I’ve recently been taking a college Business class from Adams State University out of Colorado. The school has a prison based study program that is excellent for individuals like myself continuing education in prison.
I’ve been studying some of the most important marketing type techniques to date. Marketing, I’ve concluded, is one of the most important aspect in so many parts of life. In prison, I’ve got to use marketing to get a job, make and hold a reputation both with staff and other inmate… built a personal brand or marketing quality to socialise with unknown individuals with sometimes seady motivations, and ultimately show the courts who I am and why I should be released back into the free world. So yes, I’ve found myself unknowingly using marketing in more ways than I ever imagined.
Saying all this, I would like to share a story of how one women, debateably, may just be the best marketer of all time.
The year was 2002, it was nice and sunny day. The smell of consession stand food was in the air, iced soda, laughter and lots of sun was also being enjoyed by almost all. The town was small, a rather community type feel felt by those in attendance. I was 14 years old at the time. I was learning about work ethic and money helping run a food stand for the little league football games sponsored by the YMCA. I sold hotdogs and nachos. I would recomend the nachos, as that is what I snacked on. The hotdogs… well lets just say they weren’t a top seller.
The day consisted of several little league football games. The children in full pads and helmets… our future NFL players, or hopefulls aglease, were in the age range or about 8 to 10 years old. There were side line parents yelling their support. This day no big arguments or as we know happens from time to time, parents getting a little over the top aagressive about team calls. This day there was only the yells of rivaling football mothers and the supportive fathers. Just an all around good summer day at the little league football games. Little did I know, my attention was about the be majorly diverted in just a few minutes. About the time the second game started, a women showed up, without any children, and brought a box. Kinda strange, right? The story getts better, Now this box was not unlike any other brown cardbord box…. except there were some holes cut in the side. When she sat the box down, conveniently right next to the food stand, (and I mean RIGHT next to) I heard the cries of several baby puppies looking for their mother. Yes, this was a box of baby mix lab puppies. The women expained, as she quickly pushed a sign into the dirt that read “free puppies” that she was giving them away to a good home. She hoped we didn’t mind. My boss said he didn’t mind at all, as the new excitement of baby puppies may actually drive more customers to the consession stand.
I was 14 years old at this time. I was trying to learn a life lesson about work eithic, except the only thing on my mind was PUPPIES. I was one of the most excited kids in the world. I knew mom was picking me up from work that day. Mom was the easier of the two, to talk into something like a puppy, so my child mind knew I had a shot. When my mom showed up, I explained to her that I already had a puppy picked out. I don’t remember the exact details, but I believe a call home to dad took place. From this day forward, we had our new member of the household.
So lets recap, this women (I’m claiming possibly the best marketer of all time) showed up at a little league football game, full of small children, obiviously knew what she was doing. Marketing is a major part of the business world. My 14 year old mind was trying to aquire work ethic skills that day. I think the lesson I actually learned about marketing stratigy taught me a little something more than just work eithic. If you’ve got sales to make (or in her case, give away) knowing your target market is important and going to them with marketing and advertising is even more important. I don’t remember how many other puppies she gave away that day, but I know she got the job done with me.
Saidy, the black lab mix became a life long member of our family. I raised her, fed her, and cared for her until I was arrested at 18. Saidy lived to be almost 14, with my parents taking care of her for the remainder of the time I’ve spent in prison.
I hope you enjoyed this story of marketing, puppies, and little league football. It’s funny how these life lessone seem to come from the funniest of circumstances.
Hope you readers have a wonderful day and enjoy these stories as much as I enjoy telling them.
Blessings and positive wishes,
Paul Stotts #93319
Lansing Correctional Facility
PO Box 2
Lansing KS 66043
Categories: Paul Stotts