OK, this blog starts with a story! Our Marketing Director, Donna, came in one day and showed us a mailing she had just gotten from the Cadillac dealership here in Lexington. WOW, it was beautiful and expensive! This was even before press printing which is readily available today. Anyway, we asked her why she got one and we didn’t. Her answer was that maybe we were not a hot prospect like she and her husband were and they probably were only sent to truly good prospects since they cost so much to produce and mail.
The light bulb came on! Why were we lumping all of our clients into one grouping and direct mailing them all the same thing (usually a B&W newsletter)? A newsletter was all we could afford since our client base was so large; there was no way we could mail everyone nice, expensive pieces. We realized, though, that we could mail a few of our best clients a really nice piece. Maybe we would have to hand-tie a ribbon or customize these few pieces, but we could logistically do 40-50 pieces, even if they took a lot of elbow grease. Then we could do less expensive pieces for the rest of our data base. In other words, we were favoring those who favored us. Well, this concept opened up a whole new world to us and this became our VIP mailing data base. In this case, VIP stood for Very Intense Purchasers!
The first year, Tim hand-printed (in the darkroom) small, silver gelatin prints which we put in a beautiful black box with a poem entitled “The Sculptor”; the next year we put dried rosebuds in a box along with our offer; another year, we did a layered mailing (with a personal story from an ovarian cancer survivor) using pouchettes from Paper Direct. The list goes on and on, but we realized we could touch a few with a strong impression and that was very effective as opposed to sending large quantities of less interesting literature to a bigger data base.
As you look at our Marketing Pyramid, notice that VIP mailings sit high up in the level of effectiveness. However, the most effective (and hard and expensive) marketing is the One-on-One marketing. An example of this is remembering someone’s birthday and sending them a hand-written card or sending flowers to a client who just had a baby or bought a new home. In other words, this type of marketing involves knowing details of your clients’ lives and that is very difficult if you are not paying attention. Without software to help us track these details, we would be lost. Without asking questions and noting the answers, we would also be lost. Whenever we find out anything about a client that allows us the opportunity to send them a card or small gift, we note it on our studio calendar using StudioCloud software. It is hard, but effective. We strive to be better at this every day! A great book to read about this is “Hug Your Customers” by Jack Mitchell which is on Bev’s Book List. If you order this book, go through the “Bev’s Book List” area so I earn a little “moo” on your purchase. Thanks for doing that!
Also note where Mall exhibits play a part in our Marketing Pyramid. This is more of a broad-brush approach and is closer to the foundation of the Marketing Pyramid, but it is important to get our identity out in the marketplace in a more aggressive way. Of course, with this type of marketing, you get many more unqualified people inquiring, but we handle it with pricing qualifiers. Not everyone is right for us-that is just business. I think the most important factor is to find those that are the right fit and with our Marketing Pyramid, you get your name out into the marketplace in diverse ways that are great for those few VIPS all the way to those shopping on our regional mall.
Take this Marketing Pyramid and fill in where your marketing fits, see the gaps you need to fill and get busy! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone and thanks for taking time to read my blogs-please subscribe if you haven’t already!