Effective marketing: a digression into history

Marketing and Advertising

Today’s topic is effective marketing. This word, like many other words, came to us about 20-30 years ago from the West. Therefore, a false impression is created that there was no marketing in the Soviet Union even in the era before the revolution. This is indeed a false impression.
Do you know what the most famous «marketer» was in the Soviet Union, even children knew him well? This is Gena the crocodile.
Remember the wonderful textbook on the market economy, written by Eduard Uspensky, called «Crocodile Gena and his friends.» Surprised, re-read the story — and you will meet there with ready-made recipes and methods for advertising and motivating staff in difficult conditions.

Let’s remember together. One of the main characters of the story, Cheburashka worked as a toy in the window of a commission store. And this store was on the verge of bankruptcy.

Effective Marketing of Crocodile Gena

Then this «marketing monster» Gena the crocodile came up with a special promotion for an abrupt increase in store traffic, which took place according to the following algorithm:

  • First, crocodile Gena and those of his friends who were free that morning, 2 hours before the opening of the store, gathered at the entrance to the store. They hovered around the doors, looked in the windows and exclaimed impatiently: “when will they open it!”. As a result of this event, they were joined not only by the store director and all his employees, the old woman Shapoklyak with her rat, but also by a whole line of passers-by. By the opening of the store, the queue had reached catastrophic proportions.
  • Secondly, when the store finally opened at 11 o’clock, people rushed there and began to urgently buy everything that came to hand. Of course, it was a shame to stand in line for two hours and not buy anything. Fuel was added to the fire by cries that the goods would soon run out and nothing would be enough for anyone.
  • Then a problem arose: goods were swept off the counter, but no one wanted to take kerosene lamps, because. Everyone had electricity in their homes. Earned a marketing idea. As a result, an inscription appeared in the store: “There are kerosene lamps! Sale in the yard. Leave 2 pieces in hand. Like, only 2 pieces! So the product is in short supply! Everyone rushed into the yard and began to buy lamps. Those who bought the lamps were very pleased with themselves, and those who did not have enough lamps were very upset and scolded the store authorities.

The old woman Shapoklyak, of course, was not at a loss and bought 4 lamps at once: for herself and for Lariska. These lamps are still kept by her, in reserve, for a rainy day.

What marketing stunts were used in this episode?

Firstly, the excitement around the store was created.

After all, if there is a crowd, then there is something interesting there! Didn’t notice: everyone buys anti-virus products, so I need it too; everyone goes to rest in Turkey, so I will go too. And then the product begins to enjoy “frantic” demand, which before that, it never even occurred to anyone to buy.

The second trick is to create artificial scarcity.

If there is not enough goods left, then you need to urgently buy it. Better yet, take more to last a lifetime. This psychology was especially evident during the times of commodity shortages in the Soviet Union. However, similar tricks are performed by many organizations today.

Examples of using the «stock shortage» trick

1) Remember when the store clerk says: there is only 1 pair of shoes left or only one such dress.

2) Recently, leaflets with the inscription: “from July 1, alcoholic beverages will rise in price” were hung out in the entire network at the showcases with alcohol in Monetka. Will they rise in price or not and how much will they rise in price: this is the second question. But today, June 30, many have decided to make strategic stocks of alcohol for the year ahead. It is clear that the only winner in this situation is the seller who made a 2-month turnover in June from the sale of strong alcoholic beverages.

3) Or the sale of buckwheat, when the buyers themselves created a situation of rush demand, a shortage of goods and a rise in prices by 30-40%.

To be continued…