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Monday, June 7, 2010

Marketing, Marketing, Marketing

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 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. 

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