This is a true story – I have since re-confirmed this with my Dad. I mentioned this incident to my professor Kevin and others in my class and they absolutely loved it. I hope you will too…
I heard this first when I was a kid and it blew my mind. I have wanted to be a marketeer and idea-tor ever since. True.
Doctor’s in India (and in many other countries) have certain size restrictions on the display/bill-board that they can place outside their offices in addition to advertising limitations. A new doctor (family practitioner to borrow a US term) had moved to my father’s neighborhood in Bombay, India (around Grant Road (East) for those curious enough). Now it would take something to standout in Bombay unlike a small town or village where you may be the only doctor around. This doctor came up with a novel strategy to get the people in the neighborhood to know about him without advertising, staying within his legal boundaries and maybe just stretching his ethical limit some.
He got a bunch of his friends to move about in the neighborhood asking for him. Let me set the context – this was a few decades ago, there was no Google Maps (probably wont work even today’s), people ask other people for directions, there are actually people walking the streets and doctor’s (family practitioners) are typicallyjust walk-in!
It went like this – one of his friends would ask some random person on the street if he knew of a Dr.Such-and-such who was practicing at such-and-such address. This would happen for many (of the doctor’s) friends, for many times a day and over many days. If this happens a lot in a short period of time, word gets around. Pretty soon, the neighborhood knew that Dr. Such-and-such had moved into the neighborhood at such-and-such address.
I am thinking not only do most people know the doctor’s name but am sure they must have thought highly of him since so many people are visiting him. Brilliant!
My dad still remembered this campaign and we shared a good laugh this weekend. Ah, the memories.
Photo Courtesy: http://chefsanchez.posterous.com/