Winning the Greased Pig Contest
Have you ever seen a ‘greased pig contest’?
These are recreational/sporting/entertainment events, that involve taking a healthy young live pig, coating him (or her) with a layer of very slippery cooking oil, and then having a contest to see who can chase down and catch the pig when it is let loose in an open corral.
Many of you city sophisticates scoff at this kind of backwoods entertainment, but around here, greased pig contests are almost weekly events. Everyone seems to enjoy them, including the pig.
And more than just being entertainment, these events can be quite educational.
For example, at a greased pig contest, you learn that it takes more than being young, fast, and full of energy to catch and hold a excited little pig that doesn’t really want to be caught or held.
You quickly learn that in events like this, those who decide to compete with the pig on the basis of speed, agility, or endurance, are always going to lose. The pig by nature, is quicker, has more energy, and with the added feature of grease (cooking oil), has no handles you can hold on to.
At almost every one of these events, the macho young participants spend most of their energy chasing the little squealer all over the arena, while the crowd laughs. This goes on until all the would be ‘pig catchers’ run out of energy and give up.
And then, when there is no one left to chase the pig, its owner will come out with a bucket of food and the pig will run right over, waiting to be fed (and captured).
It is at this point that most people learn a lesson about catching greased pigs, which is . . . The easiest way to catch a greased pig
is to give him a good reason to come to you.
The same is true with marketing, especially Internet marketing.
The Internet and the greased pig contest
Marketing on the Internet has a lot of similarities to being in a ‘greased pig contest’ (except of course, customers are not pigs).
On the Internet, you have millions of businesses working very hard, expending a lot of energy trying to chase down customers. They run after them, whooping and hollering, swerving and dodging, hoping to get close enough to grab one.
But, like the greased pig, many Internet customers have no desire to be caught - especially by the kinds of marketers that have to chase customers to make a sale.
So, much like in the greased pig contest, the harder the marketer tries to catch customers, the faster the customers run.
And again, much like in the greased pig contest, the marketers who try the hardest to chase and catch customers, are usually the ones who rarely have any actual success. (But like many of the contestants in the greased pig contest, these failed marketers will tell anyone who’ll listen how they ‘almost’ caught the pig. And then they’ll offer advice to others on how to catch greased pigs — even though the advice they offer didn’t work in their own efforts.)
It’s no wonder that with all this advice being provided by people who failed following the exact same advice they are giving, there’s plenty of new contestants willing to remake the same mistakes when they compete in their own ‘greased pig contest’.
Maybe that’s why the pig seems to enjoy it so much!
It doesn’t have to be so hard
In any greased pig contest, there is a sure fire technique to catching the pig every time. It involves having what the pig wants, and offering it in a non-threatening, peaceful, and calm way.
If you offer the target market (in this case the pig), what it wants, and offer it in a way that doesn’t scare it off, it will come to you. You won’t have to work up a sweat chasing it down, or worry about being laughed at by those in the audience. You just set your bowl of food out where the pig can see and smell it, and it will come.
It’s the same with finding customers on the Internet. Have what your targeted customers want, and present it in a manner that doesn’t scare them off, and they will come.
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