On three occasions I have spent REAL $$ marketing . One was a complete bust, one the ‘jury is still out’ for opinion and one turned out to be a complete success—To put it in baseball terms, that would translate into a strike, a ball and a hit–that isn’t too bad for a ‘rookie’ is it? I’m not O-U-T!
Strike but at least I swung: I learned an expensive lesson that in retrospect makes me wonder, “What was I thinking?” Several months ago I bit the bullet and bought one radio advertisement which was aired 4 times in one day. If I thought this idea through a little more, surly the light would have dawned on me—4 times in a 24 hour period is NOT going to reach THAT many people because the radio station didn’t EXACTLY say at what time the ad would run! Duh!!! Come to think of it, I never did hear the spot and that pretty much sums it up.
Ball: I purchased an online advertisement through a well-known service that was to reach tons and tons of people but it’s hard to determine if it helped with branding. It’s possible since the service used reaches far and wide but I shall never know. ‘Marketing blind’ doesn’t seem to be a very sound strategy, wouldn’t you agree?
Hit: One of the first ‘bricks and mortar’ shops I called on to introduce HIDE A HEART was a local hospital gift shop. However, I did not find great success in simply calling on hospital gift shops, so I started hunting around to try to find something that might be a good idea, you know something that seemed to be ‘in with the in crowd’.
While visiting my eldest son, from out of the blue I got a great tip from one of his friends which led to me purchasing a tiny ad in a hospital gift shop newsletter that has a subscriber list of 1500 hospital gift shop managers.
I chose the least expensive ad purchase which only allowed 25 words– phone number or web address didn’t count. Do you know how hard it is to write a 25 word ad? Fortunately Cindy of http://cindyjonesassociates.com took pity on me and allowed one extra word…Bless Her!
I guess what I’m saying is that if there is a newsletter that can reach people in a particular category to whom you would otherwise have no access AND you can afford the cost, it just may hold potential making it worth the investment. I was lucky because it turned out that spending a little bit of $$ bought me a little breathing room so that when I returned to ‘marketing on air’ and required another great gulp of oxygen, which is my ‘state of being’ most of the time, I was ready to inhale. Maybe I should invest in a tank of oxygen!
I’m pretty much constantly–well, more like obsessively–seeking ways to ‘Market on Air’. In a previous blog I told you about the benefit of LINKLOVE through Facebook, so this time I would like to share just a few other things at which I spend great gobs of time. I have picked up some of the list below from Forum discussions on Etsy or other bloggers.
- Hand out biz cards to EVERYONE I meet. (Sometimes I leave them in the drawer of the ‘drive-in’ bank or with a teller if he/she is wearing a wedding band. I start friendly conversations with people standing in the grocery check-out line or store clerks…of course I don’t FOIST them on these people, but when the conversation lends itself, I’m ready to whip out the ol’ card and introduce HIDE A HEART
- Tuck biz cards in with checks when paying bills–however I have not yet slipped them under windshield wipers…it rains in Oregon
- Ask craft supply store clerks if they have a bulletin board upon which to add a card
- Tuck a biz card into every store with a ‘drawing jar’–specialty coffee shops are great for this!
- Pack a HIDE A HEART brochure with every order
- Offer Giveaways on the HIDE A HEART Inspires Expression blog—in fact a giveaway is in progress through Midnight PST October 30, 2010 at http://hideaheartinspiresexpression.blogspot.com Go ahead and enter!
- Randomly offer other bloggers a HIDE A HEART for a giveaways
- Seek Cross-marketing opportunities with other web sites. Please visit our cross-promotion partner http://hospitalgiftshop.com whenever you are in need of a gift for a friend in hospital and do not live nearby
- Subscribe to the free service: HELP A REPORTER OUT (HARO) http://www.helpareporter.com/ to find relevant story or product requests posted by journalists. FYI: be willing to send a ‘sample’
I already mentioned in an earlier post that one of those HARO pitches certainly paid off for HIDE A HEART. In fact through a HARO post I sent a sample to Marie at http://honeymoons.com/ Luckily she chose HIDE A HEART as one of the 2009 TOP 10 Honeymoon Travel Products. FYI: I have ‘pitched’ often to HARO posts and received only a few responses in return but my enthusiasm does NOT wane.
Finally, I must mention that I believe one must never discount the power of ‘word of mouth’ marketing. One of the most gratifying rewarding, reinforcing and spirit-raising realizations is that often when a HIDE A HEART is received by someone that same someone turns around to order a HIDE A HEART for a friend and that makes me smile with all my heart because this is exactly the way I envisioned the ‘Heart Chain’ would morph into a movement.