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Confessions of a Turkey Day Marketing Guerrilla

11/29/2010
Biscotti og kaffe

Image via Wikipedia

I didn’t intend to be a marketing guerrilla at the Thanksgiving table. In fact, so many friends at the table fight for peace and justice that discussing the challenges of ROI and e-commerce didn’t seem quite on par.

I brought some biscotti, a new Entemann’s product. Everyone was delighted to see the new product and several talked lovingly of making biscotti with their grandmothers. I mentioned the upscaling of our local store shelves since the arrival of Trader Joes.

Let the guerrilla marketing begin!

Then talk moved on to the battle of local independent grocers against the Trader Joes popping up on our coast.  Yes, yes first came the complaints about pushing out local businesses. Then each complained about the lines. But then, each person sheepishly mentioned one product they just couldn’t get elsewhere that sometimes made it worth the wait.

We moved to the parlor for after-dinner conversation. The TV ads sparked Black Friday complaints and criticisms of stores opening on Thanksgiving morning.  I self-righteously supported retailer P.C. Richards. By word-of-mouth, I heard they remained closed and ran announcement ads to state their message and descry other retailers for opening on America’s closest thing to a holy day. We all expressed disappointment in iconic American brands like Sears — even if it was for morning-only madness.

Always the guest to return the conversation to a lighter note, I mentioned something I had also heard about, Small Business Saturday. The event had just the kind of grassroots sound that went with Thanksgiving. You see, I grew up in a town where the main intersection was “Main and Washington” and the two biggest stores were Woolworth’s and a ladies fashion store launched and managed by a female entrepreneur in the Great Depression.

On to Saturday, I went and visited the small shops along an almost gentrified street, complete with a crafts collective and a Starbucks. Later that day, to my Facebook eyes did appear a nephew’s “like” for a Small Business Saturday sponsored by American Express Open Forum.  As I seconded his like, it hit me: I was a Turkey Day marketing gorilla/guerilla!

Without knowing about the Facebook campaign or the sponsorship by American Express, I had opted in emotionally and became a holiday shopping evangelist on Thanksgiving Day. So while Sears opened their doors, I had simply opened my mouth.

What’s your experience of word-of-mouth marketing and/or guerilla marketing?

Is there a product you learned from a friend without knowing about the brand push behind it? Or have you mentioned something yourself only to find out later the push behind your words? Please post your comments here, share with a friend, or bookmark and save.

Best, E.

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