The Tale of the Hot Dog Vendor

Rhonda Hiltbrand“Early to bed, early to rise, work like [#%!] and advertise.” – Ted Turner

Over the years there have been similar versions of this tale.  It is one of my favorites.  From time to time I get asked to share it again, so here it is!

The Hot Dog Vendor

There was a hot dog vendor who sold the very best hot dogs by the side of the road. His business was booming, people loved his hot dogs, and his business steadily increased month after month. The man loved his business and believed in the need to provide great food at a great price.

This man was so busy advertising and selling his hot dogs and making lots of money, that he didn’t even have time to read the newspaper or listen to the radio. Consequently, he never heard a word about the potential economic slowdown. He just continued to offer his delicious hot dogs and his customers bought them. He kept advertising and selling, and they kept buying.

Then one day his college educated son told him that an economic downturn was surely coming. His son told him that people wouldn’t have enough money to buy his hot dogs. The successful hot dog vendor believed this, so on his son’s advice, he cut back on his advertising. Additionally, he started ordering less supplies and product, because after all, people would be cutting back soon.

He even went so far as to take down many of the billboards that led to his roadside stand. And sure enough, people stopped coming to him. People stopped buying his hot dogs, and he eventually went broke.

Then he thought to himself. “How smart my son is in predicting this.”

Hope you enjoyed it!

Happy advertising!
Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Building Connections

Rhonda HiltbrandMarketing is really about building strong connections that won’t break. ~ Rhonda Hiltbrand

My husband and I were having a conversation recently about our beloved Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.  He was saying how it never used to be as crowded with visitors as it is these days.  I told him it is because they are now marketing so well.  They do direct mail, social media, billboards, TV commercials…they do it all!  They are involved also in the community helping to plant flowers in less prosperous areas of town and they attend the Cincinnati Reds and Cincinnati Bengals events.  They have summer camps for children and special events for members.  They are truly connected!

We feel we know the animals so well because due to this marketing, we know their names, their ages, their quirks and where they stand on the endangered species list.  We know when they give birth and rejoice and just have to go and see the new offspring.  We understand but feel a little sad when they get older and are sent to other zoos.  Yes…their marketing builds strong connections.

Your marketing can do the same.  We always say News Works helps with this by making our shop owners stars.  Their customers build strong connections with them because when they get their newsletter/flyer/postcard, they feel they really know that person who owns the shop where they get their vehicle serviced.  When our shop owners do an employee spotlight, it builds yet another connection.  Ties that bind are important in this day of coupon chasing.  If your customers connect with you, they won’t even think of going elsewhere.

I am so happy to tell you that our customers are reporting that they are “slammed” with work.  That is music to my ears.  That means they are marketing correctly and consistently.  If you need help in this area, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  We would like to help you become a star too…and more importantly, help you to build strong connections with your customers.

Have a great August!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


The Power Of Direct Mail

Rhonda HiltbrandIt’s important to select the right marketing channels and to recognize the enduring power of print media to produce an effective marketing campaign, experts advise. Also, remember that it takes commitment to build a following through paid advertising. The Guardian (London)

(Marketing Essentials of the Highly Successful Shop Owner – Part Four)

Technology is great but too often tech companies leave out the human factor…to them it is data-to-data instead of a person to another person.  They still call it marketing…but is it really?  Mostly it is a quick, cheap “touch” and so it is given very little thought.  If one had to pay direct mail prices to send it…they probably would scrutinize it before pushing it out!  I get more complaints from my customers about the tech companies they use than about anything else.  They say their customers complain to them about receiving too much…34 or more touches a month.  Whatever we do…we don’t want to be annoying.  I appreciate the tech companies’ zeal and enthusiasm but too much of a good thing is still…too much! I always suggest that my customer ask the tech company to cut back on how much they push out.

Direct mail still delivers the strongest ROI for business to consumer.  If you are trying to find new customers, it can be done very inexpensively.  If you are keeping in touch with your current customers it works very well.

  • Direct mail delivers the strongest ROI for Business to Consumer acquisition of customers (31% for direct mail compared to 16% for email) as well as for retention of customers (37% for direct mail compared to 29% for email).
  • 98% of consumers bring in their mail the day it’s delivered and 77% sort through it immediately.
  • 65% of surveyed online Americans say they have made a purchase in response to messages received via direct mail.
  • For every $1 invested in direct (non-catalog) mail expenditures, the average return on investment is $15.40.

The DMA (Direct Marketing Association) uses $12 in revenue for every $1 spent to show you can have over 1200% ROI.  This is based on the lifetime value of your customer.  For example, if you spend $1000 on a direct mail campaign you may not see $12,000 worth of immediate business but over the lifetime of the customer you could reasonably expect to see a 12x return on investment.

No other type of advertising gives a small business that level of return.

Next month we will continue with more stats and reasons to use direct mail!  I promised to keep my Help Me Rhonda’s short and sweet so I will stop here for this month!

Never hesitate to contact me with comments or questions!

Thanks!
Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing