First Mini-Marketing Interview

My mini marketing interviews feature various Marketers with different areas of expertise. So even if today’s interview isn’t relevant to you, the next one might be.


My first mini marketing interview features my good friend Barry Waldman, Vice President of Communications for Trident United Way.


1.   Can you give me a very brief bio about yourself and your company?

I’m the Splendid Poobah of Communication at Trident United Way, which works to strengthen our community by helping people improve their education, financial stability and health.  A native New Yorker, I began my career as a reporter, moving to United Way 15 years ago, and to the United Way here in Charleston 10 years ago next week. Along the way I picked up a cute blond Quebecois wife; a nasty baseball habit; and an addiction to fresh air, mostly inhaled on a bike or in the water; and a friend named Don Oswalt. I also teach PR and marketing as an adjunct professor at College of Charleston. If you’re having trouble falling asleep at your desk, take a look at my blog, Braindrizzling, which offers a unique take on the issues in baseball.

2.       What is your marketing expertise?

Yogi Berra famously noted that you can observe a lot by watching, and that’s how I’ve acquired most of my marketing “expertise.” As a reporter, I was hyper-aware of how PR and marketing folks were trying to manipulate me. I guess I intuitively understood that marketing is all about finding out what the customers want and giving it to them.

3.       Regarding your expertise, if you had to choose one tip to share, what would it be?

I honestly don’t feel like I am qualified to offer other marketing experts tips on marketing. The one thing I hammer into my students is that it’s about the customer, not about you, your company or organization.

4.       What do you think the future of direct marketing is?

Marketing is getting more direct every minute – wait, I just got a text message from my car dealer – but the methods have changed. There will always be mail marketing because nearly everyone has a home, but marketers are employing other, richer channels to find, segment and reach their targets. As a channel-agnostic marketing method, I think direct marketing is going to rule; direct mail, not so much.

5.       If you use direct mail, what is working for you right now?

Trident United Way has done some direct mail to parents of children entering kindergarten and to support the letter carriers’ food drive. It’s a great way to target customers based on geography and household metrics and to deliver print messages to them. In addition, printers these days are incorporating multi-channel executions, like PURLs, to bring direct mail alive. So there’s still plenty to be said for direct mail.

Barry can be reached at 843-740-9000 x 271 or

If you would like to be added to my mini marketing interviews send me your answers to the 5 questions and I would love to feature you.


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