March 28, 2022

And the circus came to town

circus big top lit up against night sky

I was talking with someone last week about the need for marketing within L&D to get the various stakeholders engaged with L&D initiatives. They had a rather narrow view of what marketing is. So I related an old story that has been circulating in marketing circles for decades…

If you find out what people want to see at the circus, that’s market research.

If your circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying, “Circus coming to the Fairground on Saturday”, that’s advertising.

If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that’s promotion.

If you deliberately lead the elephant past schools and through residential neighbourhoods, that’s market segmentation.

If the elephant walks through the mayor’s flower bed, that’s publicity.

And if you get the mayor to laugh about it, that’s public relations.

If you create an offer that combines a circus ticket, an elephant ride, and an elephant photo, that’s packaging.

If the town’s citizens go to the circus, you show them the many entertainment booths, explain how much fun they’ll have spending money at the booths, answer their questions and, ultimately, they spend a lot of money at the circus, that’s sales.

If you ask everyone who took an elephant ride to participate in a survey, that’s customer research.

It’s all marketing. All of it.

Which bits of marketing do you get involved with?

Even if it is keeping the elephant fed and watered, what you do still has an indirect impact from a marketing perspective. Would the public want to see a skinny elephant?

And if you are in a public sector organisation and think that marketing is not relevant to you… think again.

My best wishes, Paul

Paul Matthews

CEO and Founder of People Alchemy

share this article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

related posts

Vimeo screenshot of webinar

The learning journey to generate changed behaviors

Josh Kamrath, CEO of Bongo interviews Paul Matthews to talk about learning workflows and the necessary paths to generate changed behavior.

Read More
glass pawns on a chess board, one see through the others opaque

Where is the leadership pointing?

Very few organisations are satisfied with where they are, and any leadership team worth its salt will have a vision of where they want to be instead.

Read More
black board with wooden frame and Why? written in white chalk

Be wary of the power of ‘Why?’

Imagine you see someone, a colleague, a friend, even a partner, doing something wrong, and it matters to you. Or …

Read More
People sitting around a table working with laptop and making notes

Informal learning’s role in learning transfer

We have just published Paul’s latest blog. He talks about the role informal learning plays in learning transfer. Why it …

Read More

search blog

Get your free weekly tip

You agree that we can keep a record of your details, and send you other occasional offers. See our Privacy Policy