Once upon a time, there were three little pigs who decided to leave home and seek their fortunes in the wide world.
    As they wandered down the road to the big town, a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce glided to a halt beside them. The rear window rolled down to reveal an angry-looking man in a business suit.
    “I’m searching for an apprentice to join my high-powered firm and receive a huge salary,” barked the man gruffly. “I can only take one of you on,” he continued, “so I’m going to set you all a challenge. The winner becomes my apprentice and the remaining two of you get fired. Understand?”
    The three little pigs thought this was a great idea and took up the man’s offer.
    “Now,” said the man, “listen carefully. Your task is to sell tickets for a conference where I’ll be sharing my priceless views on the economic issues of the day. It’s up to you how you go about it. The winner is the one who sells the most tickets and makes the most profit. Got it?”
    Each little pig went away to think about how they would succeed.
    1. The first little pig decided to get a mailing list of all the business leaders in the area and send them an invitation. The second little pig decided to get an

email list

    of all the business leaders in the area and email them an invitation.
    The third little pig thought a bit harder. She thought, “If a percentage of the people open a letter and react to it, and another percentage of people open their emails and react to those, then I’ll get a better coverage across the board and sell more tickets. And if I were to also follow this up with a phone call … I could be rolling in it.
    And so the three pigs went ahead with their plans.
    About a week before the event, the man asked them all to come to his office to see how many tickets they had sold and how much profit they had made.
    The first little pig said, “I sold 100 tickets from a list of 10,000 records that I purchased for £1,150. I sold each ticket for £20 and made £850 profit.”
    The second little pig said, “I sold each ticket at £25 and sold 50. The email addresses cost me £150 per 1,000 and I purchased 5,000. So I made £500 profit.”
    1. The third little pig said, “I concentrated on the bigger companies only and sent a mixture of

direct mailings

    and emails, and then called the ones who hadn’t responded. I sold each ticket for £20, and bought my list for £235 per 1,000.
    The man interrupted. “That’s far too expensive! You’re fired!”
    The little pig was indignant. “But I haven’t told you how much profit I’ve made yet, sir,” she said.

“I sold 200 tickets and only purchased 2,000 records. I made £3,550 profit. It may have cost more, but it was a far more effective strategy overall.”

    “Too damn right it was!” said the man. “You’re hired!” And for the first time, his stony countenance was broken by the faint glimmer of a smile. The man then turned to the other two little pigs and said, “And as for you two, you’re fried!”
    “Don’t you mean fired, sir?” the two little pigs quavered in unison.
    “Nope,” replied the man. “I mean fried. I’m in the mood for a nice bacon sandwich.”
    The third little pig went on to pursue a glittering career and is now head of marketing in a Blue Chip company.
Related Topics: General Marketing