Forgive me, dear readers, for I have sinned.
Here I am, preaching about building a strong brand so you can choose the right marketing tactics in which to invest. I talk about measuring progress and success so you always know your ROI. But, as is often the case with doctors and consultants, we are our own worst patients/clients.
Let me share with you my faux pas so that you can learn what not to do – and give you a review of a unique marketing tactic that may actually be a good investment for you, depending on your product or service.
AnyLuckyDay.com is a unique and simple marketing concept. The founder, Giancarlo, will create a 24 Hour advertising campaign, Custom Sponsor Video. Multiple Insertions into their Twitter and Facebook Streams and Search Engine Optimized post on AnyLuckyDay.com. You can also purchase optional items such as an email sponsorship and Publishing Rights to your video. All you do is pay him to “sponsor” a specific day for $150 and offer something for the contest winner.
Visitors are encouraged to visit your website and then post a comment on AnyLuckyDay.com to officially enter the contest. I’m always eager to learn how innovative marketing tactics work, so I gave it a shot and bought January 20 as my day to promote my book. I offered three free books as the giveaway.
The process was fairly easy. Once they got in touch with me (which took a while, because I think they are understaffed), I sent them some information, photos, website links and a copy of the book. They then created the video and allowed me to review it before posting. I would say the hard part is their customer service is not that great, meaning they went a while after I paid without getting in touch with me, and it seemed like I was just being put into “the machine.” Granted, we had some email glitches where some of their emails to me seemed to have been lost or never got to me, but let’s just say that I tolerated it because the price was really not that high. Sometimes price can be an indication of the level of hand-holding you will get.
So the video looked good, the promotion ran, and I was delighted that many of the Commenters were actually small business owners. I had no idea what his database or follower profile looked like so I went in blind just to try it. Giancarlo even invited me to comment back and created a Disqus account for me in case I didn’t have one.
Results? Here’s the lessons I learned and where I fell down:
1) Failure to set concrete goals: I really didn’t give this promotion any real time or attention because I’ve been so slammed and because it was so cheap. I should have set a few metrics of what I wanted to see increase: Twitter followers, FB fans, Newsletter signups, etc. and determined pre- and post benchmarks. But I never took the time. Qualitatively, I think my follwers and fans did increase on that day, but since I failed to take a snapshot of Jan 19, I can’t be sure.
LESSON: Set clear goals and capture a “before” benchmark so you can compare your “after” numbers to it.
2) Failure to put a tracking mechanism in place: Because I don’t sell my book directly, I will need to rely on Amazon figures or my publisher telling me if there was a spike in sales. There was a noticeable ranking increase on that day, but how Amazon decides rankings are not from pure sales – it’s a wonky rating system based on sales in your categories. I also don’t have visibility into all my book sales data overall. And on AnyLuckyDay’s end, they told me they could not provide any clickthrough metrics, and did not provide me with a post-promotion list of “Number of Tweets, Number of Comments, Number of FB Posts” etc., which would have been nice.
LESSON: Create trackable response mechanisms. I should have created a custom URL through Bit.ly so I could at least track clickthroughs and exposure, if not sales. But I also should not have invested in an advertiser that could not provide any tracking info to me from their side.
3) Failure to determine audience fit: OK, I knew upfront I was taking a risk on this one. To be fair, I am not sure if I ever asked them to provide some sort of breakdown of who their audience and followers are (again, lack of time and attention on managing this campaign on my part). I was lucky that many of them were indeed business owners, but what if they were not?
LESSON: Always ask for a audience segment breakdown and try to get any info you can. If the vehicle will not provide it, you should invest somewhere that can.
4) Failure to take time: All of my problems stemmed from just paying for this tactic and not ensuring I thought through it all. If I was too busy to properly leverage this tactic, I should never have done it.
LESSON: Make sure that if you invest in marketing, you have the bandwidth or help to leverage it to its fullest and don’t just throw money away.
AnyLuckyDay.com is a great idea for a variety of products and services just to get a blitz effect. My verdict is still out on whether it’s better for higher-end or lower-end items, as I still don’t know who is in their “tribe” but I would assume something too high-end might not work for more than a one-time sales blip. You need to remember you’ll get noise because you are giving some items away, but will it lead to any sales in the future? This is such a unique contest/advertising concept that I can’t say with certainty that people with higher incomes are not in the tribe. Case in point: there were small business owners in the bunch. But if you have a fairly general consumer product, this would be an excellent – and inexpensive – way to get some some buzz going. I know I got the word out about my book to many who may not have heard of it, got some new followers, fans and signups – so to me, that is worth $150.
Have you tried any other unique advertising tactics like this? What was your experience? Please share in the comments.