The Pet Rock: The Mother of All Marketing Ideas

Need some effective marketing? Just ask me. I’m a cosmetic surgery marketing consultant and publicist, and a cosmetic dentistry publicist and marketing expert. My website, Maxima Marketing, has a blog with a wealth of fabulous marketing tips, many of them requiring more creativity than cash. In fact, that was the basis for my bestselling book, OFF THE WALL MARKETING IDEAS. I know a great marketing idea when I see one. Today’s tip? Never underestimate the power of a joke item. Witness the pet rock popularized in the Seventies. Hearing friends complain about their pets, advertising executive Gary Dahl joked that a rock was the ideal companion because it gave its owner no trouble. Dahl put together “The Pet Rock Training Manual” on the proper care and handling of rocks, and packaged each with a rock that came in a cardboard kennel and cost $3.95. Within six months, Dahl was selling 10,000 Pet Rocks a day. He earned more than $15 million during the first half-year of “production.” This product epitomizes marketing and what it’s all about. Just keep a few points in mind: don’t invest too much, make sure the product costs less to produce that what you’re selling it for, scope out a niche market of people who will go crazy over your product, and it never hurts to have a sense of humor.

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