Wednesday, March 30, 2005

the marketing post

a strange but very real parallel just surfaced in my mind. I'm in my "advertising & promotions" class, listening to a lecture on the range and effectiveness of consumer promotions as opposed to loyalty programs (think: why is macdonald's monopoly game more successful in the long term than subway's sub-club card?) believe it or not, this is actually pretty interesting stuff for me, but since I’ve already read the material, my mind has drifted over to today’s toybox post.

therein lies the parallel: the best blogger might just be a great marketer.

now, when I say "the best", I'm assuming a hit-per-day (either reoccurring or unique) measurement. right now my counter says I've had 5439 hits since I opened up the toybox last november. and though it really shouldn’t matter, watching that number slowly climb has actually been a great source of entertainment for me.

I'll tap out the ppt slide being shown right now and add my thoughts in parentheses:

Target markets for sales promotions

-Increase sales to non-triers (the professor is talking about people buying products, or more specifically, people who wouldn’t otherwise even consider making the purchase. if pepsi is giving away free itunes, even someone who isn’t a typical soda drinker might pick up a six pack. in the blogging industry, our give-aways are less tangible, so I can’t really offer a price cut or a free accessory. instead, the “sale” I’ll make to a non-trier usually comes from the promotional shout-out. I swear the only reason my mom checks in from time to time is because I might just mention her again. hi mom.)
-Increase sales to existing consumers (a loyal reader is hard to shake (I still check out DHKA, just in case) but there is definitely a pressure to maintain a value proposition. I feel bad for the guys who run hometarrunner.com sometimes, because no matter how good they are, even the most loyal of readers expect more, bigger, better next week. thankfully, I’ve kept expectations low here at the toybox, so more, bigger, better isn’t hard to reach.)
-Increase sales to heavy brand users
-Increase sales to heavy product users (in this case, let’s say “brand” equals “garvey”, wherein “product” equals “blog”. the parallel is pretty loose here, since the things I would do to convince a these people to read the toybox isn’t even close to what a corporation would do to increase a customer base. the idea to take away from this is that some people read the toybox because they know and/or like me, or because they are avid blog readers, addicted to the medium. when I started the toybox, I could never have imagined reading a journal that belonged to someone I didn’t know, but everytime I click a link on someone else’s site, I’ve proven myself wrong. the lesson here? tell my friends (the “brand users”) about my blog directly, and let “product users” find me through other people’s sites.)
-Increase sales to price-shoppers (you will never find a cheaper blog anywhere.)
-Increase sales to competitive consumers (okay, whoever reads the toybox more, wins.)

so what does it all mean? well, hopefully, two things: more daily traffic at the toybox and the fact that I can finally say I understand an a&p lecture. I could say that anyway, except that I missed the second half of this class in particular while, yes, blogging.

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