A Marketing Fairy Tale – Part 8

A Marketing Fairy Tale - Part 8

Fairy Godmother Irene teaches our woodman about the importance of speaking to your target markets interests in order to garner their… interest. Does he get the point?


The next day, the woodman spent the whole morning constantly looking at his watch. His conversation with Tina on the previous day had made him very conscious of time, and timing. He had started to make up a calendar of when he would put up new posters, and had even started to look at some possible dates for events he wanted to hold. He had gone so far as to begin to rehearse a routine of tricks and stunts with Ralph.

More acutely aware of timing than even before, and thinking of some of the foreshadowing he had been provided by some of his earlier visitors, he was eager to get more pieces to this puzzle called marketing. He made his way to the magic meeting place with anticipation.

This time, the cloud of smoke that appeared was indigo in color. The magical being who emerged from the cloud asked him a question that surprised him a bit. “What would you like to talk about today?” she asked.

The woodman hesitated for a moment, then said, “I’m not sure. I was looking forward to hearing what you have to tell me.”

“Well, what sort of things interest you?”, the magical being asked.

“Hmmm…” was all the woodman said, as he pondered this question. It was a simple question, but one that he seldom heard.

The visitor from the indigo cloud said, “I am Irene, and that is what I am here to talk about – interests.” She continued, “You have heard much about making contact with your prospects and getting their attention. You have also been taught one of the most important rules of marketing. I will teach you another rule today, but first, let me ask you another question. Why would any of your prospects who are not yet ready to buy your furniture, keep looking for your posters, or events, or any other marketing that you do?”

“They wouldn’t,” said the woodman. Then he thought a bit more, and added, “ . . . unless what I shared with them was so interesting to them that they kept wanting more.”

Irene said, “You are on the right track. How, then, will you know what will be interesting enough to keep them coming back, even if they are not yet interested in your products?”

The woodman replied, “Well, a while ago, your sister Alice had me write out a description of the kinds of people who make up what she called my ‘target market’, or my ‘target audience’. I did that, and when I wrote those descriptions, I included some of their interests.”

Irene asked, “What are some examples of those interests?”

The woodman answered, “They included such things as woodworking, ranching, hunting, archery, and checkers.”

“Very good!” Irene replied.

The woodman said, “But some of those interests don’t have anything to do with the products I am trying to sell – or at least nothing obvious.”

Irene said, “When you share information and ideas that are of interest to your audience, is your primary purpose to sell them something?”

“No.” the woodman replied. “It is to create and build relationships.”

“Splendid!” replied Irene. “Do you remember the ‘Golden Rule of Marketing’ that Karen taught you?”

“Wow!” the woodman said. “I thought I had come up with that. The power of suggestion must be pretty strong!”

Irene merely winked at him.

“I would describe the ‘Golden Rule of Marketing’ this way.” he continued. “Give unto others something of value, before you would have them give unto you their business.”

“You are right on track!”, Irene said. “Let’s take this one step further. Let me share with you what I call the ‘Platinum Rule of Marketing’. It is: ‘Give unto others that which they would give unto themselves, before you would have them give unto you their business.’”

“What you are telling me”, the woodman said, “is that providing value is not about providing what I would want, but what my prospects would be interested in.”

“Exactly!” was Irene’s reply. “That part of your marketing is for building relationships. Once you have their attention, you can then show your prospects how you can provide them what they need with your products. That’s the next part.”

“And that”, she said with a wink, “is a subject for another day.” With that parting remark, she disappeared in another cloud of indigo smoke.

The woodman realized that he had begun to do something he had never done before, or at least not that deeply. He was truly thinking from the point of view of his prospects.