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Why You Never, Ever Give-Up...

From Marketing to Businesses to Marketing to Consumers, My Story!

  Gary Bacchetti
The Gentle Mentor
I worked for 20 years at an "in-plant marketing facility" for GTE. We were responsible for many of our GTE locations around the country.

When corporate headquarters in Stamford, CT decided to close my branch back in 1993 my co-workers panicked. All 52 employees started scrambling to update their resumes to get ready to pound the pavement.

I "chose" a different route.

I saw opportunity not knocking, but banging at my front door. I contacted many of our GTE and NON-GTE customers and told them not to worry. If they felt comfortable working with me as they had, someone who knew their account in great depth, I'd continue business as usual - but they'd be sending payments to me this time, not GTE.

I took a deep breath and $10,000 out of my 401K plan, rented an office suite, slapped on a shingle, and here I am 16 years later with - $22,000,000 in revenue. In my peak I had 33 full time employees, several of which were my former co-workers, working two shifts. My former employer was now my largest customer!

My company, Marketing & Advertising Services Center, was a complete fulfillment support organization serving thousands of businesses, educational institutions and consumers nationwide since 1993. Success the past 16 years was been built on extremely strong and consistent customer service.

MASC, in addition to hosting and e-commerce, provided consulting services on marketing campaigns, accepted reservations for seminars and training, was an inbound telephone call center, fulfilled orders for inbound and marketing campaign materials, assisted clients with pre-trade show arrangements and post-trade show follow-through.

We were also highly experienced in consumer "rebate management" having processed over 250,000 requests monthly for national Fortune 500 clients including Molson Breweries, GTE, Sylvania Automotive Mini-lighting, and Sunshine Consumer products.

Additionally, we provided marketing fulfillment services for Verizon, Corning, Dunlop Tire, HSBC Arena, Bethlehem Steel, Midas Muffler, Holmes-Air, Regal, and Carborundum-Abrasives.

The company's expertise extended deeply into contemporary areas of commerce such as technology in Education, Business-to-Business e-commerce, Pay-Per-Click management, Internet marketing, web development, creation and hosting through its ISP subsidiary.

MASC's staff of data-literate professionals offered a rich diversity of talents, allowing to organize services in accordance with clients' expectations and specifications. Since 1993 we processed tens of thousands of national and international orders on various products and services - ISDN, xDSL, Frame-Relay, Fractional-T's, Wholesale markets, and Industrial Smartparks.

Over the years, MASC had been active with its "give-back-to-the-community" program as a significant corporate underwriter for National Public Radio, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Newspapers in Education, and the highly acclaimed weekly Internet educational radio series heard on the Entercom Radio Network.

Additionally, MASC, through its ISP subsidiary, was the Official Sponsor along with Juno for the newly formed Law Enforcement Security Council - a forum where Internet companies promote consumer confidence & trust by coming together to address consumer security issues.

Hosted by (then) New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer, additional supportive members at ou co-sponsored Inaugural Meeting of the "Law Enforcement & Industry Dialogs" were AOL/Time Warner, IBM, Microsoft, Verizon, Prodigy, and Motorola.

Move Over B2B - Hello B2C!

I entered the world of Business to Consumer (B2C) 16 years ago as well. I just didn't know it. Attracting consumers to my ISP division, I found myself playing Ron Popeil to some 10,000 fairgoers daily - 120,000 over the 11 day run. Should someone balk and say "no" - that was my adrenaline que to kick in closing arguments. I loved it. A "no" was one step closer to a yes.

Doing my Business to Consmer (B2C) dog and pony show marketing was fun and I looked forward to it each year for 16 years. I remember being dazzled by my life long fantasy mentor Ron Popeil. His infomercials pushed everything from the Pocket Fisherman to the Showtime Rotisserie. I recall taping every episode I could fit on my Tivo. I'd replay it over and over again and practice selling widgets to consumers in front of the mirror.

The "It slices and dices" bug got me good.

In June of 2006, I started exploring the world of B2C internet marketing and developed a fascination for "opportunity seeker" mailings. I'd read them word-for-word comparing each and would separate them into groups; awesome, excellent, very good, good, not bad, so-so, poor, really rotten and el stinko.

I started looking at the myriad of home based business opportunities - signed up for a few and put their program under the microscope.

What I didn't like was being supplied with static web sites embedded with my referral link. I looked like everyone else! Boring! There was a market that surely needed an experienced marketer.

Hello Flash-Splash Advertising!

What was not out there in "InterNUT" land, I developed. My pet primary and most promising biz was a low cost entry level "Flash-Splash Video" for home based business owners that wanted to separate themselves from everyone else.

I tossed up a few creative capture pages using "talking head" ads and started to develop a loyal customer base. I charged a flat fee for creative and a monthly recurring for hosting along with free tips and tricks via my autoresponder. My list was now rapidly transforming into a responsive list.

The Real McCoy was becoming "The Gentle Mentor"

...But up until this point, no one took newbies by the hand. They were left to wing it on their own. I polled beginners and found it to be that missing link. "Find a need and fill it" - and that's exactly what I did.

From one subscriber to 102,417 - word spread fast my first 26 months. The action takers stood out and I quickly moved them into several of my niche sub-lists. New subscribers currently opt-in at a rate of 30-40 a day, seven days a week. With blog, video marketing, JV relationships, affiliates, a "live"chat room - it's anyones guess where I'll be five years from now.

I've since semi-retired from the grind of the 9-5 corporate world and currently teach "live" several evenings a week to newbies looking to "connect the dots." No more wine and cheese parties, no more politics, no more trying to justify this campaign or satisfy some young product manager with attitude.

I prefer grabbing a cup of coffee, checking my paypal account each day, then go fishing. I love automated money machines.

Gary Bacchetti

The Gentle Mentor
The Gentle Mentor


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