Monday, November 29, 2004

Marketing Schmarketing

One day long long time ago a badly paid princess toiled in an underfunded arts organisation where she was expected to sweep out the filing cabinets, open the mail, process orders and do the marketing with no budget what so ever.

The organisation was also dependent on volunteer undermaids to keep the place going. One day a letter came from Switzerland from a woman asking to come and spend time at the organisation and improve her English. As was the policy I sorry the princess wrote back immediately (though probably via surface mail as it was cheaper) saying ‘come’. Some months later Elizabet arrived.* After a few weeks of observing the haphazard slightly desperate measures employed in marketing the organisation Elizabet drew the Princess aside and asked err how she’d got the job and erhum what qualifications she’d go. She was most perplexed to discover that in the UK one could get jobs without being trained for them. One could also get jobs without really being paid for them either… anyway Elizabet picked herself off the floor and as she had worked for several major Swiss publishing firms tried to inculcate the rudiments of marketing. One of the most startling facts which has stuck in my head as if branded there is this. The average return on a direct mail leaflet is less than 1%. That is you are lucky to get one response in 100. Phew! I felt less of a failure from that time when I sent out 1500 leaflets advertising our plays and got two orders back then… All to the good so began to realise how much hard work marketing is. One friend does high level networking change meetings in the disability field – will send out 100 + letters about a seminar to a highly highly select target group and will be lucky to get 20.

Now I’ve accepted that marketing is hard. I work backwards how many of x would I like to sell? Eg if I have to fill 12 places on a course I need to cart about the minimum of 1200 leaflets and place them in likely places or even unlikely places. I’ve had dreams of advertising or even word of mouth/internet taking away the hard graft but sadly it doesn’t work.

* Of course her English was perfect.

No comments: