AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerIf I Open Will They Come?

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If I Open Will They Come?

“If you build it, he will come.” If you’ve watched the movie Field of Dreams or you are from Iowa, you know the quote. The “he” is Shoeless Joe Jackson. And he will come if you build a baseball field in a cornfield. Today from restaurants to hospitals all are asking a similar question, “If I open will they come?” Sorry We're Open Sign

The answer from research is not right away. Revive Health from Nashville, conducted research that found 90% of people with acute healthcare needs are experiencing “debilitating fear” and are “paralyzed” by that fear to go back to a healthcare facility for the care they need.

Morning Consult conducted a poll and found that:

  • 70% of US citizens will not eat in a restaurant for 2 to 6+ months
  • 55% will not attend a movie for 2 to 6+ months
  • 53% will not attend a religious event for 2 to 6+ months
  • 45% will not attend a work conference for 2 to 6+ months

It will take time for all us all to get more comfortable with the new normal. And our marketing will need to help alleviate fear and reassure people at a high level. The research shows that people want to know how you are specifically social distancing, how you are minimizing the risk of contact with staff and how you are sanitizing.  And you can’t just say we are cleaning; people want to know down to the smallest detail what you are specifically doing to keep them safe.

True, it is difficult to know through research what people will do in the future. But right now there is a great deal of hesitation and fear concerning COVID-19. If you open and you tell people in great detail how you are keeping them safe, then they just might come. Before they will come to a baseball stadium they will need hand sanitize dispensers, information on sanitizing, thermometer screenings, half seats sold, masks, no lines for entry, pre-packaged delivered concessions…

You clean message is some much bigger than your messaging: Your proof of performance will need to continue throughout the experience in word and deed.


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.