» Marketing, The Zombie Apocalypse, And You

Zombie Walk 2010 - Curitiba

Photo: "Zombie Walk 2010 - Curitiba" by Nivaldo Arruda .

Marketing your business after the zombie apocalypse can be a living nightmare.

For one thing, zombies are terrible customers. Just try getting that putrid smell of death off your inventory after these shambling deadbeats jostle your merchandise. Do you have new socks for sale? Not anymore. No one wants to buy new socks that smell like the rancid interior of a broken-down hot dog truck.

You won't be sending unsold merchandise back to the factory, and good luck complaining to the local police station.

Rule of law is a discarded relic from when people actually cared about articles titled "10 Email Newsletters That Will Change Your Life". Armed marauders might as well waltz into your store and steal whatever they want. Count yourself lucky if they leave you the hot dog socks.

Zombies, marauders, no Internet, and a noticeable decline in personal hygiene are all very real challenges marketing professionals must overcome to thrive after Z-Day. If you want your business to flourish in this brave new world, get back to marketing basics.

Post-Apocalypse Marketing Mix

Product. Marketing starts with a product people want. Nobody that survives the zombie apocalypse has time for novelty vomit when you can find the real deal inside every abandoned hospital ward in America. But 12-gauge buckshot? There's a winner. Nothing says "hands off my hot dog socks" like a loaded shotgun.

Price. You need to be sure the goods and services you offer cost less – money, time, and risk make up your cost factor – or create more value than the goods and services all the other half-starved miscreants offer. Otherwise, every unshaven vagrant between there and Texas will toddle right on past your thoughtfully displayed knickknacks of dubious origin.

Promotion. Con Convince fellow survivors to purchase your wares using clever techniques. An interesting sign with a unique message can be just as effective as trapping a hungry zombie in your rival's storeroom. Be creative. People were devising good marketing promotions well before the walking dead destroyed all global commerce.

Place. Sell your goods and services where your customers can find them. A vacant convenience store can offer protection against the elements while triggering pleasant memories of the "good old days" among lonely travelers. Nostalgia sells! Just ignore the bloodthirsty cannibals that will break your shelves and misplace your restroom keys because if you can sell one more can of potted meat, you should.

A Valid Theory

Life after Z-Day is tough. Creating an effective marketing mix that appeals to a diverse group of emotionally dead survivors is hard in any era.

While your fancy SEO tricks now claim the same global significance as college degrees and sauna pants, have hope: Marketing theory is still important.

Whenever you pine for easier times filled with social media tweets describing in excruciating detail the peanut butter sandwich your brand manager ate for lunch, just remember the "four Ps" is as relevant today as in the age of habitual bathing.

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