TMD100 Ribbon Seal Monthly Award IconIf business is personal— and it is— then marketing must be personal to work at its best.

Cue the Girls Scouts, who tells us “Be Prepared” … and we proudly select our very first monthly winner of the new TMD Marketing Mastery Award. (see the Top Twelve in our year-end post here.)

How did such a huge national organization win my applause for being personal?

I was taking my daily walk the other day, thankful for warmer temps and sunshine after a bout of near-freezing nights and torrential rain here in Los Angles, when a family hanging out with their dog in their driveway caught my eye as I sped by. “Hmm,” I thought, “January seems a bit early to set up a lemonade stand, even if we are in sunny LA. But should I buy some?

As I looked back over my shoulder, slowing a bit, I noticed the table had a sweet homemade banner suspended from the tablecloth that simply said “C-O-O-K-I-E-S.” Wait, what kind of cookies, I wondered, as I walk over.  The mom, her son, younger daughter, and even the dog seem happy to see me, as I ask, “Are you selling Girl Scout cookies?” YES!

Find cookies everywhere!

Find cookies everywhere!

Thrilled I had some pocket cash with me, I asked “Do you have Cookie Mints?” immediately revealing my advanced dinosaur age. “The little girl with her Girl Scout sash said, with natural poise, “Well, we have Thin Mints.” “Oh, terrific, I will take a box please!” As I handed the money to her I said, “One day, just like me, you’ll buy cookies from the next generation, like all former Girl Scouts do for the rest of our lives. Thank you!” Her mom smiled, and off I went, wondering who I could give this tempting treat to… knowing I’d probably succumb to opening them myself when I got home. I did.

Do the Girl Scouts have Marketing Mastery?

A modern easy to use website.

A modern easy to use website.

They sure do!  Let me count a few of the ways:

  1. LifeTime Value (LTV). At the purely buy-and-sell level, their customer loyalty is extraordinary. Many decades after being a Girl Scout, we still buy cookies as an annual Rite of Spring. And we buy them from anyone who offers them to us, feeling kinship whether we’ve ever met or not.
  2. They make it easy to buy. They have a modern up-to-date website, they give girls access to modern methods to sell cookies, yet have not abandoned their obviously effective neighborhood driveway sales table, but just added online apps.
  3. They are principled and it shows. Girl Scout Leaders, and the parents to who help, instill politeness in their sales style, not pressure. The Scouts natural enthsuiasm shines, but they don’t hound you to buy more than you want. So refreshing!
  4. They have a purpose bigger than themselves. The website tells you “Where the Money Goes” with clear information about what their programs are and how your support makes a difference.
  5. They honor their history. They share their heritage, while staying current and in the forefront of both girl power and human dignity.
  6. They make marketing fun! Loved that the entire family was making their cookie stand a project, and their dog was a welcome fluffy roadside attraction, basking in the sun, smiling away, like happy dogs do. In between sales, the kids were playing. We adults could learn a lot about banishing stress this way! Marketing that’s authentically fun sets the stage to magnetize sales that are fun. I certainly didn’t set out with a plan to buy a box of cookies on my walk. But who could resist? Not me! I wanted in on a good thing, and now I get to share it with you. That’s Marketing Mastery.
Where the cookie money goes when you buy.

Where the cookie money goes when you buy.

Founder Juliette Lowe's spirit stays lively.

Founder Juliette Lowe’s spirit stays lively.

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