Who Knows about your “Presents”?

I have two young children, the oldest 2 1/2. She’s a little afraid of the big guy in the red suit, but she likes the Christmas tree and holiday specials, especially the Grinch (the classic one). So we weren’t really sure if she’d ‘get’ Christmas this year or not.

So when we had to wake her at 7:30 we figured this wouldn’t be the year. And when we asked her if she wanted to go open presents, she replied, “no.” Definitely not 2007.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the fireplace. As we started going through stockings and taking off decorative paper from those boxes, she started to realize that presents, heretofore just more ornamentatio, contained wondrous things for her to read or play with. The big smiles and screams came out and at the end of each stop (our house, my folks, my Aunt’s), she kept using her sign language and asking for more presents.

By the time the night ended, we became certain that she now ‘gets’ Christmas. Well at least the part Charlie Brown fretted over, if nothing else (and we’re fairly sure nothing else since she ahem persuaded her brother not to play with some of her haul).

By the way, our son is 16 months and doesn’t get it at all. Parents with newborns – don’t fall into the trap of buying them presents. They don’t get it before they’re at least 2+ if not 3. Save your cash and get boxes. Maybe a ball they can throw without damaging anything. Incredibly sexist statement: I’m talking mainly to the dads here. Women are nicer and most cannot help but fall prey to buying gifts for the kids. Stay strong in your cheapness practicality, fellas.

What You Sell is Great – Congratulations

 

So you have a great product or service. La-di-frickin-da (scroll down for the Matt Foley video on a great tribute from 100% Injury Rate). It’s a great start, but it doesn’t matter if no one knows about it. Do you think Apple invented the ipod and its ilk? Guess again.

Can you market it? Can you sell it? Those are the real questions.

The books and snowman Weeble (see, if I put “books” first and don’t mention other toys, I seem like a good parent) were always great and something my daughter would love. But she couldn’t see behind the wrapping paper and cardboard. With no past experience, she didn’t know what that meant and could have cared less.

Is the inundation of advertising today acting as a cardboard shield to your products? Can people see past the wrapping paper of competition to realize just how much they need your services? Or worse, are you not even trying to get the word out about your “presents.”

Human instincts are the same whether your 30 months or 30 years. Don’t scoff – don’t you still bicker with your siblings? Well maybe you don’t tear their blankies, spit on them, hit their knees with a clicker, put make up on them, or do any of the other awful things my sister did to me – without cause, I might add – when we were little. But I’ll wager you still play a verbal version of “I’m not touching you.”

So as 2008 falls upon us, think about how you can get your message out and explain the benefits of what you offer in the New Year.

Marketing Ideas for 2008

While you’re brainstorming about new ways to help your sales efforts for 2008, make sure you’re spending some time thinking about the following internet marketing ideas in addition to traditional ad efforts:

  • Starting a corporate blog to interact with your clients more personally and increase customer loyalty
  • Using paid search and search engine optimization to reach people looking for what you sell…or things related to what you sell
  • Enhancing email efforts to improve lifetime values of the clients you already worked so hard to attract
  • Using any of the new or newish Web 2.0 technologies (the stuff those wacky kids do that you haven’t quite figured out yet) to work for your business. Do traditional radio advertising? Could you take what you’ve already done and turn it into a podcast? Use social media sites like facebook to get your message spread virally (i.e. no ad costs)?
  • Redevelop your Web site to convert more visitors

They all have their pros and cons. These things may not be right for you, but you’d be foolish not to do a little investigation. Don’t make it so hard for your clients to unwrap your “presents.” Let internet marketing and other forms of promotion act as the parent that persuades them to take a look at something they might love.

Happy New Year everyone!

Update: My wife just called me to say that she was recapping Christmas day with our daughter in the car. “Did you have a good Christmas?” “Yes.” “Did you like your presents?” “Yes.” “What was your favorite present?” Long pause. “Dada. Dada hug.”

I don’t expect anyone reading this to care about this last bit, and maybe she didn’t really understand the question, but my chest is sure going to be puffed out for awhile and I can always come back to this post for a smile.

Justin

Remember, for better or worse, whatever you put out on the Web will stay out there.

Justin Seibert

About The Author

Justin Seibert is the President of Direct Online Marketing. Justin holds a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University. He contributes a wide range of online business-oriented topics, including the subject of exporting. His contributions can be found on publications such as the Pittsburgh Business Times, Advertising Age, SES Magazine, and La Voz del interior. Justin and his family enjoy learning about new cultures during their travels.

View Justin's full bio.
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