One Misfit Marketer's Journey


Reflecting on my career and the unique path I've carved out in the marketing world, a thought struck me: What does it truly mean to be a misfit marketer?

In a world plastered with ads that scream for attention, the misfit marketer whispers—and the market leans in to listen. It's not about louder; it's about deeper. This is the art of turning the question mark into a key, unlocking doors to insights that others don't even see. Let's take a journey through the times my off-the-wall questions didn’t just find answers; they opened real possibilities.

Chuck E. Cheese: Inviting the Neighborhood Over

Pondering over pizza slices, I thought, “What if Chuck E. Cheese's was your next-door neighbor?” We took the party to the streets, making every knock a welcome note into our world. Suddenly, every household felt like they were just a hop away from fun. Imagine today, crafting personal QR invitations that lead to a digital playground before you step into the real one.

UB Bank: Trust on the Airwaves

At UB Bank, it hit me: “What if trust could be transmitted?” Cue in a radio show that wasn’t about selling but telling—the stories of small businesses thriving. It turned listeners into believers. Now, think podcasts where every episode stitches the community closer, turning trust into a tangible tapestry.

Capella Education: Learning, Not from Scratch

Why should learners retread ground they’ve already covered? “What if we could map life's lessons into academic credits?” And so, FlexPath let students sprint through what they knew, turning experience into expedience. Fast forward: envision an AI mentor that tailors your learning journey in real-time, recognizing your skills from day one.

Activision: The Social Hunt

Gaming, like hunting, is a tribe affair. “What if video games were the modern-day campfires?” We turned a solo hunt into a party, and Cabela’s became a household name. Picture now, AR games that transform your living room into the heart of the wilderness, where every friend is a fellow adventurer.

Fingerhut: Believing in the Rebuilders

“It costs a lot to be poor”—this wasn’t just a thought; it was a revelation. “What if we could lighten that load?” By believing in those rebuilding their credit, we opened doors where others saw walls. Imagine a world where your shopping cart isn’t just filled with goods but with goodwill, measuring your financial growth not just in numbers but in new possibilities.

Novu Health: The Value of the Unengaged

In the healthcare loyalty game, I wondered, “What if the backbenchers were actually the VIPs?” By tailoring programs for the least engaged, we didn’t just engage; we transformed. Now, picture a health app that doesn’t nudge you but knows you, turning passive participants into active achievers.

New Frontiers in Misfit Marketing

  • Customized Nostalgia: “What if we could bottle up your happiest memory and let you relive it?” A service that crafts personalized nostalgia, using AI to recreate your fondest memories in virtual reality.
  • Sustainability Scorecards: “What if every product came with a story of its journey?” A digital ledger for every item, detailing its environmental footprint, making sustainability not just visible but verifiable.
  • Augmented Reality for Retail: “What if trying on didn’t need dressing rooms?” AR fitting rooms that allow you to try before you buy, from the comfort of your phone, turning every glance into a potential experience.
  • Social Media Time Travel: “What if you could see your future through social media?” A platform that projects your potential future posts, based on your habits and goals, blending motivation with imagination.

In the hands of a misfit marketer, every question is a quest, and every insight is an invitation to reimagine not just marketing, but how we connect, learn, and grow. It’s about crafting campaigns that don’t just catch eyes but capture hearts and minds. Here’s to the curious, the bold, and the misfits—may your questions always lead you to extraordinary answers.