AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerThe Farmer (offline) and the Cowhand (online) Can be Friends

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The Farmer (offline) and the Cowhand (online) Can be Friends

I was in Oklahoma! in high school. There was a song in the play that reminded me of today’s online-offline battle. The song was “The Farmer and the Cowman.” The song goes, “Oh the farmer and the cowman should be friends…One man likes to push a plow, the other likes to chase a cow, but that is no reason why they can’t be friends. Territory folks should stick to together…”Yin Yang

Remi Abbas, in an article title “Get Ready for Digital Experience to Move Offline,” argues that we must move to a “blending of online and offline.” He calls for a multidimensional experience: Brands must not worry about scale so much, but create a “richer experience…with fuller resonance.”

We must think beyond the offline and online “zones.” The virtual world shows up in our real world and the real world shows up in the virtual world. Avoiding one or the other causes a disturbance in experience. My financial institution keeps pushing the digital experience. The problem is there is no emotional satisfaction. I only know them through the help line. I saw a recent bank ad campaign stating, “I love my bank.” That is a strong emotion for tech-only delivery.

We must meld the two worlds: We need to stop talking about the divide between the two. Marketing needs all the tools to make sure people feel a true affinity for an organization. They must care about you and what you sell (products, services, ideas or nonprofit missions). It’s the Yin and Yang—seemingly opposite forces which are actually complementary, interconnected and interdependent.

So the online and offline can be friends. Marketing folks should stick together, marketing folks (online and offline) must all be friends.  We need the duality of experience to move our organizations forward.

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.