Marketing vs. the Flat Store

January 31, 2011

If you’ve read our other blogs on retail marketing in our Carnie marketing series you’ve discovered that you can learn a lot about marketing by watching the midway.

Take the flat store, for example.

In the wild west of the carnival midway, a flat store is a game that is impossible to win – unless the carnie operator “allows” you to win.  In other words, it’s a flat-out scam.

The carnies call these games “flat stores.”

It’s the carnie’s goal to delude you into believing that just one more play will get you that big prize.

Here’s a newsflash for all you retailers.  “You’ve almost done it and you almost won it.  Wanna try again?”

So you ask what does buying a radio or newspaper campaign have to do with a flat store?

Actually, for a lot of retailers buying media is fraught with the same deceptive dynamics.

The radio or newspaper is the same as the carnie.  They will tell you what they know that you are wanting to hear. You win!

But will you really win more business just by laying down your money and hoping the media is doing you a favour?  Maybe they are even throwing in a couple free tosses – woops, bonus ads.

Just like the Carnie, the media wants to take your money before you go over to the “next game on the midway.”

So you will hear what you want to hear every time you play the marketing game with your friendly radio or newspaper reps.

The rep’s living depends on telling you what you want hear.  And his game it the only one he’ll tell you about.

So how do you tell the real odds on success, and which games have a better chance of success.  And which ones are flat stores.

You talk to someone who knows.

The goal of advertising agencies is to evaluate all the games on the midway and bring to you, the retail advertiser, only the ones with the best odds of winning.  We are your friend on the inside.

And since agencies get their commission no matter which game you play, there is no loaded game in play.

Rather than playing a flat store game with your advertising, make sure you have someone in your corner who knows how to beat the long odds and help win the big prize every time.

That Big Prize being…more sales for your business.

Part of our Carnie Marketing Series.

For more Carnie Marketing, check out

Pitch-Till-U-Win Marketing

Bingo Retailing – A Billion-To-One Shot At Winning Customers

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