Mary Charleson
Mary Charleson holds an MBA in marketing, and has been a monthly marketing columnist for Business in Vancouver since 2002. She has published two books, Word of Mouth Mouse & Mobile (2013), and Five-Minute Marketing (2010), each featuring tips for the time-starved entrepreneur, marketing manager or student. She has been a consultant with Charleson Communications for over 20 years, and has taught marketing at Capilano University, New York Institute of Technology, City University of Seattle as well as guest lectured at Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia. Mary is also a member of the Global Speakers Federation, and a consulted marketing opinion leader. Her work has been published in Marketing Magazine, Strategy, and the Toronto Star as well as numerous industry and association publications. She has also had lifestyle pieces published in Zoomer Magazine and Cottage Life.

Check out weekly contributions to her marketing blog, read globally by industry leaders:
For an archive of published work visit her company website:

Entries by Mary Charleson

Biased Election Coverage And Consumption Will Have Consequences

(17) Comments | Posted November 2, 2016 | 11:34 AM

trump washington post
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds up the front page of the New York Post as he signs autographs at a rally with supporters in Harrington, Delaware, U.S. April 22, 2016. (Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Donald Trump used to be...

Read Post

Great Brands Always Have A Shared Story

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2016 | 2:10 PM

Branding is about more than image recognition for customers. Great brands give their customers something to belong to and talk about. They always have a great story. I was reminded of that last week while in Ontario cottage country visiting relatives and friends before returning to Toronto for some business...

Read Post

You're Being Judged. You Just Don't Know It

(7) Comments | Posted June 6, 2016 | 12:00 PM

Dear 20-something,
You're being judged. You just don't know it. You have somehow managed to graduate from high school, and in some cases college and university, without knowing how to use to, too and two. You mix up were, where and wear as well as there, their and they're....

Read Post

5 Lessons In Managing Negative Publicity

(1) Comments | Posted March 28, 2016 | 3:48 PM

Somebody at Coors Light had a horrible, no good, very bad day last week. Several people at Rethink, a well respected Vancouver advertising agency responsible for the #BraveTheCold campaign, also likely had a sleepless night trying to put the breaks on creative that was set to launch that week, after...

Read Post

How WestJet Earned Authenticity In A Jaded Airline Space

(3) Comments | Posted December 18, 2015 | 1:57 PM

Leading brands know who they are, and more importantly who they ARE NOT. They are conscious of what matches their style and resonates with their audience. They find authenticity in the space that they occupy.

WestJet is one of those brands.

WestJet has been producing the Christmas...

Read Post

Is Canada Ready For Marijuana Marketing And Stylish Dispensaries?

(4) Comments | Posted November 19, 2015 | 11:36 AM

Like a breath of fresh air, the Liberal party swept to power in Canada recently with a "sunny days" attitude. Under the leadership of Justin Trudeau, Generation X has taken power, promising open communication and a team approach with an agenda for change.

One of the...

Read Post

10 Ways to Make Marketing Go Viral

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 5:04 PM

With the weather getting cooler in the fall and NHL season starting back up on October 7, many Canadians thoughts turn to hockey. And no brand has aligned themselves better with this Canadian passion than Tim Hortons.

This week, Tim Hortons uploaded a series of commercials to YouTube featuring...

Read Post

Is Your Business a Slave to Social Media?

(1) Comments | Posted August 18, 2015 | 8:05 AM

Did you know that the average business to consumer (B2C) firm is now keeping up with seven social media platforms? And they're spending an average of 20 hours a week on marketing. This week alone I heard multiple conversations about how Periscope was the next big...

Read Post

10 Reasons Why #DeadRaccoonTO Became a National News Story

(3) Comments | Posted July 11, 2015 | 1:01 PM

On July 9 a raccoon died in Toronto. By July 10 it was national and international news, which begs the question -- why? And more importantly, if you're in marketing: how?

Although it's unlikely, for those that missed the story, a report of a dead raccoon was called into Toronto...

Read Post

Air Canada Should Innovate Instead of Charging Baggage Fees

(11) Comments | Posted June 18, 2015 | 1:03 PM

Anyone who has flown recently in Canada knows that there is currently a premium being placed on the overhead luggage space. It's all being driven by the decision by airlines to charge for checked baggage. In an effort to save money, many are jamming their life possessions into carry-on bags...

Read Post