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Two Tickets To The Gun Show

When a gun show comes to town, they put up a few billboards and run a few commercials that say "GUN SHOW!" and everybody comes running. No fancy marketing messages and no big deal-y-o.

Do you wonder why that's true?

When the fair come to town, they yell "FAIR" and thousands and thousands of people come out and wait in line for greasy food and unsafe rides. No mysterious marketing tricks.


I'll tell you why: because people WANT to go to the gun show. People want to go to the fair.

I don't personally go to either, but that's not the point. My good friend and long time customer GP (general public) does - and they love it!

When a new church comes to town, the tendency is to buy a few ads and send out some postcards that say, "NEW CHURCH!" Then, at the first service, there are 60 people sitting in an elementary school cafeteria, and the pastor is scratching her head wondering where all the people are.

Wonder why?

People, by and large, don't really want to go to church. And the people who do, already have a church. So the appeal, "CHURCH" is not as powerful as the appeal "GUN SHOW." Ironic, I know.

One of our clients is a church. Last weekend, they had their first service. 305 people attended. Yesterday, another new church opened in the same area. At their first service were less than 100.

Why was my client 3 times more successful than the other church? (Besides the obvious, of course - te he.)

You see, our client wanted to buy a billboard that said "CHURCH." But we talked him out of it. Let's just say it took a lot of faith for him to trust us on this. The competitor bought a TON of advertising - much more than my client, and sent out several blanket mailings (based on geo target, I'm sure). Their message said - yep, you guessed it - "CHURCH!"

In contrast, we spent over a month toiling about what the people in this community really wanted. We talked to people and asked. We argued and pulled and tugged. In the end, the decision was that families with school-aged children wanted a source and a venue for positive entertainment and education. The kids were bored at church - and the parents had to drag the kids. Parents wanted their kids to drag them to church for a change.

So that's what we did. Our client created a children's program - that was packed with comedy, music, values, and fun - and then advertised "FUNNY, COOL, POSITIVE, CHRISTIAN, KID'S SHOW!" And the people came. What an amazing difference.

In fact, the client told us today that they had never heard of a first service with so many people.

It really is quite simple when you're selling something people actually want.

P.S. As an aside - the marketing we ran for this show required parents to request tickets for the show. The tickets were then mailed. Now, our client has a mailing list of hundreds of families in the area who have demonstrated an interest in exactly what they're selling. They're already beginning to shift their marketing dollars to focus on these interested families. Their competitor did not collect any information from their prospects. They had 100 people, and now they've all gone home. They have to start from scratch this week - spending tons of money speaking to the masses in an attempt to find the interested parties all over again.