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Certain kinds of heroes may get more attention than others, but that doesn’t mean each doesn’t deserve a place on the cultural index. While events like Comic Con highlight the impact of comic book culture on the popular one and, thus, marketing to the masses, real life heroes have been affecting our industry for decades, using their own secret talents, special powers and vision to shape the direction of marketing and the people who dedicate their careers to it. Steve Case is credited for bringing the Internet to the masses with a once little and now ubiquitous thing called AOL. American Airlines CEO Bob Crandall was a loyalty program pioneer; these days, loyalty programs drive competition and sales. Zig Ziglar’s name is magnetic in its own right, yet it’s his work as a motivational speaker and sales trainer that’s launched him to hero status. My Vertical Marketing Network coworker and personal hero Betsy Berman gives Apple’s Steve Jobs credit not just for his ideas, but also for the way they are packaged and marketed. She, meanwhile, has taught me smaller but no-less-important lessons, such as how to “think like a marketer” and engage the consumer world with open and critical eyes. The list could go on and on, and it will, with your help.
Maybe I’m just blogging out loud, but it seems like heroes come in all shapes and sizes and even disguises. Real life heroes inspire and affect change; nothing says “super” more than that.
Which prompts the question: Who is your business and/or marketing hero? Has a certain person captivated you and inspired you to take your career to new heights?
We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below! Or, join the discussion on the Vertical Marketing Network Facebook page.