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Mensche Marketing with Sobel Media

 I recently blogged in this space about the 19th-century writer Ralph Waldo Emerson. Rethinking his thing for self-reliance, I'm pleased to Ouija another dead white man, Hunter S. Thompson, who said, "He that is taught only by himself has a fool for a master."

Thompson was just as sentimental about the TV business. "It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench…a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason" went his rant. He may as well have taken aim at marketing, especially today's merciless barrage of self-centered assaults on what's left of our peace and sanity.  

Which brings me to "Mensch Marketing."

For anyone unfamiliar with basic Yiddish, "mensche" means "someone of integrity and honor." The matchmaker behind its marriage to "marketing" is Mardy Sitzer, President of Bumblebee Design & Marketing. She mentioned it at last night's panel, "Building a Social Media Marketing Toolkit," held in the sleek Samsung Experience store at Manhattan's Time Warner Center.

Two people in the audience raised their hand when asked, "Is there anyone in the audience who doesn't know what 'mensche' means?" One was from India, and the other, from Larchmont.

As Mardy told me after the event, she got the "Mensche Marketing" idea from one of her clients while co-developing a marketing strategy with him. She found his "mind set… so personal and caring" that she plotzed, "Larry, you're the quintessential mensche!"

Hunter may not have been gonzo about it, but I found myself warming up to this marketing credo that asks not what you can do for the solicitor, but rather what the solicitor can do for you. "Who's taking care of you? Who's making you feel good? What's keeping you up at night?" These are the worries Mardy counsels her clients to take on. Above all, they should become great listeners.  
Bill Sobel

Like Ben Greenstein. The grandfather of Howard Greenstein -- social media strategist and President of The Harbrooke Group who chaired the panel – apparently became Long Island's finest butcher by remembering what all his customers wanted and giving it to them drippin' fresh.  

If only everyone tweeting and facebooking their wares took the cue from Ben and Mardy, civilization might yet survive 2012.
Wendi is another preacher of benevolence whom social media marketers should heed. That's Wendi Caplan-Carroll, Regional Development Director at e-newsletter company Constant Contact, who rounded out the panel. "Constantly look for ways to help," she counseled, and make it "funny, interesting, relevant and useful."

So, for example, were I marketing to you, I'd pass along some of the handy web sites that came up in the discussion. I'd tell you about, where you could get all your social media updates in a single email, gratis. Or about, which lets you cue up people who have followed you on various social networking services. and are gumshoe services for your research pleasure. Then there's, which will help you shorten a long URL.

Maybe you already know about these sites, maybe not. If the latter, your life may have just gotten a jot easier.  

But don't thank me. Thank social media maven Bill Sobel, who presented the event together with Constant Contact and Samsung. And mark your calendars for July 28, 2010, "The Resurrection of The Music Video," featuring Zone4/Interscope recording artist Jared Evan. As the first installment of the SobelMedia/Samsung Experience Film and Entertainment Series, it's free. And you may just do some real live social networking.

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