Marketing Genius

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Be My Eyes: The Only App I’ll Ever Ask You to Download


Marketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.


Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 5.37.19 PMThis might be the grandest, most elaborate call-to-action I’ve ever written.

My brother Brandon just turned 30 years old the other day. He’s two years my junior, or seemingly just one year in January and February. Well, seemingly, he’s many years my junior because Brandon is blind, has cerebral palsy, and is developmentally challenged—which I refuse to call mental retardation because nobody knows how to use that word correctly anymore.

Until he and I are a billion years old, I’m his big sister, and I protect him fiercely.

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 5.35.15 PMI always tell people that Brandon is the happiest kid you’ll ever meet, even though at thirty years old you should probably stop calling people “kid.” It doesn’t make a difference to him though, cause the only things that make Brandon sad are a lack of mashed potatoes in the house, and not having enough time to do a full cycle of the dishwasher before he goes out.

Since Brandon can’t see with his eyes, he sees the world in other ways, through every type of music, and the sound of a dishwasher going through the soak, wash and dry cycles. Interrupt those and you’ll get a long, “awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Dangit!”

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Marketing Genius: 5 Blog-Based Tourism Marketing Strategies From Beau Wine

A damn good water park.

That’s the first thing you’d need if you were courageous (and crazy) enough to open a new one in Wisconsin Dells – The Waterpark Capital of the World® – and hoped to survive even one week up against the likes of Mount Olympus, Noah’s Ark, and the Kalahari.

But in a crowded niche, you’d also need some damn good tourism marketing strategies to make a real splash.

A favorite company of ours can teach you a few of those. Beau Wine Tours’ travel service centers on transportation for visiting oenophiles in Napa Valley, one of the planet’s great wine capitals. There are no slides or wave pools, but, as in the Dells, there’s a lot of liquid. So, how did Beau stay float, separate themselves, and flourish in the sea of competition? First, they offered a premium product, of course.

Then, they started attracting customers by developing an audience for their blog. Let’s take a look at some of their groundwork.

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Marketing Genius: Borracha Knows How to Sell Wine Products With a Strong Blog


Marketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.


Maybe it’s just because I’m writing this in the middle of a Wine Wednesday afternoon at BuzzFarmers during the holidays, but California-based Borracha is making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

In general, I consider myself a fairly stoical guy, but the folks behind their blog are just so fun, smart, and informative. More importantly, we’ve been checking them out for a while now, and they keep cranking out admirable work week after week. They know that consistently high-quality posts can lead to consistently higher profits. They’ve mastered how to sell wine products – like their Wine Wipes – by creating content that any oenophile who knows a Jeroboam from an Imperial is looking for on the web.

We decided it was time for a cross-country shout-out.

A while back, we proved that even accounting firms can produce compelling, revenue-driving content. Before that, a Kentucky manufacturer of Flange Mount Mixers, Economy Tote Brackets, and Hydrofoil Impellers. Now, for our next trick, we reveal a company creating brand identity with a product whose primary purpose is to keep your chompers spotless when you’re boozing it up.

I mean, if I told you that a website with the domain name WineWipes.com was a paragon of business blogging, you would probably shoot back, “Uh, more like business grogging, am I right?!” But, no, I actually do mean blogging. These self-proclaimed “Thirsty Girls” are turning the battle against tooth discoloration into a clinic on attracting and converting an audience.

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Mixer Direct’s Creative Content Marketing Genius


Marketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.


In case you haven’t noticed, we’re unabashed business blog watchers here. Our idea of fun, whether at the office or in the privacy of our own homes – during our leisure time, no less – is checking out the latest leaps and bounds in creative content marketing.

That’s why we were doing back flips a few weeks ago after reading Mixer Direct Marketing Director Daniel Loeschen’s post on Wistia’s Community board. The full-service video hosting and analytics company counts us as a happy client, as they do Mixer Direct. With Wistia’s imprimatur, we knew Loeschen’s message from Louisville would be worth checking out, and we were richly rewarded.

“After trying an infographic about industrial mixing, videos about processing, and tweeting about motor horsepower, we quickly learned that people don’t care about it,” Loeschen notes. “How am I supposed to do content marketing for industrial mixing equipment in an industry that will never be popular unless something blows up or someone falls in a tank and gets chopped up?”

Funny, perceptive, and inspiring, the post goes on to discuss how Mixer Direct overcomes a challenging product to promote by asking their customers to participate in creative content marketing via video series. It’s not the first time this strategy has been employed, but the combination of quality, commitment, and effectiveness in Mixer Direct’s videos is rare indeed.

“We found out that if want to showcase what we can do as a company we need to show what our customers are doing and attach our name to it,” Loeschen writes.

“For instance, we have built mixing equipment for the National Algae Association who discovered that if they agitate their water, their algae can get the nutrients faster thus producing a higher yield, they then take that algae and somehow process it into useable fuel.”

And there are many more creative uses where that came from.

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Marketing Genius: Tools for Peace and Marketing to Young People


Marketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.


One of the most disturbing moments (of many) in the recently released Fed Up – a scathing documentary about the role of sugar in the rise of obesity in the United States – shows an exec from McDonald’s testifying before Congress.

When asked about the company’s advertising practices in marketing to young people, the exec doesn’t blink an eye.

“We don’t market to children,” she tells the committee in an unnerving monotone, as if brainwashed. “Ronald McDonald informs and inspires by magic and fun.”

Scary stuff. Hey, some mega-chains decide to do the right thing, and some don’t. Sometimes, it takes a nonprofit to teach them a little corporate responsibility – or at least set a good example for others.

Yes, McDonald’s makes trillions marketing to young people. Tools for Peace just makes the world a better place marketing to young people.

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Marketing Genius: Marriott Joins Publishing Brands With Multiplatform Content


Marketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.


Is Marriott the first company to pivot into content marketing and publishing? No way. Are they the first hotel chain to do so? Not necessarily, depending on your definition. But they’re definitely unique in the energy and resources (which, of course, as a corporate property, they have more of than most) that they’re investing in a push billed as an industry breakthrough.

After partnering with the likes of Fast Company, Mashable, and Wired on their “Travel Brilliantly” campaign earlier this year to pair sponsored content with prestige editorial, Marriott now counts itself among businesses transforming into publishing brands. As it turns out, they were just dipping their toe before diving in.

Their September 29 announcement of a new “global studio” says that it will include “content development, production and distribution teams – dedicated to publishing, distributing, and sharing digital and filmed content across film, television, online, digital, and print distribution platforms.”

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Marketing Genius: Exo’s Cricket Flour Power


Marketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.


A few months back, we all arrived early at the BuzzFarmers office – a cosmic occurrence in and of itself – to find a mysterious package sitting at our door.

We wondered what it was, of course, but we also wondered where it was from and who had sent it. Usually, we have the privilege of exchanging pleasantries with the UPS and FedEx folks bearing new books from industry iconoclasts, an exotic floral bouquet from yet another thrilled client, and paper bags of cash providing some cushion for a previously scheduled deposit of gold bullion, but this delivery was different.

For starters, it seemed to be humming. And not like your typical miniaturized-barbershop-quartet-singing-telegram-in-a-box type of humming, either. 

Each of us looked up and down the hallway. Each of us offered up a theory. Each of us was afraid to touch it. Each of us realized that we couldn’t enter our workplace without doing so.

So, Amanda, being our leader and the adventurous soul that she is, directed Napa the Dog to flip the parcel over onto its side, which he did without hesitation. The humming swelled, becoming an incessant chirp.

Everyone’s gasps of terror soon turned to shrieks of delight, as we saw the great mark of Quarterly. It could mean only one thing: Our Tim Ferriss Quarterly box had arrived, right on schedule. Napa demurely stepped back as the rest of us ripped into it with Bacchanalian zeal.

We lifted our heads, holding bars between our teeth.

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Marketing Genius: The CVS Rebranding Strategy


Marketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.


It’s not often that we shout out major corporate chains, but sometimes we gotta give credit where credit’s due. And since this company is our neighbor and a crucial driver of the economy here in Rhode Island, we feel like it’s especially justified.

CVS has had a busy and interesting 2014 so far. If you’re on their Christmas card list, brace for an epic family update. 

First, in February, they decided that all tobacco sales would cease in their stores by Oct. 1. This alone would have been a big enough shakeup to sustain, but earlier this summer, CVS also announced that the opiate-overdose deterrent Narcan would be available without a prescription.

Oh, right, and they changed the name of their business.

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Marketing Genius: San Francisco’s ForageSF Knows Storytelling in Business by Heart


Marketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.


During our recent work retreat in North Conway, N.H., our team hiked through the forest near Diana’s Baths. During the trip, my coworker Chris pointed out all of the mushrooms and flowers that were edible. While we were there, it reminded me of a childhood friend who’d explained to me which flowers taste like Fruity Pebbles – and also which plants were poisonous. Since finding food in the forest isn’t something I think of every day, I enjoyed our mountain treks, but soon stopped thinking about the nourishment that hides in plain sight.

That is, until I read a recent email from the San Francisco company ForageSF. An email that’s mostly about … whales?

No, ForageSF isn’t a whale-centric company; they consider themselves “a handmade community,” with classes and events, and even a kitchen where one can rent space. Their mission includes supporting San Francisco-local foragers and also the local food economy by teaching people how to find free food in the wild and also providing affordable cooking facilities.

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Marketing Genius: Startup Customer Service Done Right at HipChat


Marketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.


If communication leads to community, then BuzzFarmers has the strongest community known to man. We’re storytellers, so we have a lot to say (some more than others). Good discussion is at the core of the BuzzFarmers culture, and no topic is off limits.

We facilitate that discussion with one of the most popular apps in the BuzzFarmers office: the instant messenger tool HipChat. HipChat is a startup that offers free and paid private chat services for internal communication and collaboration. Unlike AIM, Google Talk, and Skype, HipChat was built for businesses.

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