A Story About The Circus

A lesson for marketers from the business that made marketing famous.

The Shriners Circus I was walking to a meeting yesterday when I stopped for one of downtown Spokane’s interminable red lights. A 30-ish man walked up beside me with a rental tuxedo slung over his shoulder. 

I said, “I hope it’s going to be a good party.”

That’s all it took; he couldn’t contain himself: “I won a contest! The circus is in town and I got chosen to be the assistant ringmaster! My kids will be in the front row while I’m in the main ring!”  (Later, I drove by the big top. Yep, the circus was in town.)

It was fun to see a full-grown man get so excited about the circus. Heck, I got excited for him.

It was a brilliant promotion

The contest from the El Katif Shrine Circus sums up the magic and excitement of the circus. Yet the grand prize cost the circus very little.

What an angle it would make for the local paper:  “Ringmaster For A Day – Family Gets A Front Row Thrill.”

Do your company’s promotions pack this much emotion?

Maybe you’re thinking – “That’s easy for a circus. I have a home heating company. I can’t match that!” Perhaps. But what a lesson:

The purpose of marketing is to make a connection with your customers. To do that, you have to give something of yourself.

It’s tempting to take the easy way out with promotions or contests. It’s easy to become the millionth company to give away an iPad or iSomething that has nothing to do with your business. But would a prize like that make a connection to your actual business? 

Instead, take some inspiration from the man in the main ring, who gets to be the center of his kids’ world in a whole new way.

How could you make your customers Ringmaster For A Day? 

If you were planning a promotion, could you give your customers an experience they can’t get anywhere else? Maybe that’s too much to ask, but it’s not too much to aim for. 

2 thoughts on “A Story About The Circus

  1. Pingback: My Horrible Blog Post | The All Inbound Blog

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