Time to Embrace New Marketing Methods

This will sound like a Groupon testimonial, but it’s not meant to be. Although, I do love Groupons and am a bona fide Groupon junkie.

Several weeks ago, Ultimate Electronics ran a promotion where they were giving away a limited number of $25 gift cards at the door. They advertised it in their regular insert in the Sunday paper. Now, Brian and I subscribe to the Wichita Eagle, but we actually heard about it first from our friends Cory and April. (April is the goddess of deals. If there’s a deal to be had, she probably knows about it.) Cory said there was barely a line. I think he said there were five people, counting themselves, when the doors opened. I can think of several reasons for the poor turnout: (a) Wichitans like to sleep in on Sundays and don’t read their paper until later in the day, (b) people don’t subscribe to the newspaper anymore because you can get your news online, (c) those who do subscribe and read the news tune out all the junk/inserts, or (d) they only care about the RedPlum and SmartSource coupons and discard everything else. LOL.

The following weekend, Ultimate Electronics ran the same promotion and there was actually a line before the doors opened. We would have made it, but I didn’t want to give up my Sunday morning workout. Brian could have made it, I suppose, but he’s not as enthusiastic about deals as our friends and me. Anyway, I don’t have to survey the people in line that morning to conclude that they didn’t read about the offer from the ad in the Sunday paper, they likely heard about it from a friend. Just as Brian and I did. Word of mouth rocks. That’s a given. You can’t beat word of mouth advertising.

I’m not going to tell you that print advertising is dead because there is a time and place for it. However, if you want to reach people and get them in the door, you have to go where they are… Social media. People aren’t reading newspapers as much. They’re spending more and more of their time on Facebook. Yes, even the older generations. Shoot, my mom probably spends more time on Facebook than anyone I know. And, Facebook and Twitter posts are digital equivalents of word of mouth. (There’s many others, but these are the two big ones.)

With traditional word of mouth, I could probably tell a dozen people about your product/service/promotion before I lose my voice, but with social media I can tell about 600 Twitter followers and 800 Facebook friends how much I love/hate you without much effort. If my message gets re-posted and re-tweeted by a handful of people, the reach grows exponentially. See how powerful that is? (For more on social media, read my previous blog post about the summit I recently attended in Arizona.)

So back to Groupon and why I love, love, love it. You all know how much I love coupons and deals. With Groupon, coupons and deals go social. This is where we are headed people, just accept it. =P

Most of the time I pick up Groupons from companies that I love or already do business with (or at least am familiar with). For instance, some of the Groupons I’ve picked up in the last year are for Lucinda’s, Pink Boa, Pacific Coast Pizza, LaMars, In the Bag etc. etc. As I grew more comfortable with purchasing and using Groupons, it’s actually allowed me to try companies I’ve not heard of or done business with before. For example, I’d never been to the Kellogg Clinic (where I’m going for laser hair removal) or Fresh Spa Market prior to getting their Groupon offers.

I think the best example is probably my most recent Groupon experience, which was the catalyst for us switching dentists. Wichita Family Dental is a dental office located on the East side of Wichita. They’ve been at their current location for about a decade and yet we’d never heard of them or thought to try them. That is, of course, until their Groupon offer: take-home teeth whitening that’s regularly $230 for only $69.

2010-11-13 12.52.44

I purchased the Groupon last month, but we’d been so busy that I didn’t get to use it until recently. (I had Veterans Day off so I came in on that day, remember? I’d written about it previously.) I was so impressed and had such a wonderful experience that I told Brian about it (followed by telling the rest of you about it through our blog). I told Brian, “I love, love, love Dr. Mendoza but I think we might consider switching dentists. Come with me to my follow up appointment, and you decide.” Brian went with me to my follow up appointment and was just as impressed. He doesn’t look it in the photo, but he was impressed. Trust me.

It doesn’t always work out this way. I mean, I tried Fresh Spa Market and didn’t switch. I still go to Beau Monde and Skin Essentials for facials and Serenity for massages. Groupon will get you new customers for your business, but you have to offer something that is better than your competitors in order to keep them. So why the switch to Wichita Family Dental? Let me give you our top five reasons.

Oh, and it didn’t hurt that they were running an iPad promotion on new patient referrals this month. Basically, if you refer a new patient then your name gets entered in a drawing for an iPad. I figured that I would refer Brian. That’s at least one entry. So anyway, this is my word of mouth way of telling you all you should schedule a dental appointment at Wichita Family Dental and tell them that I, Cherrie Brubaker, referred you. I could use a few more raffle entries because with the kind of luck I have, one raffle entry ain’t gonna cut it.

Until next time,
Ching

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4 Responses to “Time to Embrace New Marketing Methods”

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