Sunday, April 7, 2013

synchronistic strategy part III - re-marketing campaigns and the jim-jams

lovebirds don't get the jim-jams by Polarity & Mayhem Here
When we were kids and we wanted my mother's attention for a bit too long

(like the summer my sister and I spent memorizing the Sears and Roebuck catalog and reciting it word for word - I still remember much of the hardware section - to my poor mother while she sat cross legged on a blanket in the backyard smoking a cigarette and probably praying for the ice cream truck to make an appearance)

- she would say her legs had the jim-jams and she had to do something else. Standing still was not her favorite thing.

Now that the world is moving so much faster, most of us can appreciate this standing still thing. We probably don't get the jim-jams.

(and actually now that I write this I think maybe she had restless legs because my sister has restless legs - my legs are the opposite of restless - they are "let's rest" NOW legs)

Since we are are all about to get a little 'warm-weather lazy' - this standing still thing sounds like some timely stuff for us to think about.

Now marketing is strategic or operational (see my marketing series HERE) and even though I am talking strategy here let's talk operational stuff like inbound and outbound marketing - both can work for us by attracting the right customers while we sip lemonade on the front porch.

Outbound marketing still has its place for makers (even if we can't fit a Superbowl ad into our budget ... yet) and it doesn't have to be (and in fact can't be) the yucky, salesy stuff we all hate.  

Re-marketing email campaigns to existing customers really work. Put together an email list and use it - maybe 50% of the time to offer the customer something they can buy (think offer instead of sell here, because this is a partnership)

and 50% of the time offering them something free (download, instructions, information, actual freebie product, even a link to someone else's free download that you know your customers will love) - maybe the offer percentage should be even lower and the free higher - see what works.

This will work better and better over time as we grow our customer base and email list. This is the kind of marketing we do for people who already love us.

Blog advertising can work - I know many of us have had bad experiences with it - I have found it must be niche focused.

(think partnership again)

Often it works best for a specific product and not our entire shop (unless we are a one product shop): example - we make a soap that smells like flowers and really gets the dirt off - designing a blog ad for just that one product - with a link to that one product - on maybe a gardener's blog can really pay off (over time).

An advertising campaign needs to be ongoing though and the blog needs enough readers to make it worthwhile - this is more about becoming the go-to girl or guy for our product or service than actual dollars in for a while.

TIP: the only way to become the go-to girl is to be googleable - so the soap campaign needs to be called "wash off the dirt, keep the flower scent" (well, not that, that sounds pretty awful) - something distinctive enough (and short enough) that people can google later and find you. So whatever you call the item in your ad, use those same words everywhere and make it distinctive enough that people can find you again.

If we think our stuff is not niche enough for this to work- either rebrand something and give it a clear niche - or don't do this kind of advertising.

I would suggest if you want to sell on the internet to think NICHE - that scarf you knit may be perfect for subway commuters, who are probably freezing - THEY NEED YOU - so knit their subways entrance and exit points into the scarf ends - personalization always wins - and advertise it to commuters. There are hundreds/thousands/gazillions of ways to do this - figure out yours.

Now even though this stuff is all outbound marketing - it is still about standing still - being in the same place long enough for the right someone to find us.

When I was in banking and we ran direct mail campaigns - we hit (yes, I said hit, we are talking about a bank here) the same people at least 3 times before we moved on to new people - maybe this wears them down, maybe they just get more comfortable with us - I don't know. but I know it works - we got results by standing still.

With blog advertising, hopping from blog to blog looking for better results will just leave our ankles sore and our head hurting - stay put (make sure you have the right blog in the first place though).

With an email campaign - we should be talking to existing customers and people who have opted in to hearing from us - also give them an opt-out so they never have to hear from us again if they choose that - everyone has much too much cluttering up their in-boxes - we are not as important to them as we think we are.

Modcloth has some great email campaigns - they will email me when an item I abandoned is back in stock and when something I had in my cart and removed is about to sell out. They have a wishlist feature that notifies me when an item on my wishlist goes on sale or when my friends buy something I might like (not sure who these friends are, I suspect this is bogus since Olive doesn't shop on Modcloth, but it does get my attention) - if we can figure out ways to make stuff like this happen with our own businesses our email campaigns will work even better for us.

Next up tomorrow Part IV - inbound marketing - the place where synchronicity and strategy connect

(My blog is becoming like a little crystal ball sometimes with the things I write about coming up for me in strange ways very soon after - this makes me think that writing about standing still when I am wanting to move - into a new house - may not be the smartest move on my part and now I just wrote 'smartest move on my part' - ugh - the first time we went to look at another house a few weeks ago, our house literally locked us inside - the deadbolt broke off in the door when we went to leave and we were locked in - I think my house has voted for us to stand still. Now hubs just read this paragraph and thinks I should throw in something about winning the lottery - there we go - just in case, my blog's prophetic powers are the real deal.)


KJ said...

First, if you win the lottery I have a student loan that needs to be paid off. Remember your friends.

The one thing I know about marketing is that you need to make connections. That is why I blog. It is also why I have a list of the blogs I follow on a second page. It is why when I mention someone on my blog I usually drop them an e-mail to let them know they have been mentioned. It is also why I comment when I visit blogs. Of course I can't test any of this knowledge since I am not really selling anything. Nonetheless, I just KNOW deep down in my bones that these connections would assist with selling what I make.

Don't forget that home has little to do with house.

Catherine Ivins said...

that loan is history! yes, that deep in the bones knowing is the best kind Kathy and agree with your thinking on blogging- although one of my goals for the summer is to figure out an actual direction for mine ... I will take your word for the home thing (I love the sound of it) - my house has lots of roots right now and it is hard to separate the two things ... but I would love to- at least in my head xo

DancingMooney ♥ said...

My husband's idea of moving into our next home involves winning the lottery too. Men. And their solutions. LOL :D