On this day ten years ago, I was a marketing manager for Morton’s The Steakhouse where one of my responsibilities was to manage our Twitter presence. So when Peter Shankman jokingly tweeted about wanting a steak when he landed at the airport, I eagerly took that on as a challenge. I researched which flight I thought Peter would be on and when/where it would land. Then I called my director to ask permission (Patty McLaughlin-Pleuss did not hesitate). And lastly, I worked with the amazing management team at Morton’s in Hackensack (Mike Khorosh and Karleen Koerkel) to organize the logistics. I remember Mike saying, if we are going to do this, we need to act now… and within minutes, Alex from his team was in his tuxedo riding up to Newark Airport with steak in hand. And the rest is history!
Little did I know that what I was about to do would end up being one of the Top Ten Tweets of 2011. Today I’m reflecting on the changes in marketing that have occurred since the “tweet heard around the world”.
Working from anywhere – that wasn’t a thing for me 10 years ago. I remember logging off of my work computer and heading out to meet my co-workers that night at a Goose Island vendor party. So I only had my personal phone to check to see if Peter did, in fact, get his steak at the airport. And I couldn’t log back into work until I arrived (early) that next morning. So, there wasn’t a response or tweet from Morton’s twitter handle until the next day. What a missed opportunity to engage with the community who were talking about what happened!
Data Driven Decisions – at Morton’s, we were innovators of guest relationship marketing thanks to our leaders Patty, Cyndi Smith, Assunta Scala and Angela Reed That’s how I was able to know that Peter was an avid guest at Morton’s when he jokingly sent out that tweet. Or how Mike at Morton’s in Hackensack knew who Peter was even though I don’t think he ever dined at the Hackensack location. Patty, Cyndi and Angela had done the research to know that our top 10% of our guests dined at our locations worldwide and frequently… a significant portion of our revenue came from these top guests. At Morton’s, our mission was to surprise and delight, anticipate needs of our guests and make every moment special. Having data like their favorite bottle of wine, an anniversary date, or even which of the 78 worldwide locations that our guests dine at, helped us make data driven marketing decisions. Now-a-days, customers expect brands to know who they are. Ten years ago, it was more like an aspiration for most brands.
Social Media in the Marketing Budget – such a normal thing now but 10 years ago we had no social media budget. Catherine Merritt was THE driving force behind Morton’s social presence when she was the Global PR Communications Specialist. I learned all about Twitter from her. I put that knowledge into practice as a volunteer for a non-profit managing their social media presence and then, applied it to my role at Morton’s. But ten years ago, there was no social media budget, no dedicated resources, no handbook. Could you imagine that now? We’ve come a long way.
#Selfies started ten years ago, candy crush wasn’t a thing, the words “new normal” or “quarantine” weren’t used in every day language like it is today… what other surprising changes have occurred over the past ten years?