The first time I heard that expression I was barely 18 years old and serving in the US Navy on an aircraft carrier. So it was a bit amusing to be watching the “invasion” at the local pirate festival this weekend and heard the pirates defending the shoreline shouting “fire in the hole” to warn those watching that they were about to fire their cannons.
We wanted to see this event up close because last year we were there, but stuck in our booths as a vendor and selling the event t-shirts. Walking among the vendors there this year and watching the pirates, well, pirating, gave me the opportunity to see a vivid example of what happens when you throw a party and forget to send the invitations.
With rare exception, the only ones in attendance at the John Levique Pirate Days were those who would be at the John’s Pass for other reasons. The looks on their faces at the odd dress and behavior of the pirates said it all. They had no idea there was a festival there. Why? Poor to nonexistent marketing.
Just a few miles away in the downtown waterfront park was another event that had tens of thousands in attendance. The difference? Possibly the entertainment but to be sure the marketing made a difference.
Pretty much everywhere I went last week, I saw signs reminding me of the “Taste of Pinellas” event. Billboards, print ads, yard signs, etc.
The Pirate Days – nothing. Nada. Didn’t see one bit of promo outside of mentions on their Facebook page.
If you are in the events business, the case study of these two competing events would tell you everything you need to know to hold a successful event of your own.
But no matter what products or service you sell can also pick up some lessons from it.
First, if you want people to know you’re in business – be sure to tell them. Joining the chamber is not the same as marketing your business.
People generally don’t care enough about the other members to study the directory to find you. If they did, chances are your message in the directory isn’t strong enough to remind them to think of you when they need or want what you’re selling?
Second, the marketing world is noisy, so you may have to repeat yourself a few times to get heard above the din.
This is why email marketing is so powerful. Doing something as simple as getting people who might one day need your products or services on an email list, and then sending them valuable ideas, tips and information on a regular basis will get you some business. How do I know? It’s exactly what I’m doing each and every week day.
As all of this relates on online marketing, over 80% of all people who are thinking of buying something will start by looking online for information about it. In that process they will find businesses who can meet their needs. Those who convert these searchers into prospects have the best chance of earning the business.
If you didn’t know by now, let me remind you – getting clients sites ready to get more traffic, leads and sales is what I do. If you desire to get more business from the Internet, then perhaps we should talk. Take the first step and contact me here.