Monday, October 20, 2008

I (heart) Simple Marketing

A lesson in marketing made simple based on a brief overview of my past few days.

I went to the Lancaster Chamber's Business Expo, mostly for the purpose of networking and generating ideas that might help me in my job of marketing for WXPN here in Central PA. As usual I took some of my marketing materials with me, including a handful of our new "I Heart XPN" pins. When I registered at the entrance the woman from the Chamber told me she "just LOVED" XPN, and asked if she could have a pin. From that point on I was "the guy from XPN." People kept coming up to me and asking me for pins, and I handed out about 30 of them.

XPN was a media sponsor for Lancaster's annual Fall ArtWalk and our volunteers were out in full force, handing out information about the station as well as these popular pins. I was chatting with one of my friends on Twitter who told me that as they were walking around town, her husband (apparently our station's #1 fan) accosted a total stranger and asked her for her XPN Pin! Not sure if this qualifies as a criminal act, but I assume he was more polite than she described, and the woman handed over her pin. (Don't know what Twitter is? You should...)

My family and I went to Lancaster for the second day of the Fall ArtWalk and we bumped into Liz Todd Lambert of Lancaster Arts (the sponsor of Art Walk). She told me how a man had come up to her and asked her for her pin. I put two and two together and asked if it was the previously mentioned man from Saturday, and lo and wasn't! Yet another case of an XPN fan wanting to get their flair! So I took my pin off and replaced the one Liz had given away the previous day, and then pulled another one out of my pocket and put it on my sweatshirt.

Moments later we were browsing through the Christiane David Gallery when I overheard a teenage girl whispering to her mother, "Everyone has those I Heart XPN pins. I want one." I turned to her and said, "You're in luck. Here!" And I gave her my last pin.

"Where did you get it?" she asked.

"Well, I work for the station, so I have more." And I then told the family where they could find the XPN table. As we walked away I heard the mom whispering "Well that was good timing!"

At the end of the day I walked back to our table located at Building Character on the 300 block of North Queen Street. While talking with my musician friend David Green, who was sporting one of our pins, his family came over and his daughter said, "Nice pin, dad!" So of course we gave some more to the whole family, which they promptly put on their jackets and wore proudly the rest of the day.

A pin. A simple pin. Relatively inexpensive, and in some ways it's kind of a pre-digital method of underground or viral marketing. Sure I'd love a huge marketing budget with billboards and TV commercials, or even t-shirts to give out. But we're a non-profit, non-commercial station, and we don't have huge corporate budgets with which to work. But of all the little things we have used, I'm hearing more positive reactions from our "I Heart XPN" Pins. Sometimes its the simple little things that are the most effective. And those who wear the pins usually get one of two reactions:

Reaction One - "Where can I get one??" which we get often from listeners who see us wearing the buttons.

Reaction Two - "What is XPN?" A reaction that opens the door for the person to "evangelize" about their favorite radio station, often getting someone to at least sample the station, and hopefully become a full-time listener.

And we're even taking the campaign digital. If you're on Facebook, all you have to do is add the "Pieces of Flair" application, search for XPN, and add the digital version of the pin to your Facebook page.

1 comment:

Ken said...

Liz Todd Lambert from Lancaster Arts told me she read this blog, and here is some more she had to add to the story:

"I just read your blog with the tale of XPN pins at Fall ArtWalk. There’s an addition to the story –

After I saw you and got another XPN pin, I went to j a sharp Custom Jeweler in the 300 block of N. Queen St. Jude Sharp saw my pin and said how glad she was when XPN became available in Central PA. She’s been listening since day one. So, I gave her my pin, and she promptly put it on."