GroundFloor Media has the honor of working with Qdoba Mexican Grill as their public relations agency of record, and Carissa and I had the opportunity to attend Qdoba’s annual “Mind Meld” marketing meetings in Phoenix last week. The biggest “industry trend” tackled during the conference was non-traditional marketing, and attendees were asked to read the book “Punk Marketing” by Richard Laermer and Mark Simmons in advance. Richard and Mark were also the guest speakers on the first day of the Mind Meld.
I found “Punk Marketing” to be an interesting read. My favorite part is that the authors give you permission – even encourage you – to read the book in whatever order most interests you (not from front to back). I was able to skip around and pull out the pieces most relevant to me, which was very helpful. A couple of things stuck out that I’d like to share.
First, the stats on page 134 about consumer distrust of marketing are staggering. The authors share that “less than a quarter of consumers think companies tell the truth when they market” and that only “10 percent think advertising practitioners are honest.” This points us to what the authors surmise and what Seth Godin continually shares: marketing efforts must be honest. Messages and claims must be truthful. As a PR practitioner, I’m fortunate that GroundFloor Media is based on the principle of partnering with clients who have great stories to tell. Being honest is easy for me. I wish the same for my colleagues in the industry because it sure makes the job rewarding!
The other tidbit I’d like to share from “Punk Marketing” isn’t brain surgery, but it’s an “ah ha” that I think we all need to be reminded of in this busy, multi-task-driven society in which we live. As the authors aptly note, in age when we’re all connected through mobile phones and BlackBerries and e-mail and social networks, “no one is communicating anymore.” They provide some very simple, valid tips on page nine that I think we could all benefit from. My three favorites are:-#3 “During dinner, just sit there. Put down the device and pay attention to the person you’re with…”-#7 “If you’re asked a question, put everything down! Give undivided attention…”and-#4 “Do yourself a favor and don’t prove yourself a bad speller…” (those who know me will not be surprised that this one landed on my list)
If you’re looking for a good read, I can recommend “Punk Marketing,” and if you only have limited time to read, like most of us, I recommend starting with the tips on page nine. And for my fellow PR practitioners, I’d then skip to chapter nine. The rest is up to you.