Though my relationship with marketing myself and my own projects is an ambivalent one, I have no shortage of ideas about what works and what doesn’t as a participant-observed in the age of hyperactive, always evolving brand development and marketing.
Here’s an anecdote from the what doesn’t work department:
Samba99 sets up a table at a live samba music event in New York City. It also has staff circulating in the crowd.
Samba99 is not, as it first appears, handing out samples of its product. Instead, it is handing out glorified business cards, a bifold glossy listing several steps that must be taken in order to get a free sample.
People love free stuff, even when the wait or the inconvenience of receiving it exceeds the satisfaction of the object/experience. By luring potential customers in its target market with the free hook, then letting them down, Samba99 loses.
But it’s a double fail because they’ve set up so many obstacles to receiving the free product that the number of people who will follow through is likely to be very low.
Why make it so hard? Why spend money on the cards, which are likely to be thrown out, and on snail mailing the bars when they could have capitalized on the moment with a readymade audience eager to try the product?
Application to Writers:
Ask yourself: What do you do to make it difficult for people to get to you?
Then, knock those barriers out of the way.