Marketing Monday – Reality vs the Industry Lies

The Skinner Barn, Waitsfield, Vermont

The Skinner Barn, Waitsfield, Vermont

This was a fun weekend. My wife’s best friend got married in a beautiful Vermont Barn in the town we currently reside. Since she was in the wedding I went to the rehearsal dinner Friday night which had about 24 people ages 21 to 65. Saturday was the wedding with 120 people. Sunday was football at the In-Laws.

One thing my peers don’t do is live in reality. I read so many stories about how people use their phones and how important mobile is and how everyone is 24/7 on social media. But then I never see this in real life. Not at restaurants, the mall, stores, out and about. But every week I see infographics telling a different story. So here is my weekend of observances.

Millennials are connected 24/7


But they are not. Friday night. No one was on their smart phones Facebooking or Twittering. So I asked about that. The basic answer was most don’t use Twitter and those who use Facebook don’t really use it on their phones very much. SMS was the favorite choice for communicating between friends.

Saturday the wedding. Many people used their phones to take photos and videos. No one was on their phones using Twitter and Facebook. My wife is much younger than me (yay for me). The 20 or so 21-27 year olds including 7 of them at our table? None of them were on their smart phones except we did check the Bama v Texas A&M game score twice. I asked how often they used their phones for shopping and was told ‘sometimes’. But yesterday my wife’s friends did post some photos on Facebook. But we did not.

I met a really nice gentleman name Patrick. He is a farmer originally from Philadelphia. He also has a soft pretzel business. He knows many owners of small – medium Vermont businesses (great contact for me) from my favorite coffee brand the Vermont Coffee Company to the owner of the Red Hen Baking Company. We talked marketing and social media. I explained how the Vermont Coffee Company has so many passionate customers but they do so little with social media. And while I feel they are missing out on a great way to bond with some of these people, their business is exploding….WITHOUT SOCIAL MEDIA! They don’t even have an SEO program yet they have so much business online from out of state.

What’s in a name?


Paul told me that when Paul the Owner of VCC registered the name, he was approached by Robert Stiller who founded Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to buy the name from him. He declined. Very interesting the company name combined with a best in class product trumps all social media and digital marketing for growing his company.

Yesterday my Mother in Law Valerie was watching Finding Nemo on TV with my 2.4 yr old daughter. My friend Vinny Warren and the folks at Adland.TV will appreciate this. She was explaining to my daughter was a TV Commercial is.

It is a video that lies to you so you hopefully buy something.

Hmmmm. Not sure I ever saw that description from AdAge or Ad Week.

Lastly a sad story about a 12 yr old who committed suicide from online social network bullying.

But the interesting thing I saw on the news was she wasn’t on Facebook or on Twitter. It was actually via Apps like SnapChat that connect people privately. And that surprised me immensely. It proves that the big networks have a problem. Why is the age group supposedly so willing to expose their lives publicly using private networks to talk? This is NOT something the industry Trade Publications ever discuss.

Bullying is bad. I have seen plenty of horrible comments on Youtube.  I don’t have an answer other than kids are mean and why do we enable them to be even more mean? Having a young daughter it concerns me the world she will be growing up in. As a parent I am not sure I will give her the keys to any social media networks until she is graduating high school.

Dear Lili this is called a Phone. Yes you actually talk to people. Something we used to do back in the day. Oh your friends don’t have phones? Then you can call your Dad whenever you want. I have one.

And that folks is reality. But the reality won’t make money for Ad Agencies or Social Media Wonks will it? The moral of this post is don’t believe what you read when it comes to marketing bloggers and trade publications. Believe what you see and hear in the real world. Look around you. Ask people how they like to communicate and how they use technologies. Then when you need to hire a marketer have that at the ready. Instead of the marketer telling you what your customers do… tell them that. This way they can tailor strategies and tactics to use that fit your customer’s reality.

About Howie Goldfarb

Howie Goldfarb

Also playfully known as the Chief Alien of Blue Star Strategic Marketing, Howie Goldfarb relishes his role as an industry outsider. With 20 years of Sales, Marketing, and Business Operations experience founded Blue Star Strategic Marketing to serve as the objective and strategic adviser of brands to help them grow and thrive.

His Degree in Finance givess him a CFO’s view to marketing, bringing a dose of reality to the confusing world of jargon, spin, and hype. After a 14-year career in direct B2B industrial sales Howie decided to lighten up his dreary work life and move into consumer advertising and marketing. Now he champions up and coming Consumer Brands.

Formerly an Angelino and New Yorker, he currently lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont and is still seeking his first moose sighting. His passions are his family, community, art, music, and the outdoors, He tries to cook, has been known to hunt Fiddleheads and loves the Vermont Fresh Network and other sustainability initiatives like farm to table and buying local.