Thursday, July 9, 2009

Stealth Marketing…my version part 7

For one thing, cell phones started becoming more common. Once the guys in suits stopped lining up to use the pay phones, my whole plan become ineffective. I recall one Intel Developer’s Forum were a brave marketer brought stacks of an article written by Maury Wright which was very critical of USB and cast doubts on the success of the upcoming USB 2.0. These reprints were scattered all around the phone banks but very few of them went home with people. No one was using the pay phones.

In retrospect, if I had been executing the same scheme, I would have placed guerrilla marketers all over the auditorium right before the keynote speech with a thick stack of these “anti USB” reprints. Everyone attended the keynotes. As soon as the keynote speaker started to talk, the guerrilla marketers would start passing the stacks of papers down the row. At the time, it was not at all uncommon for last minute announcements to be distributed during a keynote. The guerrilla marketers would take a reprint and pass the stack down as if they had nothing to do with it.

One thing I have learned from being involved in a number of seminars is that the people running the show are so busy, they cannot catch everything. The people who are participating do not question much. They just participate assuming it is OK with the people in charge or it is not their problem. If you spring something that people are not expecting, you can get away with it.

However, as the years have gone by, seminar and show organizers have started expecting the unexpected and have put safeguards in place to control things better. For one thing, they are losing money. I had a competitor ask me about handing out the notepads at pay phones. He asked me how much I paid for that sponsorship. I told him that there was no sponsorship. I just did it. I have noticed since then that more and more things have been brought under the umbrella of sponsorships that people need to pay big bucks to buy the rights to do.

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