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An Interview with Marketing Guru Kim T. Gordon

I recently interviewed marketing guru Kim T. Gordon. Gordon is the author of what I consider the best book on shoestring marketing that I have read (Maximum Marketing, Minimum Dollars). She is also the president of National Marketing Federation, Inc., and provides marketing consultation for businesses (
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Part 2: You Could Learn a Lot from a Fairy Godmother: How Disney Renewed my Faith in Loyalty and Marketing

I recently was fortunate enough to sit in on a Disney Institute session on loyalty. Not knowing what to expect, I was shocked and delighted when a fairy godmother descended on the room (or rather burst through the doors) and began spouting off interesting information about Disney.


Of all the meetings I have ever attended, I have to say, this is the one that I will always remember.

But aside from all the wing and bling she spread around the room, I learned a lot about how Disney does marketing. My respect for the company has grown tenfold since the meeting.
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Part 1: ATTN CEO: 4 Signs Your Customers Hate You, and How you could learn from a Fairy.

Here are 4 questions to ask yourself when it comes to your relationship with your customers:

1. Are your most profitable customers those who have the most reason to be dissatisfied with you?

2. Do you have rules that you want customers to break because doing so generates profits?

3. Do you make it difficult for customers to understand or abide by your rules, and do you actually help customers break them?

4. DO you depend on contracts to prevent customers from defecting?
If you answered “yes” to any of the four questions, your company may be engaged in what an article, “Companies And The Customers Who Hate Them” in the Harvard Business Review calls “adversarial value-extracting strategies.”

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How Much Does It Cost To Get Martha Stewart To Say Whatever You Want?

Here’s a heck of a deal: For only $250,000, Martha Stewart will personally shill your product on her show. She even promises to “work in an advertiser’s talking points.” If you don’t have that much dough, you can grab a “one-time in-show oral mention with product close-up” for only $100,000. (wow)

Marketing Genius or Desperate Act?

Now, I personally don’t care for the Queen of Craft. I didn’t before her vacation in prison. My first reaction to this article was, “Hah! She must be desperate. How pathetic.” But then I thought about it. I think this is generating such a buzz because it’s a public call for advertising. But what do you think happens on sitcoms when that Pepsi can is strategically placed to show its branding? Or a character laces up his Nikes?

Product placement filled the place of commercials when we stopped paying attention to them. Only now, we’re not paying attention to television product placement, but rather online tools like YouTube.

Let her promote toilet scrubbers and doilies. You can bet the companies that take Martha up on that offer will see their sales skyrocket as a result. Despite my personal feelings about her, she is a proven money maker and tastemaker.

Maybe next time she should make a YouTube video.