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Newsletter #833: The “Use the Stuff You Already Have” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Smart, scrappy marketers aren’t looking for bigger budgets — they’re looking for the great stuff they already have that can get people talking. A few things you should explore:

1> Your data
2> Your expertise
3> Your atmosphere
4> Check it out: What your local mall looked like in 1989

1> Your data

All that data you’re tracking, analyzing, and monitoring could be a word of mouth gold mine. It turns out, for example, that not only is LinkedIn a great networking community, but it’s also a treasure trove of sociological data. With just a little digging, they can find some really interesting trends among their 100 million users — such as the most common names for CEOs (it’s Peter for guys, and Deborah for girls). And that’s just the beginning. With their endless data, they’ve got a seemingly infinite supply of word of mouth topics.

The lesson: You’re probably already putting a lot of work into tracking, studying, and monitoring — so why not use it to get people talking?

Learn more: Fast Company

2> Your expertise

Any successful business has expertise in something. And whatever industry you’re in, someone would love to learn from you. At Sunkist, they’ve created an educational web series on how citrus fruits are grown. It’s a unique behind the scenes look at a process that few customers ever consider — and it does more to show how Sunkist works with the environment than a 30-second ad ever could.

The lesson: If you’re hiding your expertise from the world out of fear of the competition, how are we supposed to know you’re an expert?

Learn more: Drug Store News

3> Your atmosphere

If you’ve got a great culture or atmosphere, share it with the world. You could publish a book on it (like that Zappos guy), or you could go a little more basic and try what Austin’s Skinny’s Ballroom bar does: They stream whatever band is playing live on their website — or if no band is playing, they’ll stream whatever is on their jukebox. It’s a pretty simple concept, but they might just have the only bar website people will actually visit.

The lesson: A great atmosphere can be contagious and inspiring — even for those who can’t be there to experience it first-hand.

Learn more: Skinny’s Ballroom

4> Check it out: What your local mall looked like in 1989

Remember denim jackets, excess flannel, and when smoking while shopping with the kids was the norm? For a flashback, check out this project exploring hundreds of photos of malls across America from 1989.

Check it out: Kickstarter


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