Saturday, April 15, 2006

Olde School Marketing- Part 2

I'm back from Australia now and still processing the events of the trip. To say the least, it was a busy time- though incredibly enjoyable.

Like I mentioned just before I left for Oz, for as much of a major proponent I am for blogging, the good ole face-to-face Brand Evangelism is still my favorite. To me, there is no way to beat the power of speaking to a group of people or an individual person. For as effective as my blog has been in connecting people to the brand and displaying my passion for the brand, I know I am far more persuasive in person.

When thinking of a marketing plan or strategy, it is important to continue to incorporate the human element in those plans. What worked well for me in Australia was that many of the retailers I met with were already very familiar with me, thanks to the blog. Several of them were regular readers and already felt they had developed a relationship with me before I ever set foot in the country. Obviously, that is a huge selling point for the blog and how beneficial it has been. However, those dealers weren't beating down the doors of our distributor begging for Masi bikes.

Meeting the dealers, shaking their hands and then presenting the bikes, the company and our passion for our bikes (my passion for my bikes) was the missing piece that resulted in orders for bikes. I'm not saying that I am a phenomenal salesperson because I don't believe that to be true. What I am saying is that the mere presence of the Masi Brand Manager, talking about the the bikes, was what did the job. Truthfully, it could have been "any $5.00 an hour monkey" (direct quote from an old employer of mine) with a decent speaking ability... but don't tell my bosses that. Sure, I'm mighty passionate about what I do and really do love my job and therefore might be better at talking about my job than a lot of people might be, but passionate people are not hard to find. At least, people who look and sound passionate are not hard to find. Let's face it, a good spokesperson doesn't have to actually care about the product/ service if they are good at just conveying the message. It is always better if they are, but do you really think that all of those spokespeople you see/ hear really care? This might all sound very cynical, which isn't my point here, but the truth of the matter is that a face-to-face presentation can be highly effective.

I'm convinced that my blog laid the groundwork for a good sales trip in Australia and I am never going to stop blogging, even if my career path changes, but I will also always utilize a handshake and good conversation. If you've ever seen me in Las Vegas during Interbike, holding court with a bunch of retailers in my booth, you'll understand why.


For those of you who haven't seen me in action, the above picture gives you a little idea of what I'm trying to say here. I get a little animated... Donna, Jill, Tim and Chris have all seen me in my booth and know what I'm talking about. Brian Gillin, the National Sales Manager for the PacBrands cycling division, said that in all of the years he's been in the cycling industry he'd never met somebody so passionate about a bicycle. I obviously consider that a huge compliment (thanks Brian), but that could be said about you and your product/ service/ shop, etc. Shouldn't you be out there proving that point?

So, please read my blog and then come see me in Vegas. I promise I'll do what I can to get you to really understand just how passionate I am about my job, my bikes and my company.

Tim Jackson
Chief Kool-Aid Dispenser

Posted by Tim Jackson at 7:25 PM

4 Comments

  1. Blogger Donna Tocci posted at 6:25 AM  
    Tim's not kidding...he's about as passionate about his bikes as anyone is about anything. It's so much fun to watch him in action at Interbike!
  2. Anonymous bryan posted at 10:51 AM  
    Tim...
    I think that it is so awesome that you come across so personable and honest in your blog. I also really admire how you really describe to the readers (like me) your thoughts behind making Masi successful, including the latest idea of keeping the human connection alive.

    I can relate to that as I contact manufactures for outsourcing clothing production (currently all US based). I prefer to always meet with the people in person that I will be working with. This helps determine a lot of things and usually, can tip me off on how well we will work together in the future.

    I would suspect the same for a bike brand. If a dealer is considering carrying one of two brands of bicycles and you take the extra step of meeting with them and really talking with them and not at them, then I would imagine that would demonstrate to them your company and your brand of bike is a better brand to build a relationship with.

    ...and as a side note, I will definitely stop by and see Tim in action as this will be the first Interbike for the Evomo brand of lifestyle clothing. I am very excited to meet with buyers in person and show them our dedication to our work and the awesome clothing. Both of which don't always come across very well in a catalog.
  3. Blogger Tim Jackson- Masi Guy posted at 9:32 PM  
    Thank you both Donna and Bryan; I appreciate the comments/ compliments.

    To me, it is a natural combination; blogging and personal visits. I see the blog as a great foundation and then I get to build on that and hopefully develop longlasting relationships by doing that.

    Every time I travel, I keep getting reminded of why I enjoy my job so much and why blogging has been such a success for me.

    By adding the "personal touch" to the equation, it is my belief that I can accomplish a lot more than I could by just blogging or just hitting the road. The two work in tandem really, really well.
  4. Anonymous Toby posted at 10:12 PM  
    Tim - a sales guy once told me the secret to success in business is "showing up with enthusiasm." You write so well and so honestly that it is no surprise that your 'blog personae' *is* you!

    On another note, I agree with you about blogs helping set the stage and providing a giant leap in building relationships. However, nothing beats a face-to-face meeting. Blogs combined with an in-person tactic (meetings, trade shows, tours, etc.) is a powerful 1-2 punch.

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