Monday, January 09, 2006

Is Nature a Marketing Guru?

What kind of fool would you be to ignore nature? She's
been around for a zillion years and here's what
you can learn from her marketing strategy...

By Sean D'Souza
Technology rules. Yeah, for about five minutes--then natural instincts take over. Are you stupid enough to fight Mamma Nature? Well go ahead and rewrite the rules if you can, cause the Big Mamma knows one thing. She’s tried and tested it all. And if you want to play by her kooky rules, she is willing to teach you a thing or two.

The question is, are you willing to learn?

Do You Pay in Advance?

Have you noticed how big a brand Red Bull is today? Or how insignificant their advertising is? Red Bull shuns print advertising and has never done a triple back flip on a web campaign. Yet, it has found roots in over 50 countries. And has cemented its loyalty in the fickle land of teenagers.

So what’s Red Bull’s big secret?

It’s called GIVING.

Their marketing strategy was simple. They enticed students with free cases of Red Bull, if they threw a party. Guess how many students need an excuse to have a party? With a simple act of giving away free cases to the right target audience in the right universities, Red Bull became a very rich Red Bull.

Yet Where Are Most Marketing Plans Aimed?

Too often marketing is aimed solely at GETTING. Look at all those marketing plans, those many advertisements blaring away on the radio and TV. It’s get, get -- all the time!

Yet, nature pooh poohs the stuff. Putting a carrot (not cart) before the horse, nature works on the giving part first. In its own little marketing and advertising way, a flower works contrary to most marketers. Using the bait of colour and nectar, it draws the bees, knowing full well that its very existence depends on giving bees what they want first, so the bees will carry their pollen.

Wander down the supermarket aisle and you’ll see what I mean. Fifty thousand brands stare at you, screaming at you to buy them. Then a little ol’ lady offers you a sample of a product. Fifteen seconds into your tasting session, she gives you another sample. Then, for no apparent reason, a bottle or two of the product finds itself in your cart. Were you sold? You betcha!

Giving works for a simple reason. Nature hates imbalance. If the deer get faster, so do the cheetahs. It’s a classic system to keep things in balance. Which effectively means that to create an imbalance in marketing in your favor, you’ve got to give first.

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