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carol@cevaservices.ca

Visual versus Virtual Marketing

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Over the last few weeks, a local radio station has started a promotion that is really bringing attention to them. What they started doing was telling the public that they could “live with” two, very popular and well known morning broadcasting pair. Then they offered the details and it was that people could apply to the radio station and out of the applicants, 50 lucky people would be chosen to live with cardboard cutouts of the morning pair. These cutouts would be taken where ever they were going, church, shopping, football games, and hockey games and anywhere they might be seen with these things.. The prize at the end of 2 weeks was an all expense paid trip to Hawaii with two other well known members of this radio station. They are asked to take these things everywhere, take pictures of where they have been and this will accumulate points towards winning the trip. Now they have $100.00 prizes for people who spot these cutouts and call into the radio station. A lot of people who are participating are coming out with winning something. This is really a great promotion because it is attracting a lot of attention to their radio station. Even if people don’t know about the promotion, I am sure that they will be asking what it’s all about. It sounds a little crazy and is a lot of fun.

 

You may ask how this could relate to marketing your business. VAs tend to focus on advertising on the internet. We may need to go back to basics and put the idea out there with very solid, visual pictures. I am sure that there is a population of people who do not use the internet to find the help they need. By planting a visual image, this quick 5 second imprint will stay with that individual for a long time. I recently was at a cattle show and every time I walked out of the washroom, across the way was a sign that advertised a well known bank. I still remember what that sign represented and feel that a powerful message was delivered. As an industry, we may have to go back to paper and billboard ads to bring the term Virtual Assistant into people’s vocabulary.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts.

 

Warmly

 

Carol

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Sometimes CRAZY things such as the radio station promotion are good at getting attention of the market. Anything that will reach the target market can be considered.

 

We must remember a couple things: Is the client in the neighborhood and therefore likely to relate to our tangible creative? Or are they in a different time zone, state or country where they won't see the tangible efforts?

 

 

Here are some other things to think about. I hate it when there are no 'wrong' or 'right' answers, but then again, this isn't a test.

 

  • Do I want to work with someone who isn't digital or internet-ish?
  • Can you achieve the necessary creatives for your advertising that will drill it into the client's head that you are virtual.
    • Do you HAVE to be virtual? (I suspect that many of us feel the internet marketing focus reinforces our 'virtual-ness')

What other lengths will one go to? How about contacting the 'perfect' client and telling them they have a $300-$400 credit in their account whenever they are ready to begin working with us?

 

How about some super assertive referral rewards?

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Hi Judy

 

You make some great points. Before I started on my VA certification course, I would look through papers and phonebooks to find people to help me. The thought of looking on the internet for specific help never occurred to me. Now research on the computer is common for me. There are a lot of people out there that are like me. I was told a saying some time ago that many people "don't know what they don't know." They may be computer savvy enough to understand how to send and receive necessary info but never knew or considered that there may be this type of industry out there. That is why I say that education is important. I believe that if information is put in strategic places with enough information included, that first image will imprint on people's minds and grow. The sign that I saw last weekend didn't have a lot of info other than the bank's name and their tag line. Maybe I noticed it more because I am always looking for marketing ideas. I know that in the past, some business CEOs pooled resources and put up a billboard ad that didn't say a lot but caused a lot of speculation and discussion throughout the city. What if 10 VAs in an area put in some cash money to rent a billboard on a major thoroughfaire, just think of how many people would see that billboard. It wouldn't have to advertise individual VA businesses but the VA business as a whole, have a contact listing and just think of what that kind of advertising might do. I know that I have looked at billboards and written down their contact info because it was a solution to a problem that I had. I wasn't really looking for a solution but there it was. This may be just one form of educating the public. There are probably a million more that would get the point across. Do not discount the power of paper.

 

Warmly

 

Carol

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Over the years I've tried many ways of direct marketing (direct being offline) via brochures, fax campaigns, newspapers/magazine ads, in person business marketing, networking at various groups, speaking engagements.

 

I've always found the time/$$$ investment with direct marketing is not worth the payout so always strayed back to what was comfy for me > online marketing as I know it works. Maybe it is like someone said above, because my market in online. Saying that, we still need to educate the people offline to look at working virtually and education through their offline advertising stream is the only way.

 

That is not to say that there aren't fantastic marketing campaigns that do work offline that I've not tried yet ex) billboards ;) I know I went back to the basics of doing mail referral marketing via card mailing campaigns and this is working very well for me. Direct marketing does work as long as you do the follow ups.

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