Revitalize Your Marketing Program While the Snow Flies

The winter months are an ideal time to take a good look at your marketing program, and to work on it a little bit at a time. If you want to get more sales from your alpaca business, commit to spending a little time each week throughout the winter revitalizing your marketing.

  • Marketing plan – Analyze and make note of the current state of your alpaca business. Set sales goals for the coming year. Identify primary & secondary target markets. Assess the competitive situation in your area. Review recent marketing efforts and determine which were most successful. This will be the foundation from which you can create a more effective marketing action plan.
  • Action plan – This is the “To Do’ list within your overall marketing plan. Begin with a simple list of each marketing action you will take, the deadline, the person responsible, the budget allocated to this effort, and the method of evaluating its effectiveness. Get creative as you plan activities to draw new prospects, tap into referral markets, and generate repeat sales.
  • Farm identity package – Carefully examine your letterhead, #10 envelope, business card, package label, postcard, etc. Do they have a consistent look that presents the image you want prospects and customers to have? Update existing pieces and add missing ones.
  • Website – Now is an ideal time to update your website. Make your sales list current. Add new photos. Make sure the look of the site communicates a recognizable image. Revise copy so it not only educates visitors, but entices them to contact you. Develop traditional marketing activities that will drive prospects and customers to your website.
  • Social Media – Winter is another great time to do your research and get caught up with all of the new technological advancements out there that can benefit you and your farm. Spend some time researching new apps for your Facebook – take a Webinar or two from an industry expert (though be careful here… not everyone who claims to be an expert is), and pick up an issue of Inc. Magazine also as it is normally full of the latest in social media and small business applications for technology.
  • Farm brochure – Have you been meaning to design or update your brochure? Do it now. Make the look of your brochure consistent with the rest of your marketing materials. Determine how and where you intend to use your brochure before deciding on size, paper and quantity.
  • Photos – Get out your camera or hire an industry professional photographer and take lots of pictures of your alpacas in full fleece to use in brochures, fliers, and on your website. Don’t forget to take photos of you with your alpacas and you assisting a customer with a farm chore. Using the best of these real-life pictures will speak a thousand words to your prospects.
  • Fiber Store – Whether your fiber and alpaca goods are available in a virtual store or in the brick and mortar version, this season is a good time to note new creative ways to market them to likely buyers.
  • Advertisements –Take some time now to determine where next year’s ad dollars will work hardest for you. Consider the best places to reach target audiences for the specific alpacas and related products and services you want to sell. Contact colleague breeders who may be willing to share an ad buy with you. Check advertising guidelines and deadlines for placement and artwork.
  • Show Booth – What could you do to your exhibit booth to make it more attractive to prospects who attend events? If it needs a new look, order banners, chairs, display racks, etc. Replace outdated brochures, fliers, and articles. Redo your guest book so it requests prospect qualifying information.
  • Direct or Email Marketing – Is a direct mail or email campaign in your marketing action plan? If so, these are the days to put it all together and have it ready to launch on your kickoff date. The first quarter of the year traditionally generates higher response from direct mail. Having a series of mailings ready to release in early January will give you that timing advantage.
  • Newsletter – Sit by the fire, sip hot chocolate, and use your laptop to generate short one-page articles of interest to your alpaca prospects and customers. On another day, add graphics, photos of select alpacas, a calendar of upcoming events, and any notes of special interest. Soon you will have created a newsletter you can send on a quarterly basis to everyone in your database.

Every week, do some marketing, even if it’s only to make one follow-up call to an interested prospect or to stop at your printer to look at paper samples for your new brochure. By spring 2012, you will feel prepared and confident about marketing your alpacas at shows, community events, and on your farm.

Julie Wassom
“The Speaker Whose Message Means Business”
Marketing and Sales Speaker/Consultant/Author
Call me: 303-693-2306
Fax me: 303-617-6422
E-me: julie@juliewassom.com
See me: www.juliewassom.com

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