Your Marketing Strategy? Start with a goal…

If you own a small business in Saskatchewan what do you do to market yourself?

If someone gives you advice on an advertising tactic you “should” be doing, ignore it.  In todays marketing world you must define your goal before any thoughts of a tactic are brought up.

Do you buy the big billboards on Ringroad?  Maybe a large ad in the Saturday Leaderpost?  Nah, make a Facebook fan page, everyone’s on Facebook, right? How about a commercial on the Wolf, Regina’s most popular radio station, that oughta bring in some new clientele!  All these tactics I’m sure would work for some organization if executed correctly but that does not mean you should be using them.

Yes social media is growing but in Saskatchewan the adoption rate is much slower. Yes billboards have worked in the past but that does not mean they’ll work for you.

Define your goal first then look at your at your tactical options.  Confused?  Give me a call I can help you clarify.

Mosaic + Foursquare=Match Made in Heaven

The business applications for Foursquare seem to be increasing.  As more people join, the more attention the platform is getting from businesses.  Albeit Saskatchewan is a little behind the “checkin” train but that doesn’t mean some businesses are trying Foursquare on for size.  Just today I found this on Twitter.  

Coda Clothing may not explode with business but I went and bought a shirt to get in the draw, will you?

I believe those who could benefit the most from Foursquare are events like Mosaic.  In a three day span, thousands of people will be traveling to and from nineteen different pavilions.  Like the Haggis at the Scottish pavilion?  Leave a tip for everyone else who checks in there.  Want to know which pavilion your friends are at?  Or better yet, which pavilion is the most popular?  Check Foursquare.

For the Mosaic organizers, create special badges for those who checkin to ten, fifteen and all nineteen different pavilions.  Offer a prize to people who checkin at all nineteen pavilions.  The pavilions themselves could have a swarm badge where if over fifty people checkin, all food is 50% off for an hour, just as an example but you get my gist.

Why would Mosaic do this?  Where is the economic return?  How about all the story’s and tidbits of information that people will write about on Twitter and Foursquare.  I’m sure the organizing committee would be interested in the feedback left online about how Mosaic 2010 was.  Capture and share the positive messaging, and deal with the negative upfront.  All the positive comments that were made online now become your messaging towards tourists thinking about visiting Regina.  It’s the authentic online story being told that is going to attract people to come in future years.

It seems like a very cost effective method of spreading the word about Mosaic and garnering feedback on how to improve this long standing tradition we host every year in Regina.  What do you think?  Would it work?  Would you checkin somewhere to get a discount?  Heck, I sure would!

A Few Helpful Links and a Contest

I have found some pretty neat tools while researching in the past couple weeks that I want to share with you.  If you like the links enough share them, as Rework taught us, inspiration is perishable so send to someone who can benefit from them.

Spreeder: An online speed reading tool to teach yourself how to speed read. Give it a try!

Simply Hired: A Canadian job searching tool

Vintage Ad Browser: This is a catastrophic site that hosts ads from our past

Here’s a ten minute video on what actually motivates us

Only go here in dire situations

Here are some of the most amazing pictures I’ve ever found.

Now I want to know what some of your favorite sites are.  You know, the sites you go to and say “wow, how cool!  I have to send this to Jeph!” Post the link in the comments below, the best link gets not one but two boxes of my favorite sour candies delivered personally by me, or if you are not from Regina I’ll ship them.  Now go and share your favorite sites!