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Chefs at Venetian

You Must Have A Tasty Story

The digital age and hyper-competition combine to spell doom for many businesses. Today, more than at any point in the past, you must have a compelling, engaging, intriguing story to tell.

Modern marketing does not survive with simple lines such as, “We have the best price, the best service and the best selection.” “We are a friendly company.” “We have been in business since 1978.”

Chefs at Venetian

The celebrity chefs at the Venetian Resorts in Las Vegas.

Hyperbole and a mixture of buzz words do little to sell today. A perfect example of this is opening a restaurant in Las Vegas. Todd-Avery Lenahan, Wynn’s president and chief creative officer of design and development, was quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying, Las Vegas is an incredibly competitive market…something has to have enough gravitas in our market.”

That’s why Vegas typically creates (or uses established) celebrity chefs. The story becomes less about plates and plating and more about a human connection. I’m surprised that most restaurants and bars don’t feature their mixologist. Instead, it’s just more of the same: No special skills, no special drinks, nothing to remember and no story here.

It’s time to make stars of your team. The common retort I hear to this philosophy is, “What happens when the person leaves?” Well folks, this is the NFL, and even Tom Brady eventually leaves the Patriots. If you were a Kansas City Chief’s executive, you’d say, “Don’t promote Patrick Mahomes because someday he may leave the team?

Now, would you like to see our dessert menu? This delicious combination of delight sweets were curated by our chef Gene D’Acampo who was trained at the prestigious culinary academy at Kirkwood College.  I don’t know about you, but I’m hungry: I’ll take two orders of banana pudding.

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.