I’ve written about marketing as a filter in the past. I’ll share an example of this.
Recruiting employees is marketing. They have to believe in the job, the company, and like the town. Robert McCulloch founded the town I grew up in, Lake Havasu City, Arizona. He built a huge chainsaw factory there. That’s not the amazing part though, the amazing part is that Lake Havasu City is located in the middle of the desert, surrounded by nothing. There is a lake that is formed by the Colorado River, and that’s about it. Mr. McCulloch would have to figure out a way to get people to move out here and stay here. So, he built houses for the workers to live in. What he understood is anyone willing to move to the middle of nowhere and live in one of his houses, was likely looking for something different. If he could provide that, he’d have a long-term employee. Had he built his factory in a major metropolitan area, the turnover would be a lot higher. There was no competition for jobs in Lake Havasu City. The only major cities nearby were Phoenix and Las Vegas, and those were three and half hours and two and a half hours away by car. That’s not exactly commuting distance.
Mr. McCulloch also understood, that while his first employees took a leap to live by the lake. He would need to develop the town to attract additional workers. Not everyone wants to live where there are no grocery stores, public schools, restaurants or attractions. So he purchased the London Bridge and put it over the water to an island outside the town. This became a tourist attraction, which grew the local economy, and started to help additional businesses like restaurants move in. McCulloch’s filter grew as a result, and he was able to get more workers.
McCulloch didn’t convince anyone who didn’t already believe what he was selling them, instead he improved the conditions that allowed more people to accept what he did. That’s marketing. It’s about using creativity and generosity to filter those who are looking for what you’re providing.