Pitch-Till-U-Win Marketing

August 5, 2010

One of the oldest carnival games in the world is Pitch-Til-U-Win.

“Ya pays your money and takes your chances” trying to throw large rings over prizes attached to wooden pegs.   You always get something for your money but most of the time, what you get isn’t what you were hoping for.

The big prize is on the peg in the back row. Even though you can see it and, you really, really want it, this is a game of chance not skill.  Without blind luck you’ll never get that prize.

And that’s the 6th mistake retailers make with their marketing.  They leave their advertising up to chance.  They are playing a game of chance with their budgets.  They may as well plunk their budgets on a roulette wheel at the casino.

As John Wanamaker said, “half my advertising dollars are wasted, I just don’t know which half.”

Now, when smart retailers go to a carnival they choose to play games of skill, not games of chance.  In a game of skill, you control the outcome and if you’ve studied the playing field and are skilled at your play, you can hit the target most of the time.

Then hey, you’re a winner…and so is your business.

It’s always perplexing to me why so many retailers think they can beat chance at his own game.

The smart ones though, get the skill on their side and learn the secret to winning the prize.

In a way, we in the ad industry are the carnies and we hold the secrets to winning the marketing game – know what the target is, understand how it will respond to your efforts to conquer it and come up with a strategy to win.

Well, those retailers who think they can win at the carnival are the same ones who think they know enough to create marketing campaigns that will win more business.

P. T. Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”  I don’t agree with him exactly.

To my way of thinking, retailers who play games of chance with their marketing budgets aren’t suckers at all.  They are simply unaware that there’s a limitless source of “carnie” knowledge out there for the taking…all they have to do is ask.

If you’re a retailer looking for inside information about winning at the game of marketing, ask a carnie…give us a call.

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