Vitale learned about business at a very young age. Soon, he discovered that the margins offered by the novelty company couldn’t afford him the lifestyle envisioned, so he looked for a product that enjoyed massive margins.
A Vital Need Marketing didn’t start out to be a marketing company. It’s principle, Dean Vitale, started in business at 16 years old (now 56)
as a partner in a Trick and Novelty Company in Chicago called, “Izzy Rizzy’s”.
Vitale learned business at a very young age. Soon, he discovered that the margins offered by the novelty company
couldn’t afford him the lifestyle envisioned, so he looked for a product that enjoyed massive margins.
Jewelry was the answer as he went on and opened a chain of jewelry stores in shopping malls throughout the Midwest. He then had the idea of producing a TV spot featuring 14kt gold jewelry. The spot was successful and continued to profit. Vitale sold jewelry on television long before the start of shopping networks. His company then branched out with a direct selling division where consultants sold his line of jewelry at home parties for a commission, embracing the Mary Kay distribution MLM style before it peaked.
During this time, Vitale continued to educate himself in marketing and advertising via the school of hard knocks. “If I made a wrong decision it hit me in the wallet, those lessons you don’t forget,” he said. As he continued with other ventures, his friends and colleagues asked if he would do their marketing. He did, always looking to help out. Vitale took on the marketing for his dentist, for favorite dining spots, for other retailers and small to mid size B2B’s - even his Church! Dean remembers doing all the marketing for a local politician and thinking to himself.
“I’m barely old enough to vote and I’m running this candidate’s advertising!” The candidate won the election. “Wow!” Dean thought, “You can influence behavior by the message you send out!”
Having success with direct mail, his phone didn’t stop ringing. He remembers thinking, “I need to start charging for all these ‘lessons’ I learned the hard way!” A Vital Need Marketing was born. Based on an anagram of his name, the name made sense to Vitale. “If these guys didn’t use my techniques, they would have been out of business long ago. So truly marketing is a vital need.”
A furious learner, Vitale learned everything he could through trial and error. Then, a shift was occurring in the market place, the Internet was being discussed by only a few. “I remember going out to Zayre’s and buying my first Commodore 64 computer and external modem. I rushed to my rented TV production office, Vitale Productions Inc. (VIP) on 59th near Kedzie in Chicago and set it up. At that time, you had to send in via USPS (remember mail?) for your password. I patiently waited until the envelope came with my Internet password ‘pistol-strong’,” he said.
“I remember connecting to the phone line, entering the password then all of a sudden green text appeared on my screen! I was watching the baseball draft live as MLB was picking their next teams! This was way before ESPN and then I wondered if I could sell space on this Internet thing. Years ago there was a retailer call Morrie Mages Sports Stores – I’m sure they would want to be front of all these people watching this baseball draft appear magically on their TV screens,” Vitale added.
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