Almost all effective marketing works from the outside-in. Instead of the company telling customers what the customer should want, the company researches what the customer wants. But what's the best way to get this information? Listen to your employees and spend time with customers in stores. Most good ideas come from employees or customers, not from management.
In January of 1871, there was a deadly railroad accident on the iron bridge over Nonconnah Creek about four miles south of Memphis. The Northbound Express train was thrown across the track and down an eight foot embankment. Seven people died and many more suffered devastating injuries, many of which were reported in local and the national press.
During the summer of 1904, Mayor J.J. Williams worked to suppress gambling and all forms of vice in the city. Going beyond what concerned citizens probably wanted, the mayor called on women's society groups to put a halt to all card games where a prize or cash was awarded to the winner. Memphis society suddenly found itself home and free on Bridge night.
Car Sharing is a twist that rents cars by the hour - cheap. With a small yearly fee, you pay hourly rates for gas, insurance, and an allotment of free miles. People use the service to get groceries, move, transport people -- instead of paying for a full day's rental or owning a car. It's an excellent example of re-configuring how you provide a service, and how people pay for it, as a major source of marketing innovation.