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  • McCord Cargile

A Marketing Fairy Tale - Part 10: Conclusion

The next day, the woodman was filled with a mixture of all types of feelings.  He was excited, but a bit sad, anxious, and a little nervous. He knew that his series of lessons in marketing was coming to an end.  

He was eager to begin putting into practice all the things he had learned, but already felt that he was missing all of the visits by the magical marketing beings. Although it made him feel a bit silly, he was also a little apprehensive about the upcoming ‘final exam’ that had been foretold by Grace.  

He went to that magical spot that had become familiar to him well before the regular time.  He wanted to be as prepared as he could be for an exam that he knew nothing about. He also wanted to absorb as much of the magic of that place as possible.  

Right on time, his eyes were greeted by the cloud of white smoke that he had been anticipating.  He heard a voice that, although he had only heard it for the first time days before, seemed like one he had been listening to all his life.  The magical being who spoke to him in that voice was, of course, the original Fairy Godmother.    

The Fairy Godmother asked in a kind but interrogating tone, “Well, what do you have to say for yourself?”  

“I guess”, the woodman said, “that I feel as if I have learned a lot these past few days.”  

The Fairy Godmother said, “I am glad to hear that, but what I was hoping to hear was something about how you can meet my needs with your products.”  

“Yes,” said the woodman, “by now I should have picked up on that.”  

“That’s okay,” the Fairy Godmother said.  “You will have a chance to redeem yourself.”  

The woodman replied, “I have, indeed, been wondering what Grace was referring to when she mentioned a ‘final exam.’  Will that be my chance for redemption?”  

“It will be!” said the Fairy Godmother.  “Let’s see how you do. Your first question is:  What did Mary teach you?”  

The woodman reached into his pocket and pulled out the notebook in which he had been taking notes during all his magical sessions.  He was awfully glad that he had thought to bring that with him. He flipped quickly to the “Mary” page, and said, “Money!”  

“Good!” exclaimed the Fairy Godmother, a bit surprised.  “What money?”  

“The money in my marketing budget.”

“Okay,” said the Fairy Godmother.  “So far, so good. Now, what did Alice talk about?”  

Because of his handy-dandy notebook, the woodman was able to quickly reply, “Alignment.”  

The Fairy Godmother responded by saying, “Good, but we will come back to that.  What about Rita?”  

After a bit of page-turning, the woodman said, “Reach!”  

“Alright,” replied the Fairy Godmother, “but what is the difference between alignment and reach?”   

The woodman thought about this for a moment, and responded only with a blank stare.  

The Fairy Godmother answered her own question, “Alignment is about who, and reach is about where and how.  Actually, you are not doing so bad. Let’s continue.  What did you learn from Karen?”  

“I know!” exclaimed the woodman.  “Please pardon the pun. She taught me about knowledge and how sharing knowledge with my target audience will ‘rope them in!’”  

The Fairy Godmother’s reply was, “Okay, Smarty.  Tell me what wisdom you gained from Edith.”  

The woodman turned quickly to the next page, and said, “Edith taught me the power of holding events, to bring potential prospects into the fold.”  

“That was easy,” stated the Fairy Godmother.   “What about Tina?”  

“Well,” said the woodman, starting to feel a little cocky, “Tina talked about timing.  It’s all about timing, don’t you know?” 

“I do know,” said the Fairy Godmother sternly.  “I sent these beings to you, don’t forget.”  

“Sorry!” replied the woodman.  “But I do remember what Irene taught me.  She talked about interests - the interests of my target audience.”  

“I’m impressed,” said the Fairy Godmother, “so I will give you a free bit.  If you have not gotten clear on this point, interests capture your target market, knowledge keeps them engaged, and the next part of marketing will get some of them to be prospects, and maybe customers.  So what is the next idea?”  

The woodman’s response was, “What I learned from Nancy is that needs, or actually showing prospects how I can meet their needs, will turn them into customers.”  

“You’ve got it!” replied the Fairy Godmother.  “Well, I’ll be going.”  

“Wait a minute!” the woodman objected.  “We aren’t done yet!”  

“What more do you want?” asked the Fairy Godmother.  

“Well, what I want . . .” the woodman started, and then stopped himself,  He had, indeed, learned something. Marketing is not about him. It is about his audience.  “Let me ask you, who have given so much, what you want.”  

“Ah!” said the Fairy Godmother.  “You have been learning! Why do you want me to stay?”  

The woodman had been reading ahead in his notebook and replied,  “I want to keep a grasp on you, just like I learned from Grace.”  

“Why?” asked the Fairy Godmother.  

The woodman had to think about this, and then noticed a word that appeared many times in his notebook.  “I want to keep the relationship going!”  

“What will keep me in a marketing relationship with you?” was her next question.   

The woodman came up with an answer to that question fairly quickly.  “Continuing to provide you value!” the woodman replied.  

“It appears, Grasshopper - I mean Woodchopper - that my work here is done,” remarked the Fairy Godmother.  “We have no more to teach you. However, any time you feel that you have something of value for us, just click your heels three times while holding Ralph up in the air, and one of us just might reappear.”    

The woodman began to remark, “I really have learned a lot from you folks, and I want to thank -”  

But before the woodman finished his sentence, the Fairy Marketing Godmother disappeared in another cloud of white smoke, leaving the woodman very excited, very determined, and very much astonished.  

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