Thursday, Jul 18, 2024

A “Miner” Lesson in Marketing

While this past week's news story of the amazing rescue of the trapped miners in Chile serves as a valuable lesson in teamwork and perseverance, it also presents a very unique lesson in marketing as well. As everyone in the world knows, the accident occurred back on August 5, 2010, when the San José copper-gold mine, near Copiapó, Chile, collapsed, leaving 33 miners trapped deep below ground. After over 2 months of careful planning, the miners were finally shuttled up a narrow escape shaft to freedom, one miner at a time. The joyous reunions that took place each time a miner rose to the surface, followed the meticulously planned rescue operation, which ended the longest underground entrapment in human history

What got my attention was the reaction of each rescued miner as they stepped foot onto the ground. Some stopped and prayed while others simply hugged their families and wept. But for one minor, Mario Sepulveda, the marketing spirit in him was on full display. The second of the 33 trapped Chilean miners to be rescued, he brought a bag of rocks with him from the underground cave as “souvenirs.”


As rescuers chanted his name, he told the Chilean president Sebastian Pinera: “Wait a minute I have a present, here you go.” He then handed over some rocks from the mine shaft, to laughs and cheers from the crowd. The President welcomed Mr. Sepulveda to the surfacing, adding: “Welcome back to your homeland.”


The miner then walked over to the barricades and hugged and shook hands with the many workers who took part in the difficult rescue operation and cheered on elected officials before being taken to the field hospital for observation. The media immediately took to his winning personality and there is already talk of him running for a political office in the near future (where Bottom Line Marketing Group hopes to launch his political marketing campaign!).


The main lesson here is that the best way to get attention is by doing something out of the ordinary that grabs attention. Such as bringing up a bag of rocks from the mine. Or pressing the flesh with rescue workers in front of the cameras on the worldwide stage. While we may all eventually forget about the other 32 minors, we’ll have a difficult time forgetting the guy who had the spunk to bring up a bag of underground rocks as souvenirs for the crowd while undergoing a dangerous rescue attempt.


Of course you don’t have to be a rescued minor to utilize the advantages of standing out and marketing yourself.


If you’re a business creating an ad campaign, make it memorable, unusual or provocative using a few carefully chosen powerful words that stand out. Popular titles contain one or more of these words: Easy; The Secrets to…; Unlock; Insider; Time Sensitive; How to…; Free; Now You Can…; Discover; and Proven.


If you run an organization and are planning on sending out a direct mailing, stand out from the crowd by changing the typical look of your envelope into a unique shape that gets noticed. For example, an oversized full color or florescent colored envelope doesn’t arrive in the mail box every day. It will get immediate attention and have a greater chance of being opened and read.


Additionally, the most conventional USA envelope size is #10. Try to shake things up a bit! By using a smaller #9 or taking advantage of the odd sized #12, you are marketing yourself differently than the other envelopes crammed into that mailbox and maximizing your return.


And if you own a store with a big front display window, you can create window displays that show small-scale items in a super-sized form, audiences are captivated and stunned by their dramatic appearance. Coffee cups, crayons, shoes, and guitars are all examples of typical small scale items that could be designed in a larger fashion and make your storefront look more appealing than the competition.


The bottom line? Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd by doing things a little differently. And don’t just take it from me — take a lesson from the clever miner who came up with a bagful of rocks…and wound up with a basket load of fame.


Bottom Line Action Step: Be different!



Yitzchok Saftlas is the CEO of Bottom Line Marketing Group, a premier marketing agency recognized for its goal-oriented branding, sales, recruitment and fundraising techniques. Serving corporate, non-profit and political clientele, Bottom Line’s notable clients include: Mike Bloomberg for Mayor, Dirshu and TeachNYS.


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