Our gratitude to Xenia @ Thanks, Mail Carrier for her wonderful, detailed review. Thanks, Mail Carrier is a terrific blog site where you can find all kinds of resources shared in a personal way and always with the help of her two little girls. To read her review on Rump-Roast, click here;
Friday, June 11, 2010
I consider myself an organizer, a planner, a person who likes structure in the day to day but shy's away from the practical planning of the larger aspects in life. Let me explain! I have friends who from the time they were kids, had an idea of what they wanted to do with their life than set off on achieving those goals with great discipline. A career, married by a certain age, kids by a certain age, financial status of a particular bracket, etc. etc.. There is something about that traditional method of setting goals that I admire immensely as I imagine it makes for a peaceful, balanced journey. I never possessed that gene and I wonder if it has something to do with my parents being artists working in a less than traditional environment. My dad began his career as an Art Director for a big ad agency and commuted from Long Island to the city everyday for eight long years. He traveled a ton, shooting big national commercial campaigns and as kids, my sister and I got to meet great people and travel to exciting places often with the privilege of seeing things in a way other's would never. One of my fondest memories was a trip to Puerto Rico when I was nine years old. My dad was working with a crew of roughly forty men and woman shooting a commercial for Thom McCann shoes, (remember that brand) and they chose to shoot at the fort in Old San Juan. Not only was it a spectacular location, it was closed to the public leaving this nine year old to wander the historic halls with little clue of the unique opportunity I was experiencing. All I knew during that time was how much fun it was to be entertained by these crazy crew members and how glamorous it was to be one of the models. So while the other dad's from my childhood went to work at the same time and place every day, my dad would be boarding a plane for Puerto Rico, Europe, the Dominican Republic or California. Really wherever the brand and marketing of that brand would deem desirable. I suppose this lifestyle made it impossible for me to consider any traditional path.
When I was twelve, just about to turn thirteen, my parents decided to take a big leap by moving the family to NYC and opening a production company where my dad would Direct and my mom would run the day to day of the company. It changed all of our lives in so many ways for the better and the thing I remember the most is my parents having the courage to challenge their fears and go head first into a world they knew nothing about. My mother still says, "If I had any idea how little we knew, we would have been too terrified to take such a big risk."
Rump-Roast has been living in my brain for a few years now. It has taken the better part of a year to conceptualize the templates, work with a designer to feature the photos with simple border elements and accomplish the launch of a complex website while keeping it visually simple and very easy for the user to navigate. Throughout this entire process, I have had very smart accomplished business people ask legitimate questions about my business plan, how I will market, what my demographic would be and how I expect to achieve these goals? I did have a rough business plan but in terms of marketing, I really had not charted any kind of course. I knew one thing for sure, I believed in my product. The rest I will figure out as I go along because sometimes being clueless is not necessarily a bad thing.
Monday, June 7, 2010
I recently paid for a vendors table at a local establishment hosting a fundraiser for a charity. Having never done anything like this, I was both nervous and excited to get the rump-roast name out there. For anyone who knows me, you would never call me shy but I am definitely not an extrovert by any stretch of the imagination. So the idea of standing at a table and speaking with complete strangers about my product felt quite unnatural and very much an out of body experience. As much as I truly believe in my goods, I awoke the morning of the event feeling very nervous. What would I say? How would I sound sincere without over selling? How would I explain in a minute or less why my product is so great and different from anything on the market? Sure I had my little display and about 25 other samples but how can I engage someone, explain that we are an internet based company and close the deal?
Given the nature of my customizable product, I knew paying a fee for the table would not be returned in sales on-site and really only hoped to get exposure. The reception at the event was lukewarm as people attending want immediate gratification like an item they can buy and take home. The end result was that I probably will not be purchasing a table at any future events. I left that day feeling happy that I challenged myself but curious about how I can better market my product effectively.
So every morning I wake up, grab my cup of coffee and put The Today Show on to get the news. A few weeks back I noticed a person standing in the crowd holding up a sign that said Oh Plah. I was so intrigued by the name that I did a google search and discovered that it is a baby teething bracelet put out by the company, Oh Plah. Each day that week I tuned in and there was the Oh Plah sign. So, I decided there was no reason not to make a rump-roast.com sign to hold up on air a few days the following week. I found a willing production assistant with a great sense of humor and we agreed on an affordable price. He set out each morning for three consecutive days, arriving at 6:45am with the hopes of getting my sign seen on air. The first day was not so successful. After three hours, I managed to only get a glimpse of the (.com) portion of the sign. So my very positive assistant told me not to fret, he would make it happen the next day. Day two, he makes it on camera all the way in the back and it's hard to read. I text him, give him the feedback and he proceeds to muscle his way around the crowd for the next two hours getting prime real estate, center frame behind Matt Lauer and Al Roker. I text letting him know that was perfect. He text's back.... got in trouble not allowed to have signs advertising a (.com) but he charmed the crew and they let him stay. He gives it another good round on the next viewing and gets in trouble for bouncing around the crowd. Security kicks him out and tells him absolutely NO (.com) signs allowed. I am thrilled with this exposure and his incredible tenacious attitude, he explains how much Al Roker and the crew got a kick out of the name of our company. He returns the next day, he is stuck in one position as he learned from bouncing around the day before so we just have to be lucky he is in the right spot for the camera's. The moment he raises the sign a senior staffer in the security department recognizes him from the day before and he gets an escort off the grounds by police. I felt awful but in true positive spirit, he advises me, "let's just make a sign that says rump-roast and we will get out there again".
That night, I receive several emails from viewers saying they saw the sign and intrigued by the name, went to my website.
Guerilla marketing wins round one.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
There was a time when you would never see me without a journal by my side. My journals were typically those black hardcover books with plain white pages so that I could write without confinement and use imagery in any form. Whether it be a photograph, a drawing or a wrapper found in the street I would use any item to express the journey of my day. I began journaling when I took a class with the great photographer Nan Goldin up at the International Center for Photography in Manhattan. Her work is incredibly personal and she was a big believer in shooting something every day as a means of developing ones own personal style. I took this lesson to heart, waking up each day with the mission of creating photographic art for my journals. For roughly ten years, I produced and completed a journal every three months. In those ten years I traveled a ton as a producer for photo shoots so when I wasn't taking the photos myself, I had plenty of images and items to add. From boarding passes to polaroids, my journals were filled to the brim, beaten and torn from living, breathing, eating and sleeping the art of the journal.
I am sad to say that it has been almost six years since I have bought one of my black hardcover books. I have missed my daily entries more than I realized and at least twice a week I see something that catches my eye and makes me think that would be great for my journal. This is a very long way around sharing with you all that this blog in my mind is the new form of journaling for me. While I am finding it impossible to steal the time to post on a regular basis I find myself challenged by constant thoughts of what to post, when to post and the relevance of posting in a personal way that captures this new adventure I am on in the marketing of my beloved Rump-Roast.
While a part of me recognizes that blogging is an indulgence, my hope is to share the experience of all that I am learning in launching this totally new business. What it takes to be effective in marketing and marrying these lessons in a personal creative way much as I used to when I carried my journal around with me.