Friday, December 20, 2013

An AMAZING 2013!

Hello All.  I wanted to thank everyone for your amazing support this year with the release of "The Surfer's Guide To Marketing."  Its incredible to think that an idea in my head could come to fruition and be as successful as it is.

When I came up with the concept and wrote "The Surfer's Guide To Marketing" I thought it would be a great tool to help students and young marketing minds to see the amazing opportunities that live within my industry.  I had no idea that I would get such a great response from a diverse audience, support from friends, family, and interested consumers alike.
"The Surfer's Guide To Marketing" is on the shelf!

Having created T.E.A.M. to help motivate underprivileged students and showcase how they could excel in the world of sports and entertainment, I knew that showcasing my experience with brands like ESPN, NFL, ABC, etc. would resonate.  It was a formula I utilize in speaking engagements and when I meet with aspiring and talented individuals.  But until you put your heart and soul into a project, spend significant hours and energy creating it, and ultimately put it out for the world to enjoy, you don't know if you have a success.  It's something that I mention in the book as part of the marketing process but ironically I've realized it was also the feelings surround the creation of the book itself!

So as we end 2013, I wanted to thank everyone who helped me get to where I am.  All of the clients who had confidence in me and my team to develop campaigns that exceeded their expectations.  All of the creative and strategic minds that allowed me to join them to develop innovative efforts.  The amazing roster of celebrities, athletes, and business executives that I have been fortunate enough to engage and collaborate with.  And my family who go beyond this little "bucket list" project and stand by me regardless.

And most importantly, anyone who reads this and supports what I do.

"The Surfer's Guide To Marketing" was founded on the promise of providing an educational, motivational, and entertaining experience and I encourage you to read the book regardless of your career field.  Because had I not taken my own advice, I would have never taken a chance and written the book.  You can succeed in any field or activity you choose and if I can go from a packaged goods marketer to developing Super Bowl events, anyone can do it!  And as I always say, if a large uncoordinated man like myself can balance on a small board on large waves, then you can do anything!

Here's to a great 2014 and I hope "The Surfer's Guide To Marketing" provides an idea, an urge, or a spark to make your next year as great as mine was this year!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I Am Not One Of Jerry's Kids

In The Surfer's Guide To Marketing, I try to keep it entertaining and light by telling several humorous stories that have happened throughout my career.   While I end up as the punch line in most of them, the readers love to hear the crazy tales and humorous anecdotes that have occurred across the last few decades of my work.

And one of my favorite tales involves the legendary radio personality and Top 40 icon, Casey Kasem.  We all grew up on his countdown and he has been a legend in the industry across TV (as the voice of Shaggy on Scooby-Doo) and radio since well before I was born.  While I've had the pleasure of working with literally hundreds of celebrities, athletes, etc. and devote an entire chapter in the book to utilizing STARFISH (celebs) to drive your messaging, my all-time greatest celebrity encounter story with Casey is without a doubt "Number 1 on the List".

In the chapter on ENVIRONMENTALISTS, we discuss how cause marketing and philanthropy is the duty and responsibility of any forward-thinking brand.  I am a huge believer in charity and doing goodwill (if nothing else to offset the karma of a lifelong smart-alec).  There are so many good things a brand can gain while providing resources, awareness, and support to numerous philanthropic interests.  And having grown up with my mother serving in leadership roles with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, it was a natural fit for me to see charity as a tool to accomplish positive results in both the business world and the humanitarian world.

About a decade ago, after helping to organize a charity dinner for MDA featuring star athletes who made up the MDA "Muscle Team," I was asked to present the large novelty check of the proceeds during the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon.  Along with my proud mom, I made my way to the local Los Angeles television studio (KCAL 9) to present the check live on-air.  That's when I met the legendary DJ and host of the local telethon, Mr. Kasem.  And while I had visions of grandeur on my mind as I made my way on stage (ok, I was hoping to just remember my line and not fall down), it was a nervous moment being on-air.  Remember, as a 6'5" gorilla in a china shop, I was always just a slight trip or bad turn away from knocking over the set, tote board, and Jackie Johnson!

Fortunately, with just mere seconds to go before we went live on the air, Casey was able to distract me and make me forget that I was about to go on in front of millions of viewers... BY CONFUSING ME WITH ONE OF JERRY'S KIDS!!!  For the complete hilarious tale and more like it, you know what to do...

Pick up a copy of The Surfer's Guide To Marketing.  Good luck Casey and know that you will always have a special place at the top of my embarrassing countdown.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

ESPN's 30 For 30 - Eddie Aikau

Tonight, ESPN's award-winning 30 For 30 documentary series is featuring surf legend Eddie Aikau.  In "The Surfer's Guide To Marketing," we discuss the legendary life and legend of the Hawaiian surf icon.

In the Chapter on Puffer Fish, or becoming a strong, powerful brand when you don't have the resources to actually get there, we talk about attitude and fear.  Utilizing Eddie's legendary courage and willingness to put it all on the line is the ultimate example of how marketers and surfers must summon courage to be daring.  Please enjoy the excerpt from the book in honor of tonight's documentary on the legend that is Eddie Aikau...

"Eddie Aikau was a legendary surfer from Hawaii.  In 1978, Aikau was a member of the crew that ran into trouble in the Pacific when their boat began to sink.  In need of help, Eddie took his surfboard and set off in an attempt to paddle to Lanai to get help.  Unfortunately, he was never seen again.  But his attitude, confidence, and flat out heroism spawned the mantra “Eddie Would Go”.  I’m not saying that marketers should risk life and limb but you must also have the wholehearted belief that you can and will succeed based on your abilities.
One of the biggest flaws in business is self-doubt.  Not providing the support, resources, or fortitude necessary to truly support a campaign, initiative, or new idea.  While some people like your boss or CEO may sign off on the budget or give the green light, are they truly putting their wholehearted confidence behind the effort?  Show me a surfer who drops in at Pipeline with 50% effort on a big day and I will show you a surfer who is going to wipe out 100% of the time.
The attitude of the Puffer Fish is exactly that; if you think you are big, you can be big.  If you think you have the strategy, creativity, hustle, common sense, or just better offerings than the next guy, you need to exude confidence in that belief.  While the saying “fake it ‘till you make it” comes to mind, I would suggest that we refer to being a smaller fish as our ability to hunt like a great white while trapped in the body of a minnow.  (And hope we never get trapped inside the body of great white!)  It’s not the size of the fish in the fight, but the size of the fight in the fish.  I’d put those mean little Bettas that live in Dixie cup-sized containers at the pet store up against fish ten times their size.  If you believe you are big, and have the ability to perform well beyond your current capabilities, then you are indeed a prime candidate to act like a Puffer Fish."
Eddie Would Go.  Would you?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

How The NFL Marketers Deal With Injury

While I am the first marketer to take advantage of buzz, topical events, and clever marketing ploys, I do have to give the NFL "the finger" for this one.  And I love the game, the league, and the players so believe me it isn't my first thought to jump on the NFL.  But as you might have heard by now, Arizona Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson lost part of his finger in the game against the New Orleans Saints last weekend.   (Check out the pics on TMZ)

Up until that injury, my friend and Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott held the distinction of being the only player to have literally sacrificed a digit for the game.  It has always played into Lott's tough guy persona and I will now concede that Johnson can be added to that space, especially since he didn't know he was missing the end of his finger until he took off the glove and the finger tip stayed in it!

The great Ronnie Lott in action

But should the NFL embrace this and actually, um. point a finger to it?!  As a league that has come under fire for their handling of injuries including serious head trauma and even the symptoms of depression that may (or may not) have lead to the suicides of several prominent players including Junior Seau, is it wise to embrace this latest injury?
The late Junior Seau

I pose the question because the Arizona Cardinals are embracing the situation.  Rather than shy away or even approach the incident with a matter-of-fact strategy, they have decided to make fun of a pretty heinous accident.  Today, the official Arizona Cardinals social media pages are bragging about their new foam finger souvenir...
Now don't get me wrong, I once told Ronnie after a great personal appearance for hundreds of fans that I wanted to "High FOUR" him (to which he gave me a "look" that only terrified WRs and RBs have seen up close) but I'm also not representing a brand on the hot seat.  It's a funny little attempt to capitalize on the publicity of the gruesome injury but having worked with disabled players in need, being close with retired players who have had injury lawsuits against the league, and even having provided services for Gridiron Greats, lead by HOFer Mike Ditka and former All Pro Kyle Turley, I understand that injuries are no longer a laughing matter.  How can the NFL settle a $700+ million lawsuit with players over injuries and then make light (and actually promote) that exact situation within the same month?

I reached out to Kyle and he had a strong opinion about it, as expected.  Kyle said, "That doesn't surprise me at all.  It's ignorance.  They (the NFL) will claim they have no responsibility and frankly, just must be void of conscience.  The NFL has some of the brightest minds in their PR and Marketing departments so they had to have thought this through and decided to do it anyway.    The Cardinals obviously care more about buzz and sales versus player health and safety."  

Would it be ok if Marlboro made black-lung balloons?  Jim Beam had branded drunk-driving crash helmets?  Or Smith and Wesson had target t-shirts?  I'd like to think that maybe those marketers wouldn't be so quick to embrace the worst possible results of their product.  I'm all in favor of being creative but you also need to be smart!  Because nothing says "hysterical" like the local mortuary sponsoring "free casket" night for the first NFL player who dies on the field.

Maybe the NFL should call a penalty on the Arizona Cardinals and give them a one-and-a-half finger salute.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Randy Rovegno To Speak at LMU's Social Media Class

The Surfer's Guide To Marketing author Randy Rovegno will be speaking to students at Loyola Marymount University Tuesday September 24th at 3p.   Working with Professor Andrew Rohm and his Social Media class, Randy will bring his expertise in the world of brand communication and showcase the need for students to position themselves positively utilizing the same tactics and strategies as classical consumer packaged goods.

Having recently presented a similar social media branding lecture to high school athletes at the San Diego Hall of Champions, Rovegno will bring his humorous approach to marketing set against proven tactics that he has utilized with consumer brands like ESPN and Sprint.  With his proven strategy of combining interesting case studies along with the latest trends in the social space, Rovegno will treat the students of LMU to a fun session that works in the practicality and real-world functionality of today's environment.   With the goal of having LMU students walk away from the session armed with the direction and tools to create their own ideal social media positioning and digital footprint, The Surfer's Guide To Marketing writer will have the undergrads "Tweeting," "Liking,"and posting their support for the session... in a professional, positive light worthy of any classically trained marketing executive!

Author Randy Rovegno with student athletes at the San Diego 
Hall of Champions Social Media Seminar

Friday, September 6, 2013

Radio Interview On The MO SHOW

Here's the latest interview with author Randy Rovegno.  Click on the link and simply play the clip.  Randy comes in at the 20 minute mark.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

FREE! Now Do I Have Your Attention?

Want to attract attention?  The solution is simple... give it away for FREE.  I'm not suggesting that it is good business to give away all of your inventory and not drive any revenue, but I can confidently say that the easiest way to drive traffic and grow your awareness is to offer it up gratis.

The perennial BOGO (Buy One Get One) is a proven strategy to move product.  It's been a staple of retailers since the first caveman gave away one rock if you bought a second.  Sure, you cut your profit in half (or more) but you serve to get the product or service in your customers' hands.  It's not a long-term strategy for success but it can definitely boost sales and invigorate traffic for a short blast.  Significant discounting is a great loss-liter approach if you want to then up-sell other brands or showcase your scope of offers.  It attracts customers and no one ever refuses FREE.

There are many studies that suggest the Groupon model isn't successful and there are those who say they have had an uptick in traffic when offering an extreme discount only to have the traffic evaporate once the deal expires.  Like everything in business, there is no surefire method to be successful but try doing a BOGO or FREE sample and see if you don't increase the amount of chatter about your brand.

Now, I'll put my money where my mouth is.  Or, with FREE... where my money ISN'T!  To incorporate several principles of The Surfer's Guide To Marketing including the need to provide rewards and incentives for your social followers, we will incorporate FREE BOOK FRIDAYS!  Simply "share" The Surfer's Guide To Marketing Facebook page on your own page and you are entered for a chance to win a FREE book!  Simple as that.  Let's see if it works.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Last night I attended a mixer for Entertainment professionals in Santa Monica and spoke about "The Surfer's Guide To Marketing"   As the presenter for the session, I was able to reveal some of my tips and tactics that have served me well across my career.  Along with explaining some of my favorite case studies, we were able to have a productive conversation to address issues and opportunities in the world of Entertainment.

The group discussion included a significant amount of time on social media and how networks and studios tend to produce the same, ineffective strategies that garner flat results.  In "The Surfer's Guide To Marketing" I encourage marketers to create a relevant story, provide continuous and dynamic content, and reward loyal followers.  Simply providing basic facts to the followers and community that has an affinity for your brand isn't going to grow your business.  It's imperative that you give this ideal market the utmost attention as they've already bought into your brand and thrive on innovative or novel information.

With Facebook's "Suggested Posts" (a finely worded term for advertisers) there is now a non-organic element to users' pages.  Ads that pop up and earn an impression by simply being on your browser when you log on to Facebook at that time are going to dilute the messages you are attempting to communicate.  We concluded that its imperative more than ever with these distractions to bring interesting content to the table.  New character details, images, or even "cutting room floor" content that has never been viewed can become vehicles to drive your followers.  Give them what they want and your brand will be rewarded.

I was personally thrilled with the chance to discuss my career and marketing experience and meet some great future innovators.  The creative, passionate audience in attendance was more than gracious and we concluded the evening signing a few copies of "The Surfer's Guide To Marketing!"

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Body Glove Interview

When researching great brands and marketers for "The Surfer's Guide To Marketing" I wouldn't have considered finishing the book without hearing from Bob Meistrell of Body Glove fame.  I've spoken about Bob previously and I was excited to find video of an interview he conducted in which he relays the story of the Body Glove name and logo.  I chronicle that famous moment in the book but here it is for you visual marketing followers!

Friday, August 2, 2013

More Athlete Controversy Makes Brands Question The Use Of STARFISH!

A client inquired about my chapter on STARFISH in lieu of the Riley Cooper situation.  If you haven't read "The Surfer's Guide To Marketing" (and I can't possibly fathom why you haven't) STARFISH is my term for celebrities involved in corporate relationships, endorsements, etc.  We are currently discussing using professional athletes for a product placement campaign and the client brought up recent issues with Aaron Hernandez, Riley Cooper, A-Rod, and even Johnny "Heisman" Manziel.   While I would never profess to be the celebrity expert to the extent of Super Agent Leigh Steinberg, whom we featured in "The Surfer's Guide To Marketing," I do have significant experience in sourcing the right STARFISH personality to drive a company's awareness and messaging.
Recently, I wrote an in-depth post about a similar issue with Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods so please feel free to read the post here.  But with this recent wave of stories making the news, it's difficult to avoid this discussion and as always, I tell clients to look at the individual and explore that specific STARFISH rather than just generalize.  I tend to use retired players due to their experience and availability but every brand, every event, and every STARFISH requires individual attention to determine their viability as a representative for your brand.

Much like a GM of a pro football team, you need to do your homework.  With someone like Riley Cooper (who recently made a racial slur that was caught on video) you could have probably gotten a feel for what kind of guy he is based on past record, his teammates, etc. When the video emerged, you can determine perhaps if it was an isolated incident or if perhaps he's not the best STARFISH to appear on the packaging of your product.  Obviously, in the immediate future, he won't need to be answering many calls from potential sponsors, but in general, you can get a feel for how a STARFISH carries themselves and represents themselves as a brand before they represent your brand.

Serious controversies like Aaron Hernandez, OJ Simpson, or Rae Carruth are not the typical situation most STARFISH get involved with so if we eliminate extreme cases, we can better dissect the risks involved with celebrity endorsements.  This offseason, there were reports about how over 30 NFL players were arrested since the Super Bowl and the world gasped!  Such an astronomical rate, right?  I would simply argue that these stats are not much different than that of the average 20 to 25 year old male.  Young men make more mistakes than the population as a whole and ask any insurance agent which demographic takes the brunt of playing "the law of averages" when determining rates.  While DUI, simple assault (bar fight), and other minor infractions are not acceptable under any circumstance, are NFL players dramatically worse than the average population in terms of most simple misdemeanors?

While someone like Johnny Manziel is obviously not eligible for securing endorsements as an amateur, would you be surprised that a 20-year-old famous guy in the social media age would have a few blips on the character radar? And let's be honest, his only "issues" involve maybe a few too many beers, sleeping in late, tweeting from sporting events, and going to a fraternity party.   In my day, that would have made him pretty much every other student in college not named Tim Tebow!  But seeing his reaction (which may even be a little justified with all the media piling on) would make me hesitant to recommend him for corporate opportunity if that option was available today.  I'm not defending any of the actions of players who end up in the news for the wrong reasons, but I just want to keep it in perspective.
Even when you do your homework, have worked with trusted STARFISH with impeccable reputations, or even have personal relationships, you might find yourself caught up in a celebrity's saga.  It's great PR when your STARFISH does something wonderful on or off the field.  After all, isn't that the purpose of even having the relationship?  Win the Super Bowl, donate to a charity, take time to mentor children in their community... it is all golden.  But even with a record of such service, it can all come into question when a player does something heinous... like leaving a $3 tip!

Obviously I'm being sarcastic when I bring up the Drew Brees "Tipgate" controversy.  Drew is also featured in "The Surfer's Guide To Marketing" and I highlight his community service and overall positive stance as a role model.  But even a "sure fire" endorser of brands including Pepsi and Pampers can find himself mixed up in a debate and his recent $3 tip (on a takeout order that he picked up, BTW) is quintessential ESPN filler for the nine hours of debate shows they air ad nauseum.  There is no controversy here and I would argue that Brees is one of the most courteous and generous STARFISH out there.  Nonetheless, the Super Bowl MVP has been brought into a discussion that explores his character and doesn't revolve around touchdowns or completions!
So what's the solution?  If you want to utilize STARFISH to drive your brand, you simply need to approach it like any other resource and do your homework.  "The Surfer's Guide To Marketing" explores step-by-step actions and suggestions you can take to ensure you make the best decisions possible and aside from simply creating your own mascot character for a spokesman, there will always be a variable of human error when dealing with humans!

Oh wait, didn't the AFLAC duck get fired for insensitive jokes?

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Surfer's Guide To Marketing Press Release


Breezy and Instructive, Book Offers Case Studies, Tactics and Tales
From Across the Marketing Waterfront

REDONDO BEACH – July 13 – THE SURFER’S GUIDE TO MARKETING, the innovative new book by marketing pro Randy Rovegno, combines the rollicking worlds of marketing and surfing to do for brand promotion what “Freakonomics” did for economics. 
THE SURFER’S GUIDE TO MARKETING offers case-study interviews with innovative business leaders at ZICO Coconut Water, Body Glove and 20th Century Fox, and charismatic pro athletes such as football great Drew Brees and surfing pioneer Laird Hamilton. This entertaining book provides practical tactics for everyone from students to senior staff and is designed for use by small-business owners and corporate executive alike—even if they have never stepped foot in the ocean.
“Randy uses surfing as a great teacher and provides interesting analogies to communicate his marketing philosophies,” writes Hamilton in the book’s introductory chapter.
Rovegno is an award-winning marketing executive who has worked with internationally known brands such as ABC, AT&T, ESPN, NBC, NFL and 20th Century Fox. THE SURFER’S GUIDE TO MARKETING connects surfing anecdotes with marketing insights as naturally as a leash to a longboard.  Rovegno's humorous style and industry expertise carries the reader through dynamic principles and real-world examples in an approach that is at once educational, motivational and entertaining.

THE SURFER’S GUIDE TO MARKETING is an entertaining guide to marketing strategies in today’s fluid business landscape.  Available in paperback or electronically from retailers including Amazon and, THE SURFER’S GUIDE TO MARKETING crushes boring textbook rhetoric like a barrel at North Shore, using easy-going humor and real-world perspective to encourage fresh thinking and positive attitudes. For more information, visit these sites:  
Media contact:
Carl DiOrio
Bob Gold & Associates

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Surfer's Guide To Marketing Radio Interview

Hey Friends, Followers, and Fans...

Here is a recent radio interview featuring author Randy Rovegno discussing the new book, some marketing philosophies, and experience creating successful brand communication efforts.  

Please feel free to listen and post on your social media channels!


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Secret To Social Marketing!

Here it is.  Are you ready?  Would you like to know the fool-proof way to drive your social media communication?  There is only one thing you need to know...

There is no single proven solution.  In a world of instant weight-loss pills and a kitty-cat video garnering three million impressions in 24-hours, we are a society that wants instant gratification and instant results.  And I hate to say it, but the way to increase your views, "Likes" and Followers is through proven tactics that have driven marketing concepts for years.

The Surfer's Guide To Marketing focuses on different tactics to increase your social media presence and productivity, though just as its easy to tell a novice surfer to "Get on your board, paddle in front of a wave, and stand up" the actual execution is a little more tricky.  But integrating some of the basic protocol and techniques can ensure that you will be on your way to greater incremental results.

In the book, I ask if it is wise to let a kid with no marketing or PR background "drive" your Twitter or Facebook simply because the tattoo covered, facial pierced entry level employee knows how to "Tweet".  Would you let that same rookie produce a full-page color ad in the NY Times?  Certainly it's an extreme example but you get the idea that classically-trained marketing does hold a place in today's rapidly changing social space.  

So if the basics for surfing involve the right board, wetsuit, wax, tide/swell, etc. then we need to ensure your social media offering provides content, consistency, and engagement.  Simply put, you need to say something interesting that users want to hear, continue to provide informative and/or entertaining content on a regular basis, and ensure that your followers or fans can have some input in the conversation.  Those three areas are the foundation for any positive campaign.  

SAY WHAT?! The Surfer's Guide To Marketing features a Case Study of two television networks facing similar situations and turning to social media to communicate with their fans and (even more importantly) their disgruntled customers.  I won't fill you in on all the details here (because why would you need to buy the book?) but I will tell you that half of the social media battle is what you say.  The messaging between the two companies was very different in nature with one being straightforward and the other trying to dance around the issues and provide "fluffy" non-relevant content.  While you would assume which one had a more successful approach based on the set-up of strategies, I can tell you that BOTH wiped out worse than a Kook at Teahupoo!

REWARD ME! Other aspects of driving engagement centers around rewarding loyal followers and user-genterated interactions.  Simply put; people like free swag so I always encourage clients to provide giveaways, rewards for input, and brand sampling across all of the platforms.   Provide incentives to stay, combined with aforementioned solid story telling, and you have a formula to increase loyalty and impressions.

More intricate interactions including sweepstakes and user-generated content are great solutions if you make it relevant, organic, and fun.  Getting users to forward to friends in a user-voting effort is a great way to ensure you increase your footprint as long as the cause is something fans can get behind.  Not every invite to get involved is successful and there are many tips and secrets we discuss in the book, but from a ten-thousand foot look, creating a fun opportunity for your Followers to become part of the story is a solid approach.

WHO CARES? And now that we have the "what", let's also ensure we target the right people.  There are three major categories of social media users: Spectators, Participants, and Creators.  If you don't believe it, ask yourself which one of these three types of user you most resemble?  Do you simply see your friends' posts or ignore when they ask you to vote/give/forward, etc?  Then you are a Spectator who is exposed to the message but not actively participates.  Or, perhaps you will vote for your friend's singing video or share their post for their cause on your own Facebook page.  That classifies you as a Participant.  Someone who will engage to some extent and put forth an effort but are not fully driven to enter the contest or promote yourself.  And of course, the last area is reserved for Creators; the person who uploads their cutest baby in the contest or drives their friends to vote or enter.  Creating a campaign that draws in all three is the secret to a successful user-generated activation.  Make it interesting for the casual observer, relevant to a friend who will support the effort, and enticing enough that people will lay it on the line to become a disciple for the contest or promotion.

LEARN MORE! For more of the social media discussion including tips, tactics, and Case Studies featuring amazing brands and their successful strategies, be sure to pick up a copy of The Surfer's Guide To Marketing.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Bob Meistrell, Body Glove Founder, Passes Away

Today we have lost one of surfing's true pioneers and gentlemen.  Bob Meistrell, who founded of Body Glove along with his twin brother, died doing what he loved; being out in the ocean on his boat.  The 84-year old pioneer was returning from Catalina and I'm sure it was exactly how he would have liked to say goodbye.  Having known Bob and his family as neighbors, he was always extremely friendly and outgoing and quick to share a story from his incredible life and career.

The Surfer's Guide To Marketing features one of the last interviews with the surf industry icon and his case study on the formation of Body Glove is one of my favorites.  We will miss Bob and the world of water sports owes a great deal to this innovative man.  

Check out The Surfer's Guide To Marketing for the complete interview and for more information on his passing, please see the link below:

How To Become a Marketing BARNACLE

In The Surfer's Guide To Marketing, we discuss different ways to utilize another organization's on-site event, promotion, or activation to drive your brand.   I refer to partnering with a larger exhibit or trade event as becoming a BARNACLE.  Your goal is to drive awareness and interactions for your product or service without disrupting the flow, causing too much attention from the host, or spending significantly more resources than the value you gain in return.

The BARNACLE, those little animals that live on the chin of a large whale, are the perfect surf-analogy example of how you should position yourself to be successful as an addition to an existing organization's activation.  The mollusk's main job is to subtly attach to a larger host and leverage their partner's existing efforts while sucking in plankton and getting a free ride.  They don't cause too much of a distraction and are able to have noticeable gains without expending much effort.  And that mentality directly transfers to the marketing world when creating an on-site partnership.

Having created activations at high traffic locations ranging from trade shows to shopping malls to the Super Bowl, I always approach the opportunity with the same philosophy of becoming a BARNACLE.  I want to ensure my brand gains incrementally more exposure and value than if we did a stand-alone effort and we do not disrupt the host to the point where we draw negative results or controversy.   

On-site activation for a major network premiere.

While some promotions, tours, or locations can have sponsorship packages ranging in the seven figures, most of the BARNACLE activations are established because your brand has smaller budgets with large expectations.   That's where The Surfer's Guide To Marketing becomes a valuable resource as we dedicate an entire chapter to the best approaches and proven techniques in this arena.  We discuss proven cases and provide a how-to for operating and thriving as the marketing version of the little critter on Shamu's face!

And for every successful case study in my book, there are also real-world examples of what guerrilla marketers do wrong  Recently, Ouya tried to crash the E3 video game expo.  Rather than pay to be included in the show, they thought (like many marketers do) that they could circumvent the official relationship by setting up in the surrounding area for less.  Instead of going through the front door, Ouya tried to go through the back door... or more accurately, the parking lot.  E3 wasn't too fond of this type of grass roots activation and the attached link describes the battle that ensued.

As a veteran of on-site marketing, I have been exposed to countless situations surrounding the "right" or "wrong" way to approach it.  The Surfer's Guide To Marketing explains my strategy for being a successful BARNACLE and Ouya definitely didn't approach it the way I would have.  What's your take on how to create a successful activation and what do you think about the article and E3 vs. Ouya battle?  Please leave your comments!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Beach Reporter Feature!

Here is an article that featured "The Surfer's Guide To Marketing" in the South Bay publication.  Be sure to "like" the article and follow "The Surfer's Guide To Marketing" on Facebook at the link in the story!
Marketing tips with some laughs: Longboard Marketing founder Randy Rovegno takes on the world of marketing in new book - The Beach Reporter: Lifestyle

Sunday, June 9, 2013

How Philanthropy Can Drive Your Brand

In The Surfer's Guide To Marketing, we discuss how to utilize philanthropy in an effort to drive your branding.  As surfers, we can look at ENVIRONMENTALISTS (as our example of people who engage in charitable efforts or causes) because they obviously have a higher interest in preserving their oceans than the average citizen.  So with that as our model, we can associate those who practice activism for whatever relevant cause, to our coastal ENVIRONMENTALISTS.

Utilizing cause marketing or charity to build awareness for a corporate organization can be tricky.  But there are some guidelines to observe to ensure that your efforts, while set against a corporate agenda, still provide an acceptable amount of good will.  After all, it's ok for a company to "get credit" for their charitable efforts just so long as it is an authentic, endemic campaign.  It must produce genuine results and not try to boast more than they merit.  Consumers are savvy and can see through thinly-veiled efforts to appear sincere.  

The two rules of thumb I invoke when creating a philanthropic effort are:

1) The charity is true, real, and genuinely benefits from the effort.  There are examples of big corporations “creating” philanthropy or instituting a good will effort only to have the transparent excuse for marketing backfire.  If you want to devote resources, time, effort, dollars, etc. to a cause, then you must truly believe in the cause.  And make a solid effort.

2) Developing a cause campaign or aligning with
an existing charity must be a natural partnership that is organic in nature and forms a positive, logical combination for the brand.  
If your brand is in no way involved in cancer research for example, or there isn't a personal element or story to it, then perhaps your company shouldn't select that organization to support.  It's not that supporting generic causes are a bad thing, but it makes for a more seamless story for the consumer if there is a logical connection.  Now, if the CEO's mother fought the disease or they have a similar story that puts the brand in the middle of the cause, then it's instantly credible.  Simply put, select a cause that motivates your consumers because the involvement is organic and relevant to your product or service.

A current example of an organization doing a good will effort that will surely pay exponential dividends is one that is near and dear to me personally.  The Arizona Diamondbacks recently drafted Arizona State's Cory Hahn with the 34th pick in last week's draft.  While not unusual if you didn't know the story, the effort made becomes extraordinary when you learn about the draft pick himself.  Three games into his college baseball career at Arizona State University, Cory (who wore number 34) was involved in a freak play that left him with a broken neck, paralyzed from the waste down.  Despite the tragic injury, Cory continues to excel as a student, friend, and "teammate" with his former roster mates.

Former ASU Player Cory Hahn

The Diamondbacks honored his courage and attitude by using a pick on him to show their appreciation and fulfill the former athlete's dream.  While in actuality, the gesture only "cost" the brand (in this case the D-backs) a 34th round pick, the value one can assign to the effort will come back incrementally higher.  It's a great way to do a good deed in the community and have that limited activation pay larger dividends.  

So while I in no means imply that they did it just for the publicity, I'm sure the front office is not against all of the attention, positive social media, overwhelming community support, and becoming the focus of certain marketing blog's subject.   (FYI, having suffered a neck injury myself and as a Sun Devil alum, I can relate to this story on many levels!)

In The Surfer's Guide To Marketing, there is an entire chapter dedicated to ENVIRONMENTALISTS, or the proper ways to integrate cause marketing into your mix.  It can be done cost-effectively, organically, and help drive your brand while giving back to the community.  We discuss everything from corporate partners who help out during disasters to celebrities like Drew Brees who create foundations to give back.  Check out the book for a complete discussion of how you can gain valuable exposure while helping make other people's lives better.  And in the meantime, forward along this article to show your support for the home run the Diamondbacks hit with their selection of Cory!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Purchase The Surfer's Guide To Marketing

The Surfer's Guide To Marketing is out just in time for summer!  Be sure to pick up your copy today.  It's an innovative, entertaining look at the various marketing tactics that have proven success.  From social media to celebrity integration, we cover everything small businesses and Fortune 500 companies utilize to drive their brand.

A few of the outlets to purchase the future best-seller include:



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Surfer's Guide To Marketing's Tips on Starfish

With Sergio Garcia making negative headlines this week, his sponsors are backpedaling faster than a ball on the slick green on 17!  The irony is that the target of his abuse is Tiger Woods, himself no stranger to having brands turn their back on a once-promising relationship.  Having worked with hundreds of celebrities ranging from using their likeness on packaging, filming on-air spots, event appearances, and more, I have insight into the proper selection and use of talent to drive your marketing needs.  In my new book, The Surfer's Guide To Marketing, I discuss celebrity engagements, or what I call the use of Starfish.  Here is an outline of considerations when deciding if you should engage celebrity talent, what person to best align with for your brand, and the best practices to leverage your relationship with the celeb.  
Every brand is different and requires a unique voice, positioning, and style.  You speak to unique audiences and segments so we need to ensure that we all understand there is no one surfboard for every condition.  The next star might not be the right star.  So let’s explore some of the criteria for adding a Starfish to your roster.
1) Define what your brand is and what you want to say.   Write a few key words that your brand would demonstrate if it was a human being.  Are your shoes cool, sleek, stylish?  Is your vacuum cleaner reliable, easy, and quiet?  Whatever your brand identity is, make a note of it.
2) Who are you targeting?  It's Marketing 101 but we need to identify if we are looking at an upscale, cerebral demo or a fanatical, face-painting everyman.  While certain big names transcend the brand, it makes sense to ensure that the ideal representative is identifiable with your target.  Sports fans want athletes but the same probably can't be said for a mom at the retail make-up counter.  Ensure you have the right demo in mind before trying to sign a name to speak to them.
3) Credibility.  Knowing that Starfish are human (did I just write that?!), we can start to target athletes or artists that have the similar characteristics as your brand or appeal to the demographic.  Similar to the chapter on Environmentalists, this association must be true and relevant.  Michael Jordan can promote Haines because he wears underwear (I’m assuming).  But would he be a good Head & Shoulders pitch man since he’s bald?  Probably best saved for Troy Polamalu and his flowing mane.  The credibility of the Starfish is key to persuading the consumer to follow the spokesman’s lead.  
There are two parts to credibility; the Starfish’s perceived honesty and probability.  The first is simple; would a consumer believe the spokesman?  Are they honest or at least appear to be honest?  If a convicted felon appears on TV and tells you the hamburger shop down the road is great, do you automatically believe him?  
The second-half of credibility is the consumer’s impression that the Starfish is an expert in his field and the brand they use is a factor.  Their perceived expertise or ability to excel in their field while possibly using said product is a key to the story.  Halle Berry is beautiful and she probably uses the makeup she promotes to get there.  Sergio's clubs are TaylorMade and as the tools of his trade, it's a logical connection.  It’s a capable story that the consumer can associate with.  Does the identity, credibility, and expertise of the brand and Starfish intertwine?  If so, highlight those names and continue.
Take the brand attributes and the human characteristics we’ve listed in Step 1 and Step 2 and start to list appropriate Starfish that could support both columns.  Don’t worry at this point about unique factors like cost, accessibility, etc.  We can eliminate those later.
4) Appeal.  In the most vapid, vain line in The Surfer’s Guide To Marketing... I ask if the Starfish is attractive?  While it’s a no-brainer to have a beautiful supermodel promote makeup and clothing, a pitchman must skew high on a physically attractive scale based on the most primitive laws of attraction.  I discuss how our Brand Ambassadors need to meet a level of criteria that includes physical appearance because countless consumer research has the targeted demographic responding more favorably to those who they rank higher on a scale of attractiveness.  
While there are exceptions to every rule (Ask anyone who knows my beautiful wife and wonders if I’m holding her hostage in our marriage) the rule of attraction, combined with credibility, and awareness form the basis for your Starfish.  Sergio may not be quite a looker himself but the more appealing a Starfish is, the more likely they will be received by the public.  How often does Tom Brady's "movie star" looks come into the conversation when discussing his endorsements?   Check your list, highlight the Starfish who are still on the roster and now you know who would be an ideal representative for your brand.
5) Reality.  Even though Hugh Jackman is your ideal representative and his looks, honesty, and multi-talented acting and singing abilities would make your restaurant or clothing line a huge hit, is it feasible?  Many Starfish are not inexpensive and there are “levels” that you need to stay within if you are a smaller company or brand.  An MLS soccer player in your market would still drive traffic at literally one-hundredth of the cost of getting Wolverine to appear.  After all the exploration of the right celebrity for your brand, there needs to be a realistic look at what you can afford and the logistics of using the Starfish.   Perhaps the national star or league MVP mirrors a similar type of player on your city’s team that will have a great impact.  Replacing an Oscar winner with a reality star might fit both your brand and budget.  Explore the limitations and see if your ideal Starfish is able to swim with your brand.
Once you have the ideal candidate to represent your brand, you need to establish the best way to leverage that relationship.  For an entire discussion on how to utilize a Starfish in your campaign, check out The Surfer’s Guide To Marketing.

Randy Rovegno is an award-winning marketer with LONGBOARD Marketing and his list of brands he has created celebrity engagements for include ESPN, NFL, FOX, AT&T, Upper Deck, ABC, and more.  He has worked with countless athletes and celebrities including Drew Brees, Wayne Gretzky, Ray Romano, and more.  His new book, The Surfer's Guide To Marketing is available this week and features a humorous look at marketing and demonstrates his proven techniques and tips via real-world case studies.  Follow The Surfer's Guide To Marketing  on Facebook.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Surfer's Guide To Marketing Is Ready For Summer!

The Surfer's Guide To Marketing is ready for it's summer release!  The marketing how-to shows novice and expert marketers alike how to navigate the marketing tides.  The Surfer's Guide To Marketing features one-on-one conversations with experts including Wing Lam, founder of Wahoo's Fish Tacos, Super Agent Leigh Steinberg, Bob Meistrell, founder of Body Glove, and Super Bowl Champion Drew Brees!

Friday, February 22, 2013

About The Author

Randy Rovegno has over two decades of successful 
marketing experience working on brands including ESPN, ABC, Upper Deck, and more.  As an avid surfer and former stand-up comedian, Rovegno speaks to various university classes about marketing strategy, real-world case studies, and navigating today’s marketing landscape utilizing his unique portfolio, experience, and humor to motivate tomorrow’s marketing minds. 

After stints in various CPG and consumer marketing groups and in a key role with a boutique agency that he quickly developed into a multi-million dollar business, he founded LONGBOARD Marketing in 2008 because nothing spells success like a start-up in the worst economy in twenty years. 

As a creative executive challenged with developing novel and successful campaigns for the most dynamic, savvy sports and entertainment clients in the world, Rovegno must constantly utilize the perennial “outside the box” thinking, creativity, and unorthodox tactics to drive the products or brands he works with.  It is based on the various challenges and successes from his award-winning career that motivated him to write this book and demonstrate some of the favorite tricks of the trade.

Its ironic that the author who makes at least 500 surfing references might just be the worst surfer in the ocean.  With a surfing resume that includes multiple trips to the ER, more time held under the waves than kelp, and a style that has earned him the nickname the “Yeti from the Jetty” it is a foregone conclusion that what he lacks in surfing ability, he makes up for in proven marketing success.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Surfer's Guide To Marketing

The Surfer’s Guide To Marketing is an entertaining, motivational, and educational guide to developing marketing efforts in today’s fluid landscape.  Utilizing surfing and ocean references while interjecting real-world examples that provide traditional and unorthodox brand communication tactics in the competitive marketplace, The Surfer’s Guide To Marketing challenges marketing minds to push the envelop.  By creating an atmosphere for marketing and business professionals to think outside the box and paddle out into a lineup consisting of large brands, small start-ups, and everyone else vying for the wave of consumer attention,  The Surfer’s Guide To Marketing crushes boring, industry text book rhetoric like a barrel at North Shore and drops in humor and a unique perspective to encourage fresh thought and a new attitude.

Comprised of both traditional and new philosophies and featuring actual marketing anecdotes and successful case studies, The Surfer’s Guide To Marketing  serves up the perfect wave of marketing principles, untapped opportunities, and passion for marketing professionals, business owners, and surfers alike.  From the Puffer Fish to the Trojan (Sea) Horse, the book serves to bring the “can-do” to the “how-to” and backs it up with action-step exercises for the reader by demonstrating the proven tactics discussed.   The CASE STUDIES and SURF LESSONS serve to show the reader not only how different strategies can be applied and what their proven results might look like, but also provide some simple, step-by-step exercises to stimulate the inner marketer and surfer in all of us.   The book features ten chapters of strategies, proven case studies and samples of the actual marketing principles in action to cement the proven viability of everything from The Barnacle to The Remora!

Written with a unique perspective by Randy Rovegno, proven marketing expert on such brands as ABC, AT&T, NFL, NBC, FOX, Verizon, ESPN, and more, The Surfer’s Guide To Marketing takes on the world of marketing (and surfing) and shows that whether you want to build a brand or paddle out in the Pacific, marketing and surfing are as connected as a longboard and a leash.  The author's humorous style and expertise carries the reader through dynamic principles and actual examples while serving to fulfill the promise of one-third education, one-third motivation, and one-third entertainment! So wax your board, plan your campaign, and get ready... surf’s up!