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Black Thursday is the New Black Friday

Here are some thoughts to consider long before that Thanksgiving meal settles. Thanks to KAMA member Kathleen Atkins for contributing this guest post:

Last year, I documented the day after Thanksgiving shopping madness I have annually participated in and has been dubbed by retailers and consumers as the biggest shopping day of the year — Black Friday. The article was based on a tweet from @LauraLPotts: “Black Friday is like zombie apocalypse: you’re either one of them, or you’re locked inside praying that loved ones don’t get trampled.”

This evening, as I’m scouring the Internet doing my research, I’m prepping and flipping through Black Friday ads that have been pre-released, scanned, and posted on various web sites. I’m beginning to formulate my plan of attack.

But this year is different.

Nearly all of the stores are now opening at midnight or earlier. Gone are the days of 5 a.m. store openings I was accustomed to in the “early days.” Black Friday has evolved into Black Thursday, a round-the-clock, nationwide, sleep-deprived shopping massacre.

Black Thursday is the new Black Friday.

I will be among the thousands lined up on a sidewalk or in a parking lot with red blood-colored cranberry sauce stains on my shirt, and everyone will be facing the store’s front door just waiting for the doors to open. Traffic will be at a standstill in Turkey Creek and West Town Mall, and the struggle to obtain the best deals has never been so perilous.

The zombie shopping fever has spread, and I’m afraid it’s hit a pandemic level. I can’t help but wonder, what would Rick from The Walking Dead do?

Zombies in The Walking Dead are quite similar to Black Thursday shoppers:

  • They devour any living thing (deal) they can catch.
  • They never sleep.
  • They are more dangerous in large numbers.
  • Loud noises attract large herds of them.
  • They stand still or shuffle around rather slowly. However when in pursuit, they move much more quickly.
  • They may turn what would normally be a harmless household item into a weapon.

As I prepare to head out into the darkness the evening of Black Thursday, I will be double-knotting my tennis shoes and keeping in mind that the swiftest shoppers can be far more dangerous than the walkers roaming the earth.

Welcome to KAMA’s Silver Anniversary Year

This year is a big deal for the Knoxville Chapter of the American Marketing Association (KAMA). And I’m really glad you’re a part of it!

On behalf of the Board of Directors of KAMA, I’d like to welcome you to our 25th Anniversary Year. In 1988, a few hard working and dedicated marketers in Knoxville got together, did a ton of research and filled out mountains of paperwork to create the Knoxville chapter. They created standard processes to help us with record keeping and protect us for long-term operational and financial stability. Just two years later, they created the Eagle Endowment for Marketing Education.

How is this for a plan?

The foundation laid by our predecessors during the chapter’s first year of operation remains fully intact today. Sure, the old ledgers were eventually converted to spreadsheets and the chapter certainly didn’t have a Facebook page or even a website two decades ago. But the record keeping system they created is exactly what we use today to report our financial and operating plans to the International Headquarters of AMA.

Additionally, since the early days the Eagle Endowment has grown significantly and KAMA has awarded more than $70,000 in scholarships to marketing students at The University of Tennessee. Our founding members not only put into place a sustainable system allowing us to be in operation for 25 years and well beyond, but they also figured out how to keep the profession sustainable by contributing to the education of students and developing young minds to become the marketing leaders of the future.

How cool is that?

So when you’re Tweeting, texting, blogging, pinning, posting, tagging or whatever it is, I ask that you do two things:

  • Remember that no matter how many technological advancements come our way, the fundamental principles of marketing must still apply for the continued success of our profession and the businesses we represent
  • Give a shout out to the visionaries who created our chapter 25 years ago

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