View Full Version : my marketing efforts

Craig Hogarth
12-10-2007, 6:00 AM
It's been a while since I've really spent some time here, but business has picked up quite a bit which has kept me fairly preoccupied :)

Joe Pelonio and I used to go back and forth about what we were doing with our marketting and I figured I'd share what I've been doing over the past couple months and the results.

First off, I started as a home based business in May finally going brick and mortar in September. We're competing with another engraving business which has been in business for almost 25 years now.

We first started advertising in the Valpak, the monthly mailer coupons you may have seen. We pay $600 for 20k homes delivered monthly. In addition, they give us an additional 200 coupons for us to distribute ourselves. We've had great success in giving these to other businesses to offer to their customers.

We were then added to the Business Profile section in our local paper, paying $130 twice montly for a 4x3.5 (approx) color ad. In addition, we get a half page article written on us every 6 months, although we choose to use over half the space for additional photos instead of text. We decided to do something similar with another paper where we pay $45 weekly, get a 2x3.5 color ad and a story every 3 months.

We've also done various inserts here and there. This is the stuff you see that usually jams a bunch of full color ads into one page. We generally choose the 1/8 page ad for about $250. Our ad rep knows we'll jump at any deal and she gives us discounts quite often on these. For instance, there's full page section in our paper advertising businesses on my street. One business decided to go from a 1/8 page ad to a 1/4. When they rearranged the adspace to accomodate for them, it left this big 1/8 page gap. We ended up getting this spot for 3 weeks at $100/week until they found someone to commit to it long term.

I just got my website up last month and started newsprint ad to direct business towards the website. we run 2 2x3 inch black and white ads weekly at a cost of $66.00. It's a very basic ad only showing our website and a big arrow pointing at it. We've only been doing that for about 3 weeks now and has resulted in an average of 130 hits on days it run. So about a quarter per click.

we also do chamber of commerce, and participated in a few business expos. There's some other small stuff here and there, but it's not worth mentioning.

Overall, it's been a great success. We've spent about $4k in the past 2 and a half months and at first, it was definately more going out than coming in. But as of yesterday, we broke 3k for the month of december, so I'm guessing we're ahead right now. I know a lot is all christmas, but considering we've only been in location for under 3 months, it's a heck of a lot better than what we were expecting.

So my plans next month is to drop valpak and insertions, reserving it for holiday months. We'll keep the business profile primarily due to the feature articles on us. My main focus will shift towards the website and we'll be increasing size and frequency of our ad for that.

Sorry for the length, but it's a topic i started a while back and never got the chance to update

Mike Null
12-10-2007, 7:35 AM

Thanks for sharing that info. It looks like pretty good progress with your sales trend.

Keep your margins up and good luck.

Marc Myer
12-10-2007, 2:48 PM
Have any of you tried using Craigslist?
It's free, and seems to be very popular here. I don't advertise yet, so I'm paying attention to your experience.

Nancy Laird
12-10-2007, 3:27 PM
we also do chamber of commerce, and participated in a few business expos. There's some other small stuff here and there, but it's not worth mentioning.

Craig, thanks for this post. It has me thinking in some new directions, seeing as how I'll be doing this full time in January.

Would you please elaborate on your "do chamber of commerce" comment? I'm interested in knowing how the CofC fits into your marketing plan.


Nancy (11 days)

Craig Hogarth
12-10-2007, 6:11 PM
Our local chamber is extremely active, with monthly luncheons in excess of 130 businesses attending. The luncheon is followed that evening with a Business After Hours social at one of the businesses. It's a great networking tool and we've developed about a dozen or so profitable working relationships, either by servicing the businesses themselves or their customers/clients.

Some of the stuff they do is a monthly newsletter, which allows us to promote our B2B stuff. At the luncheons they do a "Holler for a Dollar" where we get a quick 10 second shout out for a buck. When our local high school football team went to state, the sentence "We have purple and gold 'Go Wildcats' nametags for $3" turned into a production run of over 200 nametags. We've also been allowed to place displays tables at luncheons which has helped to bring more businesses into the store.

But the biggest part is the networking. Every business has a need for what we do and when you get with them on a personal level, business just happens.

Luke Phillips
12-10-2007, 9:58 PM
My marketing results have not been encouraging - Valpak got zero responses, Craigslist got one inquiry - no business. Craigslist is awkward to manage - takes a lot of time to keep updating the ad and it's hard, if not impossible to make multiple listings in different areas. I did get involved with local Business Network International (www.bni.com (http://www.bni.com)) and there are 3 local chapters here, each with 30-50 members that can use my services. Most of my work comes from word-of-mouth and networking. FWIW - For the money, BNI has paid off much better that any other advertising.