Addition or Subtraction

I mentioned a few days ago that a press release on Newsarama had been our most effective advertising and that remains the case. This blog is another form of advertisement, though it’s much more useful as a wall against which to fling my thoughts. The next step in the evolution of this store experiment, though, is to find a more local, focused form of advertising, preferably one that doesn’t kill our checkbook.

Option #1: Guerilla, grassroots, viral whatever terminology you choose to apply, it’s all ground level marketing. It’s also relatively inexpensive. What I haven’t yet been able to determine, however, is if it’s particularly effective. Following the lead of James Sime and the Isotope Street Team we’ve distributed fliers and comics to area locations. There’s some question, though, as to the effectiveness of such a strategy in a suburban area versus a cultural smorgasbord like San Francisco. While we’re still in the early stages, the returns thus far can only be described as less than discouraging.

One of the main obstacles is an internal struggle between focused distribution and blanket coverage. It has been suggested that we conscribe a few recruits to blanket the malls and area shopping centers with those annoying windshield fliers. While I can easily get past my personal distaste for such tactics if it brings in more customers, I’m a bit more dubious that it will actually yield any results. There would seemingly be much more efficient areas to target, though none occur to me at the moment (outside of the local college campuses, which are already covered).

Is all fair in advertising? If so, I need to just start an infiltration campaign of my own and swamp every Starbucks, deli, laundromat, hair salon, food court and bookstore in the area with product and fliers. Then again, if all’s fair in advertising, then I can’t wait to see what Jason Richards' store Riot gets in the mail next. What say ye?


Blogger jason @ RIOT said...

yeah...advertising is fun.

Next month RIOT is trying out one of those monthly coupon magazines you get in the mail.

TV worked well but was pricey.

Flyers seem the best bet. There's an all-ages club, a few coffeehouses and a chain of burrito restaurants that are receptive to our store. You could try libraries and schools too.

Networking, baby!

6:34 PM  
Blogger the Isotope Communique said...

The Commuter Converter program has been a great promotion for me, especially seven months ago when I relocated my store halfway across the city. Having said that, it's definitely slow-build marketing and it should be merely one of the many marketing tricks you have at your disposal.

My best retail promotion advice? Try everything. Over and over and over again. You'll have plenty of time to sleep *after* your shop is successful.

More thoughts about promotion and comic retailing here

3:23 PM  

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