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The Sky is Falling!Views: 943
Mar 07, 2009 1:36 pmThe Sky is Falling!#

Kathy Buck
It seems any place you turn your reading, watching or hearing about the bad economy from some bobble head. Indeed and sadly, there are growing numbers enduring job losses. Is the Sky really Falling though?

The doom and gloom media and political narrators seem to promote the "chicken little theory" - if you buy into this why not look at a solution VS flapping your arms around with the growing numbers?

Case in Point - Showing the Love

I serve as part of a steering committee for marketing and promotions w/ my local city. One of the main tasks is promoting the downtown as a destination. I've mentioned the city as being accepted into the national Main Street program. This organization put a hearty task of launching our event calendar in Feb 09.

An event was planned and laid out, then presented to merchants. The response? "Kathy, are you nuts?" Why? I proposed a ladies evening out on weekday in February ( a very cold month in my neck of the woods.) Committee members jumped on board with the event and got 42 merchants on board with; "Kiss of Indulgence - Ladies Evening Out"

The jest of the event:

-Free to attend
-Merchants provide an Indulgence to entice attendees
-Free Shuttles
-Over 700.00 in prizes awarded to drawn submitted Indulgence Checklists.

The objective: Get a female demographic into downtown shops. "Fem Fatale" marketing: Women like to be pampered and then refer. The most fierce of loyalty referrals come from ladies to other ladies and those families as well as co-workers! Shop owners could indulge ladies and personalize themselves and their offerings.

Take a Lesson from the Big Boys

You may notice in your areas larger shopping centers offering free samples. Locally several grocery stores have displays w/ product samples. This is a great way to learn more about a product, and if your like some a great way to get a free lunch! HA HA.

How does this benefit a business?

I'll agree, these are tough times and wallets are pinched tight. Disposable funds for non-essential items from the "normal" target hard to get too. As I always say though, just because someone can't afford it now, does not mean they are not craving it. Give a reason to be remembered when that wallet does open!

The end result of the "Kiss of Indulgence" event? Well - remember I mentioned the event on a weekday in the chilly throes of Wisconsin winter? The event (first of it's kind locally) was projected to draw only 100. We out did ourselves - 627 women registered. Many were seen with no checklists, it was estimated that over 700 filled the downtown streets. While surveying attendees, my favorite comments (besides what a fun night) was: "I never knew that shop existed or what they had...." Merchants reported despite not being ready for the high numbers, sales were good and several reporting event attendees stopping back to make purchases already :)

The Sky is falling here locally, with some 700 new prospective customers and a ton of post event PR!

So how could you apply this method to boost your sales prospect base?


PS: Ya, this is why I have been MIA! :-)

Private Reply to Kathy Buck

Mar 07, 2009 11:26 pmre: The Sky is Falling!#

Kurt Schweitzer

This is the type of marketing I like to do! (I'm not very good at it, but I'm learning!)

I'm budgeting roughly six events a year, concentrated around the start of my selling season (March & April). I did one event in December that attracted about 30 people and just about broke even (including buying lights and a tree that I will reuse next year). Those people told me they had a good time.

I did another event - a "Tiki Party" - about two weeks ago. About 25 people (roughly half of whom were at the December event) showed up in spite of a nasty snow storm, and also had a good time. Even though that was a lower cost event it did not result in a noticeable up-tick in February sales, but traffic into the store jumped measurably after the event and has been increasing pretty steadily. Several of the attendees have returned to "kick the tires" on some scooters, so I expect they will convert to sales once the weather becomes reliably warmer.

My next event will be the "April Fools Ride" for the local scooter club. It will be a combination membership drive and kick-off of the club's weekly get-togethers, and will give me an opportunity to show off the new products in my inventory to extremely hot prospects. The cost will be virtually zero, too!

The biggest event is the club's three-day rally in September, which I am underwriting. Rallies generally charge admission fees and usually break even, so I expect to have very little expense after everything's done. Nonetheless I'm already helping the club find other sponsors who want to place their products in front of 60+ dedicated scooterists.

In addition to hosting events I have a number of smaller activities designed to publicize my business. While I won't be able to ride in the St. Patrick's Day parade due to family commitments, I expect to be riding my scooter w/sidecar in as many parades as I can book this year. Again, nearly free publicity.

Meanwhile I have one of my scooters "representing" for me at various neighborhood events, culminating in the Rochester Lilac Festival in May. At that one event alone it will be seen by some 500,000 people. The scooter will be raffled off by one of the neighborhood associations, and is expected to be a major fund raiser for them. Here again, nearly free publicity.

All in all I expect this to be a banner year for my business. It's been growing at an astonishing rate, and even after near hibernation the last few months, I expect it to more than double this year.

I may even be able to start paying myself!

Kurt Schweitzer
Urban Village Scooters

Private Reply to Kurt Schweitzer

Mar 07, 2009 11:48 pmre: re: The Sky is Falling!#

Kathy Buck
Really very awesome to read that your utilizing events to market! I'm sure you can verify that planning is a task!

The April Fools Ride sounds promising! Any event can easily be turned into a publicity orgy.

Might want to read Peter Shankman's "Can We Do That?!"

Private Reply to Kathy Buck

Mar 12, 2009 11:22 pmre: The Sky is Falling!#

Paula Quick
Hi, Kathy:

Congratulations on your success.

Clearly you are an event planning wiz.

I think it all has to do with knowing the hot buttons of your audience/prospects and you hit the nail on the head.

Yes, it can be so easy to fall into "The Sky is Falling Trap."

I think the economy may be worse than the media says it is -- or it may be better than the media says it is. Frankly, I'm going with the latter and I think that's what we all should do. There is always opportunity for those who can see it -- and seize it!

I've been MIA too. I was spending waaay too much time online.

I just had to check in though and see what is happening in SBTT.

Paula Quick, Internationally Recognized Life Coach & Reflexologist
http://www.thecheck-in.com & http://www.onyourfeetcoaching.com
Find out what your business is really missing!
http://www.pinkpapayaparties.com Distributor ID# 815390

Private Reply to Paula Quick

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