What You Can Learn About Marketing While Camping

So while camping this weekend with my mother, partner and friends I learned a great deal about people, marketing and social connectivity. You would think that being "unplugged" is the curse of all curses for people like us, and that how could you possibly get anything tangible from twenty people sitting around a fire, falling into tents and comparing RV leveling tricks. But you can – in spades.

Battle Ready:

First things first, camping at the level that these folks do, it is days at a time, not just an overnight 'weekend warrior' trip. These people are SERIOUS about camping. They want creature comforts, but they don't want to abuse the ecosystem of which they wish to return. So when looking at your marketing, try to separate yourself from all competitors, but format the reality of your idea in a place that your consumer is comfortable, even if it might give them cause to think.

Snoops:

Second, culturally we are wired to explore. When you go to a new campsite everyone spends a few minutes checking out how you're setup, what toys you have that they don't, and seeing the way you've laid everything out to determine if it suits their comfort level. This is an incredibly delicate process and you'll see people literally gravitatng away from places, conversation and geographical layouts. 

So I started thinking in the marketing world how much thought do we put into constructing campaigns around people's comfort levels? Some campaigns go for the shock value of pushing you far outside of your comfort level, while others try to take into account what they 'perceive' you want (or will want in many cases). This prognostication is not simply part of a marketer's goal setting, but the barometer by which the campaign should be measured.

Mountain Peeps:

Lastly, camping is by its very nature a stripped down, more rugged version of our own lives or the lives of which we perceive. The travel industry predicates its whole model on placing you "in the moment" or removal of your current location or reality. Thereby, when we camp we see in ourselves what we want to see if only for a moment, an adventurer, explorer, survivalist  and pioneer. Then you go home and take a hot shower and tell yourself you'll do Ritz Carlton's 'club level' the next time ;)

What's most import is the sense of storytelling that you creating in your marketing and your rigid adherence that all your social and integrated elements express various aspects to that story. This is the real kernel to integrated marketing, not simply looking the same, but creating desire and interest  across mulitple platforms.

When was the last time a vacation made you understand more about your profession? I'd love to hear your stories! Touch base or share this article!

Posted on June 23, 2011 and filed under Advertising, People, Process, Recreation.