The North Denver Metro area used to be little more than a conglomeration of mining and farming communities loosely tied together. In the last few years, the landscape has changed considerably as the once bedroom communities have turned into bustling and vibrant suburbs. North Metro (Westminster, Erie, Thornton, Broomfield, Longmont, etc.) now boasts more than 650,000 residents—and it’s still growing.
The Yellow Scene Magazine was first in this emerging region, taking advantage of an untapped market. People are moving to the North Metro area in droves for the “Boulder lifestyle—without the Boulder address.” Our readers are adventurous, love the Colorado sunshine and loathe having to spend a half-million dollars on a tiny house in Downtown Boulder. That’s not to say we ignore Boulder; we focus on select, upscale neighborhoods leaving CU and the rental population to Boulder’s target publications.
Our readers have come to expect quite a bit from us since 2000 as the region’s premier source for politics, arts and entertainment, local news, and restaurant coverage. With more than 70,000 copies being distributed each month from 104th Avenue to Highway 66, the Yellow Scene is also the largest publication in the region. Lucky for us, this formula has worked, and we’ve established ourselves as the locals’ choice for quality coverage of everything local. This has translated into us being the top choice for advertisers to place their message.
The Yellow Scene is an indispensable resource for residents and advertisers alike.
The biggest advice we have for businesses in planning their marketing is understanding that the most successful campaigns employ all three stages of the purchase funnel. Internal, Direct and Mass. Learning what fits where and who are the best choices in each stage is important. It does take more time to research your purchases but your bottom line will thank you.
1) Internal: Creating email and snail mail lists of existing customers. Direct mail to your existing customer base nets a significantly higher impact than email. (Email has a .0001% bump rate, while direct mail to an existing customer base has about 10%).
Facebook is nice, but has proven to have the lowest conversion to action ratio. My 22 year old said it best; “It takes nothing to like something and move on.” So while collecting likes is a helpful way to communicate, keep in mind FB withholds your posts to 90% of the people who have liked your page. We utilize FB for our events as well, but we have found, consistently, that physical invites and print net bigger ticket sales.
Internal includes signage, product placement, in-house salespeople, service, emails, direct mail to existing client base, your website and your Facebook page.
Internal has the highest “direct” response but lowest reach. WOM often gets all the credit for everything you do. With a solid internal effort growth is typically 3-5% annually.
2) Direct: There are a number of ways to employ direct. Be cautious with the use of coupons. There are two types of buyers. Bargain buyers and Brand buyers. Better to attract the brand buyers because bargain buyers often only return when there is a deal. Other options include sponsoring local events, sponsoring local schools, fundraisers, non-profits etc. A tool I like for restaurants is to hire someone to go around to local businesses with a coupon (this is a much better way to employ a coupon) and a free taste. Pick one office a week to visit and set them up to come on in. Nothing like face to face to develop a relationship. This is where networking comes in. A great way to make a personal connection but limited in reaching a mass.Other forms of direct include online advertising. Online is not considered mass. It is very, very hard to brand through online. Online advertising has both the lowest trust factor as well as the highest ignore rate which is why branding is so hard online. It is why many E-Commerce businesses are using print and television. A website can fall into both internal and direct, depending on how you market it.
Direct is the second highest “direct response” and second lowest reach. You can only talk to so many people, and when someone likes something they tell one person, when they don’t – they tell 9. With a solid direct tool added to the mix, a business can (in good economies remember this) can often see another 3-5% growth.
3) Mass media: In order to qualify as a Mass outlet one must have developed an audience. The only way to Audience is Content. Advetorial books and coupon books are not mass. They are niche because a limited number of people will engage in them. Online magazines also have very little readership. Of all the magazines in the country, less than 10% are read online. People still prefer their favorite book or magazine in paper form. Neighborhood publications are only useful if the content they carry is actually relevant to the communities they serve. This is why advetorial books have such low success rates. Think about how television works. People post online about Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, they dont about an informercial or the made-for-tv Lifetime movie
Mass is the highest “indirect response” but lowest direct. However, it has the highest reach. It helps boost all your other efforts. Mass helps create “Branded searches”. But when Mass is added to the mix, you can see a much larger increase in sales than with just the first two. Typically 7-10% additional growth.
While a business can’t be in everything, having a Primary and a Secondary in all three aspects has proven to be the most successful for businesses. There are no silver bullets. Determine your primary and secondary’s through the Audience they offer and the Engagement with that Audience that they have developed.