Why help, not hype is smart marketing by Moe Abdou

In the August, 2013 issue of Fast CompanyDrew Greenblatt, CEO of Marlin Steel company in Baltimore, MD, was profiled to demonstrate that manufacturing innovation in America is alive and well.  In 1998, Greenblatt bought this tiny company to do one thing; build wire bagel baskets, which bagel stores used to display their product. 

His focus was singular, the competition was thin and the profit margin was healthy.  With 18 employees, this lifestyle business did a respectable $800,000 a year in sales – but, that didn't last long.  Within five years, Chinese manufacturers started to produce the same baskets for half the cost, making it nearly impossible for Marlin to compete.  In a flash, the bagel clients were gone and Drew was faced with the daunting task of keeping the doors opened...until Boeing called with a strange request.  He listened, reinvented Marlin and turned a $500 order in 2003 into a $7 million thriving business today.

His formula: evolve with your customer; which is exactly the winning strategy that marketing maven, Jay Baer advocates in his book, Youtility.  It all starts with being useful.  Jay describes his six-step process ——

Further Reading
  • eero Designs Wi-Fi for the Smart Home Era — Nikhil Basu Trivedi, Principal at Shasta Ventures, recently distinguished exceptional founders by their ability to prioritize. “It all comes back to prioritization, speed, paranoia, and knowing that if you don’t iterate, even after finding product market fit, you can be disrupted by the next product,” he says.
  • How Marketers Can Adapt to the Attention Economy — When LiveIntent CMO Suneet Bhatt described email as our digital passports, it clicked. “Our emails have gone from a place where we receive messages online to the way we identify ourselves,” he explained. In thinking about my own inbox, I completely agree. Whether it’s the First Round Review emails or a newsletter from one of the brands I follow, like Lunya or Parachute, I await my weekly updates.
  • Eight Tactics to Brainstorm, Plan, and Execute Your Next Content Strategy — Whenever I think of exceptional content, First Round Review is always first to come to mind. Whether I’m learning hiring strategies from Mike Curtis, VP of Engineering at Airbnb, or gaining insight into product management from Jack Krawczyk, Pandora’s VP of Product, reading the Review is an essential part of my week.

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