Monday, April 28, 2008

'Shroomming is NOT a Spectator Sport!

I attended an interesting annual general meeting of the Canadian Mushroom Association in Toronto. The speaker's presentation was promotion oriented. I was very impressed with the marketing efforts of the CMGA. They had assembled an excellent media program involving the web and traditionl media. Much of the work was done in-house, but they were savy enough to use the branding rule of consistency. They used their logo and brand message effectively. There was a call to action on every item driving the audience to the web site where they were lured into getting free recipes for registering with their emails. I was very impressed with the results of this effort - 10,000 emails in their first year. That is outstanding. Every commercial whether radio or TV ending by driving home the web address. All print and digital efforts did the same. The diagnostic data gleamed from their websites, revealed a remarkable ability to hit their target audience.

All and all the CMGA should be patted on the back for their efforts and it was refreshing to hear that the mission continues. The only blip in the evenings presentation was at the expense of the mandate of the organization which is to "move more mushrooms". It was reported that mushroom sales remained flat. Absolutely no movement in sales performance. To the few members I talked to in attendance they saw the marketing efforts as disappointing, since sales didn't go up.

I think this to be short sighted. As marketers we are well aware of the time it takes to see a return on marketing efforts.

This is a common tendancey of many in business who simply don't appreciate how marketing works. Their attitude is understandable though, as they are the troops on the front line. They take their few hard earned dollars and trust that the results will bear fruit tomorrow. But in reality they are only planting the seeds (spawning if you will). To get 10,000 emails is remarkable and a gold mine in opportunties since the targeted audience signed up for mushroom info. That 10,000 will multiply with any recipe sharing between friends and family.

The only missing component I don't recall seeing in the marketing mix was a co-ordinated effort to have each grower member do their part with co-oping the drive to the website on their marketing and corporate materials. For instance a number of member's business cards I saw showed no drive to Every stake holder in the Canadian mushroom industry has a stake in the success of this effort. Let's see who steps up and takes a leadership role. Marketing shouldn't be something to watch from the sidelines - it is NOT a spectator sport.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

20 Questions To THE Perfect Customer!

We in business have tendency to want to leave no stone unturned when it comes to generating income. Are you targeting your efforts to reach your best target audience? Are you aware of just who this audience is? A good exercise would be to identify this person. To perform this task you have to build a demographic profile. Remember - the profile is of the person that you make the most money from. Once identified, you will want to locate more like them.

Here are some questions to ask yourselve regarding your most profitable demographic profile:

1. Are they male or female?
2. How old would they be?
3. What income level?
4. Are they philanthropic?
5. Are they married?
6. Do they have kids? (if so, what age are the kids?)
7. Are they community minded?
8. Union or non-union?
9. Are they American or not?
10. Republican or Democrat?
11. What vehicle do they drive?
12. Visible minority?
13. Aggressive or passive?
14. Introvert or extrovert?
15. Do they read the local newspaper?
16. Are they joiners?
17. Are they handy around the house?
18. Do they own a single family dwelling? or a condo?
19. Are they a sports fan or culture fan or both?
20. How much money do they spend with us?

Answering these questions will give to a solid base to determine your perfect customer. Using census data or a market research source, identify more of this demographic profile within your community. If you charted the outcome on a map, you will typically see clustering of locations. This is because similar demographic groups tend to live close to one another. Market to these target locations. This will save printing and distribution costs by avoiding areas not identified as a target group. Now you not only know your perfect customer but where they live too.
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