Saturday, 29 November 2008

Didcot Street Fair Experience

Cold but the rain generally held off for us. With over 15,000 people attending we knew this would be a great opportunity to show off the DVD and meet our customers.

We setup the DVD on our stall directly outside Sainsburys, and fired up the Generator and UPS. Next door the waft of doughnuts was unbearable with empty stomachs, with Dave and Lindsay giving in and taking delivery of a chocolate variety. Passing trade was good, with the DVD playing it gave them a quick glance of what the DVD offered. We laid out the flyers for the DVD and Website on the table, and handed out to all those who showed any interest.

The cold air was bearable, and there was a great carnival atmosphere in the streets of Didcot, held every year the Didcot Street Fair is a wonderful experience, organised by Jeanette Howse and the Didcot Chamber of Commerce.

We had lots of interest in the product, even though it wasn`t totally relevant for the event and we are pleased with our selling of 3 DVDs and lots of interest.

A lot of effort went into the selling and setting up, but at just £29 a stall it was cost effective, and would recommend this just to get exposure and get a feeling for what the customer would like.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Spreading our wings...some success

We`ve just suffered our longest run without an order, 4 days. A very long and distressing period, we realised during this time how demoralised people can become, but most importantly though keep your head up, it happens. You can learn new skills from a book, DVD or web page on any subject, but Sales & Marketing is the most mysterious of them all. It almost feels as if the population is against you, and is deliberately not helping because of a reason unknown.

Each day with no order feels dark, but it is euphoria when dark is replaced by this huge plume of magnificent light in the form of an email from Amazon, that starts - "Sold, Despatch now....". It provides such a lift and reinforcing of the confidence that success is possible, but with time. Never ever expect the buying public to rush, we are all in that boat. Analyze yourself, then you realise rash purchases are rarely done.

We then progressed to sell one to Blewbury, on the Monday a copy to York which was bought via the Didcot Railway Centre newsletter, an ad that cost £7.50, the 2nd sale from there. An Amazon sale to Guernsey gave us a problem, we didn`t have the island on our map of Great Britain, so it went on the door!. We have learnt that more dedicated publications can pull in greater readership loyalty, meaning better sales.

After 4 days without a sale, 36 hours gave us 5! We were overwhelmed and rejuvenated. The best news being a sale situated a mere 5 miles from a previous Amazon purchase two weeks previous. Again, we are convinced a word of mouth sale, the best form of advertising!

We are booking a Market Stall in Abingdon for December 6th, again, we feel taking an innovative product to the public will have a greater success than newspaper advertising.

We are learning there are many downs and it does seem like a mountain to climb, keep on going, find out what helps you climb higher, abandon those big efforts that get you nowhere. We will report back with further news.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Amazon starts to flow...

Our Everyday Home Computing DVD has been on sale now for 4 weeks. We are pleased, and quietly confident we are in a good situation.

At the weekend, we got an order which was despatched to a location just a few miles from an earlier sale so a repeat, word of mouth recommendation. Fantastic news for us. Amazon has proved a great success, at £25 a month it is great value to us, it gives the buyer confidence and the majority of our sales are channeled through here. Two adverts in the Oxford Mail gave us no immediate sales, but we are hopeful for a knock on effect at the Didcot Street Fair, and our 1st Computer Clinic.

We realise the way forward is to go and meet the public, and we have organised a one day Free Computer Clinic to all in Didcot, at the Cornerstone on Saturday 29th November. Here, we will demo the DVD and website, and discuss their requirements. Our 1st impressions of advertising are negative, but realise that advertsing alone will not make the sales, it`s in combination with promotional work, Press Releases, Internet publicity, flyers and the best method, word of mouth.

We will report back on the success of the Postcard flyers and Press Releases which are coming up. And we are preparing for our 1st outing to meet our adoring public.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Mixed results so far...

Our illusions have been vapourised, we focused totally on the creation process of the DVD and assumed the DVD would just fall off the shelves. This has not happened, and at times we`ve become downhearted, but still upbeat.

We now know, if you are a new company it`s hard to get started on the Marketing front, your customers have to trust you first and the only way is to get out there and meet them. If you are shy or worried about meeting people, then employ someone to do the public meeting or be really brave. A great product (which we are confident we have) will not automatically sell as we assumed it would, we advertised in 2 local publications and got zero orders. But, we are going to try all avenues of Marketing, and next up is the Oxford Mail with a bolder advert and fresh approach. We will report back with our verdict.

It has been for sale on for 3 weeks, no sales, no watchers and only a couple of views. My wife who has a high rating (500) put on a copy, and she also didn`t sell, but she got a lot of views. Amazon has given us more success, we joined Amazon Merchants Pro and have had 3 orders which we deem a success. It costs £25 a month so we are only just breaking evens, but we`re hopeful our adverts mentioning Amazon will give people the confidence.

We have booked the Cornerstone in Didcot to have a Beginners' Computing Clinic, where we can listen to peoples computer problems and demonstrate the DVD & Website. We are hopefully being more public facing will kick start the sales.

We have 1000 flyers now from Vistaprint, and will start distributing these via friends and the excellent Sunkoshi Restaurant in Didcot, if you`re ever passing then go see Roshan and tell him Dave Roberts sent you.

What we didn`t know 3 months ago - Marketing is everything, and requires total commitment and much time. We will report back hopefully in months to come with a winning formula, for all those wishing to create and market their own DVD.