Mark Twain Was An Info Marketer in the 1800s
You know him as the famous author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, two famous American novels most of us read in school. But did you know that Mark Twain was an info marketer in the 1800s? That he was.
Samuel L. Clemens grew up in Hannibal, Missouri between 1835 – 1850, and he turned his childhood escapades into timeless classics. He prospered on the lecture circuit in the US and in Europe, reading and talking about his tall tales, but essentially he was promoting what he knew.
His public speaking and his writing, in newspapers and magazines as well as his own books, promoted information about life in a small, Midwestern town as seen through the eyes of young boys. He captured the attention of his audiences by fascinating them with his perspective of life and times gone by. Mark Twain was marketing his historical perspective, and it worked.
In addition, he built a platform for promoting his own political and social agenda, which was unique and controversial. But it all started with what he knew, and what he was able to turn into books, articles and public speeches.
Now you can see why I call Mark Twain an info marketer. He didn’t think of himself that way, but we can see it now, with hindsight. Justin Kaplan won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1966 biography, entitled Mr. Clemons and Mark Twain. Kaplan writes, “He was a humorist, novelist, short-story writer, social historian, dramatist, journalist, occasional lecturer and frequent dinner speaker, inventor, entrepreneur, all-night raconteur and billiard player, lavish host, devoted family man.”
Perhaps, as information marketers, we can aspire to a few of those descriptions, too. Even two or three would be good. Twain did it all without the internet!