10 Marketing Lessons You Can’t Learn From Walmart

This post originally appeared in our November '12 issue of “Live Report from the Future of Marketing,” our monthly Post-Advertising newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

I’m not ashamed to admit that one of my favorite movies is You’ve Got Maila complete rip-off of Sleepless in Seattle, even using the same lead actors (Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan). Ryan’s character runs a small independent bookshop in Manhattan, while Hanks’s character is opening a large retail bookstore with low prices (if only he’d known how technology would change the way we read) just down the block.

In the late 1990s, when the movie was made, this was a common story line. What were small businesses going to do when Borders, Walmart, Kmart and Target moved into town? How could they compete with rock-bottom prices and one-stop shopping?


Follow That Ad! Geo-Based Marketing Takes Over Your City

You know who takes cabs in New York? The rich and the drunk. And tourists. Can't forget about them. Basically, the audience the Blue Man Group is looking for! So next time your taxi takes you through the East Village, don’t be surprised if an ad for its Astor Place show pops up on the rear-facing screen. Marketers are beginning to capitalize on in-cab, location-based advertising to dictate when and where their commercials should air.

Marketing and NYC’s 10-second Rule

There's an understood rule in New York City when it comes to stuff left out on the streets: If it goes unattended for 10 seconds, it's yours for the taking. Minneapolis-based furniture company Blu Dot had some fun recently and dispatched a well-orchestrated street team to place 25 of the brand’s Real Good chairs around town for passersby to take.

Find the Stash to Get Your Wings

Red Bull has long soared above the competition with real-world branding experiences—like Flugtag, which every year sends people plummeting into flying over large bodies of water. For its recent campaign, Red Bull abandoned the air for the web in an e-scavenger hunt promo.