Voice of the Customer

Steve Mark is a guy who can’t pass up an opportunity for a bad pun. 

He runs a small but growing company specializing in a dice game called TENZi. He lists himself as the Dice President because if he were President, he couldn't make the same bad joke. If you call his voice mail, he encourage you to have a dice day. 

I'm a sucker for bad puns.

Steve knows quite a few things about humor, and marketing and advertising. For many years he and his friend Steve, were collectively known by all as The Steves from North Castle Partners, a now defunct advertising agency from Stamford, Connecticut. I sometimes wondered if they hadn't escaped from somewhere. 

The Steves were often tied up in their work.
Steve Mark (aka Good Steve) and his buddy (Steve Garbett AKA Bad Steve) were the genius at the core of the Slim Jim Advertising that we ran for many years. Under their guru Hal Rosen, they led the charge to bring insanity and craziness to the brand I helped grow for GoodMark Foods. If you have ever seen Slim Jim Guy and his antics, it gives new meaning to the name mad men and advertising.  

Eat Your Vegetables - A Slim Jim Commercial featuring Slim Jim Guy

That business had a compound growth rate of 19% during the time I was involved in giving the green light to many wild and crazy marketing campaigns. 

Today Steve (Good Steve) is on the other side of the table growing his own brand of unique products called TENZi. TENZI is a simple dice game that appears to have an addictive additive. Customers can’t get enough. Once the independent stores stock the product, it flies off the shelf. Although a young brand, things appear to be on a roll. (sorry)

The short video of voice mail messages from independent stores that Steve posted to YouTube is hilarious and brilliant. 

It’s a great lesson for how to make testimonials fun and motivating.  In Steve’s short voice mail video, he is targeting the independent mom and pop toy stores to convince them that their peers have bought the game and it sold like hotcakes. 

Taking actual voice message from customers allows Steve's customer to help sell his product to others. It shows how important it is, especially in a small business to use all the low-cost tools available. 

Unlike Slim Jim or other big brands, he isn't going to be spending millions of dollars on advertising, sponsorship and events. He has to make each marketing activity work hard to support the growth of his brand. 

Steve is not leaving his marketing to a roll of the dice. He is taking a creative approach to convincing other retailers to carry his product and that it will sell through. Have you ever used voice mail messages as part of your marketing communications? 

How are you sharing the successes that your customers are having using your products? 

My friend Steve has generously offered a 20% discount off of Tenzi to any MomentSlater readers who would like to place an order. You can go to www.tenzi.com  and use the promo code momentslater to get the discount. The promo is good through 12/31/14,

And have a dice day.


Jeffrey Slater

Have a challenging marketing issue you are wrestling with? Perhaps you could use a marketing coach to help you put a choke hold on your brand. Connect with me through Clarity to schedule time to talk. 

This is from a photo shoot in 1995 with North Castle Partners in New Mexico. In the photo, Macho Man Randy Savage, Gorgeous George, Steve Mark, Steve Garbett and others from North Castle and the Slim Jim marketing team. 

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