Hot Dog Marketing

While we always try to have informative and engaging speakers for our quarterly Lunch & Learns, we certainly received a bonus in the local celebrity of Hot Dog Mike (@hotdog_mike). In continuing with our theme of True Confessions – Real Life Stories of Marketers in the Digital Age, Mike had the daunting task of addressing our fourth marketing point – Something Blue.

No, he was not going to talk to attendees about anything that was particularly depressing.  Instead, he was going to share his experiences using social media (Facebook  and Twitter) to promote and grow his business. How is this something blue?  You see, both Facebook and Twitter icons are blue in color.

Any good marketer knows that one of the first rules of engagement is Know Thy Audience.  In other words, who fits your demographic  profile?  When posed with that question, interestingly enough, Hot Dog Mike responded, “My demographic is shockingly, everybody.”  Man, woman, child.  Politicians, lawyers, musicians, student, librarian, police officer.  You name it, they (we) all gotta eat, right?

So how and why did he use social media to engage with this vast demographic audience?  Surprisingly, in the beginning, Mike wasn’t a big fan of social media.  But he did realize that in order to promote his product (in other words, he needed to market), he had to use a mechanism to help spread the word about what he was all about. And social media tools fit that need. 

Takeaway point – communicate your message using the tools that your target audience prefers to use.

Mike also realized that social media was an excellent tool to use for listening to his prospects, and his potential audience. And because it is a conversation, a dialogue, Mike used this tool to engage with his audience. 

Takeaway point – A successful marketer must use available channels to engage, interact, and react with his or her audience.

After establishing his internet presence using Facebook and Twitter, Mike began using these tools in a manner that fit his personality.  Yes, he is certainly about food, but he is also about his community, and he was looking for ways to incorporate ways to use his food truck to give back to the community. Again, his engagement with his audience allowed him to achieve these objectives.  Mike explains “my brand is me,” so all things related to social marketing are handled by Mike himself.  That way he is certain that it has his look, his voice, his feel.

Takeaway point – In matters of social media marketing, be yourself. Be transparent.  People generally prefer to engage with a person as opposed to a brand.

So there you have it, marketers in today’s digital age continue to use Something Old (direct mail), Something New (QR codes, pURLS), Something Borrowed (communications) and Something Blue (social media) in a variety of ways to ensure their success.  Cross media and multi-channel marketing tools provide for more effective ways to help you Market Smarter.


Paul Strack, CustomXM


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