Marketing & Hunting

Marketing & hunting. What do these have in common? Read on, I will explain.

Some time ago, we wrote a blog about marketing and gardening. You can view it here if you haven’t yet read it: https://77designco.com/marketing-gardening-a-comparable-explanation/

Marketing & hunting. White 77 Design Co logo

This got us thinking about some things. It made us aware that much like gardening, marketing and hunting are also similar in many ways. Hunting season is in full swing (at least for the archers) in PA. Turkey season, small game, and deer (rifle) season will all be coming up soon too. Many of our friends have “buck fever” and are spending a good deal of time in the woods.

Hunting is often misunderstood. You may even be downright creeped out by it. No doubt though, it’s one of humanities oldest activities. It was (and in some cases still is) a necessity to live. Yes, we also know there are and were vegetarians that simply just foraged for food too. Let’s get that out in the open as well. However, hunting and fishing provided the necessary proteins and fats for early humans and their tribes. Let’s break this down a little more.

Knowing Your Target.

Marketing & hunting share some unique similarities. For instance, let’s start from step one.

Marketing your business requires knowing your target audience. Much like hunting you’ll need to know what your target is. You can’t randomly wander the woods looking for a piece of game. Therefore some thought needs to be put into it. Preparation too.

Searching for a specific animal requires knowing where and when to find it. Finding the best spots or times increases your chances exponentially for a successful harvest. Likewise, successful marketing means knowing EXACTLY who your customer is. Age. Location. Likes and dislikes. Buying habits. These are all important to know in order to increase your chances of marketing success.

Choose Your Weapon.

A successful hunter will know his or her caliber needed for what they are hunting. Shotgun, 12 gauge or 20 gauge? Which rifle will you need for deer, bear or elk? Selecting the correct weapon is critical to a quick and ethical kill.

Similarly, you’ll need to know which marketing “weapon” to use. Are you looking to touch a wide audience or a very narrow and specific individual? Perhaps your customer base is ages 24-30. Is Instagram the correct marketing tool to use?

Let’s say I wanted to get in front of a 58 year old male that owns a hardware store. I would consider a direct mail campaign directed to local hardware store owners within that age bracket. That’s narrowing down and selecting the right “weapon” in this case. There’s a huge range of hypotheticals we could use but for the sake of keeping it short and sweet, this can give you ideas.

Hunting & marketing. Image of pheasants laying on the green grass.
The Harvest.

Obviously, there’s more to successful hunting and marketing than just knowing your target and choosing a weapon. There are many other aspects to take into great consideration for both. For the sake of keeping this blog short and easily readable we’ll skip to the end results though.

Any ethical hunter worth their weight is salt will tell you to be selective in what you kill. Allowing an animal(s) to reach a certain breeding age, size, or herd populace will ensure future success. Following the guidelines set by the state is also a must.

Likewise, marketing a product or service should be selective. Absent minded spending will fail. Being in the right places, with the right content, and in front of the correct customer base will pay dividends. Following the guidelines on social media, and then responding to messages, emails, calls, and review responses will lead your business to a successful harvest as well.

What other things do you think marketing & hunting have in common?

If you are into hunting and read this far, here are a few tips for hunting the West from American Hunter: https://www.americanhunter.org/articles/2020/8/17/tips-and-tactics-for-hunting-the-west/

Marketing Scrabble tiles and a 77 Design Co business card.

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Marketing with a Small Budget

Email marketing Girl here. Hola, and Happy New Year! How do you market your business with a small budget?
When you think of small budget, let’s start real small…like free. Therefore, what are some marketing tools that are free? Social media, email marketing, networking, blogging, webinars, ebooks, etc.

Email Marketing Girl with dog Image 2
Email Marketing Girl and pup.

Numero uno. Social media.
If you are a business, you need social media. One of the first things people do when they research are Google and most likely Facebook. Depending on the company and demographic, it could be Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or some others. Be consistent on social media. Engage people on social media. Be proactive instead of just reactive on social media. By proactive, for example, I mean look for the audience you wish to make business with. Likewise, look up hashtags and follow those people who are liking or posting those awesome pictures you wish were your content. (Consequently, learn from those cool profiles).
Email marketing.
There are a bunch of free email marketing tools out there that can do some cool stuff. Most popular from my experience, would be Mailchimp. However, all you have to do is go back to your friend Google and type in free email marketing and do some research on what best fits your needs.

email button on keyboard.
Web mail computer keyboard button for business contact concept. Email envelope icon key in blue color.

Networking.
I know, talking to people can be scary. That is to say, if you find yourself at a free marketing happy hour, talk the talk! Have your elevator pitch ready and go into it with a positive attitude. Even if you don’t get a sale or a client right there, you have planted a seed. Continue to follow up and make a relationship. Certainly, networking can be a powerful way to grow your company.
Blogging.
Like what I am doing now? Yep! Have a landscaping business? Blog about the newest trends you are seeing for the summer. What about some fun tips for your garden? I mean, that sounds interesting to me!
Free downloadable resources.
There is so much free stuff on the internet. If you don’t know much about SEO, download a free ebook about it or register for a one hour webinar on it. Likewise, it’s the same thing with literally anything marketing. Like I’ve said before, just Google.
There are a lot of free marketing things and resources you can get away with to start off your strategy. Have any questions? Reach out!
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77Design Co logo and business cards.

Client Interview with a Marketing Coordinator

Hi all,

Recently, while on a product photography shoot, we conducted a quick Q&A interview with a recurring customer. Chelsea is a marketing/sales coordinator for a local company we’ve worked with frequently over the last few years. A great company making fantastic one of a kind products. We candidly asked her what she likes about her role and some general marketing questions.

What’s your role in marketing?

Chelsea: “So, I’m the sales and marketing coordinator here. I help coordinate trade shows. I help with photographic shoots, and I also manage a product line with our company. It’s really exciting because we’ve gained some new customers recently. We have a trade show in Pittsburgh and then one in New York in a few weeks too.”

What’s the hardest thing about marketing?

Chelsea: “Umm, so, probably finding out what people will like. Trying to grab their attention. Seeing what gets peoples attention and why they’d want our product. Since we have a new product line, I’m trying to find out what’s going to make them want our products over our competition. Learning about what sets our products apart. There’s other products that are similar, well, more simplified versions, but ours are unique and I have to show that.”

If you had to put a number on it. What percentage about marketing, do you think,  is related to creativity?

Chelsea: “Wow!…Honestly? A LOT! You have to be creative. I would say, wow, 70-80% really.  Even if you are writing a simple email blast you have to have it creative. What’s going to make them NOT want to delete your email? Finding that creative niche, that attention grabbing moment is super important!”

How important are the images, or photography, to your marketing plans?

Chelsea: “Oh my!” Extremely important. So, yes. Crucial! You have to show our products in many ways, even in lifestyle settings. For example, we even found that we had older product photos and once we had new photos taken by you guys, we sold them! I mean we sold many older products that weren’t selling once we had new images of them. They were updated, better focused, and started selling a lot better.”

Image of camera lenses signifying photography.

That’s fantastic!

Chelsea: “Yea! Honestly. We’ve found that really high quality pictures are really really important!”

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned about marketing in your time here?

Chelsea: “Wow, I’ve learned a LOT. So, I came right out of college and I had no idea hardly what I was doing. College isn’t real world, it’s all like books, studying, book knowledge, and tests. It was hard at first. For instance, you take the concepts that you learn in school and apply it to your work in the real world. Getting a customers attention, like I first said, is probably the biggest thing.”

 

So, in conclusion, if your local business has a need for updated photography, design work, or a new website…drop us a line! 77 Design Co is here to help you grow your business and increase sales the only way we know how… through creative visual marketing!

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A Brief History of Halloween!

Halloween is here! It’s one of our favorite days of the year!
Why do we dress up? What’s trick or treating all about? Why do we carve pumpkins? Have you ever wondered why Halloween started and what traditions continued through the years, changed or have been phased out? Read further to find out more.
Jack O Lantern Gif
History
So, Halloween technically began as the festival of Samhain. Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the “darker half” or winter as we know it. The festival takes places October 31 – November 1.  Celts believed that on the night before the new year (November 1), the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred or thin. Scary stuff! Most importantly, they would have big parties or feasts and dress in costumes because they believed it would scare away the ghosts and spirits. Do you see the correlation?
Consequently, we then get to America, where we traditionalize everything and make carving pumpkins and trick or treating super popular.  Meanwhile, let’s talk about trick or treating. So, young women believed that on Halloween they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings or mirrors. Subsequently, it then trickled down to young children dressing up and getting candy from neighbors.
Did you know?  One quarter of all the candy sold annually in the U.S. is purchased for Halloween.
So, do you carve pumpkins? Do you go the traditional scary route or do something fun and different? Are you the type of person that will hand out candy to little kids or keep the light off?
Speaking of modifying traditions, there are parents that have a basket of candy for kids, and a basket of beer for the parents that go around with them. In conclusion, that is a modern twist on a tradition that we can get down with!
Costumes?
What’s the coolest costumes you have? Send us photos and we’ll share them on social media!

Rob Hoffman and Halloween costume
77 Design Co owner, Rob Hoffman and his Halloween costume.

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Building a Marketing Base

This blog will feature tips on how to build a marketing base for your business. Even if you haven’t done ANY marketing, here’s a few things to get you started.

Marketing Tiles image with 77 Design Co business card.

Who?

First, you need to know who your customer base is. Who are you marketing to? Where? Age? What’s their interests? For example, try to segment your customers based on who you’ve already sold to. Take notes and come up with an average at the very least. Tough to do with limited info, but necessary. 

If you don’t have these numbers, use a simple chart or even tally marks on a pad to get more specific. Use guesstimates if you need to. This will certainly get you a start.

Where?

Now take those numbers (even if it’s a small average from 10-20 customers) and determine where to put the marketing dollars. Yes, most importantly, you should have SOME marketing dollars set aside.

Are they on Facebook, Instagram, or mostly LinkedIn? Would billboards or signage in certain locations help? How about a direct mail campaign sent directly to businesses or homeowners? How’d your previous customers find you? Through your website, Google, or another online source?

Consequently, this will narrow down your best approach to get moving. As a result, you’ll learn quicker what works and what doesn’t as much.

How?

So, how are you going to implement your plan of action? This is the most difficult part. It will take time, patience, and some serious creative efforts to get the word out about your company.

If you aren’t very creative savvy, look to enlist those you know and trust that are. Get their thoughts about the look and aesthetics of your signage, social media pages and posts, or marketing materials. In addition, it’s very important that whatever strategy you plan to implement looks not just good, but GREAT! Marketing is all about visuals and attracting the eye to your message.

pen, keyboard, and flash drive image in inverted black and white color.

To clarify, we’ve said it before, an attractive image or design is key here. According to multiple eye tracking studies all over the Internet, the eye moves to an attractive image/design around 60,000-80,000 faster than just text.

Once an established base is determined, and where to market, the pieces or posts need to be interesting and visually appealing. How do you do this? Again, the difficult part. Billions of dollars per year are spent on creative marketing and advertising. There’s a good reason for it. It works!

Take the best quality photographs or video possible. Hire out if needed. Design materials, signage, or supporting charts/tables/infographics to make them interesting. Hire out if needed. In addition, if you hire a solid marketing team, or employee with an extensive creative background, they will (should) be able to convey that message visually.

Stay Level Headed.

Often times there may be a difference of opinion on the creative. Don’t get discouraged. For instance, you may have differences on an image or color. This is normal. However, stay true to your brand. Work together to come to a happy middle ground on how the creative side of things should look and feel, and as a result you’ll start to see the fruits of your labor.

So, in conclusion, by following these steps on a large or small scale you’ll begin to build a solid marketing base that will better your business. However, if you need advice we’re here to help.

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What’s the Best Things About Email Marketing?

What’s the best things about email marketing?

by Email Marketing Girl

Email Marketing Girl Image 5

Personalize!
You can personalize content. Send customers emails about what they actually want to see. Let’s give you an example.
You are an 18 year old male vegan. Typically, you shop at a local grocery store every Monday, getting fruits and veggies and some household necessities.
<Insert phone buzz> you get an email from that grocery store with “ON SALE – steaks and baby food” uhhhh – not the content that person wants to see. At least I wouldn’t think so. Therefore, change it up. Create a custom email for specific types of customers who you want to get a specific message to. As a result, you’ll notice an engagement increase and subsequently sales as well.
Instant!
It’s instant. People love last minute deals or coupons. Getting an email for a coupon to a store I always shop at is a great feeling. Yes! I will now order that shirt I have been eyeing up for weeks.
However, without that email, it was out of sight out of mind.

Side view of laptop with e-mail interface on blurry background. Email marketing concept.
Email Marketing can work!

Reach.
Email can help you reach a mass amount of customers. Calling all your customers takes time. Email: one click and it’s out the door to everyone.
This form of marketing is affordable. Traditional marketing like TV ads can be costly. If you are a small business, those ideas are out the door. For instance, if you have a smaller budget set aside, an email marketing plan could be a game changer. So, a small business can thrive with the right email marketing strategy!
On the other hand, email marketing is a numbers game. That is to say, like anything there are always pros and cons. Any form of marketing though, may take a little while to become fruitful. Patience is necessary when applying any marketing strategy.
However, it’s still one of the top forms of communication. All businesses should have an email marketing plan in place, and if you don’t, give us a call.
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