Monday, January 21, 2008

Did you get Elfed?????

According to Advertising Age, they are the ‘Little Elves That Could.’ If you were not one of the 26.4 million visitors to the Office Max Season Site, you really missed out on something very hilarious. The OfficeMax Elf Yourself campaign left the Whopper Freakout campaign in the dust. Here are the stats….

123 million elves created.
Nearly 1 in 10 Americans visited the site.
By December, the site ranked N0. 55 among all websites.
If you add up the time spent on the Elf site, it total 2,614 years.

This is a viral marketing campaign at it’s best. The concept was created at Toy, a New York advertising agency. The echo effect of this site was like one that has not been experienced in quite some time.

The real question is, how can you relate this to your small business. In order to do this, it is necessary to look at the lessons learned by Office Max and what they were trying to achieve. According to Bob Thacker, VP of Marketing and Advertising for Office Max, the company wanted to build brand awareness. They were looking to warm up their image and not appear so stark.

The keys to success for this effort are as follows:

Make it personal. Personalization really drives people to visit a web site over and over again. It becomes part of an individual’s everyday routine. This tactic will work especially well in the healthcare, wellness, and beauty industries.

Do not count out your older audience. 40% of all visitors to the ElfYourself website were 55 or older. This is a demographic that you would expect not to take to a viral marketing campaign.

Offer up some fun. All advertising should be looked at as intrusive. People are bombarded with numerous messages all day long. At least if you plan in invading, make it fun. Bob Thacker at Office Max says, “If you’re going to crash the party, bring some champagne with you.”

21 January 2008. Jonathan Lemonnier, Advertising Age

Monday, January 14, 2008

Have you crafted your Elevator Speech?

If you are a small business owner, chances are you run in to people everyday that have never heard of your business, do not know who you are, and frankly do not care. This is where your elevator speech comes in to the picture.

An elevator speech was coined from the idea of ‘you only have a couple of minutes on an elevator with what could be your next client.’ In that time frame, you should be able to introduce yourself and your business. And most importantly, why your business is of importance to this individual.

This prepared speech must grab attention and say a lot in only a few words. What should I say, you ask? You should speak about your core message. You should determine what your niche is and what problems your business is able to solve. You should also be able to describe what makes you different from someone else in the same industry.

This speech does not have to be used in an elevator literally. This prepared and memorized (yes I said memorized…….that means you have to practice it) speech is great to use at networking functions, the grocery store, the office supply store, the doctor’s office…….anywhere you are able to get someone’s attention for 2 to 3 minutes. At the conclusion of your well delivered elevator speech, do not forget to give the individual your business card. If the conversation went well, do not be afraid to ask for their contact information. The fortune is in the follow up.

So, practice the delivery of your elevator speech in the mirror. Think about what questions or objections someone may come up with once they hear your speech. Do not be afraid to speak to people about your business. You never know if your business is something that could really have a positive impact on their life.

Finally, in order to make this work, you need to practice the exercise. Set a goal for yourself. For example, decide that you are going to try your elevator speech out on 3 people per day. Monitor your results. See what works and does not work. Keep track of your contacts made and do not forget to follow up. You can not be afraid of rejection.

I look forward to feedback. Please feel free to post your results……good or bad. Dialogue is the best way to learn and improve.

I am attaching a link from business week that puts visuals to this concept. Take a few minutes to scroll through the presentation.