Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Marketing a Christmas Tree

Mr. Dagwood went to buy a Christmas tree and this is what happened.

This is ‘marketing’ as it should be done. Joe the master sales person recently appointed by Northstar Christmas Trees did a wonderful job.

Mr. Dagwood went to him with a need. He needed a Christmas tree. Joe created another need; the need of Joe to impress upon his family with a prized possession. Joe narrated the story in a very arresting manner and got the customer interested. He elevated the customer from a buyer of a tree to a buyer of an heirloom, and a connoisseur of relics.. In the process he sold the tree at possibly an exalted price and ensuring complete satisfaction. By the time Mr. Dagwood bought the tree, he was more interested in impressing his family with the fact that he had bought a thing that was so intimately connected to national history.

Joe deserves appreciation for his marvelous effort in providing the appropriate information to the buyer. He did not for once talk about the tree. He talked about its links with George Washington. In short he found out the need of the customer, worked upon the basic need to introduce the customer to a greater need that he was not aware of, presented the product in a way acceptable to the customer, sold the tree and satisfied the customer.

But after all this eulogy, a line must be added to alert the reader. If Joe had cooked up the story and lied to the customer, then he should be taken to task because marketing under no conditions should be mistaken for fooling the customer. Fooling the customer is unethical. It might lead to instant profits but it is not ‘marketing’.

Contributed By:
Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)

Cartoon Strip Source: The Telegraph

Monday, January 12, 2009

Marketing Pranks

Pranks can lead to marketing revenues. The following text retrieved from the net proves that.

The Stunt: In the morning, an ad appeared in The New York Times with a headline that read: "Taco Bell Buys the Liberty Bell." The ad copy explained that Taco Bell was "pleased to announce that we have agreed to purchase the Liberty Bell, one of our country's most historic treasures. It will now be called the 'Taco Liberty Bell' and will still be accessible to the American public for viewing. While some may find this controversial, we hope our move will prompt other corporations to take similar action to do their part to reduce the country's debt." It sounded logical, if distasteful. In another press release, Taco Bell helpfully explained that people had been "adopting" highways for years and that purchasing a national treasure was just a way of furthering that idea.

What Happened Next: Thousands of people called in their complaints to the home of the Liberty Bell, the National Historic Park in Philadelphia, but by noon, Taco Bell admitted what many people suspected, since the day was, after all, April 1. The Taco Bell ad was an April Fool's joke, and the media and public ate it up (no pun intended). More than 650 print media outlets and 400 broadcast outlets covered the prank, reaching more than 70 million Americans, according to Taco Bell's marketing department. The company's revenue increased by $500,000 that day, and by $600,000 more the following day, compared to the previous week's sales. Even then-White House spokesperson Mike McCurry, when asked about the Taco Liberty Bell, got inspired to reveal that the Lincoln Memorial had been sold and would from now on be known as the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.

Lesson Learned: It can pay to have a sense of humor about your business.

Contributed By:
Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)

Source: http://www.entrepreneur.com/marketing/marketingideas/article159484.html