Idea of The Day: A town called Truth or Consequences? Who knew?

>The Idea:

Today, a story in Fast Company magazine that you’ve gotta read. Here, I’ll print it for you: “In 1950, NBC’s quiz show ‘Truth or Consequences?’ was one of the most popular shows on radio (and later television). So when the show’s host, Ralph Edwards, announced on the air that he would broadcast from the first town willing to name itself after the show, he got a taker in New Mexico. Edwards made the town (since known as Truth or Consequences, New Mexico) famous by returning on the first weekend of May for the following 50 years. Its unique naming history also spawned a photography book and a Hollywood movie starring Kiefer Sutherland and Martin Sheen. Today, New Mexicans affectionately call the town of 7,000 ‘T or C.'” Isn’t that amazing!

>The Key Point:

The story was included in an article describing marketing campaigns that rode the fine line between buzz and bust – with most crashing on the bust side. Example: “The Chicago White Sox staged a now-infamous ‘Disco Demolition Night’ in 1979. Fans were urged to bring in vinyl disco LP records in exchange for 98 cent admission to a double-header, with the knowledge that the records would be collected and *blown up* in between games. Team management hoped to bring in an additional 5,000 spectators, but 75,000 showed up. Many of them resorted to scaling walls and fences when turned away. After the first game, a local radio personality detonated the box of records with a bomb, and immediately spectators rioted onto the field, ripping up the bases, destroying the batting cages, and sending the players fleeing.” (Hmm. No bonus for their marketing manager that year.) So. Why do I share these stories with you? Because they are great examples of dangerous marketing. And the key point? Well. At least the baseball team tried.  (Jonathan’s back with a social media challenge article tomorrow, and I’ll see you again on Monday. NG)

PS – An important note from Jonathan:

Need some hands-on help? Imagine all the ways you would benefit from a $6000 marketing/sales/service makeover – with Neil Godin training your team? Now imagine that this program would cost you only $1000 – with the balance picked up by a Government of BC small business stimulus grant? If you’re located in BC, call me now for full details at 778.378.9100. We’ve never seen a program like this. Important point: To qualify, you must have between one and fifty employees on your payroll (we’re sorry to say that the program is not available to business owners who do not have employees). The application process is simple and applications are being approved quickly. But this funding will not last. Why not call me now?


Please scroll down for details on the grant program.

We invite you to connect with us at:

Twitter: @jdgem / @neilgodin

Facebook:   Jonathan Christian / Neil Godin

Email – /

Web – /

Phone 778. 378. 9100/ 604. 888. 4612


Details re BC Government grant program for training:

The BC government is providing $5000 grants to companies that need sales and marketing training (and other forms of training) but need help with funding. (This is part of the stimulus program, aimed at making BC companies more competitive and innovative).

My colleague (and our Program Coordinator) Jonathan Christian, has already conducted several of these programs with his own clients, and in both cases his clients received approval of their applications very quickly, and received payment from the government before the training started. His typical sales and service training programs cost $6000 each, with $5000 being paid by the government, and only $1000 paid by the client.

My typical small business makeover program costs $6000, and involves training a team of three to ten. But we can scale the program and the cost down for companies that only have one of two employees. Important note: employees must be ‘official,’ meaning that they are on your payroll – with appropriate payroll deductions – they can’t be contract workers who assist you but are not on the payroll. Part owners can be subsidized as long as they hold no more than a 10% share.

While you can choose any trainer and just about any kind of training you like, if you want me to come in and conduct training with your team (in sales, service, marketing and/or team building), it would be at the same typical cost – $6000 – with $5000 subsidized by the government (subject to their approval, in advance, of course), with you paying only the $1000 balance. This is a very unusual opportunity that probably won’t last, so if you’re interested please contact Jonathan right away.

Call Jonathan at 778.378.9100 – or email:

Here are the basic details:

  • The program is available to companies with a minimum of one employee but less than 50 employees (‘employees’ include owners who hold no more than a 20% share).
  • The maximum subsidy is $1500 per employee, and $5000 total).
  • You can use any training company you wish, and you can choose any kind of training, as I understand it.

In publicizing this program the government has required that training companies like ours use their text (below) to communicate the information.


Here is the text of the official government notice:

“The Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development has established a new initiative, the Workplace Training for Innovation Pilot Program (WTIP). The program is designed to provide funding to eligible employers with less than 50 staff for the employee training of their choice, delivered by the training provider of their choice. Through WTIP, employers decide on the training and the training provider best suited to assist them to improve productivity, enhance competitiveness, and/or introduce new technology, equipment, or work processes. There are hundreds of training options available across the province for employers to choose from, including colleges or private training institutions. The Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development has not pre-approved nor endorsed any courses, programs, or training providers with respect to WTIP. For more information, please visit the WTIP website at or contact the Program Administrator (Chemistry Consulting Group Inc.) toll-free at 1 877 365-5757. Of course, you’re welcome to contact the government’s consulting group. But if you want to work with me, specifically, please contact Jonathan right away, as I’m sure these grants will be taken up very quickly.


Call Jonathan at 778.378.9100 – or email:  Or Twitter @jdgem

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