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The Pro Shop

Marketing in a Local Economy (Part 2)

comments (4) October 28th, 2010 in blogs

CustomMade CustomMade Staff, contributor
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This article was contributed by Patrick Kennedy, VP, Superior Woodcraft, Inc. Make sure to check out Part 1 of this 2-part series here.

Steps to draft a marketing plan


Let’s look at some specific actionable steps you can include in your marketing plan.  Remember that marketing is a repetitive process.  Let’s think inexpensive, repetitive, establishing contacts with potential customers and a message that describes the values your products bring their owners – your customers.  Often times the largest gold mines are right in your own back yards.  So, let’s get started by keeping the marketing plan local.  It’s also what you know best.  Here are some suggestions:

 

1.     Determine who champions your work.  Talk to them about your marketing plan and goals.  Ask them for their assistance.  I’m sure they will be glad to help.  Your champions can be your best advisor, advocate and marketer.

2.     Create a business card that identifies you and your work.  Then hand them out.  They don’t benefit you if they stay in your desk drawer.

3.     Simply talk to your friends and family members.   Tell and show them what you are doing and talk about your goals and dreams.  Ask them if they can help spread the word about your endeavors.  Give your business cards to them to share with others.

4.     If your customers are local then get involved in the same community or professional groups as your customers.  Become actively involved in that organization.  This will provide you with repeated direct exposure to your potential customers.

5.     Support your local little league, high school sports teams, bands, etc. by advertising in their program books, advertising on t-shirts, etc.  Customers remember and value your support for their children’s interests.

6.     Exhibit your products at local art festivals and other local events.

7.     Donate your products or services to local charitable events –preferably the same charitable groups preferred by your customer base.  It’s a great opportunity to support your local community and market yourself at the same time.

8.     Cross-market your products with other craftsmen who have the same customer base, but produce different products.  Work co-operatively with each other, share expenses and promote each other.

9.     Ask former customers for testimonials that you can share with potential clients.

10. This one is hard.  Ask customers how their experience with your products and services can be improved.  It is tough to hear, but do not take it personally.  It is information that will provide a large return if you learn from their input.


What marketing steps have worked for you and what hasn't?

 

These are only a few ideas about marketing to help get everyone started on a plan.  It would be great to hear about your marketing successes or even ideas that didn’t work out so well.  Sharing our experiences will help all of us learn from each other.  My current motto is, "Acting locally, together, we can all help each other through these trying economic times. The only support and assistance we need is each other." 

 

Get started on your marketing plan today so others can learn about your great products and services! Wow, we survived talking about business!  It’s now ok to exhale.

 

Please share your insights with the rest of us.  Let’s support each other and succeed together.

 



posted in: blogs


Comments (4)

pkennedy pkennedy writes: Great comments and suggestions. Thank you.

Dboetb - I'm a firm believer in quantifying your return vs the cost in every business activity you undertake. Thanks for bringing up that point.

Porc - good comments and thanks for the suggestion on the marketing site.

JeffB - great comments on facebook. Using facebook constructively can yield great success. Facebook isn't just for kids.

Thanks for these great comments. Give sending in more suggestions. Also, feedback on marketing activities that didn't work out so well is also a great learning tool for everyone.

"Acting locally, together, we can all help each other through these trying economic times. The only support and assistance we need is each other."

Thanks for your support!


Posted: 10:12 am on October 29th

JeffB JeffB writes: This sort of goes with #3. Don’t overlook or ignore Facebook. I am 50 years old and have been on Facebook for a year or two. I realized at a recent high school reunion that most all of my friends are on Facebook – it is not just for kids and young adults. Most of my immediate family and a lot of my friends are there.

Once you finish a project, post a few photos of it on Facebook and let your friends and family members know about it. When someone comments, all of their friends have the ability to see your photos.

But, I hate commercials on Facebook, so make your status updates about you, not just your work.

Posted: 8:58 am on October 29th

PORC PORC writes: I agree in full. 6,7,8, and 10 have all led to great rewards for me. One of the most important things for marketing is to get out there around your target market. Considering custom woodworking is really a luxury, and not a necessity for consumers, I have chosen to market myself in that circle. I would encourage ALL to follow the blog by Marketing Stud, Seth Godin. Everything you have mentioned has seen some attention at one point or another on his Blog. Great Post!!!

Check it out!

www.sethgodin.com
Posted: 2:19 pm on October 28th

dboetb dboetb writes: How about adding ;

11.Getting a return on ones marketing investment.





Posted: 1:51 pm on October 28th

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