The always interesting Hugh McLeod, also known as Gaping Void, has some thoughts on micromarketing. He’s found that the smaller the "events" he organizes for Stormhoek (the small winery he promotes), the more he gets out of it.
One way to make an impression is to throw a schmoozy, boozy meat market, invite Paris Hilton to show up for 20 minutes and pose glassy-eyed with a few guests, and turn the music up too loud for anyone to notice how little fun they’re having. By about 8:00, everyone is too bored and/or smashed to remember the name of the brand currently pimping itself.
The next morning, you’ve got 500 hungover, jaded event-goers who’ll haul themselves to someone else’s boozefest the next night.
McLeod’s throwing that idea out in favor of tiny gestures like sending a bottle or two to a passionate wine geek to share at a dinner party of 6 or 7 other passionate wine geeks. It’s not a sampling campaign–it’s a relationship campaign and a storytelling campaign. He’s creating a community seven or eight people at a time, each with a tiny, gentle story to tell.
"From trying to connect with people on a much more intimate and human level, we have far more stable and stronger building blocks to create a community around our brand."
Devote the same amount of resources–money, time, and energy–that you’d use on the boozefest, and logic suggests you’ll end up with wildly more remarkable results.
More interesting for scrappy little companies and solo providers, use one-tenth the resources, or one-fiftieth, and you’ll still end up with something worth doing.
It works because it’s not what people expect, and because it fosters connection. Copying McLeod’s technique wholesale might work for your gig, or it might not. Coming up with your own riff has some pretty good odds, though.
Twitter and the nanomarketer
Stormhoek is also using Twitter to give away free bottles to UK residents of legal age. I don’t pretend to actually get Twitter yet–I’m trying to. I even created a Squidoo lens on it. That’s apparently what I do now when I’m trying to puzzle my way through something–create a lens.
(Come on over and vote for or add some "must-read" Twitters. Feel free to leave a comment explaining just how completely I’m missing the point–you may well run out of space.)
So far, I see Twitter as an RSS feed for those of us who are so distracted it’s reached the point of brain damage. And, you know, on that level it’s working for me. But there’s an opportunity there to make lots of tiny connections on a mass scale. I haven’t seen it done exactly right yet, but I’m still looking.
Experimenting with some nanomarketing? Leave a comment, tell us how it’s going.