Marketing To The Lazy
During the course of working for marketing agencies, including my own, I have encountered some great insights. Some are what I expected and some take me completely by surprise. Finding out that a current small business client hasn’t a lick of marketing training or a creative bone in their body doesn’t surprise me. Seeing that same client put his ego aside and do what ever it takes to satisfy a customer doesn’t surprise me either. That is the life of a small business owner: the wearing of many hats and working to their strengths.
What does surprise me however, is when consumers pay for certain products and services strictly out of laziness. While on holiday in Hawaii a couple of years ago, I decided to get out into Maui’s rainforests for a long, satisfying and beautiful hike. After looking through colorful and descriptive marketing material provided by guide services, I decided perform a bit of my own research on where to go, how to get there and what it entailed. Jumping on the web and typing “Maui Hikes” (nothing overly creative) into Google returned to me several options that were primarily the same guide services in the marketing material provided by the hotel and airport. But after 10 minutes online and viewing the sixth or seventh page, I found what I was looking for: the website for Maui’s Parks Department.
Maui’s Parks Department maintains and manages protected areas of the island while giving access to the public and creating revenue. They maintain hiking trails, fight erosion & vandalism and work to beautify the spaces. The responsibility that I was most interested in was the management of access to these parks by the public. A little more research revealed how and where to access the hiking trails, so off I went.
On a little non-descript back road sat a small shack. In the shack sat a lovely young lady to whom I paid $6 to have all the access I wanted to the trails and the park. About ¾ of a mile into the hike I started passing the guided tour groups. Families, kids, and the elderly made up the majority of these groups. They seem to be having a great time. As I pass one particular lady, our conversation went like this:
“Your aren’t in our group,” she states.
“No, I am not,” I reply with a smile.
“So how did you find this trail?”
“I Googled it.”
“And how much did it cost you to get in the park?” she asks.
“6 bucks,” I say with a little bit of humor.
“Wow. That would have saved me $50 per person.”
This just showed me that there are consumers out there that are willing (maybe a little too willing) to pay for someone to do all the footwork for them. You can call it convenience, comfort, luxury or maybe even ignorance, but I call it a profitable way to provide a service that people want and enjoy.
– Adam OLeary, President