A young researcher in biomedicine talks to his professor. The professor suggests that he take part in a research project in which he will have the opportunity to learn about a new technique. The first technique is about determining the size of proteins. Unfortunately, the technique is quite old, so the young man isn’t really enthusiastic. He asks if there’s anything else, and the professor proposes isolating antibodies. The young man is reluctant because the method is invasive. It requires injecting a rabbit with a foreign body so that it starts producing antibodies which are to be isolated later. You need to draw the rabbit’s blood until the poor thing bleeds to death. The young man doesn’t like the method because he’s not particularly fond of killing rabbits.
Despite this the student wants to know where the research would take place. “Dear colleague, you’ll need to go to New Zealand for a couple of months, and the scholarship is also quite generous.”
The young man replies: “Great, I’m really interested in this method. When do I fly there?”
Are you trying to find the connection between this story and marketing? There’s none. But the story is real. The young man has just told me the story himself. People like listening to stories; we remember them. Stories sell. Perhaps this story has made you think about what’s ethical and where the limits are?
Luckily enough I work in sales and marketing. I’ve never conducted tests on animals and never will. I do carry out a lot of tests, but only on people J. In sales and marketing – as in science – those who frequently test win.
And don’t judge the young man. Bear in mind that the steak you enjoyed so much last night had been freely grazing on open meadows but a day before.
We drove through the town of Ribnica today and had to stop for a couple of minutes because of road works. My wife noticed an interesting plaque on a house, which said “Insured by Yugoslavia”. It seems insurance companies of the previous century really knew how to advertise their services.
Why is this kind of advertising good?
- Because without a doubt, all the villagers – and an occasional passer-by – notice the plaque.
- Because the neighbors see it.
- Because the neighbors then discuss their insurance policies and their advantages, and support their choice. This is a good example of word-of-mouth.
- Because if one house is insured soon there are going to be more. You know how it goes in Slovenia – if a neighbor did it, I have to do it too.
- Because the plaque says that the house has a good master.
- Because it discourages competitors’ sales representatives (on the other hand, it might invite them, too).
Later I asked my father about the plaque and he said that his father’s house had a similar one, a Vzajemna insurance company plate from before the War. It seems all insurance companies used to do it. The idea itself is nothing special; it’s been used by companies from other industries for quite some time now.
Think about it for a while. You must’ve noticed that almost every inn has its name written on a sign that also advertises beer.
We need goals. If you know where you want to go, you’re more likely to actually get there.
Germans have figured out that men aim better if there’s a fly in the urinal. So they’ve painted a fly in every single urinal at the Munich airport.
They did it so that the cleaning staff has less work. They must have tested both options, with and without the fly. And the fly helped. If you know what you’re aiming at, you’re sure to hit it. J
Have you got goals? Are they concrete? Have you written them down? Do you often think about them? Are they constantly in front of your eyes?
In marketing, and especially in advertising, repetition does the trick. The more times we hear and see something, the higher the chances that we’re going to remember the message. Calvo tuna for example (I could also say ‘Amen’, but Calvo tuna shows the principle well enough).
City authorities in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, have opted for an amusing way of prohibiting car traffic. At what times is the street closed for traffic?
People are different and while some of us get the message, others don’t. That’s why clever sellers say the same thing in many ways, and more than once, and then repeat it. The photo is from the book Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works.
Have you noticed 3 new things in the marketing guru’s diary?
NEW #1: The category “New entries on your e-mail”. If you submit your e-mail address, you’ll automatically receive my blog entries. Whenever I write something new, you’re the first to learn about it. How simple and convenient! If you like this category, submit your e-mail.
NEW #2: RSS feeds. Those who’ve heard of RSS feeds know what it’s all about. The others don’t bother.
NEW #3: Look at the category in the upper right corner: “Latest comments”. Click and read the latest comments to my blog entries. The newest comment is on the top. Handy, isn’t it? This category was added because of popular demand.
A marketing lesson? The word NEW has a magical effect. But you already know that. If you sell new things, don’t forget to let your customers know! That’s the second marketing moral to this entry. Doing something good and NEW isn’t enough; you have to communicate this to your customers.
Proud owners of black credit cards received the following letter from Slovenia’s Diners Club:
3 short free marketing ideas:
1. Choosing the right target group is important. This offer can’t be sent to everyone. The response would be good of course – lots of people would like to go for a free weekend ride in a Hummer or a Cadillac (plus a snowmobile or an AWD). But if you offer it to someone who can’t afford it, you haven’t achieved much. Black Diners Card owners are supposed to be rich, and most of them probably are.
Americans are masters of signs – Free marketing ideas. They have a way of labeling every product, every gadget, every object, etc. We Europeans find it all a bit too much. Does every car mirror really need a sign “Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear”? Does a taxi window really have to be written all over, so that it’s almost impossible to see through?
Lawyers are probably to blame for the signs, and, of course, Americans know that words sell. That’s why there are so many signs saying something and selling something. I’m famous for taking photos in public toilets. I saw this one on a hand drier. If you want to save a tree, dry your hands rather than wipe them with a paper towel!
A moral? There’s always room for delivering a message, for advertising. But like with food, we need to be moderate. So be moderate, please.