I just looked up MARKETING on Wikipedia. I have a headache. Here’s what Wiki says;

Marketing is the process of exploring, creating, and delivering value to meet the needs of a target market in terms of goods and services; potentially including selection of a target audience; selection of certain attributes or themes to emphasize in advertising; operation of advertising campaigns; attendance at trade shows and public events; design of products and packaging attractive to buyers; defining the terms of sale, such as pricediscountswarranty, and return policy; product placement in media or with people believed to influence the buying habits of others; agreements with retailers, wholesale distributors, or resellers; and attempts to create awareness ofloyalty to, and positive feelings about a brand. 

That’s one sentence. It has one period, which comes after the late and singular appearance of the word “brand.”

Maybe we need something simpler and more memorable. How about this:  Marketing is an ARC:  The business of Acquiring, Retaining, and Cultivating CUSTOMERS.

Acquire:  Attract customers you don’t already have.

Retain:  Keep the customers you have, work to keep them satisfied.

Cultivate:  Grow spending and engagement from the customers you have.

What do you think?


I came across this “baby” at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in DC last week. https://geogallery.si.edu/10002811/rosser-reeves-star-ruby

The Rosser Reeves Star Ruby was donated to the Smithsonian by Mr. and Mrs. Rosser Reeves in 1965. Rosser Reeves was an American advertising executive and pioneer of television advertising. His ads were focused around what he coined the unique selling proposition (USP), the one reason the product needed to be bought or was better than its competitors. These often took the form of slogans such as M&M’s “melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”

Don Draper, the main character in Mad Men, is based on Rosser Reeves. It was Reeves who created the “It’s Toasted” slogan for Lucky Strike cigarettes. In “Mad Men,” Don Draper saves the Lucky Strike account with his last-minute “It’s Toasted” pitch.

Now, here is where it gets local. Rosser Reeves son, Rosser Scott Reeves, Jr., was our neighbor right here in Little Rock. Not only was Reeves Jr’s dad the real-life Don Draper, but his uncle was the even-more-famous David Ogilvy. Talk about a marketing pedigree!

And that’s how I’m three degrees of separation from Don Draper.

Rosser Reeves Star Ruby at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC

If you listen to The Ticket as long as I have, you don’t just acquire its vocabulary, you embed it in your brain, and you pass it on to those around you.  Here’s a short list of stuff I say every day that will be in my head forever.

What about eggs?
Champ, Champ!
I hope you do. I hope you do very much.
Doing a bit
Just like that, m___ [Coach Bob Knight’s expletive from the sand trap]
Let’s go on to something more important, if in fact there is something more important to talk about
I got enough on my mind right now, I don’t need your b___ [old man to his wife]
Get your ass hung up on now, you idiot
Ya wall
I wish we knew
Stop down
Lay out
A beating
Cry face
Hazmat uniform (in robotic tone)
Stand back, Burrito
Mark that under who gives a s**t
What elssssse?
Wheels off
We’re having fun, no?
Turnt up

What about eggs?

I thought I’d try my computer’s ability to take dictation, using Microsoft Word’s Dictate function and the speech recognition tools of my new computer and Windows 10.

I carefully and slowly recited, with painfully obvious pronunciation, the lyrics to an old classic. (No, I didn’t sing.) Here’s how it came out:

like the rolling stone by bob Dylan once upon a time you expressed so fine through the bombs and dined in New York flying that didn’t you?  People call, Sadie where doll, you thought they were all kidding you.  You used to laugh about everybody that was hanging out.  Now you don’t work so well do know you don’t seem so proud about having to be scrounging for your next meal.  How does it feel?  How does it feel?  To be on your home and what rolling stone a complete unknown with no direction home.

Mediocre, at best. Good thing I didn’t try “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” If anyone has suggestions on how to make this work better, I’m all ears.

An update on my post from five years ago: https://paulsagemarketing.com/2013/12/11/no-more-waiting-at-the-deli-counter/

The kiosk is dead. Long live the kiosk. Self-service IS customer service.

Update, March 6, 2019: I think the new technology that Kroger has introduced, including online ordering (click and pick up) and scan-as-you-go, may have eclipsed the need for the old kiosk. But I still miss it.

The high school graduates of May 2018 are about to move into their college dorm rooms, and many won’t be taking a TV with them. This year’s university freshmen don’t watch TV and don’t use TVs. Instead, they watch prepackaged video content, on demand, and on their laptops and phones.

In my survey of 36 new freshmen, all who are recent high school graduates ready to move into college community housing without their snoopy parents, 39% said they do not expect a TV in their college housing room. Fifty-six percent of female students surveyed won’t have a TV in their room. In a world of big high-definition televisions, these sharp-eyed young adults gravitate to the small screen. More than three fourths (77%) expect to spend most of their video-watching time on a laptop or desktop computer. Another 20% prefer their mobile phone, and only 3% rely primarily on a traditional or smart TV. Nobody watches video on their tablet or iPad.

We’re seeing a major shift not only in device preference, but in content selection as well. The new collegians are not watching live or same-day video. Eight-six percent of all surveyed and 94% of females say more than three-fourths of what they watch is not live and did not just become available that day. A study of viewing habits from 2017 showed teens spent 34% of their video time watching YouTube, 27% watching Netflix, and 14% watching live TV. Young people spend about twice as much time watching Netflix as live TV, and even more time on YouTube

They’re watching YouTube and Netflix on their laptops.  

Broadcast and cable networks rely heavily on live sports to capture a real-time audience, especially during October when Major League Baseball reaches its crescendo and all forms of football are at full throttle. But only half of the rising college freshmen surveyed said they expect to watch 3 or more hours of live sports during the whole month of October. That’s not even one full college game. Whoa, Nellie, Keith Jackson, what happened to the young’uns?

There are big differences between men and women in this narrow age group. Seventy-eight percent of males plan to watch at least three hours of live sports in October, whereas only 22% of females expect to spend this much time viewing live games. And don’t forget about the game consoles like Xbox and PS4. None of the 18 females surveyed expect to have a game box in their room, while half the young men are planning to squeeze in some Fortnite or FIFA between study sessions. As a side note, those game consoles can also stream video services like Netflix, if you don’t mind using the clunky controller that’s better suited for Madden NFL 19.

The pipelines of content aren’t what they used to be. Only 23% of those surveyed expect to plug a cable into their TV.  Only 11% of males and no females will have a Blu-ray or DVD player. When they actually use “a real TV,” these young adults rely on smart TVs and over-the-top streaming devices such as Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Google Chromecast. With wall-to-wall WiFi on modern college campuses, we don’t need no stinkin’ cable.

I didn’t ask if anyone planned to use a TV antenna. I wonder if they know what one is.

Blair Paris Connor

A vision of TV’s future? The college class of 2022. They were born in 1999 and 2000.  They’re changing the face of a medium we used to call Television, which we ought to start calling Video.

Survey Response Stats

Total Respondents: 36

Females: 18

Males: 18

All data collected August 9-11, 2018


TV or Not TV?

Will have a TV in their room 61% (78% of males; 44% of females)

Won’t have a TV in their room 39%


Device Most Used for Watching Video

Laptop or Desktop Computer 77% (82% of females; 72% of males)

Mobile Phone 20% (22% of males; 18% of females)

Traditional or Smart TV 3% (6% of males; 0% of females)

Tablet or iPad 0%


Content Delivery Device Expectations (Multiple Responses Allowed)

Smart TV Apps 46% (56% of males; 35% of females)

Streaming Device 43% (53% of females; 33% of males)

Game Console 26% (50% of males; 0% of females)

Cable  23% (29% of females; 17% of males)

Blu-ray or DVD player 6% (11% of males; 0% of females)


Live/Same Day Content

More than 75% of what I watch is NOT live and did NOT just become available that day  86% (94% of females; 78% of males)

25-50% of what I watch is NOT live and did NOT just become available that day   9%

Less than 25% of what I watch is NOT live and did NOT just become available that day  6%


Live Sports October 2018 Viewing Expectations

3+ Hours 50% (78% of males; 22% of females)

Less than 3 Hours 50%


© Paul Sage – Sage Advice, LLC – 11 August 2018


The Old Grey Wolf says it five days a week, with professional fluidity and consistency, yet most of us P1s can’t recite more than a few words of it. It varies ever so slightly day to day, but here is the general script.

Three thirty-three is our time. Thirty-three minutes past 3PM Central Standard time according to the tower of the friendly mercantile. The tuner is on America’s favorite radio station, Sportsradio 1310, The Ticket.

Warmest greetings, Tickheads and Ticketchicks, it is Thursday, the 9th of March.

Time to heed to, trice up, mill about smartly throughout the premises making certain every radio in sight is set to America’s favorite station for music and news and in doing whatever you must to ensure that this remains the case in perpetuity.

This is Mike Rhyner, speaking to you today from the nurturing biosphere of the mothership, alongside the The Knox City knocker, the Terlingua comic, Dingu, Ty Walker, the great beast in his natural habitat and the dancing bear at first base getting things ready to roll with that Ticket Ticker this afternoon.

At the helm, guiding us out to sea, sober with his hands on the wheel, the young gunslinger, David Mino.

Becca will be along in just a bit with traffico, traffico, and I will be here, but right about now it is time for us to bring in the Cobra.

For more of my gentle musings on The Ticket, see  https://paulsagemarketing.com/2013/01/24/my-best-brands-birthday/


Mike Rhyner, Greatness

Paul Sage - Marketing

Elvis meets Nixon 12 21 1970
Maybe you’ve heard the story.  Maybe you’ve seen the photos. In case you haven’t, here’s the recap:

Forty-two years ago today, early in the morning of December 21, 1970, Elvis Presley showed up, unannounced, at the gates of the White House to deliver a letter he had written to President Richard Nixon.

Elvis Letter Page 1

Transcript of letter from Elvis to President Nixon 12 21 1970

Elvis wanted to meet with the President and he wanted the title and badge of Federal Agent for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.  Elvis got everything he asked for.  By lunchtime.  That day.

How did Elvis do it?

THE BRAND:   By 1970, sixteen years into his show biz career, Elvis Presley had evolved into Elvis.  The bejeweled, cape-wearing, “See See Rider” singing, Vegas-playing Elvis.  Elvis was a brand that everybody recognized and many respected.   When Elvis showed up at the door — even the…

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