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advertising- in person or by mail?


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#1 gardnergirl2

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 06:19 AM

First of all, this forum has been invaluable to me. I am a new business this year, and just thought I would ask. I think most people would agree that in person, especially for a new business, advertising is best right? My plan is this: I pick at least one, if not two afternoons per week after school (3:30-5) and go to daycares, other schools, churches, to give them my info. My plan is to take full days in the summer ( I am a teacher) and do this as well. Do you think I would be better off to do a mass mail blitz and combine that with the in person? That seems like a "duh" question and probably is. I was just wondering how many do their marketing in person. I am also small, so I like to be able to answer the "what all do you have" question in person. It just goes better...Thanks!

#2 Zman118

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 07:39 AM

After reading your post, it seems to me that you have all ready made up your mind in doing it personally - I quote: 'I am also small, so I like to be able to answer the "what all do you have" question in person. It just goes better...Thanks!'.

Having said that, I feel that you are wasting your time doing it that way, time that could be more productive by making a website and working on its ranking, also by a mass mailing to the entities that you are targeting. They will contact you (which is when you can answer all their questions personally) when they have a need for your services - that would be a more productive use of your marketing time.

Think of the cost of gas traveling to each location, the time wasted locating a relevant person to take the information (and who knows if the info won't go the the circular file anyways after you leave), and the fact that a lot of people don't like to have information shoved down their throats when they have no interest on the subject (think telemarketers - do you enjoy with open arms their phone calls during the day). Overall, I think that there are better ways to use your time in marketing.

Overall, I don't think that you will have a much better response by doing it in person, than by a mass mailing blitz.

A website would be your best bet.

Good luck!!

#3 BounceAboutPartyRentals

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 08:50 AM

I have to agree with Zman. Day cares and schools won't plan an event just because you came by and gave them a great deal on some inflatables. And truth be known, by the time they do plan their events; your name probably won't be remembered. I don't want to sound discouraging, but you would be much better off by taking that time and effort and having a web-site built. Make sure that when those teachers and daycare workers Google "Party Rentals ******, your on the first page. No amount of personal contact can compete with that.

#4 BounceBig

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 11:02 AM

Ok, im the one here to disagree with the other two guys, man in person is sometimes the way to go. I went out to daycares local of course and talk to the owners, my wife and i got 8 contracts from this deal, this summer we have repeat customers that get the same unit on friday and saturdays, fo the whole summer. The website is also awesome to have to the customers can view what you have, i personally take picture porfolio with me to show them in person, But remember what works for me might not work for you in your location, but i have had great success from it.

#5 poposparties

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 06:08 PM

I, too, think it is more of a combination. I find that when I go to more of the Chamber of Commerce events like business after hours and such that our bookings increase. I do not always have the time and my other half hates marketing face to face. I think that people like to see and get to know who they are dealing with as well. However, in this day and age, if you do not have a website that is half decent then you are missing a big customer base! Good luck!

POPO

#6 Once Upon A Theme

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 06:26 PM

It is a known fact that during our day we are ALL bombarded with some sort of marketing and on average this is can be up to 50,000 times in one day. Of course if we took notice of each and every piece of marketing , we woud be completely overwhelmed,We only pay attention to what we need right now, soooooooo you need to be where people are looking .
1. Web site a must, bright and engaging
2. Target your audience, ( we only advertise in one place - Parents magazine)
This goes home in every school childs back pack, is placed in every dentist office, doctors office etc.
3. Go to your community Rec center, see if you can join in their events ( must have insurance0
If you are a teacher, donate your inflatable to the school for Relay for life and have your sign up as sponsor.
Once you have a database built up of your clients, then mail them a flyer on updates ect. They now know you, they will then spread your name, or a fridge magnet.
With Mail outs it can be hit or miss. It takes on average 8 mail outs over 8 weeks to build awareness, thats a lot of money, then you have to maintain , maybe 2 mail outs over 3 months. Then when they need you , they have thrown your stuff away. Be where they can find you, get known in your community. Word of mouth is powerful. Get colorful signage on your vehicles... Brand recognition.
O.K sorry , got carried away, hope this helps.

#7 gardnergirl2

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 02:48 AM

thanks to everyone. I am looking forward to Spring break, where I have time to actually do some marketing. I have done a little, but with a full time job, and especially one like teaching that is inflexible, it is difficult. thanks again, everyone!

#8 abc123

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 03:25 AM

As a business person, I would not be interested in ANYONE stopping by UNANNOUCED and wanting me to listen to a "sales pitch".

Do you like telemarketer's calling you? It is the same thing in my opinion. That business owner may be having a terrible or very busy day and it might not be the best time for them.

I would send a letter, business card, post card and MAYBE a phone call a few days after the mailing. I would rather trust my paper advertising did the job and impressed enough to keep on file.

I know we offer a fun service but catching the owner at the wrong time could be the worst thing.

It is ok to disagree, this is just my 2 cents.

#9 Jose'

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 07:13 AM

Why target 100 property and get maybe one to respond after spending 2hours of walking and drinking a gallon of water when you can gain more visitors throught your website?


I see this tactic being used for those not knowing how to manage their ATM sites. (Cash Machine)

Combine this old tactic and a Yellow Book ad and your business will doom.


I'm sorry guys, I just can't see people still using this type of way to advertise. How in the world are you going to compete with those
that are up to date with technology? Could you imagine SEARS going head to head with Walmart? or a Mom and Pop directory going head to head with Google?

I can't help to say this mentality is so outdated that who ever brings these crazy ideas to one of my marketing meeting, I will personally shot them dead.

Any business I get into, the first thing I concentrate on is Branding (Logo) Than a website (Made for Google) and I will guarantee you, it will become succesful. I don't throw keywords around. I target them based on your City, State, Site and content and what online people are using to land on what they are looking for. We started to use the "Individualize inner windows SEO popups" to out whip competitors. This is awesome when Google deep Search your website for more content. Only a small handful knows about this.
There's a new Michigan startup doing this tactic under our care.

Here's a guy who doubted our skills and we have tons of testimonials from people not in the inflatable business. We have attorneys, Doctors, Detectives all with side businesses who need solid secure extra incomes.

"WOW JOSE! I hope the calls keep coming in. I'm #1 on GOOGLE, YAHOO, and MSN for search terms "bounce house Columbia, SC". I'm almost afraid to do much offline marketing because it will be too much business for me to handle right now. My wife and I still work full time, but I'm not sure how long that will last.
The work isn't easy, but there aren't many jobs that pay $500 a day."


"Oh yeah...and by the way....I'm all booked up for this Saturday and just turned 2 eager customers down. If I had 6 bouncers, they'd probably all go out this Saturday. I also have 2 on Sunday and we're still in the premature stage of Party Season. If you were me, how soon would you order more inflatables?"

THANKS!

Robert L Branham
General Manager
Laugh 'N Leap, LLC.
(803) 647-9601

Edited by Laser, 21 March 2009 - 01:27 PM.


#10 gardnergirl2

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 05:03 AM

Well, I would hate to die as a result of doing face to face marketing (being shot dead??). I do have a website and I do show up on google, msn, yahoo. My question mainly pertains to day care centers and churches. Yes, I know they can use the web too, but in my area of rural Alabama, that does not always happen. They have used xyz company for years, and they just call them. I definitely agree that you must be on the internet.








Why target 100 property and get maybe one to respond after spending 2hours of walking and drinking a gallon of water when you can gain more visitors throught your website?


I see this tactic being used for those not knowing how to manage their ATM sites. (Cash Machine)

Combine this old tactic and a Yellow Book ad and your business will doom.


I'm sorry guys, I just can't see people still using this type of way to advertise. How in the world are you going to compete with those
that are up to date with technology? Could you imagine SEARS going head to head with Walmart? or a Mom and Pop directory going head to head with Google?

I can't help to say this mentality is so outdated that who ever brings these crazy ideas to one of my marketing meeting, I will personally shot them dead.

Any business I get into, the first thing I concentrate on is Branding (Logo) Than a website (Made for Google) and I will guarantee you, it will become succesful. I don't throw keywords around. I target them based on your City, State, Site and content and what online people are using to land on what they are looking for. We started to use the "Individualize inner windows SEO popups" to out whip competitors. This is awesome when Google deep Search your website for more content. Only a small handful knows about this.
There's a new Michigan startup doing this tactic under our care.

Here's a guy who doubted our skills and we have tons of testimonials from people not in the inflatable business. We have attorneys, Doctors, Detectives all with side businesses who need solid secure extra incomes.

"WOW JOSE! I hope the calls keep coming in. I'm #1 on GOOGLE, YAHOO, and MSN for search terms "bounce house Columbia, SC". I'm almost afraid to do much offline marketing because it will be too much business for me to handle right now. My wife and I still work full time, but I'm not sure how long that will last.
The work isn't easy, but there aren't many jobs that pay $500 a day."


"Oh yeah...and by the way....I'm all booked up for this Saturday and just turned 2 eager customers down. If I had 6 bouncers, they'd probably all go out this Saturday. I also have 2 on Sunday and we're still in the premature stage of Party Season. If you were me, how soon would you order more inflatables?"

THANKS!

Robert L Branham
General Manager
Laugh 'N Leap, LLC.
(803) 647-9601



#11 BABT

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 08:19 AM

Hey GardnerGirl2,

You know we're just starting off too, and so far, we have our website, car magnets, hand out cards every chance we get, etc. That is working, albeit very slowly. We're starting to get referrals from past clients, which is good, considering we just started last year.

We plan to do a mailout to all of the daycares, churches and other businesses in our area. But like you said, most of them already have companies they use and they are kind of hard to compete with because they are more established and have more to offer. So what we plan to do is offer some kind of exciter, like "Register to win a free bouncie for a day" or offer to set up for free and do a pay-to-play. I know a lot of people here won't agree, but we figure it will get us some exposure and probably some business from the customers of the business.

I figure every little bit helps!

#12 Jose'

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 09:50 AM

BABT and Hey GardnerGirl2,

Starting a new company is very exciting and rewarding at that. Advertising and getting to your business known is a task no one want to take but doing it right the first time will save you thousands of dollars and frustrations.


I'm going to be real honest here and give you the run down of how loyalty of customers don't exist in this industry. I got into the inflatable business not because of a need but something to give my cousins things to do while making money. My motto is "Work and think like the Japs but creep and strike like the Americans"

I've learned so much in the short time I had http://www.lasermadness.com I've learned that even loyal customers will try a new company for $5.00 less if given the opportunity. This is great but it will come with problems. First the exsisting company will hate you and will at all cost bad mouth you to the end even if they don't even know you by your first name.

Let me be clear ( My own Obama impersonation) You will make more with competitors and the more you have the more you will make!! I know some people in the forum are saying "Laser has gone mad!"

You see, I've been doing marketing mostly all my like and that's how I make my money and there are rules you follow.

1. Never bark on the run tree (Competitors) instead, stay under it and get all the fruits you want when they fall from it. If you are friends with your competitors they will glady give you leads they can't reach or don't want. I call this at my office (Tree Marketing)
All you have to do is call them and tell them you are willing to exchange leads. This works wonderful because everytime you advertise they get exposure and everytime they advertise they do the same for you <2 way Marketing>

I can sit here and spill my gutts out but it might be a 50 page topic.

If you do mail or handout your flyers make sure they send the right message. Do they have a website address? A Logo for name branding, are the colors of the flyers friendly? Are your prices in range with your competitors? Do they see the word "FREE" in your offer? Having mailings or flyers properly done will help you.

Don't undercut your prices, instead suck it up and toss in a FREE Popcorn rental or any other concession (They pay for supplies)
Waive the travel fees, these tactic will work better than to undercut your competitors.

There's a great book that I would like you two to read, it's called "101 ways to reach your customers" It's awesome and very simple ideas that will get you into the right path to a succesfull business in customer service. The book is available in Kinkos for $11.95 or so.


Laser

Edited by Laser, 25 March 2009 - 09:55 AM.


#13 mcgray73

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 10:04 AM

Thanks to Jose and his marketing ideas and advice. We have been able to go fulltime with our business! I owe much of that to Jose and his "Branding" techniques. We can go anywhere from the grocery to the movies and there is almost always a child that recognizes our logo. We just ordered these flyers for a convention being held in the Ky Fair & Exposition Center. The event invited us to be a sponsor at NO charge! $10,000 sponsorship benefits(full page ad in all programs and free marketing on radio, TV , etc...) How did they pick us you ask?? Google! #1 , Thanks to Jose and his great teacher like qualities!

What do you think of the flyer?

Attached File  LouisvilleInflatablesflyer1.pdf   192.61KB   52 downloads

#14 Zman118

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 10:26 AM

Corey,

Your flyer looks great, but aren't you missing the area code in your phone number or are you in a location that still doesn't have to use the area code in the phone number.

#15 mcgray73

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 10:28 AM

Trying to keep calls in my area actually. I already get a lot of calls to do events way further than I want to go. I hope this will cut down on travel some.

#16 BounceAboutPartyRentals

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 10:49 AM

Thanks to Jose and his marketing ideas and advice. We have been able to go fulltime with our business! I owe much of that to Jose and his "Branding" techniques. We can go anywhere from the grocery to the movies and there is almost always a child that recognizes our logo. We just ordered these flyers for a convention being held in the Ky Fair & Exposition Center. The event invited us to be a sponsor at NO charge! $10,000 sponsorship benefits(full page ad in all programs and free marketing on radio, TV , etc...) How did they pick us you ask?? Google! #1 , Thanks to Jose and his great teacher like qualities!

What do you think of the flyer?

Attached File  LouisvilleInflatablesflyer1.pdf   192.61KB   52 downloads


How much did Laser pay you to say all that? "Thanks to Jose and his great teacher like qualities!" wow corey, you can lay it on! lol Just joking, Jose has been a huge help to more of us than he knows!

#17 Jose'

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 12:11 PM

I paid Cory with realistic proven ways about marketing his business. He's a great student who applies everything he's learned.

I had to keep him focused and away from the old way of Marketing that is deader than the Phone Book.

#18 mcgray73

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 12:11 PM

Thanks for reminding me! I forgot to give Jose the address to mail the check to. Just joking!

I can honestly say that the time Jose has spent on the phone with me and teaching me to do the things we have implemented has been one of the contributers to our success. The biggest contributer has been our faith in the almighty above. Sorry Jose, You have to take the back seat to this one.

John 14:12
I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these,

F- Fully
R- Rely
O- On
G- God

Edited by mcgray73, 25 March 2009 - 12:12 PM.


#19 Jose'

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 01:22 PM

Cory,I don't mind taking a back seat for our true Lord Jesus christ, With him all these is possible. I also want to praise Google for giving me the life I enjoy every single day.




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