Friday, September 28, 2007

Marketing Methods: Notable dates as promotions

I was wandering through the Second Life forums this evening, looking at the latest postings in the classifieds section (Requires signing in) for interesting things SL businesspeople are doing to promote their businesses, and one particular listing stood out for me.

This posting by Ryntha Suavage , in which she announced that she is celebrating her fourth year in SL by having a 50 percent off sale on everything in her store reminded me of something that someone told me while I was doing research for my book, The Entrepreneur's Guide to Second Life.

Which is, essentially, holidays and special anniversaries are a golden opportunity to offer special promotions or put out special products.

For example, if it's Valentine's Day, this person told me, it's a great reason to put out a new product line, say clothing, covered in hearts or other romantic imagery, on the theory that there will be shoppers all over SL looking for something to give their beloveds.

But it's not just Valentine's Day that presents this opportunity. Any event or notable date provides such a marketing opportunity, if you are smart enough to recognize what it might be.

The lesson, then, is to think about what dates are coming up that would be good to celebrate in such a way that your customers or would-be customers will flock to you.

In the case of Ryntha Suavage, offering half off all her products because it's her fourth anniversary is very smart. If such a promotion brings in new customers who end up liking her stuff and come back later for more, then losing a little bit on individual sales for a few days--actually, until November, when her sale ends--will likely pay off. And that's particularly true because of one of the wonderful things about being in business in SL: That it doesn't cost you anything to produce additional copies of an item for sale. Thus, making a little less per item now in hopes of building loyal customers may well pay off in spades later on.

But, for something like a new Valentine's Day product line or an anniversary sale to work, you'll probably want to have an update group in place long before so that you can send out a notice and alert people ahead of time. Without doing that, your special products or your sale may simply fall on deaf ears.

No comments: