A Murder Mystery in a Marketing Mayhem


When the bosses decide to throw an employee appreciation/pumpkin carving party to celebrate the top achievers in the company, fights break out over who deserves the achievement award the most.

After learning the prize is $5,000, disagreement builds over who is more deserving…  

A murder is committed!

Was it the power horse who will stop at nothing? The brown noser who will do whatever it takes to be in the lead? Or possibly the shy one who no one really knows?

In a world of smart marketers and creative thinkers, you must rely on your wit and intuition to find the killer before Halloween night!


The Boss While she shares half of the company with a good friend, she comes across as top dog and the true boss.

The Jealous BossHe is jealous of the other boss’s successes and always feels he is a shadow and 3 steps behind her.

The GossiperHe’s that guy who shares YOUR news before you get a chance to. He wants to know what’s going on at all times and will make sure everyone knows.

The Brown NoserHe has favorites in the company and it’s known. He is The Boss’s best friend after years of sucking up to her.

The ManipulatorShe gets what she wants when she wants and makes it seem like it was your idea all along.

The Office ClownHe’s the joker of the group and will stop at nothing to try to be funny – even if it means interrupting you.

The Social Butterfly While she is a ray of sunshine, she can also be overwhelming with how nice and happy she always is. She’s never seen without her phone.

Power Horse Power drives him and he won’t stop until he’s at the top.

The Nerd While smart at everything she does, she’s almost too smart and thinks everyone else is dumb. She is easily annoyed.

The Shy One While she doesn’t talk much, and is always reserved, she can be intimidating with her stares.

The Slacker He could care less about what happens as long as he gets a paycheck.

The Intern – Always running around with sweat flying off his forehead and spilling coffee everywhere, he tries his hardest to accommodate everyone’s needs.

Characters Characters 2

With a week until Halloween, the A-Train team had been working their fingers off to stay on top of all the work that was pouring in.

While there were many long hour days for the team, the work they were accomplishing was top notch. The Bosses felt it necessary to award the top achiever in the company and thank them for bringing in business and producing wonderful work.

While Halloween was just around the corner, The Boss asked The Jealous Boss to set aside some time to carve pumpkins with her. The Jealous Boss didn’t want to as he always felt it was a competition with her when it came to pumpkins and always came down to who the better boss was. So The Boss decided to combine the award-winning party with pumpkin carving!

It’s 6 pm on a Friday night. It has been raining all day with no sign of it letting up. The party is underway and the tension is building between the team members as they wait for the reveal of the prize and valued employee.

At last, The Boss announces via pumpkin what the prize will be…

$5,000 to the top Achiever!

She mentions the winner of the prize will be revealed in her next pumpkin and to continue socializing until then.

 The chatter breaks out immediately.

The Jealous Boss is instantly upset when he saw the team chattering away of what he thinks is excitement. He then becomes upset that he is not in the running and can’t win the prize. He sits in the corner to sulk as he stares down The Boss happily carving her pumpkin…

The Brown Noser thinks he worked hard to get where he is. He’s been with the company the longest due to sucking up to the bosses and doing anything they wanted. He often buys them drinks and foots the bill so they will see how cool he is. This evening, he has already volunteered to scoop out the insides of the pumpkin for The Boss and made sure she always has a drink in her hand. The Power Horse is annoyed by the Brown Noser and his habits. He’s going to get to the top no matter what and has worked hard to get where he is. He’s not about to let the Brown Noser stop him with his schmoozing capabilities. But the Brown Noser schmoozes, even more, when he notices the Power Horse glaring…


The Power Horse can’t stand to watch The Brown Noser schmooze with the boss. He always does whatever he wants and as long as it makes the others look terrible. The Power Horse is angry knowing the Brown Noser is his competition. He has to think of a way to get him out of the running. He needs to distract him and get him away from The Boss…

The Slacker sits at his desk with his shoes up on it. He’s so annoyed he has to be at the party. He has other things he would rather be doing. He hates lifting a finger to do much work. He would rather spend most of his day looking up cars while pretending to do work. As long as he keeps getting his paycheck, he’s going to work the system. To make that $5,000 would mean he could take a vacation for weeks and not have to worry about money! He desperately wants that money. He just needs to figure out how to get it, as he knows he’s not in the running to be the top achiever. He goes to the quiet space to scour the internet for creative ideas that will help him win.

meThe Social Butterfly is delighted to be carving pumpkins with her team members on this gloomy Friday night. As she is the most positive person in the office and a social butterfly, she couldn’t wait to take pictures of the pumpkins and start posting on their social media platforms! She’s really been excelling at work in the last few months and is positive she’ll win the prize. She also might have heard her name mentioned a few days prior when she was in the hallway waiting for the elevator. While she wasn’t sure what they were talking about, she had an idea.  She’s practically singing and dancing around the office out of pure joy because she’s surely going to win the price. While she’s busy taking selfies and candid photos of everyone’s pumpkins, the other team members are starting to get annoyed. The Nerd can’t stand how happy The Social Butterfly is all the time and thinks she’s as dumb as a rock. The Manipulator is getting annoyed at how many photos she’s taking of her. The Social Butterfly knows to avoid the Office Joker as they don’t really like each other. It’s always a battle for smiles. 

The Gossiper can’t believe the prize amount and has to find out if anyone has suspicions of who the top achiever is. He has to get to the bottom of this and will talk his way there even if he has to start a rumor about a false candidate. He decides to start with his least favorite person in the company and tell everyone he heard that person already knows they’ll win. He picks the Brown Noser as he is always hanging out with the bosses. He HAS to know who is winning the prize if not him himself. The rumor starts as he tells The Power Horse.

The Shy one is screaming for excitement about the prize, but no one can tell as she hardly talks or shows emotion. When she does talk, it’s only a mumble or quiet whisper. No one really knows much about The Shy one, but the Office Joker always makes fun of her and she’s growing tired of it. She wants this money so badly to show the team that you don’t need a voice to have a voice in marketing. She has to find out who is going to win.

wadeThe Office Clown breaks out into immediate jokes. In fact, the only language he speaks is in jokes. He always wants to be the funny guy in the group. He has a feeling he’s laughed his way into winning this prize. He’s so funny, he has to be the winner. His only competition is the Social Butterfly. She’s the only other employee who always seems to make people smile, and right now she’s smiling a little too big for his liking. He knows he needs to unleash some jokes she won’t understand to break her smile and build his own. He also starts to wonder if she knows something…

The Intern is busy running around making sure everyone has a beverage in their hand and almost forgot the amount of money that was on the table. He’s been running around helping everyone out so much that he knows he’s going to win the prize. How could he not? No one else sweats as much as he does while working. Plus it will make a great prize as he is working on starting his professional career. He thought he heard his name mentioned the other day while he was in the hallway headed to the bathroom. He had ran right by the bosses who were in the stairs. He then runs to the bathroom to clean off the sweat before the second pumpkin is revealedmani.  

The Manipulator sees the commotion and panic in everyone as they all frantically chatter about the prize. She hates the Social Butterfly’s happiness and her constant use of her phone. She won’t stop taking photos of everyone. To get away from the Social Butterfly and advise a way to win, she goes over to The Jealous Boss who is sulking in the corner and starts playing mind games. She’s sure that if she manipulates him into telling her who the winner is, she can manipulate him into changing it to being her (that is if it isn’t her). The Manipulator can tell that The Jealous Boss is in the shadow of The Boss and plans to use that to help persuade him into telling her.


As they carve their pumpkins and argue about who is more deserving than the others, there is a sudden blackout in the office.


Clutter hits the ground.

Everyone jumps!

Suddenly, a flash of lightning reveals someone laying on the ground next to a smashed pumpkin…dead.

More Screams!

The lights come back on and everyone is  terrified and in shock!

The Social Butterfly is dead.

Next to the Social Butterfly is a pumpkin carving knife, the bug-o-salt gun, tape and a stapler. Her phone is smashed with no trace of evidence of who may have committed the crime.

Who dun it?






The Intern is the murderer!!!

He’s really much older than he looks and was on a mission to steal the special key ingredients to having the best marketing agency in town. A-Train has won award after award and is the best around. The Intern wanted to start his own business but needed to find out how A-Train surpassed all other marketers. Earlier in the week, he over heard the bosses talking about who the winner was and saw that the Social Butterfly also overheard. He also learned he was the runner-up if The Social Butterfly wasn’t so happy all the time. 

The Social Butterfly needed to go so he could win the money. The only problem was her phone, she had it on all the time and it would provide evidence it was him if he wasn’t careful.  He knew The Office Clown couldn’t stand the competition and that the Manipulator hated how social and in your face, she was with her phone. He heard the Manipulator say how she wanted the Social Butterfly gone and that the Nerd thought she was so dumb she might as well be a rock. He knew he would never be thought of as the victim and would take the money as runner-up.

The Intern planned the power outage in the building so he could murder the Social Butterfly. While everyone thought he was in the bathroom wiping off all the sweat from running around, he was really waiting in the hallway for the Social Butterfly to come out. He then hit the power button that created a blackout, murdered the Social Butterfly and took her back in the office so it looked like it wasn’t him.

He used the knife to kill her, the stapler to smash her phone, The Bug-O-Salt gun to put blame on The Office Clown who loved to use it, and the tape for good measure.

In the end, The Bosses decided not to award anyone the money and The Intern would never start his business as he was caught and pleaded guilty.


Top 25 Marketing Acronyms


Do you ever find yourself chatting with someone who speaks in acronyms?

“Hey, we need to enhance our SEO!” “What’s the CPC?” “TTYL.” “OMG, I’m LOLing!”

These acronyms can leave you confused and searching Google as fast as you can to decipher their meaning. You may just nod and act as if you know what they’re talking about, feverishly scribbling letters down in your notes. But, if you’re looking for a little H-E-L-P, we’ve got you covered.

“Did they say CCP or CPC, or was it PCC?”

We live in a day and age where everyone is glued to their phones and to get a fast response, we use acronyms and abbreviations to talk, text, and email. It makes sense to most, but it leaves others in the dark.

When it comes to marketing, and your boss or marketing agency throws an acronym at you, you want to be prepared.


We’re here to help!

We’ve put together some of the top 25 acronyms used in the marketing world. Put your thinking caps on and see how many you know before looking at the answers below.

AM          B2B          BANT          BR          CPC          CTA          CTR          EOD          GA

HTML          IP Address          PM          PPC          PR          PV          RFP          ROI

RSS          RT          SEO          SM(M)          SWOT          UI          URL          WOM

Here are the answers:

AM: Account Manager

B2b: Business-to-Business

BANT: Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline

BR: Bounce Rate

CPC: Cost-per-Click

CTA: Call-to-Action

EOD: End of Day

GA: Google Analytics

HTML: Hyper-Text Markup Language

IP Address: Internet Protocol Address

PM: Project Manager

PPC: Pay-per-Click

PR: Public Relations

PV: Page View

RFP: Request for Proposal

ROI: Return on Investment

RSS: Rich Site Summary

RT: Retweet

SEO: Search Engine Optimization

SM(M): Social Media (Marketing)

SWOT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats

UI: User Interface

URL: Uniform Resource Locator

WOM: Word-of-Mouth

How’d you do? Did you know most of them or did you end up only knowing a few? Be sure to bookmark this blog so you can use it as reference the next time these marketing acronyms are thrown around. Before you know it, you’ll be able to impress your peers with your new lingo!




Advertising and Promotions on Snapchat: Part 2

Affordable Paid Advertising

As seen in part one of this blog, there are many great features that Snapchat offers for advertising and promotion. But unless your company has millions of dollars allocated to the advertising budget, you will need to use different methods of advertising and promotion within Snapchat. Before we dive into the free options, there is one more paid advertising option that’s so affordable it hardly feels like paid advertising.
The option I’m referring to is a Geofilter.

A Geofilter is a graphic overlay that users can put on top of their snap, only accessed in a specific geographic area. They can be designed to represent a famed area or attraction. They can also be created to showcase events taking place in a specific location.
There are two types of Geofilters that Snapchat offers, a community Geofilter, and an on-demand Geofilter. A community Geofilter is free to submit for a public event or community gathering. It must be relevant to its respective area and free of branding. The on-demand Geofilter is geared more toward businesses as it allows company branding and has a quicker approval period than the community Geofilter. The on-demand option is not free but is very inexpensive.

The Geofilter pricing is determined by the square footage of your desired location and the amount of time the Geofilter will be active. To place a Geofilter within the parameters of Moby Arena at Colorado State University for 10 hours, the cost would be $18.76. On-demand Geofilters can create an unbelievable return on investment for your company if used properly. Snapchat even sends you next-day metrics and usage stats to analyze the effectiveness of your Geofilter. So next time you’re holding an event where selfies will be plentiful, consider purchasing a Geofilter and let Snapchat users do the rest of the work.
Not all forms of promotion and advertising on Snapchat have to be purchased via the app or even purchased at all for that matter.

One of the most basic forms of promotion is a coupon or discount

You can use this to promote your business through Snapchat. A frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles ran a very clever campaign that perfectly exemplified how to offer discounts via Snapchat. The Snappy New Year campaign asked that the customers snap a picture of them or their friends eating 16 Handles froyo. After receiving a user’s photo, 16 Handles would then snap customers back a photo that contained a 16%, 50%, or 100% discount on their next purchase. To prevent tampering with the promotion, the offer was only valid if the customers opened the snap in front of a 16 Handles cashier after they reached the checkout counter.
Snapchat is also an ideal platform for promoting a company event or product launch. You can build up hype for your upcoming products and events by posting product teasers and behind-the-scenes snaps. Before a company event begins, you can build excitement by documenting the transformation of the venue or by giving sneak peeks of what your audience can expect from the event. If you’re bringing in any speakers, special guests, or notable sponsors, you should consider requesting that they do a brief take-over or a quick couple of snaps promoting the event. Then, once the event is underway, it’s crucial to maintain live updates of your event. Otherwise, what was the point of all the promotion in the first place?

Snapchat is more than just a platform to share content.

With an age demographic that’s primarily made of digital natives, Snapchat recognizes that many of its users have developed the ability to tune out advertising. In response to this, Snapchat and its users have continually been creating fresh ways to advertise and promote your brand’s events and offerings. Don’t get lost in the cycle of doing the status quo. Set your brand apart with Snapchat – the newest revolution in advertising.

A-Train Snapchat

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