Supporting your own marketing is a demonstation of believing what you’re selling. Business owners: did you know your marketing needs your support? Not just those of your staff, contractors, or suppliers, but also your own? Yet, all too often, business owners find themselves limited on time and make choices about their marketing they may come to regret. Let me give you an example:
This past weekend I attended the Tucson Festival Of Books with my author, Keith Mueller, to meet fans and sell his new book, “Journey To The Black City”. We were handed a hot pink flier from one of the food purveyors; on it was a short menu of choices and prices for food and drinks, and a short paragraph at the top written for those stuck in their booths: send a text to their number (on the flier) with your order and booth number, and they would bring it to you.
What a great idea! We could stay in our booth and talk with new fans, sell his book, and still get food and water! I put this new concept to the test around 11:15 Saturday and ordered 2 bottles of water. I received a reply straightaway, confirming and indicating someone would deliver right away. So far, so good.
Unfortunately, this is where the good news stops. Keith and I waited almost 3 hours, then gave up on the idea someone was coming by. We had actually left the booth, one at a time, picked up lunch and drinks, and came back during this time. Ultimately we decided if this person did finally show up, we would politely decline the order.
What are the takeaways here?
- Support your effort(s). Whether it be in print, blog, video or social media, your business should support your efforts, period. In this case, the food purveyor should have hired more help to meet a potentially critical demand, and clearly failed to do so. I don’t know if anyone else tried to order anything from this tent, but, if they did, hopefully they got it in a timely manner.
- Get buy-in. Give your employees a copy of your ad or flier and make them aware of what the special is, especially when it’s time-sensitive (both in delivery and over a certain number of days). Make your expectations clear.
- Stock up. If you’re offering a tangible good, like a sandwich, make sure you have enough supplies to make enough sandwiches, plus extra for buffer. Additionally, in this case, the business owner should have hired at least 10 temporary workers to run deliveries during the festival.
- Roll up your sleeves. If you’re short-handed, dig in and do some of the work yourself. If you’ve run low on supplies, go pick up more. Not only will your employees thank you, your customers will know you really care about the quality and timeliness you advertised.
- Own your word. Stand by and deliver what you’ve promised. This is so critical, yet so overlooked, and goes directly to supporting your plan. Protect your business’ – and your own – credibility.
- Do a “lessons learned” sit-down with everyone involved. Talk about what worked and what didn’t. Make needed adjustments before trying again.
Business owners may be in the business of risk, but strategic planning can help reduce the amount of risk involved. If this local eaterie can learn from its mistakes and try again in the 2018 Festival, they stand to make more money by capitalizing on both need and demand with a captive audience. That is, of course, assuming the other food purveyors don’t pick up on this idea first.
Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.
Image courtesy of a Fox News article.