28 June 2010

1 A Marketing Lesson from the Mexican Street Vendors

Recently I was speaking to a colleague about her trip down to Mexico. Eventually our conversation came around to the plethora of street vendors that you inevitably run into in any tourist district when something she said hit me as profound and honestly smart marketing at the simplest level: “Everywhere I walked people would yell ‘Hey there, you honeymooners!’ and even once ‘Hey, you, the Broncos fans!’”

Lesson: Know your audience. Pay attention and look for clues. 
These street vendors weren’t relying on simply standing around waiting for someone to come to them. They were seeking their potential customers out, but more importantly they were paying attention to clues about their potential customers.

It’s marketing 101, however all too often I see businesses forget this step. They get wrapped up in getting out their message and forget that if you want to get someone’s attention and appeal to them, first you have to know something about them!

In my colleague’s case their clues were fairly simple to ascertain. Her and her companion are in their mid-twenties, holding hands, grinning at each other constantly and sporting shiny new rings.  Honeymooners wasn’t really a stretch of a guess in their case. As for the broncos fans bit, her husband had just purchased a Broncos poncho and was still holding it in his hand. But the vendors didn’t stop looking for clues there. One was smart enough to take in their dress, recent purchases and what the vendor had seen them looking at in one of the other kiosks to draw their attention to specific wares that he had for sale. By paying attention and applying what he learned (saw) he made the sale.  

Putting Theory to Work:
Here are a two quick online marketing and social media tips for putting this theory to work.
Pay attention to your Google Analytics. What pages on your website are your visitors hitting more often and spending the most time on? This can help you pinpoint what you have to offer that potential clients are the most interested in and also what areas of your business you may need additional efforts to effectively promote.

Pay attention to your fans & followers interests. Most people’s social media accounts are brimming with information that will clue you in about them. For example, take your Twitter followers: What are they tweeting on? Who are they following? Same goes for Facebook, only here your fans give you their information on a platter. Browse their information page.

A Social media Success Story: 
Recently I discussed this strategy with a plastic surgeon client of mine. After taking some time to view his fans’ profiles we found an interesting trend, over half of his fans were also fans of Grey’s Anatomy. Since offering discounts on his services wasn’t really feasible or significant enough to drive interest, we took to using a Grey’s Anatomy DVD giveaways of the latest season to encourage fans to recommend his page to friends and engage in conversations on his fan page. The results? He saw an almost 60 percent increase in on page activity and almost tripled his fan base. The best part is he continued to experience significant page activity after the giveaway by engaging fans in topics that were in the show, giving his opinion, asking for their's and sprinkling in a little self promoting information along the way.  


Samuel said...

Business Social Marketing lessons can be learned thoroughly from street vendors. Appreciate their effort by putting theory into work. Thus satisfying both customers and themselves. Excellent!

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