Think Tank

Three marketing initiatives to work on this summer

July 15th, 2014 by hutdogs

1. List building: If you work hard on list building this summer, your year-end holiday campaigns will be more effective.  Set a goal and stick with an action plan.

Start a social campaign where people enter for a chance to win one of your summer products or a service. This type of campaign collects a Facebook “Like” and an email (builds your list). Constant Contact’s social campaign tool works well for this type of give-away.

2. Engagement: Survey your audience and ask them to participate in some type of decision that you are working on. Maybe you are designing a new product line and you want them to choose the color they like best. Create a simple survey and have them vote. Getting people involved can help create brand loyalty and positive word of mouth.

3. Humanize your brand:  Add a human touch to your posts. Most people tend to do business with people they like and trust. Talk about the people behind your brand. Show behind-the-scenes photos from your business. Tell your story. Why you started your business and why you are passionate about it.  Share fun slices of your business life.

Hey They Noticed!

July 10th, 2014 by hutdogs

KJ4thSign2014The simple things tend to be the best. Recently, my 8-year old niece and her 6-year old cousin celebrated the 4th of July together. Their combined imaginations conjured up decorations, plans and challenges. Hand crafted flags and jewelry along with festive outfits set the tone of the day.

What they did next was surprisingly wonderful.

They decided to wish people a happy Fourth of July.

They created a sign and stood on the patio and with their flags and newly penned sign, they waited for people to pass by.

“Hold it straight!”

“Here they come!”

“Oh my gosh! Giggle giggle…”

“I see someone. Quick! Get ready!”

These ‘orders’ were delivered over and over, by the older cousin and with more intensity as they pursued their challenge. The younger cousin excitedly followed the directions.

It was a challenge that they devised amongst themselves. If some one noticed them standing on the patio with their flags and sign, they gave themselves a point. The progressing score was subsequently relayed through the patio screen door. “WE’RE AT 14 POINTS!” Then the victory dance-scream-giggle-jump-up-and-down energy burst followed. Sometimes the dance came first, followed by the update. It was fun to watch.

So being the ever helpful uncle, I decided to give them a little boost. As the next person began to pass, I let out a whistle, that was guaranteed to get the kids and their sign noticed. Of course this was done secretly, with out their knowledge or permission, from inside the house.

As the whistle let out, the pedestrian turned to see the kids on the patio and the kids without missing a beat, turned toward the screen door of the patio and shouted, “Don’t do that Uncle!!” Which was immediately followed by giggles and an enthusiastic update on the score and yet another victory dance!

They continued their quest and became a little more brazen in their approach. Now, they would demurely and politely say, “Happy 4th” as people walked by. Which of course, was immediately followed by the victory dance, giggles and score update.

All of this got me thinking about how small businesses should use social media, email marketing and other tools. They simply need to do the same thing these kids did in order to get noticed:

  1. Prepare for the occasion.
  2. Fearlessly communicate with your audience.
  3. Challenge yourself.
  4. Keep score.
  5. Celebrate your victories.