If I may ask, "What's your definition of *mean* marketing?" In my more than a decade experience with companies, people have always asked for smart ways to market a product or service. I haven't found anyone trying to be *mean* with customers, as the word definitely doesn't carries a positive connotation.
As far as smart marketing is concerned, designing a campaign is dependent on various factors, not limited to following:
1. Understanding your market niche
2. Understanding your customer niche
3. Selecting appropriate media and platforms to market
4. Innovating your campaign by capturing latest trends
5. Adopting appropriate execution strategy so as to keep it long enough to cover the subject and short enough to raise the interest
6. Any many more tactical planning.....
I hope above to be of some help!!