Idea of The Week: Who’s got the biggest one?

We’re back. (Hope you missed us.)

Special Note: The social media challenge resumes tomorrow and our next Social Media Challenge Meetup gathering will be held this Saturday morning. Please scroll down for details. And please forward this message to everyone you know who needs to become social media savvy.

>The Situation:

Size matters. Vacationers travel to (through?) Houston, BC, every year specifically so they can see ‘the world’s largest fly rod.’ How do we know? Because when they took the rod down for repair recently, the local Chamber of Commerce received hundreds of complaints from disappointed tourists who wanted their photos taken with the fishing rod. The fly rod – at 60 feet in length and weighing more than 800 pounds – is recognized by Guinness World Records – and has transformed Houston from a pass-through blip on a rural map, to a must-see community. How’d they do it? By making themselves famous.

>The Idea:

The idea is ‘attraction marketing’ – finding ways to get ourselves out of the box of having to ‘sell’ in order to build traffic and sales – by finding ways to attract customers to us. You know this works because you know the success stories of many North American towns and cities that have made themselves a ‘destination’ by developing biggest-in-the-world and one-of-a-kind roadside attractions (think of the giant Easter egg at Vegreville, Alberta; the spirit of Saint Louis arched sculpture; the Ogopogo sculpture in Kelowna, BC, and  so on, and on, and on).

Key point: A small business, just like a small town, can separate itself from the herd by doing something different and exciting as well. For example, I remember stopping to buy boots at a western store in Calgary, Alberta – attracted by a statue outside that was described as “the world’s largest cowboy boot.” (I wonder if it’s still there. I’m checking on the net. The only reference I can find is to a boot in front of the Stallion Boot and Jean Company in Edmonton – described as being just one foot shorter than San Antonio Texas’ pair of giant boots. Wow.)

(See RoadsideAmerica.com for details.)

>The Risk:

Okay. What if you spend a small fortune on a landmark (or a mascot that represents you around the community – or any other device that multiplies your visibility) and nobody responds? Well, there are no guarantees, but the rule seems to be that it doesn’t matter ‘what’ it is, as much as how ‘large’ it is.  Example: When Expo 86 ended in Vancouver, a GM Dealership bought the world’s largest Canadian flag – which had flown above the Expo site – and promptly began flying it above its store in Surrey, BC.

>The Reward:

The result? Traffic and sales at the dealership (now renamed ‘Flag Chevrolet’) increased immediately. Visible for miles in all directions, the flag has out-performed paid advertising in consistently attracting customers to the site.

>The Call to Action:

These days we’re not limited to roadside attractions (does anyone remember the gas station that put up signs for miles in each direction that said, “Stop and see the live bear?” (What a life for the bear. Can you imagine that happening today?). Today, we can post outrageous (or outstanding) video on YouTube, as just one example. But visible, physical landmarks are worth serious consideration. Here’s another example: A travel agency in Trail, BC, placed mannequins of a couple in swim suits – cavorting outside their door – on a snow bank – in the middle of winter – and did a huge business as a result of the buzz. (Beach volleyball, anyone?)

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Next Social Media Challenge Meetup gathering: This Saturday in Langley, BC

This is your invitation to attend our next Social Media Meetup Gathering.

Special Note: This Meetup marks the half-way point in our 90-Day “Marketing Dangerously Social Media Challenge”

What: Our live Meetup gatherings are all designed to answer this question: “How can you use social media to build your business?”
Why:
Because we’ve all got to learn this brand new language – if we want to grow our sales without spending money on old fashioned advertising.
When:
Saturday, August 7, 2010.
Where:
The Hampton Hotel, Langley Bypass (West of 200 Street, on the south side).
Time:
10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (But you’re invited to come at 9 a.m. for a f*re-e additional presentation by image makeover expert Debbie Reynolds).
Speaker:
Neil Godin, Author of ‘Selling in the (Comfort) Zone,’ and Publisher of Marketing Dangerously.
Registration fee:
No charge.
Note:
We are challenging you to help us double attendance at this month’s Meetup. Please read all the details below.
Door prizes:
Join the fun and participate in door prizes worth over $1000

About your speaker:

Neil Godin (a.k.a. The Turnaround Guy Ò ) is publisher of “Marketing Dangerously,” the marketing and sales coaching and “idea” service for business builders, and author of “Selling in the (Comfort) Zone” (available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other outlets). As a speaker Neil has presented to more than 300,000 business people from coast to coast in Canada and the United States. While his client list includes majors like Shell, Ford, The Royal Bank, Telus, Dun & Bradstreet, Subway and McDonalds, Neil works mainly with independent  businesses, and specializes in turnaround marketing work with small to mid-size companies in crisis. In these turnaround cases, sales always have to be doubled or tripled — immediately — and at minimal cost — and in his presentations, Neil shares ideas from his turnaround work that can help any company – in any condition – to ramp up their sales – now!

In this special presentation, Neil will share what he and colleague Jonathan Christian have learned (so far) about using social media to drive business – and how you can use social media marketing to build your business as well.

Key point: Like the internet itself, social media is here to stay – and – you’re missing a huge opportunity if you stay on the sidelines. Why not RSVP right now at  http://www.meetup.com/The-Marketing-Dangerously-Social-Media-Challenge/and we’ll see you on August 7.

Announcing a brand new partnership: “The Vancouver Business Builders Forum”

Starting with this Meetup gathering on Saturday, August 7, Marketing Dangerously is joining forces with three powerful business coaches – Shane Morgan, Steve Keough (aka “Coach Steve”), and Debbie Reynolds – to form The Vancouver Business Builders Forum. For now, the group will continue to meet once a month in Langley (Metro Vancouver), BC.  This month the forum will feature Debbie Reynolds at 9:30 a.m. followed by the Marketing Dangerously Social Media Challenge Meetup at 11 a.m., with Neil Godin. Important note: Registration opens at 9 a.m. and you are invited to attend the entire morning event “at no charge.” And we encourage you to invite your business friends to attend at no charge as well.

Here’s our August 7 Social Media Challenge to “you”

We have had a consistent turnout of about 40+ people at each monthly Meetup Gathering. This month, we want to double that number to 80+ – even though we’re competing with beautiful weather on a summer weekend. Can we do it? Yes, but only with your help. Here’s what we’re asking you to do:

  1. Forward this email to every business colleague in your address book. (Your friends will thank you for alerting them to this totally f*re-e business building opportunity.)
  2. Post messages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (etc.), letting people in your network know about our event.
  3. Personally ask at least one business colleague to attend the Meetup event with you (why not two?)
  4. RSVP for the event – why not do it now? – at http://www.meetup.com/The-Marketing-Dangerously-Social-Media-Challenge/

Thank you!

Neil, Jonathan and the Marketing Dangerously Tribe.

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