‘Fill the Basin’ Marketing Success

March 15th, 2011  |  Published in Marketing Secrets

(Cricket Photos below)

What made the ‘Fill The Basin’ cricket event such a massive marketing success?

And what could you learn to apply on a smaller scale in your business?

Imagine if 9 days ago someone said they wanted to

1) raise $500,000+

2) attract almost every ‘A, B and C’ list celebrity in town and import a few from outta town to attend free.

3) get 12,000 people to a sell out event who were emptying their pockets (in a recession) as fast as they could

…people would laugh at you.

So what made the ‘Fill the Basin’ such a marketing success?

Here’s how it was done.

There were at least three key ingredients and each was essential.

Firstly there was a cause that everyone already feels emotional driven to act on.

Secondly there was what is called massive ‘social proof’

Thirdly there was a direct benefit for those involved.

1. A Cause That Moves People To Act

One secret to marketing is to “Enter the conversation the buyer is already having in his mind”

Find something people are already thinking about and align yourself with that.

I have a friend who pulls his hair out because he sells a service that keeps people alive in the workplace. It costs around $1500 a year to buy and it works. Great service.

Here’s his problem … potential buyers of his service are not already having a conversation in their mind about how to solve the problem he can fix. Certainly not in the numbers he needs to make a viable business out of it.

PROOF OK get this… there are more people dying at work EVERY year than died in the Christchurch earthquake. The cost long term is far more than the Christchurch quake yet he struggles to sell it.

CAUSE – ‘Yes’ saving the lives of New Zealanders at work.

CONVERSATION – Is there a ‘Conversation the buyer is already having in his mind about solving workplace safety”? Well if they are it does not include writing out a cheque.

Logic has nothing to do with it.

2. Massive ‘Social Proof’

When people see a group of peers doing something then they assume it must be right and change their behaviour.

Researchers have proved you only need a small group of people looking up into the sky before others will come along and join in, even though there is nothing there. Other tests have had the actors queue against a wall before others join the queue for nothing.

For the ‘Fill The Basin’ event we had two levels of social proof.

1) Celebrities¬† social proof – once Stephen Fleming had secured Shane Warne and Martin Crowe had secured his cousin Russell Crowe we had ‘A’ list celebrity social proof.

In our culture celebrities are assumed to be super beings who know more than we do. They earn more, do more and have more. Celebrities are like magnets that attract people, money and attention beyond their intrinsic value. That is why Paris Hilton gets paid $100,000 to attend parties. That is not right or wrong that is just how it is.

So if Russell Crowe and Shane Warne are coming to an event then all of a sudden there are a host of other celebrities and TV cameras who are magnetically attracted come along too. After all the event now has celebrity pulling power.

Big ‘stars attract smaller stars, who in turn attract everyone else. It’s like a black hole – everything gets sucked into the emotion of the event and you have a sell out in two days.

PROOF OK imagine if the game was just a masters Canterbury XI vs a masters Wellington XI playing, no Warne or Crowe.

It would have been a very different event right. My guess is we would not have had All Blacks, All Whites, Politicians, Academy award winning actors.

Then we had social proof 2) which was initial tickets selling fast. So now we have big celebrities small celebrities and the public buying tickets fast which causes a self fulfilling prophecy. Or a wave of viral activity.

3. Direct Benefit

My family spent about $500 going to the cricket and I was playing. We paid for our tickets, food, put money into a plastic container, bought raffle tickets etc etc etc. BUT we got something in return, we got to feel good about ourselves and release our guilt of not suffering like the Christchurch people and we got entertainment.

Proof. Let’s say we stayed at home instead of going to the Basin. Everything was the same, the CAUSE, the CELEBRITIES but we did not directly get the benefit of live entertainment. Would we have contributed $500 on the day? Unlikely.

In other words we would not have got any personal benefit in return.

Here’s some ‘Fill the Basin’ cricket match supporting the Christchurch quake victims.

Please note I was given permission to post photos with me in them from the event on this blog (Thanks Flem). That’s why there are so many of me – not because I want you to see pictures of me. The rest belong to the event organizers.

The first photo is Nelson Chamberlain who won the cricket bat auction we ran on this blog.

His winning bid was a generous $4001 so we made sure he got some photos with some of the big guns – John Key Richie McCaw and me. He deserved it. Thank you Nelson.

PS more photos on the next post. Click the tab to the left marked“Fill the Basin photos 2”

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