Count yourself lucky. As a “travel experience” maker, the owner of an outdoor adventure company, or the mind behind the products that enable people to enjoy their inner explorer more deeply…your marketing message is being handed to you on a silver platter.
Now, you might be thinking I’m crazy. Marketing is a complex beast made up of enough moving pieces—pay-per-click advertising, print materials, radio, television, and a slew of social network platforms, all with their own budgets and parameters—to sink your raft. You feel like you’re stuck even before you get started. And somewhere along the way, you get so wrapped up in the technicalities of it all (how many spots to sell on that next trip, what to offer, how many money to throw at that Facebook ad, what’s the bottom line this month?) you end up struggling with your marketing message.
That’s where the Natural Order of Things comes into play.
There is a reason people do business with you, but it has nothing to do with what you’re selling.
You could sell rafting trips, or a jeep tour adventure through the tropical rain forests of Costa Rica, or a fly fishing weekend escape—but I can tell you right now that no one chooses your company because of the quality of your rafts, or the luxurious interior of the jeep’s seats, or the day-by-day schedule breakdown of the weekend. The mechanics and itinerary of your trip are important details, yes. And the fact that you have a flawless reputation on Trip Advisor is very supportive to the decision to do business with you…
But these things are not the driving force behind it.
People are doing business with you to experience a transformation.
Lawyer: High stress job. She spends 10 hours a day staring at her phone, returning angry calls and in constant battle mode.
Your Solution? Easy and close getaway. Practically no cell service. Turnkey adventure to lift the spirits and restore the mind.
Notice, I didn’t mention a raft, or a jeep, or what the schedule for the day looks like—just the transformation the lawyer stands to experience when she joins your tour.
There is a “Natural Order of Things”
Your adventure-centric marketing has very little to do with manufacturing a fancy tagline, or hiring actors to create a video you hope will go viral. It’s about sharing experiences that educate potential customers through entertainment.
Company A sells toilet paper to the masses: their marketing objective is to launch a video to increase brand impressions and sell more of their commodity. They spend tens of thousands of dollars to manufacture a story, create new landing pages, contests, coupons, and they plaster their video across TV and the internet. People may interact with that video. They will see a temporary bump in sales. Then the hype begins to wears off. The conversation about this video dries up, and they have to launch another push to see another bump in sales.
If this strikes the familiarity cord, it’s because you may be in that same marketing rhythm: you need to sell the last spots on your trip, so you push a video and announce to the world that there are only a few spots left and hurry before they get snagged up!
Here’s the thing: toilet paper isn’t really on anyone’s radar until you reach for it and realize there’s no more on the darn roll.
Likewise, if you’re relying on the mechanics of your trip as your marketing message (only a few spots!) you won’t be on anyone’s radar until the stars align and there’s enough money in the bank and there’s enough space on their schedule.
Instead, embrace the Natural Order of Things.
The Natural Order of Things is what happens when I, an avid fly fisherman, see a marketing message that speaks directly to my desire to get out from behind this computer to float a dry fly in front of a big, beautiful pike in an area I’ve never seen before; my craving to feel the sun on my back and not hear the ping of another email landing in my inbox.
It’s more of a conversation that takes takes place, where the focus is not the activity or product itself—but on the passion, the appreciation, the transformation behind the activity. These are what implies your marketing message without you ever needing to spell out the mechanics of what you’re selling.
While I write this article, I’m staring at an inanimate computer screen thinking…I’d rather be fly fishing right now. And if a fly fishing outfitter posted a video from their last trip—a shared experience that educates me through entertainment— I think I’d sign up without much of a second thought.