[pictured: our first-run business cards, featuring Keeli's mermaid graphic, the logo of Tele-Marmot-er ("my" card), a generic overall business card (shown with Sarah's name), and Syfina's unicorn graphic)]
Our original goal for our marketing was word-of-mouth only; word of mouth with friends, family, coworkers, and the odd stranger has resulted in a few opportunities that have expanded that concept to word-of-mouth exclusively to word-of-mouth primarily. Occasional person-to-person interaction, linking the blogs to social media, and linking relevant products into chat-board conversations when people ask about it has produced website traffic of a wonderfully non-zero sum. :D However, we are approaching the end of the initial toes-in-water phase, after which a more deliberate and extensive marketing approach will be necessary.
I also realized as the first heat-wave hit locally that, to be honest, our inventory list has very little summer stock - oops. So, we're correcting that. (expect an announcement on new t-shirt variants of existing products in the following week or two, and follow that up with additional summery products by mid July).
All of this to say, we are learning as we go, and while worrisome in certain aspects, we have been blessed to have the freedom to experiment and learn without fearing failure - yet. However, we would be fools to think we can go on forever without really starting to kick into high-gear the lessons we tell ourselves we've learned. That said, we will be looking deeper and deeper into additional/expanded marketing campaigns.
Due to anti-consumer and anti-trust (in my opinion) practices by Google, Facebook, and others, I am loath to give them my money to market my company. In certain instances, fellow small-business owners have paid for a marketing campaign and have Return on Investment numbers proving either that said company took the money and ran, or that the advertising was ineffective, neither scenario warranting future investment for advertisement there. However, there are plenty of other advertising outlets in which to place ads, many with proven pro-consumer/pro-small-business track records and lacking in concerning anecdotes like the one above.
Like everything else we are doing, these anticipated marketing campaigns will be a slow-roll as we add to our repertoire while simultaneously expanding the store whilst simultaneously working on our videogame, Tele-Marmot-er. As each campaign is launched, even ahead of our September internal-deadline, announcements will be made here and on our collective social media accounts.
Until next time!