What Animals Can Teach Us About Marketing

Just a few week’s ago I had the fortune of finding a cute stray cat.  My wife and I brought it home and slowly introduced it to my two-year-old, gentle dog.  They quickly grew accustomed to each other and now often sleep snuggled up together.  Touche to the theory that cats and dogs are arch enemies.

Point one:  If two seemingly opposing animals or ideas are slowly and consistently given a chance to interact, they can be blended together in a synergistic manner – each deriving pleasure and profit from such intermingling.

And then a second pattern in their relationship emerged.  Marc, my dog, being spoiled by two years of undivided attention from me, suddenly noticed she had competition from a furry creature who was a non-stop ball of energy we call Scratch.

Every time Marc left a toy for a minute or went to grab a bowl of water, Scratch happily came to the plate.  Marc was distressed by this and would pull every toy or rag from his play book to get back my attention.  She (that’s right, Marc, is a she) often was able to bring me back to her sense of justice, and I would tug the towel or throw the ball.

But mealtime for the two was the real eye-opener.  I fed the kitty on the table using small food and water bowls.  At the same time, I would put a much larger portion of both on the floor for Marc.

Until Scratch came into our family, Marc often looked at her food indifferently and made me dump the plain-Jane canned food for some sumptuous chicken liver or another gorgeous entree.  Once Scratch finished his dish on the table, she would ravenously fly through the air to Marc’s bowl and immediately Marc would shove her aside and gobble down the food – which moment’s before had no appeal to her – like there was no tomorrow.

Point Two:  In all animal interaction, the feeling of potential loss brings out an instinctive desire to not be left behind or left out. The quickest way to get a potential customer to buy a product which he or she needs (in your sincere estimation), is to create a sense of scarcity and urgency.

While some people may call this manipulative, I say if you have created a product or service which you stand behind absolutely, then encouraging a prospect with good advertising copy is both ethical and essential for your economic survival.

You must not be ashamed to ask your customer to try what you believe is a product or service of great benefit to them.

Choose your business and products with tender loving care.  Then, throw caution to the wind in your marketing efforts.

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