We all learn a lot from our mums. I am only just realising how much.
I’ll explain what I mean.
My mum had five kids and worked in my dad’s grocery store and post office. When they retired she started entering competitions (like you find on the back of a cereal packet.) She was really good at it and started winning. Small at first, then bigger and bigger.
Soon the prizes, like the car,the holiday to New York, the year’s supply of dog food, were no longer her goal. She was far more excited by the mechanics of the thing. How do you win? If it’s all about marketing, then what kind of slogans do the judges want to hear?
After many days spent writing endless slogans and rhymes, on thousands of postcards, she started to work out what would catch the judges’ eye and much more besides.
Soon she was submitting expert articles to a small publication on competitions and competitors. The articles became more frequent and she opened a ‘clinic’ for people struggling with their technique. She was invited to speak at competitors clubs and appeared on radio, TV and in the newspapers. Her articles were bundled together into a book and sold at clubs and through specialist magazines. Eventually in a spirit of reaching out to her community she offered to write bespoke slogans for people, in return for a book of stamps. People won cars and holidays and were very grateful.
Just remember, this was all happening in the infancy of internet marketing. Chris Brogan was still at school.
To cut a long story short, my mother did not become a millionaire, although she deserved to and when competitions went online, she felt she was too old for it and packed it in.
But what a brilliant pioneer!
She instinctively understood the importance of having a niche.
She identified a need and met it.
She never had to go in for the hard sell. Anything she sold for money was in response to demand from her readers. She went round the country speaking to her tribe and when they needed her she reached out with a product or service that fitted the bill.
This is how we do business in the 21st Century. It’s a marketing model we can all recognize.
My mum is dead now and I don’t think I gave her proper recognition at the time, for the great job that she did. So, well done mum!