The Ice Cream Man is Coming!: The Race to Radial Marketing

February 13, 2013 by Jim Goodyear


That song.

Still as much a part of summer as swimming pools, picnics and sandlot baseball. A Pavlovian auditory announcement that a frozen, delicious treat is right around the corner…literally. Kids (some of us still are) hear that famous mouthwateringly melodic message and immediately slip into a state of euphoric, near-hysteria.

Doesn’t matter if you’re sitting on the couch watching cartoons in just the top half of your Spiderman Underoos, or in the backyard playing a spirited, albeit sweaty, game of a rule-less Red Rover, in just the bottom half of your Spiderman Underoos. From the first note you hear, you are at once on a Defcon Level Six, not-so-secret urgent mission to get out to that curb as quickly as your little feet will carry you.

You simultaneously scream out your mom’s name as you stiff-arm your little sister (or spouse) while shaking the snot (and hopefully larger currency) out of their now belly-less piggy bank (or wallet or purse).

The hotter the day, the faster your time…and the better it tastes.

Whatever your favorite is, the Ice Cream Man has it. A Fudgesicle, Bomb Pop, SnoCone, Ice Cream Sandwich or Drumstick. He gives you what you need, when you want it, and right there in front of your house.

Okay. So that Ice Cream Man and his Tasty Treat Truck are what we call Radial Marketing. And that music is what we call Positive Disruption.

Any questions? Yeah, I figured.

Need a bit more explanation? Well, here goes…

If you compare Radial Marketing to the timely delivery of frozen confectionaries, you must also picture Linear, or Traditional, Marketing as the disturbingly disruptive door-to-door salesman out hawking their tired wares. Oh, they may blanket a neighborhood and sell a vacuum or two, but the “door slam-to-sale” ratio never was, and never is, gonna be that good.

At least nowhere near as good as “Ice Cream Man” good.

That’s a fact.

Because many more times than not, you’re making dinner, helping kids with homework or watching your favorite show when Willy Loman comes a ringin’. And we all know that your doorbell ain’t exactly wired to play the same tune as the Ice Cream man’s truck. So you’ve heard your doorbell ring plenty of times and it’s probably never been someone bringing you a box of Bomb Pops.

Saddest part is, you may actually need a vacuum cleaner but you’re just not ready to hear what they’re saying. You’re not in THAT place.

Not now anyway. Sorry.

That’s what we call a Cognitive Hurdle.

Bad timing, buddy. No sale today.

Now if you happen to have some ice cream out there in your truck, we’ll talk.

By the way, the Ice Cream Man is also smart enough to know that he’s not gonna sell anything in Fargo in February.

That what Florida’s for. Like shootin’ fish in a barrel.

The right time. The right place. The right product. On your terms. When you are in the right Cognitive Mindset. That’s what makes Radial Marketing so darn reliable, comforting and fulfilling.

Have any of you “heard the Ice Cream Man” recently with any brands or products? Let us know how.

Jim Goodyear
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Executive Creative Director

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