When I knew I wanted to be a marketer when I grew up

Beginnings are important, or so we are often told.

Over the past ten years marketing has played a large role in my life and I feel extremely fortunate to have been given opportunities along the way. But this post isn’t about all those details. It’s about a younger, 12 year-old version of myself that was given an assignment by my 7th grade science teacher who gave us a project to present to the class. The project itself was fairly simple: traveling to Mars is now possible and we are tasked with thinking of ways to encourage people to visit the planet. It was also around this time that my family had purchased its first PC (hello Gateway days).

Armed with Microsoft Publisher and nothing more than my expansive imagination, I decided to create a tri-fold brochure promoting the benefits of visiting Mars and all the wonderful things that await interested travelers. Of all the school projects I made as a kid this is the one I would love to have a copy of. Unfortunately, my teacher enjoyed my submission so much she kept it, and being your average 12 year-old, I didn’t think to ask about getting it back at the end of the year. Bummer. Who doesn't like alien clip art?

In the absence of visual aids, allow me to paint a picture. The brochure was printed on both sides including:

  • the features of visiting Mars
  • what to expect during one’s stay
  • examples of excursions

In addition, I recall describing what the aliens were like on Mars, different looking, sure, but friendly and happy to welcome visitors, including clip art representations. Last, but certainly not least was a call to action on a perforated form encouraging the recipient to mail in their registration for an official Mars Travel package.

In a nutshell, I had unknowingly made a direct mail piece for Martian space travel. It wasn’t an assignment – it was fun.

Taking into consideration my more formal training and experience in marketing, one thing continues to ring true, and that is I’m thankful to be able to approach this field with the same level of enthusiasm each day.

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