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Ammo Marketing


These guys are doing some cool work. They’re called Ammo Marketing. But I’m worried. They do great product launches and they make a big splash and they do all the right things in terms of identifying the right influencers and getting their clients products in front of them, but then what? Giving brand evangelists like musicians, bar tenders and triathletes free premium beer, exotic liquor and fancy sports drinks is going to convert a few people and a few of their friends, possibly even a lot of people and a lot of their friends, but then the impact is slowly going to slip away. Ammo marketing is a great start, but unless brands follow up the initial splash by genuinely engaging their customers over the next few years, they’ll just get dazzled by the next big splash that comes along.

If I can take the analogy quite literally, Ammo marketing is exactly what the CIA did in Afghanistan in the 1970s — they gave a bunch of villagers ammunition (rocket launchers) to shoot down Soviet helicopters. It resulted in a small victory in the Cold War, but the end result was disastrous because the CIA failed to maintain the dialogue with their customers. Giving a bunch of cool bands free beer in the hope that the audience will switch brands as well isn’t any more effective in the long run unless you keep the dialogue going.

This dialogue is called social media marketing. And like most things, America isn’t very good at it.

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3 Responses to Ammo Marketing

  1. Gary Stein says:


    My name is Gary Stein. I run the strategy department here at Ammo Marketing. Thanks for the post and for the recognition.

    You bring up a key point about the nature of the work that we do. We focus on achieving a business goal, just like traditional advertising. That is, our briefs have things like “raise awareness” and “connect to new market” or “increase consideration”. We are a marketing agency, not a creator of spectacles.

    So, that means, if we do create a spectacle, it serves a marketing purpose. And, even more, we find ways to make sure that the spectacle generates some message momentum so that the effect lasts longer than just the spectacle itself.

    Lastly, there’s also this strange side-effect: once we do a project we have achieved the business goals, but have also generate a bunch of real relationships with real people.

    Those relationships, in our view, are an asset. In fact, we can put a (rough) financial value on it. The problem, though, as you note, is that the value very rapidly depreciates if nothing is done to nuture it.

    Thanks again.

  2. admin says:

    Thanks Gary. As I said I like your work, but if you recognise the problem too, why exactly aren’t you doing something to nurture those relationships over the long term?

  3. Gary Stein says:

    Well, as you can imagine, it depends on the client and the project that we’ve been given. The good news is that we get a lot of return customers and repeat clients. On one project (for example) we’re deep into our third phase and our second year.

    It’s always our hope that we can work closely with our clients to grow the relationships–at the end of the day, it is a relationship between the brand and the consumer that we’ve generated. Our great hope (and strategic recommendation) is always around growing these relationships.

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