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Published July 31, 2019

023 Marty McDonald—an Area 51 Marketing Lesson


There’s a huge marketing lesson to be learned from the online activity surrounding Area 51. Marty McDonald of Bad Rhino laid out the specifics in this episode of Marketing RV with Ranalli and Volpe. As we discussed the founding and ten-year success of Bad Rhino, one of the country’s leading electronic marketing firms, Marty revealed insights into effective social media marketing. 

Unless you’re willing to post with an intention to trigger a response, Marty said your social media efforts are wasted. Engagement comes from being provocative. That does not mean you have to be negative, and you may not want to get political. Marty advised staying away from politics.

Gene took the conversation in a totally different direction when he inquired about one of Marty’s Area 51 posts. The discussion begins at about 18 minutes into the show and includes references to a recent Joe Rogan podcast and Bob Lazar’s Netflix documentary. While Lorraine got schooled on conspiracy theories surrounding the infamous air force base, Marty made valid marketing analogies that anyone can apply to their online efforts.

The conversation with Marty was fascinating and will be continued in episode 024. The cliffhanger question teasing the next episode has to do with conspiracies relating to government data mining and what was once called Desert Wind.

Episodes 023 and 024 were recorded at Split Rail Tavern in West Chester, PA, second home of Marty McDonald. 
Partnering is a surefire way to promote your brand, which is why Lorraine and Gene take Marketing RV on the road and talk business with interesting guests. If your business would like to sponsor and host Marketing RV, contact us here.  Shout out to Chico’s Vibe for the music bed!


3:20 Recommendation for ideal podcast length 

7:00 Bad Rhino—social media experts from the beginning! 

10:10 What makes a great business partnership

11:24 The story behind Bad Rhino

12:05 The 30 second pitch

14:10 The exit plan

18:27 Gene takes the podcast into Area 51

19:18 Gene labels Marty a rabble rouser

20:00 Marty explains Area 51

21:17 Human experimentation and conspiracy theory

23:37 Storming Area 51 would be an exercise in natural selection

25:07 The Marketing lesson built into Area 51

27:01 The conspiracy theory cliffhanger—is the government collecting massive amounts of data on citizens via our online activity?

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