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One-Minute MarketerThe King of Memes

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Elon Must Meme

The King of Memes

Elon Musk is the absolute king of memes. He even has his own “meme dealer.”

What Elon Musk has done is create a promotional powerhouse made up of memes. He doesn’t seem to need to spend a dollar on advertising, because his memes (the ones he does and the ones his fans do) become viral and sell Teslas and the brand of Elon Musk. Some have called him a “meme-sharing eccentric.” Yet to marketers, he is a meme-sharing genius.

Elon Must Meme

One of the many memes that Mr. Musk probably loves and thanks his lucky stars are viral.

What is a meme? Webster actually has a definition if you were wondering, “meme \MEEM\ noun. 1 : an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture. 2 : an amusing or interesting item (such as a captioned picture or video) or genre of items that is spread widely online especially through social media.”

I’m not going to get into the etymology, but its first use was as mineme in 1976 (What!? It’s not really a new word?) and it was then shortened to meme.

The most difficult part of memes is that they need to be funny, disrespectful and a little weird. Plus, you have no control over what others will do with memes they make about you. But that is viral, kid.

What do all of these memes mean? Money. Mr. Musk just points to his sales and stock price when people ask about his meme marketing. It’s a new age. I wonder how he will be marketing his Mars mission with memes.

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.

With that kind of experience, after working at KWWL for 12 years, Mark became one of the founding partners of ME&V and, subsequently, AMPERAGE. Today, he leads the AMPERAGE creative teams, including video production, graphic design, public relations, writing and web development.

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.