Marketing Punxsutawney Phil
Imagine a product that is bogus, a complete fraud. Imagine that people know well the product cannot deliver on it's claim. If it does, it's a coincidence, nothing more.
Now imagine these people line up to experience this fraud, tens of thousands of them. They travel, some traverse great distances, even coming from Europe and other parts of the globe.
They willingly part with their money. They go home glad they came. Some even come back year after year.
Photo Credit: Laval University
You don't have to imagine. This happens every February 2nd in the small town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. February 2nd is Groundhog Day and Punxsutawney Phil is the Official Groundhog.
How Phil got to be the official groundhog, I don't know. What I do know is that the good folks of Punxsutawney have been celebrating Phil and is faux prognostication for 132 years.
Legend has it if Phil sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of Winter. If Phil does not see his shadow, there will be an early Spring.
Once again, on February 2nd, locals will show up in formal attire while the world looks on at this most celebrated Marmot. There will be music and food. There will be parties.
Photo Credit: Anthony Quintano
There are a multitude of events in the days before and after Phil takes his annual bow. Wine tastings, tours, readings, art galleries, concerts, and vendors selling whatever might sell.
The 2,700 hotel rooms in Punxsutawney and its environs are sold out. Local restaurants will see their weekly business increase tenfold during the festival. Punxsutawney Phil adds up to $5,000,000 to the local economy. That's a pretty prosperous groundhog.
The people of Punxsutawney took a tradition and turned it into an industry. Kudos to them. They make it fun for people to come. They believe in their product.
Do you believe in your product? Anything can be sold if it is done the right way. The good folks of Punxsutawney know full well the groundhog's ability to predict the weather is no more accurate than flipping a coin. That is not what their selling. They sell an opportunity to be in a place that has the attention of much of the world. Even if it's just for a few minutes. They are selling the experience.
What are you selling? If you are an affiliate marketer, you are selling products that anyone with a computer and an internet connection can sell. There are groundhogs in every wooded area of North America. There is only one Punxsautawney Phil.
Have you found a way to make your site visitor's experience unique? They may be able to get the item anywhere, so what do you give them that they can get only from you?
Answer these questions and you will be a raging success.
Happy Groundhog's Day.