Marketing: What is effective? Discussion & QuickPoll

Mass broadcast marketing tried in the past 24 months

  • Newsletter sent by email or web

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Newsletter sent by email or web w/coupon

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Telephone/Telemarketing from existing customer base

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Web search engine paid placement/inclusion/paid clicks program

    Votes: 0 0.0%

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters

Mike Labbe

Forum Support Team
Forum Donor
Jun 25, 2002
Lincoln, RI
Get The Picture
Prompted by recent threads, this anonymous quickpoll surveys marketing methods we have tried in the past 24 months.

Discussion welcomed, as well as opinions for "Best 6" and "Worst 6" methods. (not anon)

Vendors/Non shop owners: If you're not in a position to answer, please click on RESULTS. You don't have to vote in order to view the results.

At framer's request, I've put together about a dozen ideas for QuickPolls - and will introduce them once in a while right here on the main grumble forum.

I spent a couple hours today thinking about possible marketing ideas for this poll, and probably forgot many. Oops

Thanks for your input and hopefully a great discussion.

Ok, since everyone is shy Ill post first

Our "Best 6 List": (tracked by Lifesaver)
1 Web page w/coupon offer in hand
2 Outdoor signage "drove by and saw sign"
3 Repeat customers & their friends
4 Newsletter w/coupon
5 Entertainment book
6 Thank you card coupons

Our "Worst 6 List" for ROI
1 Yellow Pages
2 Newspapers (all types)
3 Val-Pak
4 Card mailings
5 Super coups
6 Placemats
Thought I alweady did?

"Best 6 List":

1 Repeat customers & their friends
2 Outdoor signage "drove by and saw sign"
3 Radio Ads
4 Thank you card notes after purchase
5 Gift Certificates to "silent Auctions" (charities)
6 Ads in small community Newspaper

"Worst 6 List"
1 Yellow Pages
2 metro Newspapers
3 Ads in City weekly "Arts" magazine
4 Direct mail Postcard/coupons
5 Placemat Ad
6 "Co-marketing" deal with other businesses
Our "Best 6 List" in no particular order:

1** (best) Outdoor signage "drove by and saw sign"
2 Repeat customers & their friends
3 Newspaper (local) ads
4 Referral program
5 Charity Donation
6 Yellow pages

Our "Worst 6 List"
1 Ads in local school programs
2 Local 4-color mailer (similar to coupon mailing)
3 Newspaper ads

That's all I can add!

Mike, I have had a minuscule amount of sleep in the last 48 hours, but let's see if I can get my mind and fingers to work together.

I took the survey (and it is a good one) but the number one thing that brings in business for us wasn't on the list.

The number one "bringer in-er" of brand spanking new, prequalifed framing customers is the other part of our business. What I often refer to as innovational business or inventory mix, which in our case is antique restoration - caning and wicker repair to be exact. We offer a service that cannot be readily found elsewhere, and a service that is not inexpensive. The number one comment I hear from caning customers is "Oh, you do framing, too..." (Ya darn right we do! :D )

The second greatest impact on our business is our "relationship marketing." This involves "ME" being involved in the, well, I was going to say "community" but "the world" is a more correct term. I talk about framing all the time. I engage people in conversation everywhere I go. (We do this a lot in the South and I found this method quite by accident. I think the business magazines call it "networking...") "Are you originally from around here?" What do you do?" (If it's not apparent from being in their office or place of business, etc...) And always the conversation comes around to "And what do you do? :D And then I tell them." (I gave out 3 business cards and a brochure at the hospital just this morning. The office assistant reminded me to give her a card before we left.)

Another part of the "relationship marketing or networking" is belonging to organizations and actually working in them.

Also under that "umbrella" is the visibility I (try) to keep up with the newsletters. In 2002 I sent newsletters semi-regularly. In 2003 due to a variety of factors, I didn't get any sent. My income from framing in 2002 was twice what it was in 2003. Does that tell you something?

Next for bringing in new prospects (I think) are the thank you cards with reply cards which gives a place for referrals. (I say "I think" because I have a ton of referrals that I can't follow up with - but they're there waiting on me for the future...)

(What number am I on...) Anyway, the website works - that's a proven - it would work better if I could work it better.

I do have the Decor Home magazines. I like them. They will work to keep up my visibility. But they are brand new. I will not "rate" them unless I have used them consistantly for a year or so.

My yellow pages ads work for me, primarily for the caning part of our business, which as I said brings in more framing customers.

My writing for a local newspaper worked well, when I could do it.

I do some of the "ads in football programs" type of stuff, and even though I can't put a "numbers" on it, it too, goes into the overall mix of "exposure."

I reckon the only thing I've done that I would not ever do again is the phonebook covers and special edition newspaper inserts type of things. (As in contrast to John Ranes' signature line, I was younger and ignorant then!)

I may read this in the morning and it not make a lick of sense, but right now, it sounds about right.


PS You knew I couldn't give a simple list didn't ya ;) !
Very interesting results so far.

I think maybe we should do another poll in the future that asks what kind of supplementary items we carry. (cards, clocks, caning, antiques, ready made frames, art supplies, scrap booking materials, crossstitch supplies, photo processing, portraits, picture maker machine, prints, original art, giclees, sculptures, ceramics, animated cells, mirrors, etc) If you can think of any others, please email me and i'll write em down.

These don't fit in as Marketing, and deserve their own poll.

We gave up asking how new people found us. The answer is all the same. "I've been by here a million times."
We also very active neighborhood associations with WELL READ newsletters. Our neighborhoods newsletter has won national awards and is also a website.

It's all good but the YP. There are now 5 YPs. Which one to spend $1,200 a year in. The same ad in the neighbor hood cost $325.

The only effort that really turned out well was a cultural event in which I set up a table. And I believe a number of factors contributed to the success.

First of all, I was the only one there with custom framed items. Second, there were only about five other tables. So people weren't overwhelmed by other choices, as oftentimes happens at larger events. Third, the price for participating was so nominal that I could offer discounted prices. Not surprising, people still attempted to haggle. And last of all, with decent walk-by traffic I had ample opportunity to turn on the sales charm.

Once I build a new web site, I'll be attempting another direct mailer. I bought the last mailing list; sent out 100 post cards, and didn't get a single call. This time I'll build my own list by visiting select neighborhoods. I'll also create a more attractive postcard. As opposed to the first mailer, this time I'll provide some pricing on the postcard along with a special limited-time and limited-quantity offer.

My take is that people generally don't care to go shopping for art. But if the offer is too sweet to ignore or the lovely item is staring them in the face, many have a hard time resisting.

Once I finish my home renovations, I plan to produce a brochure that shows how fine art beautifies the home. The brochure will include photos of art in real home settings (living room, foyer, bedroom). I'll post the photos on the web site as well. I believe people tend to appreciate art much more when they have some visual effects that help them see how it might look in their homes.