Thursday, December 21, 2006

Better luck next time, I guess! The physical product owner seeking a publicist turned out to be quite a sophisticated gentleman looking for a firm with a proven track record to promote his product. And, after a prompt follow up phone conversation - upon receipt of the following email from us - I can't say that I wouldn't see things differently from his perspective.

[But Dr. Silber is still talking with us...and we have more irons in the fire!]

In any event, we're confident in the future, and the sky's no longer the limit. It was fun to think through a promotion of a new physical product online - even if we will have to try our hand with some others.



It’s clear you and your company have a lot riding on your ability to bring your products to market so that they literally fly off the shelves.

The current Christmas season will have come and gone by January...when the big store rollout begins. This makes the task no less time-sensitive, however, because these products still must be proven winners within a narrow window of time.

But then Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are just around the corner!

Have you considered an online marketing blitz, or an affiliate program? Though conventional publicity-oriented channels are worthy of focused attention, we might consider, too, how best to create a genuine phenomenon online via direct response techniques at your site...and others.

To accomplish this, Mark and I feel it might be in your best interests to enlist the support of an army of affiliate marketers to your cause. And a downloadable digital version – with real functionality – might also be in order, assuming it’s feasible, and it enhances the cachet – and the sales – of the physical products.

This downloadable version can be placed on desktops and websites pretty quickly with the right program – and it would only bolster the sales of the physical products. Mark, my partner with the programming and graphic design skills, believes the script can be created to make this version practical and easy to install.

The image itself can vary in size, and an additional graphic can be considered – of wall space or desk space – for placement of a customized message outside the XXXXXX.

XXXXXXXXXX is a tremendous play on words to work with, XXXXX, and has every opportunity to become a viral hook in a meme-complex online. To sell the XXXXXX – whether virtual, physical, or both – it is preferable to heighten the buzz to a crescendo pitch so the XXXXXX become popular more quickly.

Your brand image will be seen as attractive to most demographic groups. However, the digital version – if it can be made feasible and available – will cause more cash to flow faster, particularly in the beginning, when the retail store roll out needs its strongest support.

Scarcity, price, and time limits for the sales of digital products are typically important persuasion elements employed by copywriters and marketers to induce a direct response. And the copy – along with video and graphics – can make for a nice multimedia presentation as well.

This assumes that a mini site is set up as a gateway to your site – with an opt-in or squeeze page included – which can easily be utilized by affiliate marketers who feel the product can successfully be marketed to their lists.

Your site – very well done, by the way – can still be the payment processor for all sales online, exclusive of other offline channels you will, no doubt, pursue.

The prices set for the physical products are consumer-friendly and easily affordable. And the digital version can be priced, say, at about $37 – and made available for immediate download after payment has been processed. Resale and Master Resale Rights for the digital version can carry a one-time offer of an additional $10 and $20, respectively. Or, both versions can be bundled together for a price of, say, $97 and $107, respectively, plus S&H.

An appropriate percentage of the gross sale for your affiliate will need to be pre-determined, in any event, of course. And this merits closer scrutiny.

If you determine to stay the course with the marketing and publicity for the physical product only at this time, it’s understandable. However, not enough can be said about getting XXXXXXXXXX – especially the words – out into the public domain as rapidly as possible. The possibilities for exposure on Flick’r, MySpace, YouTube, and other social networking sites – oftentimes, mostly about fun – are exciting to behold.

And Mark and I can help in this effort to make your product a hot commodity by performing the following tasks...

Engage other programmers, copywriters, and software developers in a quick feasibility study of the digital download version of your product, in order to establish our technical parameters.

Consider other high-quality background images for the XXXXXXXX ...perhaps more appealing to teenagers and young adults – even the merry pranksters among us.

Create a killer sales letter for the affiliate site which will make a nice “lead-in” to your site. Affiliate marketers will want to capture names and email addresses for themselves on this mini site...then pre-sell them...before redirecting their customers to your payment processor page. They often will “sweeten the deal” with other bonuses if their customer buys from you.

Create a suitable User Interface, specifically designed for an affiliate marketer – which makes it dead-easy for him/her to effortlessly participate in the promotion of your products – by simply driving traffic to this affiliate site with their targeted ads and affiliate links.

Enhance and optimize the existing site as required.

Drive traffic to the site with keyword and metatag optimization, whacky videos, and article and press release submissions, etc.

Engage a publicist with extensive offline contacts – and reputation – to distribute your press kit for a reduced price-per-placement appropriate media outlets. This may be “doable” because different approved versions of the release copy can be provided to them in advance.

Create a viral XXXXXXXXXX pre-launch campaign, do all the work for them, including their follow up auto-responder email messages, so they only need to promote to their individual subscriber lists.

This can be done by giving them “advanced copies” of your product(s) and invite them to take part in the campaign. This is simply an ethical bribe which will be made as attractive as possible.

To easily facilitate this, at least 3 versions of the sales letter can be made ready and adopted for their use.

Determine their “cut” so that they are made to feel privileged to participate.

Engage them in a sales contest with prizes (your physical products?) and, maybe, some cash

Create a blog and chat line just for the joint venture partners (from 12 to 40) to communicate effectively during the promotion

Consider a portion of the proceeds be earmarked for an appropriate charity group which supports our marketing message

Begin a search engine (e.g., Google Adwords), Ezine, eBay, safelists, and social network ad campaign

Create some funny videos for the affiliate site and placement on the free hosted video sites

Solicit the JV partners’ advice and suggestions for improving the campaign’s performance

Assist with budget analysis, project management, and brand-building

Negotiate a reasonable basis for action in order to coordinate a successful launch

Participate in budget and cash flow analyzes, brand-building strategies – from innovation through implementation

In conclusion, I feel your products are really appealing, but question whether the efforts of a publicist alone will serve your interests best in the short and long term. As attractive as your physical products appear to be, it’s XXXXXXXXXXXX which is the viral hook most deserving of cross-promotion online; and the user-friendly digital XXXXXXX version – which will only enhance the sales of the physical version – is what will give you the most bang for your buck the quickest.

Enlisting the support of many little players might be a more cost-effective strategy to pursue – thereby providing you more leverage for the money.

Like jokes and funny videos – even rumors – get quickly passed around in cyberspace, so too will these cool customizable XXXXXXXXXXXXX with personalized messages get passed around. XXXXXXXXXXXX can become a brand associated with playfulness and joyfulness – no matter its version, whether or not, it is presented or received.

The downloadable version can be used as a fun promotional delivery vehicle for just about anybody. Think about aspiring models, actresses, singers, band members, DJs, marketers, doctors, attorneys, moms and dads, business owners, and everyday folks – all happy to send a piece of themselves to their friends, family members and business clients.

What if these XXXXXX images suddenly appeared and spread like a biological Asian flu bug all over MySpace – each one with a slightly different take on the XXXXXXXXXXXXX attached in the message text?

Consider that a one-time purchase can bring a lot of instant pleasure to a lot of people over-and-over, again and again – in chat rooms, emails, blog posts and comments, especially web sites.

Talk about a good investment! Talk about increased profits and ROI! Talk about more incoming revenue to create more apostles for your brand! :)

To, incidentally, also own a real XXXXXXXXXXXX will thus be seen as the very essence of cool.

Though our new company is untested, we appreciate the fact that some parts of your marketing campaign will require other outsourced professionals. Mark is but a web designer and I am but a writer – and neither one of us would want our lack of experience to hurt your project.

A multi-track path is best in any event. Both of us have much real-world experience leveraging strengths and limitations – of ourselves and others. We see ourselves ultimately as communicators, facilitators and collaborators motivated to effect change and bring about positive outcomes.

In college, Mark once built a successful T-shirt design business; and I used to be a restaurateur, caterer, and fine dining chef – even a music promoter at one time. Small businesspeople often are the ones with the most hustle and stick-to-itiveness in them to make things happen.

Mainspring Mindshares – like your company – was borne from an intense study of human nature, numbers-crunching, and this same kind of street-smart entrepreneurial vision which will guide its destiny in the future.

If our capabilities do not match your immediate needs and expectations we will be happy to accommodate you in other ways...because Mark and I both...wish you...

Only the best,

Laurence Cumbie