As a marketing company, we look at our own marketing strategy almost daily. Two or three times a week we have a “Starbucks Meeting” to talk about it. Let me invite you to a virtual Starbucks Meeting right now with us. Grab a cup of coffee or tea…or a mimosa…whatever, we won’t judge you. Let’s chat, shall we?
So, let’s start by making a list. What are you doing right now? Go on, write it down. Word of mouth? Magazine ads? Online classifieds? Posting on the feed shop bulletin board? Yellow pages? Facebook wall? Dig deep…anything that you’re spending time or money on with the intent of getting more customers, write it down.
Good, now let’s go through the list and figure out what’s NOT working. I’m not going to tell you what works or doesn’t work because it’s different for different markets, regions, and business types, so you have to figure this out and be honest with yourself. If you spent $200 for a magazine ad, plus a few hours maybe designing it, taking photos of your horses, and talking with the publisher, etc…did you get any sales from it? Do you feel like you’ve given it a fair shake? If it’s not working, let’s check it off the list. Good, we just freed up some time and money to try something else. It doesn’t matter if people tell you that you should be doing something. What matters is if it’s working.
I can tell you that in our early meetings, we crossed off magazine ads, Twitter (more on that in another post, but you probably don’t need it either), classified ads, and a slew of other things. It’s a good thing because it made the next step easier.
The next step is thinking of new things to try. Scary, right? Sometimes the most successful strategies are not the most obvious or intuitive, so go nuts here. Anything that MIGHT work, put it on the list and let’s try it. Early on, we figured we’d try Facebook ads…3000+ fans later, it was a smashing success. We’re looking at LinkedIn ads now…just evaluating it. Did you know that you can advertise directly to the LinkedIn group that specializes in your breed or type of horses? Or to people that like your breed and live in your state? One more surprisingly successful tactic…Craig’s List. We’ve had clients put their horses on Craig’s List and get a spike of 200+ visitors to their site the next day. What about a radio interview? Why not write an article about your breed or farm for a local magazine? What else haven’t you tried? Where do you go to find things to buy?
Okay, good. We have our new strategy. We’re out of the rut. Let’s give it a whirl and meet back here to do it again in a few weeks.