Marketing alternatives

September 16, 2007

I meet more and more artists (and others) who are reluctant to embrace the current marketing hype. I am referring to the assumption that in order to ‘be successful’ you can’t do without a website and blog, a marketing strategy, advertising and PR.

So what are the alternatives? In essence there is nothing wrong with letting people know about your product or service. That is marketing in its purest form- communication.  I’ll call it ‘clean’ communication- without any manipulation or pressure to buy.

In the example of my husband’s woodworking business we can see a number of factors which  make it work despite his disinterest in active marketing.

  • he makes a functional product
  • the product is in demand
  • he does high quality, original work
  • his prices are competitive
  • he has good relationships with his customers

For the rest of us who may not have all of these factors working for us, I feel that the solutions lie in retrieving or recreating community and other non-commercial influences.  To be continued.

2 Responses to “Marketing alternatives”

  1. When I started my woodworking company in 1981, we did not have the internet. While we had the qualities you listed above, we had to spend money on magazine advertising, etc. to let people we existed.

    Today, we have the Internet but we still have a marketing problem. Our web site is among skillions of other sites vying and jockeying for visibility on the first page of a Google search. The name of the game is to make our site as visible as an ocean liner in a small harbor rather than a rowboat in the middle of the Pacific. We’re working on that!

    • szoutewelle Says:

      Hi Bob, thanks for your comment. I visited your site and you have a good marketing strategy. I completely understand the need you have to spend money on advertising etc.
      I think it is important to make a distinction between the kind of company you are running and my husband’s small business. If we had to make a living just from his furniture and sculpture, we would be faced with some difficult dilemmas involving marketing. Additionally he does not employ other people, so we resemble more of a small cabinetmaking workshop than a woodworking business.

      Early on, he got a lucky break and got entry into a very small market sector; making furniture for handicapped children. He delivers as much of a service as a product. There are not skillions of others jockeying for position, customers come back because he cares and is capable and it shows in every step of his work. So we are very lucky.

      Where can I see photos of your work?
      Good luck. Sarah

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