Showing posts from July, 2013

The More Things Change…

Some people believe the world's first advertisement was created on a sidewalk in the ancient city of Ephesus. The photo below is of the ad, carved into the street. The etched left foot is a call to action for people to turn left. Depictions of a heart and a woman represent a brothel. So the ad says, "turn left here to find a brothel." Last week, I was in London and I saw the ad below. The arrow clearly lets us know there's a Subway just 20 seconds ahead. Isn't it incredible how the more things change, the more they stay the same? Add This To Your To-Do List The reason this type of advertising is still around today is because it's the most basic, fundamental, and important type of marketing communication a business can do. That's why it's the first marketing communication must-have I wrote about in my book : Utilize your physical location if you have a brick-and-mortar presence. That means putting a sign outside your business to let peo

How Metra Ruined Its Best Community Engagement Tool

For more than 25 years, Metra, the commuter railroad in the Chicagoland area, has had a wonderful newsletter called On the Bi-Level. It used to be a fantastic tool for interacting with riders. The newsletter is printed every month and distributed on each train in the system. The best two parts of the newsletter used to be: "Sounding Board" was a forum for riders to ask Metra questions. Metra would write back with hilarious, sometimes snarky, responses. "Sound Off" was by far the best newsletter feature. Riders would write in to complain about fellow riders. The stories they told were incredibly entertaining. Here's one of my favorite submissions, from an August 2006 letter (featured in the absolutely awesome 25th anniversary issue ): "Today I saw an all-time first. ...A young brunette began fumbling with her purse, pulled out a can of aerosol hair spray and began spraying her hair. The man behind her gagged a bit but no one said a word. Unbelievab