The Scoop @ MSCO

The Hard Truth: Why Promising Careers Nosedive

Career Nosediving Fighter JetYou start with a company and in short order everything feels like the right fit. More than that: Like you’re on a fast track trajectory that knows no direction save north.

For a while your sense of an inevitable rise to the upper echelons is reinforced regularly. Raises. Promotions. First to be offered the plum assignments. The most coveted offices. Even rides on the Gulfstream.

And then suddenly (as in the title of the Joseph Heller novel) Something Happens. And in true Kafkaesque fashion, you don’t know why the tailwinds have suddenly turned against you.The accolades you were getting nicely accustomed to–addicted to– have gone silent. Worse yet, they are being heaped on others.

The question is, WHY?

In most cases, it boils down to five reasons:

1. You discounted the importance of politics. Ugly as it may be, not a single company is a pure meritocracy.

2. You got complacent. You expected the ride to go on forever under its own combustion. The fact is, your seniors love to cut the legs off of that kind of entitlement with a simple series of emails.

3. You had your eyes on the prize– that’s fine– but you took them off of your internal competitors. That’s tantamount to suicide.

4. You failed to build a coalition. Even the CEO’s golden child needs a to drive a career through the rough patches. (Ask Jamie Dimon about Sandy).

5. You overestimated your place in the hierarchy. Nothing is bankable until the golden handcuffs are locked around your wrists.

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MSCO Bringing Racehorses to the Masses

Our newest client, horse partnership company 5R Stables, has the ability to make dreams come true. Remember when you were a kid and all you wanted was a pony? 5R offers the adult version of this dream – thoroughbred racehorses. Simply buy a whole or fractional share of a horse, and you can watch it transform into a racing legend.

We’re hard at work on a campaign to bring this client, rebranded as Equestrian Equities, into the limelight. We’ll start by revamping their web presence through a captivating landing page and taking over their social media accounts. We’ll also be reaching out to specific audiences through a targeted direct mail campaign. With such a strong and unique client, things will only move up from here. We’re excited to see where we can take this.

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Rug Renovating Market Research Survey

Got a minute? Need a quick break? We need your help! Please take this very brief survey (only 10 questions) to help our client Rug Renovating better serve their customers and anybody who has rugs or carpeting in the Tri-State Area. Thank you!

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The Greatest Marketing Story Ever Told

Rin Tin TinWhen I was a kid growing up in New York, I dreamed of owning a dog. A buddy who would bound through the woods with me, swim in the clear lakes and ride by my side on toboggan hills.

But several gauntlets stood in my way: in the lower middle class borough of Queens where I lived, there were no woods. No lakes. And nary a hill nor a toboggan to be found. And worst of all my pet averse mom wouldn’t even cede to my begging for a parakeet. So was my dream short lived? Not at all.

Why? The power of marketers who knew not how to win Clios but instead how to make consumers fall in love, aspire to what could be against all odds and move product.

I would watch a TV show–Rin Tin Tin– about the glorious adventures of a boy and his beloved/heroic German Shepherd. The way it was set up, I had to get my pet-hating mom to buy cans of a rancid cake (yes cans) and then send in the wrappers in a contest whereby I also wrote little stories about how much I pined for a dog.

For two years, mom bought the cans of cake, I tossed the junk out, we sent in the labels and the letters. The fact that mom would never let a dog in the house and that our one bedroom digs were hardly roomy for a 100-pound buddy, well that didn’t matter.

We bought and bought and I dreamed and dreamed. Naturally, I never got the dog (I had to make do with a turtle), but I had the dream to cling to and the marketers had their sale. Is there any difference in selling shampoo that will make stringy hair lustrous? That will make tired men virile fireballs? That a new Acura will make you sexy?

Moral of the story: I learned more from the dog cake marketers than any professor I ever had. Regardless of how inelegant they may have been, they knew that marketing is a selling game And that hope springs eternal.

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Curve Balls, Counterfeits and Hand Grenades

Curveballs, Counterfeits and Hand GrenadesWhen I was a kid growing up in New York City, every street was a Carnival Of Surprises. Or should I say Battlefield.

You could never just walk along the concrete jungles lost in youthful daydreams, Leave It To Beaver style. Around every corner, behind every tree, aside every Simonized muscle car, stood a con artist, a fraud or an urban terrorist ready to pounce.

You had to read lips, decipher codes, see through walls, detect bullshit coming at you at the speed of light. You had to think on a dime, take punches in the nose and return the volley twice as hard, plan routes to success and emergency exits. Nothing was ever the same two days in a row.

Nothing even remotely predictable. It was a real time kaleidescope of everything life could throw at you. And though I didn’t know it at time, it was a Navy Seals boot camp for the entrepreneurial odyssey I would embark on as a teen.

It boils down to The Big Three Lessons:

+Curve Balls: Regardless of what you do, how you think, the income you may have and the wealth that may shine down on you, you will be smacked in the head with curve balls. It’s not what you do to avoid them that counts (as that’s impossible), it’s learning how to recover, to be resilient, to prevail and if necessary to vanquish the source of the toss. That is a priceless skill.

+Counterfeits: Half of what everyone tells you is a lie. The other 50 percent is just nonsense morphed over the years and the mean streets into conventional “wisdom.”

Takeaway: always start your thinking with a blank page.

+Hand Grenades: if you expect people to play fair, to have a sense of decency, to honor who you are and what you’ve built, watch out– the wallet in their back pocket is really a hand grenade.

Lesson Learned: make sure yours is a torpedo.

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