project whose time has come. And I’ve been waiting for the inspiration. Today it was reinforced. The motivation finally came a few months ago when a close frolleauge of mine suggested I write the book during a discovery session, as a bridge project she said – it’ll help get you from here to there. Agreed. And it clicked.

So with a nod to Elizabeth and Wilson and Sally, figure out what your singular focus is for the time being. Like Badass Jen Sincero coaches, you can pick something else later, yet choose one thing right now and really give it your all. Bust down your own barriers and get to it.

Everything is possible. Elizabeth is right and write.


What’s Your Business Lineage?

When you pause to look at where you came from, what do you see? What’s your business lineage?

I’m talking about the path you took to get where you are. What’s that look like, what will you mimic moving forward, what will you change looking back, and why does it all matter to what you’re doing now?

Asking yourself questions helps keep you clear on the why and how you market yourself and your business. Start with your vision statement. This isn’t some pithy looks-good-formally-printed-on-the-conference-room-wall detritus.

I’m talking: what does your success actually look like? What’s the vision you see? And therefore how will you execute it? What steps are necessary to get there?

Barbara Tyler and Simon Sinek both tell us similar stories. Being clear on what you think you want, getting there, and the

Barbara in between Ginger & Dana

Barbara (m) with Ginger (l) & Dana (r).

characteristics and Things That Need To Happen to get there are key.

My lineage includes the following: Public school teaching, hardware retail, pet food store, artisan bread store, sporting goods retail, volunteering aplenty, then…my own businesses. First the little pillow company, then Snap! Creative Works, then/still Women Enjoying Beer, now Ginger Johnson….and there will likely be more ahead…

In fact, someone got in touch with me today and had questions about my other active business, Women Enjoying Beer (here’s my public reply). Thanks for the inspiration, Amy!

While the vision specific to the different businesses have changed, my core values have been steady, interestingly enough. Education, entertainment, adding value (not crap), and having fun.

I can see all of these things.

What do you see?

Business Cornerstones

In cleaning files this week, I came across this list I wrote in 2009. It all still stands true.

Business Cornerstones

  • Use commemorative stamps.
  • Always use live engaged people to answer the phone. If nothing else a message service that is easily accessible and navigable.
  • Always say Thank you with a genuine smile and if possible handshake.
  • Network relentlessly
  • What are your cornerstones?

    What are your cornerstones?

    Always have business cards on you – in all jackets and bags too

  • Always be open to feedback and analysis
  • Laugh lots
  • Provide complementary value added services to the products and service you are selling
  • Make all people whom you encounter feel important.
  • No competing against friends
  • Focus on core products
  • Keep an open mind
  • Always question
  • Read constantly

I made note of this feature too – since at the time I had a public office.

“Building has to have operable windows and lots of sunlight – via windows and /or sunroof/solatubes”

Cornerstones are concepts you build your business and life upon. Go ahead and make your starter list now.