Sandy Marketing

I have customers and business associates who have called to ask what I thought about using the storm to market their business in one way or another. I thought it was appropriate to address it here. Using current events to market your business can be fun, silly, productive, helpful or tacky. Using Hurricane Sandy can fit all those adjectives. Here is my advice. If you have a product or service that can really help people in some way to get through this crisis then you should consider promoting it in one way or another, however, the best way to help is to really offer a deal. So if you have a product people need, offer it at a discount - don't up your price for the quick buck. Instead offer a discount to really help people get something they need. They will remember it and recommend you to others. Those who price gouge will also be remembered but not in the right way.

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been impacted by this storm. We wish everyone a quick return to normalcy.

Archery and marketing

So, if you have ever done archery you know that there are several things involved... a bow, an arrow, and usually a target on a hay bale with a red center. However, there might be other factors involved as well, wind, rain, the distance between you and the target for example.

If you were to set out with a bow and arrow and no target you would be fine just shooting the arrow and watching where it landed. But you wouldn't have any idea if your shot was good or not. It would just be a shot, in the dark. I think you know where this is going. But I'll continue.

When you set a target first, you have something to aim for. You can create a plan based on the the type of bow, the type of arrow, the wind direction, any other weather events as well as the distance which would affect the ultimate path of the arrow itself. It is the same with marketing.

The very first thing you have to do before deciding what tools to employ is set a target. And it should have a bullseye or sweet spot as well as rings emanating from that. Once you have clearly identified what the target looks like and where it is, then you can determine how to reach it with whatever tools you might use. While this may sound simple, very often people will ask, should I use social media? Should I advertise in this magazine? Should I send direct mail? I won't be able to provide guidance until I hear a clearly defined target. It may be that one is better than another, it may be that they are all appropriate when used correctly. But before you begin with any marketing program be sure to very clearly define your target audience, once you identify the sweet spot you can figure out how to hit it.

What's in your marketing mix?

When I started my company in 1991 the name was Global Marketing Group - thus the GMG in GMG Public Relations. Marketing seemed like an all encompassing title then and I wanted to be all things to all people (big mistake when marketing!). In any case, when I incorporated in 1996 I shortened the name to GMG Public Relations because public relations better described my company's focus. However, now it seems like I could go back to the old company name. So much of what I do now is overall marketing. Yes PR is a big part of what I do, getting articles for people, writing press releases, arranging interviews, but I also do a lot more consulting and advising when it comes to an overall marketing program. An effective marketing program often includes PR, direct mail, advertising, social media, etc. and I enjoy putting all of those pieces together to create a more comprehensive program that will ultimately drive more sales. So, what's in your marketing mix?