Meet The Social Times Team: Everything I Know About Marketing I Learned from Mad Magazine

NeilI’m Neil Glassman and my beats for Social Times include social media marketing and advertising tools, techniques and success stories. Sometimes my posts go off on a tangent, focusing on small business social media issues or research with broader implications.

How did I get the gig? Well, I certainly did not tell Nick O’Neill the whole story that follows.

I didn’t realize growing up that AM radio was one of the original social networks. It had Top 40 formats (mashups), DJ shout outs (tweets), contests to win logo T-shirts (badges) and exclusive clubs to which everyone belonged (Facebook groups).

I got into late night talk shows (blogs), which had an intimacy and affinity with listeners that radio has lost and web social networks have yet to fully discover. My parents didn’t think it was such a great idea for me to stay up late listening on school nights and took away my TV privileges for one night as punishment. That was the night of The Beatles’ first appearance on Ed Sullivan.

My luck with media improved over the years and I found myself marketing technology for media companies. My training was much like everyone else’s in the field: a box of Mad Magazine “best-of” books, learning how to touch-type and a brief career teaching emotionally disturbed junior high schoolers.

In the beginning, I worked with startups, turning underdogs into wonderdogs. Recently I’ve helped a few companies avoid a mid-life crisis. Whatever my responsibilities are for a particular company, my favorite part is finding ways to present a solution to the marketplace and having the marketplace react by saying, “Ah-Ha!”

Successful marketing means thinking outside the box while delivering campaigns inside the box. I leaped on the web-based and electronically delivered marketing platforms very early and with good success. When Nick put out a call for writers on marketing and advertising, I thought it was a cool opportunity and am grateful to have been chosen to contribute to Social Times. My posts are a great way to share my explorations of the potential of the social web, not just for marketers, but for the world’s cultures.

As marketers, our first priority is to develop campaigns that are effective. If we manage to leave a slogan, image or song in our collective unconscious in the process, that’s a great bonus. In my collaborations, I’ve had the chance to participate in some firsts – at least I think they were firsts. If you know something I don’t, teach me.

The first music video shown on TV that was shot and produced totally on video – no film conversion at any step. The Towel Tapes, February 1979.

Marketing the first hardware product to include mp3. Telos Zephyr, April 1993.

The first time the Internet ground to a halt because too many were trying to log in to a multimedia event. Streaming George Clinton concert audio to demonstrate Macromedia Shockwave, the precursor to Flash. November 1996.

On the personal front, I’m a New Yorker with a huge appetite for great songwriters and musicians of diverse genres. Tweet me and I’ll send you a link to my calendar of all the free concerts in town this summer.

Blogging works best when it’s participatory, so join in the conversation with the talented team on Social Times. Pitch me ideas for posts about using social media for marketing and advertising. Don’t forget to include how you are going to make the market say, “Ah-Ha!”