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Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Hunter)
…an Absolutely Brilliant Marketer!

By Eric Graham

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Steve IrwinMy daughters and I loved watching The Crocodile Hunter. Steve's Passion and enthusiasm for wildlife conservation were unmatched. But in addition to being a masterful entertainer and educator. Steve Irwin was also a brilliant marketer.

Instinctively he knew that to spread his message of conservation, he needed to first grab his audience by the eyeballs and get their attention.

A skilled showman and communicator, he could make the most mundane animals appear deadly and interesting. Captivating his audience by building suspense and tension that kept them riveted to his message.

With his hyper-animated presentation, colorful language (he introduced the world to his very Aussie catch phrase "Crikey") and unwaveringly khaki wardrobe he created a consistent and memorable personal brand. He was his own, walking talking USP (unique selling proposition.)

While many wanabes and knock-offs tried to copy his adventurous style and antics none of them ever came close to matching his level of success. He was truly one of a kind.

The Crocodile Hunter was also a master at generating publicity and working the media. Probably the greatest ambassador to the world Australia has ever had. Steve Irwin regularly made the rounds on every major television show imaginable, from small local news stations to Letterman, Leno, Larry King and Oprah. He was a walking, talking news hook. A publicists dream!

Even when his actions stirred up controversy (who can forget the image of him feeding a croc with his newborn baby in his arms...) his ratings and popularity only improved.

And if viral marketing is your thing, Steve was one of greats! The viral buzz his TV antics created around water coolers world wide was simply astounding. His exploits spread via word of mouth like wildfire as folks energetically recreated, described and relived the "close calls" Steve had on the previous nights show.

In fact in a recent blog post (http://www.michelfortin.com/archives/2006/09/all_your_base_are_belong_to_us/) Michel Fortin identified three essential response-boosting ingredients for effective viral marketing. Curiosity, scarcity and controversy. (Steve was an absolute master of all three.)

• Curiosity? What's more "curious" than a man kissing a 14 foot crocodile on the head and saying, "isn't she a beauty"?

• Scarcity? There was (and will always be) just one "Crocodile Hunter".

• Controversy? Steve certainly had a knack for stirring up and leaving controversy in his larger-than-life wake.

And boy could he work the backend! His spinnoff products are almost countless...

From toys and games to books and movies, Steve Irwin exploited the "Crocidile Hunter" brand to the fullest. He almost single handedly built the entire "Animal Planet" network on his coattails.

His face, logo and even his catch phrase "Crikey" found their way onto every imaginable product from lunch boxes to clothing lines.

And the amazing part is... he funneled the vast majority of the profit windfall his Croc Hunter brand generated into his beloved Australia Zoo and into other wildlife conservation based programs.

But in spite of the many powerful marketing lessons that can be learned by studying the life of Steve Irwin, I think the most important lesson we can learn from him is about PASSION.

This was the true secret to Steve Irwin's success. I've rarely seen anyone with more raw passion and enthusiasm for his mission in life.

His passion for life, his family, and the wildlife he spent (and gave) his life educating the world about, was evident in everything he did.

And... What Steve can teach us about passion is not just a lesson to apply to your marketing, but one to apply to your own life.

Live with passion.

Live with passion for what you do and communicate that passion to others. That's the key to real and lasting success.

If you're not passionate about what you are currently doing for a living... Find something you are passionate about, and do it to the fullest.

As Steve has shown us... Life is short. And the end can come at any moment. But a 44 year life of passion and adventure is far more rewarding than 100 years of "quiet desperation".

Steve Irwin lived his life to the fullest. He spent his days doing exactly what he loved and he transferred that love and passion to millions of others.

Rest in peace Steve. You'll be sorely missed mate…

About the Author
Eric Graham is known to an elite group of wildly successful online marketers and business owners as “The Conversion Doctor”.

He’s the secret weapon many “in the know” turn to when they’re having conversion rate troubles or want to outsource their split testing campaigns to “the best”.

Eric is the CEO of several successful online and offline companies. Internationally recognized as a top authority on eCommerce, Website Conversion & Internet Marketing, he's an in-demand speaker & consultant.

Eric Graham is the author of the free 28-page report, “7 Secrets of High Conversion Websites”. Drop by http://www.conversiondoctor.com/t/croc.htm for your free copy today.

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