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Mary Charleson

Marketing educator, speaker, and strategist. Author of 5-Minute Marketing, Word of Mouth Mouse & Mobile. Blogs at

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, <em>Word of Mouth Mouse & Mobile</em> (2013), and <em>Five-Minute Marketing</em> (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. <br> <br> Check out weekly contributions to her marketing blog, read globally by industry leaders: <br> For an archive of published work visit her company website:
Biased Election Coverage And Consumption Will Have

Biased Election Coverage And Consumption Will Have Consequences

The media on both sides of the political aisle may well be painting a picture of what they want to see happen, not what is an accurate prediction of what could happen. And because we all willingly are consuming and sharing media as we always have been, we are confident in our own views of the likely outcome.
11/02/2016 11:34 EDT
Great Brands Always Have A Shared

Great Brands Always Have A Shared Story

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 meetings.
09/26/2016 10:10 EDT
You're Being Judged. You Just Don't Know

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

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. Notice how I said you're being judged? Not your being judged?
06/06/2016 12:00 EDT
5 Lessons In Managing Negative

5 Lessons In Managing Negative Publicity

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 negative publicity threatened to take over. And that doesn't even credit the hundreds of thousands spent on scripting, casting, filming and editing in the first place that became unusable. Ouch.
03/28/2016 03:48 EDT
How WestJet Earned Authenticity In A Jaded Airline

How WestJet Earned Authenticity In A Jaded Airline Space

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.
12/18/2015 02:57 EST
Is Canada Ready For Marijuana Marketing And Stylish

Is Canada Ready For Marijuana Marketing And Stylish Dispensaries?

One of the more potentially controversial policies promised by the Liberals is the legalization of marijuana. Whether we agree with it on not, Canada is likely to see marijuana openly available for sale within the next four years. Pot is about to get hot.
11/19/2015 12:36 EST
10 Ways to Make Marketing Go

10 Ways to Make Marketing Go Viral

This week, Tim Hortons uploaded a series of commercials to YouTube featuring Nova Scotia hometown boys Sidney Crosby and Nate MacKinnon serving up coffee. It elicited numerous tweets, Instagram posts and Facebook statuses at the time, and even garnered TV coverage. This campaign subscribes to many of the 10 top reasons things go viral, methods you too can use to spread your business' message.
10/02/2015 05:04 EDT
Is Your Business a Slave to Social

Is Your Business a Slave to Social Media?

It's time to be strategic and forget about the rest. I'm not necessarily advocating that you pick two platforms and dump the rest. But you could certainly focus 80 per cent of your effort on those two that are well aligned, and put the others you've established in maintenance mode -- updating basic info from time to time.
08/18/2015 08:05 EDT
10 Reasons Why #DeadRaccoonTO Became a National News

10 Reasons Why #DeadRaccoonTO Became a National News Story

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 City Animal Services the morning of July 9th, and despite a timely initial response, the raccoon was not taken away for over 14 hours. In the ensuing hours a growing vigil spontaneously sprung up around the raccoon, as news of its untimely demise and neglect by city authorities went viral online and in the media.
07/11/2015 01:01 EDT
Air Canada Should Innovate Instead of Charging Baggage

Air Canada Should Innovate Instead of Charging Baggage Fees

Anyone who has flown recently in Canada knows that there is currently a premium being placed on the overhead luggage space. At the root of all of these examples is the need to solve a problem creatively and cost effectively. Air Canada, are you read to challenge convention, disrupt and innovate?
06/18/2015 01:03 EDT