If Muhammad Won’t Go To The Mountain . . .

Remember this old proverb? If Muhammad won’t go to the mountain, bring the mountain to Muhammad. Well, whoever made up this phrase must have been a social marketer!


Social marketing is a hugely underrated area. It envelopes all the marketing that is directed at making us better people. Quit Smoking, Obesity, Safety and Exercising are just some of the areas that are covered by social marketing.

But a pub in Myrniong has combined a bit of social marketing with this powerful proverb and has been left with a winning idea. Concerned with the lack of middle-aged men attending the doctor for check-ups, the local GP and the publican teamed up to turn the popular pub into a pop-up clinic and provided finger food and alcohol (hopefully limited considering the negative health benefits).  


Middle-aged men don’t like going to the doctor but they do like going to the pub. So why not bring the doctor to them and soften the blow with a beer?

This idea isn’t limited to social marketing. And it certainly isn’t limited to health. In fact, it emphasises the importance of understanding your target market and what possible hurdles could stand in the way of them engaging with your service whether they like it or not.

For example, the theatre has built up rather high walls over the years maintaining its high-class roots and providing a reason why potential consumers would stay away. But this same group of consumers may be quite comfortable in a more casual environment where they know what to wear, know how to act and are allowed to eat throughout the performance.

What’s the solution? Look at the location. Is it possible to move the theatrical offerings to an environment more conducive for the audience? Yes. And hence theatre is held in all sorts of different locations such as the Melbourne Zoo or the seasonal Opera stage on the edge of Sydney Harbour. Or even Opera Australia’s latest venture on a beach in the Gold Coast.

(Plus, this often decreases the cost for the company which decreases the cost for the consumer meaning a wider range of people can afford to engage. Everyone wins!)

I think Muhammad was onto something. By out-waiting the mountain, Muhammad gets to climb the mountain on his own terms. And when it comes to marketing, that means a lot more people will be willing to engage because those potential barriers disappear!