What marketing is not…

Some people just do not know marketing. They think they know but they really don’t. Take one of our clients. He called our office and said he wanted to do some marketing. He said he wants permission to use our logo on some materials he plans to hand out to his cutomers.

My response: “Sure. What are the materials?”
His response: “Office pens and nightlights.”
Me: “Nightlights?”
Him: “Yeah, nightlights… for the kids.”
Me: …long pause…

For the record, I work for an Internet business referral company. Why a nightlight? When will people learn that marketing is more than just simply putting a logo on anything and everything. Putting a logo on a pen is not marketing – it’s simply putting a logo on a pen.

I denied his request for a nightlight.

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14 Responses to “What marketing is not…”


  1. 1 B-Dubs August 9, 2007 at 10:45 am

    A Nightlight?!? Brilliant! Then the logo could be blasted on the opposite wall like the Bat Signal…. wait hold on a sec…

    What… The logo would be backwards?!?

    We’ll that’s not gonna work then….

    How about… Pillowcases! Yes then our logo is the last thing you see before you go to bed!

  2. 2 communicateit August 9, 2007 at 10:52 am

    You mean you’ve never gotten up in the middle of the night to use the restroom and been inspired by your night light to get on the internet and become a lead for somebody?

  3. 3 Michael August 9, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    Good one!

    One reason why I like you guy; you both have a witty sense of humor!

  4. 4 Hampton August 14, 2007 at 8:06 am

    Hold on. . .while it’s an easy target to dog this guy a little, I would ask this. How many clients do you have? How many are currently taking the time to think of ways to utilize your company’s logo? I would bet not many. So let’s give the guy props for even trying. Secondly, is it really that terrible of an idea? Granted it’s not great but for those of us with kids? They use nightlights and while it’s not going to get him any new business, it would probably make an existing client appreciate his thoughtfulness and creativity. It’s not a pen. It’s a nightlight. It’s not that bad of an idea.

    While I agree it’s not marketing. . .what does it hurt?

  5. 5 ben4rest August 14, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    I lean on the side of Hampton on this one. When people hand out promotional items such as pens, I only take notice of what is on that item initially. After that, I just see a pen and not what is advertised on it. I have tons of pens.

    If you hand me a nightlight, I’m not going to forget it. Do you know why? Because you are the only one to have ever given me a nightlight. Then, in the blink of an eye, every time I see a nightlight, I will think “remember the guy that gave me a night light with [logo] on it?”

    Test it on yourself, next time you see a nightlight you’ll remember this conversation.

    Nightlights – it’s a bright idea!

  6. 6 Kanuj August 23, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    Great posts and great blog. Its interesting to read the blog posts which truly give an insight into the marketing world. I am from the Queen’s School of Business and while searching for some content for my marketing course reached your website.

    Keep up the good work!

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    Thanks for the kind comment Kanuj! I hope you keep returning!

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Who am I ?

My name is Michael Morton. I believe in bringing energy and professionalism into the office, that knowledge is power, that leadership trumps management, that customers are more influential than advertisements, that content is king, and that two heads are better than one. I currently lead the marketing efforts of the Strategic Alliances department of my company. Let’s talk marketing!

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