A third objective for 2010:

  • To attract and maintain a loyal customer base via WOM

The busier you get, the more selective you need to be when it comes to anything that demands your time. This objective gives me reason to just say no to countless sales calls for marketing gimmicks. I tell the caller that we are committed to marketing our business through word of mouth and would not be interested in their product. When they push back with their scripted, conditioned response, I ask them what it’s like to have a job trying to sell me something I don’t need. The awkward conversation usually ends right after that.

I will admit that am skeptical about the effectiveness of most media advertising. I can’t tell you the last item I purchased because of a commercial on TV. If anything, I tend to be cynical about how products are presented and find ads more of a means of humor and mockery than useful information. We all look forward to the spots shown during the Super Bowl, but do they translate into anything more than watercooler talk on Monday?

We have stuck to a plan to market our business through people with whom we have some connection rather than through a massively anonymous approach. We manage three primary means of dispensing information to people who request it, and believe if they are inquiring, we’ve already established interest. A person can easily unsubscribe at their will, so if they want to stop getting information from us, it can cease immediately, unlike the mountains of junk paper mail I send right through the shredder and into the recycle bin as soon as I retrieve it from the mailbox at home.

Call it self-serving or just a good business, but we like partnering with groups for events that have a mutual benefit. We’ve hosted new beer release parties for the Modern Monks Brewing Consortium. Since they sell us beer and we sell it to you, we tap both networks to create a win/win scenario. In two weeks we are having a Wine & Food Tasting for Woodsmoke, an African themed business started by local entrepreneur Sean Coetzee. As we take opportunity to serve his fans, they may in turn become our fans, as well.

In our technologically fueled Information Age, we suffer from a glut of data that is absolutely useless. As a business man, I want my marketing to be concise, useful and to the point. I don’t want to waste your time, because I don’t want to waste mine, either.

Objective #3 for 2010