AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerThe Otto’s Place Way to Engagement

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The Otto’s Place Way to Engagement

There are times when you just know you have encountered something special. I had one of those experiences at Otto’s Place in Galena, Ill. Otto’s Place is not on the main drag where all the tourists congregate. It is near the old train station and the Ulysses Grant memorial (Grant was born in Galena).20151114_113650

The food was fantastic (the pancakes were my personal favorite and the egg taco was a first for me), but what struck me was the public publication of their philosophy and commitment to an experience. Not only was their philosophy in writing, it was apparent in the building, the employees and vibe.

You can write all you want, but if you can’t deliver, you develop a brand gap: That is the space between what you think and say you are and what you deliver.

When everyone is talking engagement, it is nice to actually see it in action. And I really like the taste of Otto’s engagement.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.