Advertising for direct marketing

A place to discuss where and how to market our products. Users can share experiences with value-added enterprises, ask for information on costs, and find out who's paying what for what kind of lambs.
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Advertising for direct marketing

Postby WayneG » Sun May 17, 2009 8:16 am

Just was wondering what kind of advertising people do for direct marketing. I know Janet has her famous billboard. Does anyone do newpsaper or radio? I know a lot of people do word of mouth, but you have to get started before you get ot word of mouth advertising circuit going.
Wayne G
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Re: Advertising for direct marketing

Postby Bob Corio » Mon May 18, 2009 9:01 am

I have been having some luck using craigslist.I have done the sunday paper classifieds but response was very poor and could have spent the $35 elsewhere. Best luck I have had is the farmers markets.

bob
south dakota
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Re: Advertising for direct marketing

Postby Bill Fosher » Tue May 19, 2009 4:50 am

Hi Wayne,

My wife and I used to run a graphic arts business. She still does, but she fired me to reduce her overhead ;>) Basically, she earns a living making ads, brochures, business cards, etc., etc. and she will be the first one to tell you that advertising seldom works. In order for advertising to be cost effective, it needs to be highly targeted. When you put an ad in the local newspaper, you are putting your message in front of thousands of eyeballs, to be sure. But the vast majority of those thousands of eyeballs will either not see your ad or will not be interested in your product.

Is there a group of cooking enthusiasts in your area? If so, see if you can take a simple handout to one of their meetings and leave it on a literature table. Better still, offer to make a presentation about cooking with lamb -- or if you're not a great cook yourself, offer some meat to one of their presenters. Is there a group of local food enthusiasts? The best advertising I ever did was a single e-mail to a list of localvores in the nearby town. I had had an order from a distributor fall through and had 12 lambs on the rail with no orders. I sent one e-mail to this list on Friday afternoon, and had all 12 sold plus orders for 12 more before the slaughterhouse opened for business on Monday morning. About half of those customers have already re-ordered, and nearly all of them want lambs next fall. My only cost was the time to write the e-mail.

To develop word of mouth does take time and effort. It also might take some freebies. But if you give a restaurant chef a package of lamb chops (value $10 to $20) and she ends up ordering 10 lambs a year, that's a much better return on the money than a $50 ad in a newspaper that generates little or nothing by way of sales.

The main thing to remember is that when you deliver product, you must ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS make sure that the customer has something other than the bill with your name and contact info on it. You will get more return business from a well-produced label than you will from general advertising.

Radio I have less experience with, but my sense is that it is most effective as a means of getting people to go to a store or shop. Getting bodies in the door, as opposed to calling for information or to place an order. If you are going to be at a farmers market, you might consider a local radio spot or two, or if you are setting up a shop on your farm and want to build traffic to your location. Otherwise, I think radio is probably a waste of money. Most people listen to the radio in their cars or at work -- while something else is going on -- and are not likely to write down your phone number and call you later.
Bill Fosher
Westmoreland, NH
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Re: Advertising for direct marketing

Postby Double Barrel » Tue May 19, 2009 7:50 am

Radio isnt a waste of money if its free! :wink: Up here in a town about 60 miles away (just far enough for it to not come in in the house :evil: ) a radio station has a 'trader' show every morning for an hour, monday - friday. selling, wanting, buying, giving, you name it... just drop an email, phone call, or letter and they will read it for a week. Ive gotten some pretty neat stuff at great prices because of that show. Many places around the states have such shows... you just have to find them. There is even one in another town in another direction that has a call in for just that purpose. Covers 2 countries.

Ive worked or to many years in the fast food business and found that people will only read what they want to read. They can have it in their hands, and read out loud, buy a hamberger, get a hamberger free, and want a double cheeseburger with a second one free with that coupon. :x :evil: its a wonder that I havent killed anyone yet!

I do have a good friend that is the butcher in the local grocery store. Ive given him some business cards as he does have folks ask on occation for lamb. One lady sounded very excited to find out that there was some locally grown. Ive also left cards with a local butcher that does much of the area butchering (livestock, game and poultry) I know that we are just getting started and have a long way to go, but its a start!
Got to be a little crazy to keep from going insane!
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Re: Advertising for direct marketing

Postby Peg Haese » Tue May 19, 2009 11:36 am

Bill, how did you get the email list for localvores?
Peg Haese, PNP Katahdins, far SW Wisconsin USA
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Re: Advertising for direct marketing

Postby Bill Fosher » Tue May 19, 2009 6:39 pm

I knew of the group, which in this case is based in Brattleboro, Vt. and asked a neighbor about it. She told me that there was an e-mail list that was very receptive of farmers posting information about locally-grown food for sale, and I joined and posted.

A google search for localvores or locavores (spelling varies) in a nearby town to you might turn up a similar group.
Bill Fosher
Westmoreland, NH
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Re: Advertising for direct marketing

Postby Janet McNally » Tue May 19, 2009 10:48 pm

The only benefit of living along side an interstate hwy, is that we can advertise to 16,000 people every day. that sign is our sole advertising, the rest is word of mouth. You have to hit a lot of people to sell lamb though. Even with 16,000 cars a day, we only get about one call per week. The Bill board is very simple. www.eatlamb.com the supporting website needs a lot of work however.

Janet
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Re: Advertising for direct marketing

Postby Bill Fosher » Wed May 20, 2009 3:55 am

We have a few stations that run those call-in swap-shop shows, but they all specifically ban businesses from advertising items for sale and I have never heard anyone trying to offer food for sale over them. They are very hard to listen to, at least for me, but they must have an audience because they have stayed on the air through format changes and over the decades. I have often wondered if they are just a means of meeting some locally-produced programming requirement.
Bill Fosher
Westmoreland, NH
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Re: Advertising for direct marketing

Postby WayneG » Wed May 20, 2009 10:00 pm

I know our local radio station has "party line." I will send an email to them to see if this is something that is allowed. I know they do no allow alfalfa or grass hay for sale. I have found slow food . com. Which has a group about 40 miles from me. Anyone ever deal with slowfood groups. I found them while searching localvores.
Wayne G
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Re: Advertising for direct marketing

Postby Travis Johnson » Fri May 22, 2009 5:58 pm

My county's Soil and Water Conservation district is putting together a list of producers in the county. It does not matter if people sell a dozen eggs a week or sell a steer once per day...if its local and they want on the localvore list they are there. When we are done it should cover the entire state which will be good for everyone.

Where I live (few lamb producers) it will be good, but I suppose if there are plenty of sheep farmers where you live then such an online map might not be that good since competition would be listed as well. Still its a free service.

Maybe other states are doing this as well.
Travis Johnson
 

Re: Advertising for direct marketing

Postby pwzroberta » Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:28 pm

I made up business cards with photos of my flock. I want door to door to local ethnic shop owners, that started a word of moth chain reaction. i sell all I can produce.
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