Marketing Lessons from the Pumpkin Patch

Are you watching other businesses and events for “clues” about marketing your business?

Do NOT make the mistake of thinking “they are in a different business than I am, this doesn't apply!” You can learn from all business models, regardless of what you sell or do!

This weekend, Mr. Barefoot and I took our gang to the Pumpkin Patch in another town. This is our 4th time to this particular patch. We drive an hour and 15 minutes to get there and no doubt, pass other patches that are closer to home. It's a full day event and a feat considering the 4 rugrats, I mean, incredibly gifted, talented and gorgeous children, we take along with us.

We ALSO took 2 grandparents, 2 uncles, 2 nieces and a nephew. We had quite a gang.

Admission is free. And thousands of folks come through there. Seriously. Thousands.

Well, they should charge admission they're missing out. Not so! There is LITERALLY a pumpkin patch next door that is almost identical, but charges admission. They have about 1/5 of the traffic that this patch does.

Well, how are they making money if admission is free? Short answer – they keep you there as long as possible. There are haystacks to climb. There are wooden picture cutouts of kids' favorite characters to pose for pictures with. There are food concessions. There is a pumpkin patch to pick from, a hayride, a mini-train ride, two hay mazes, and vendors to shop with and so much more.

How are they making money? They make their money with vendor booths and pumpkin sales.
Admission is free with a canned good donation to a local charity (CAUSE-RELATED MARKETING) which makes people feel good about this particular patch and also allows the charity to do promotion for them!
All the activities are FREE and encourage you to stay, stay, and stay. (and spend, and spend and spend!)
They make it easy! They provide wagons to pull your children, your diaper bags, your pumpkins, etc.
It's just smart overall.
They get a HUGE amount of prospective buyers to come with the promise of free activities and fun for the kids. Then, while you stay, you choose pumpkins, get hungry, buy food, shop at vendors, etc.

How can you apply that to your business? Free samples? Free demonstrations? Free reports or E-books? A free E-zine? (Subscribe to us in the upper right of the screen if you haven't already!) Free articles? Continued good content to keep them around?

Get as much POTENTIAL traffic as possible, then get them to like you, to trust you, to stay, to buy. Then…guess what? Just like the pumpkin patch – they will drive PAST other businesses to get to YOURS. And they will come back again and again and again and they will bring family, friends and associates! And maybe, someday – they will even use YOU as a case study on their blog someday!

Pumpkin Patch Marketing – Very Smart! Very Effective!

I'd love to hear your comments below about similar businesses in your life or ways you are going to implement some of these ideas!

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