People like the idea, but nobody buys

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by maxacer, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. maxacer

    maxacer
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    I am run a marketing (www maxacermarketing com) company in Michigan. I’ve been hired to help sell a combined Car Wash & Ice Cream Store through the internet, mainly through social networking.
    The goal was to create enough buzz through those channels that the local media would pick up on it and want to talk about it. So far nothing has happened. I’ve used Face Book, Twitter, Blogging, Tribe, You Tube, Squidoo, and other sites. Some require more work than others. With limited time and resources, I can’t monopolize or burn time in one location.
    The owners have tried all the traditional marketing tools; newspapers, TV commercials, articles, etc. However, inquiring minds from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, New Hampshire, Colorado, Arizona, & Utah want to know what we are doing as well.
    Here is the rundown of what is going on. The owners have decided not to sell the business the traditional way. They tried that, for three years. Instead they came up with a very creative way. They would give it away. For $105 (store purchase) or $110 (internet purchase) the purchaser would receive two express keys. The express keys could be used in the three self service bays, the automatic, the vacuums, or even at the ice cream store to buy food. Each express key would have $50 each (hence the $100…the $5 and $10 is for processing and handling). So the purchaser is basically paying upfront for $100 worth of car wash and ice cream. On top of that, with that purchase, they get an entry to win the business. First place is the business and second place is a 2003 Mercedes Benz. More details can be found at www keystoyourbusiness com.
    My biggest problem is that no new keys have been purchase via the internet or because of the efforts I have put forth. Modern Car Care Magazine featured an article on them. It was even updated a few months ago. It can be found here: www moderncarcare com/hotnews/vanity-car-wash-delays-raffle-drawing-for-biz html. The owners have just recently talked with Lansing TV station WILX TV 10. I have yet to see the fruits of that endeavor. We are in the processing of creating You Tube videos as well.
    One problem we have is the perception issue that this is a scam or it is like a raffle and they get nothing if they purchase a key.
    I have until September to sell 2000 keys. This will meet the minimum for the company to go through with the drawing.

    Any advice would be most welcome. Check out www keystoyourbusiness com.
     
  2. Fergal

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    Welcome to Business Advice Forum maxacer. You say that you wanted to create enough buzz on social media so that local media would pick up on the draw. What you are doing makes for an interesting story. Why don't you write up a press release describing what the store is doing and how someone could win their own business. Then submit these press releases to local newspapers, magazines, radio stations and websites. I'm sure that some of them would find the story novel enough to cover it. For those that don't cover it you could make a follow up call and offer to do an interview with them.

    I've started following vanitycarwash on Twitter and I've also tweeted a link to the site, which should generate some interest for you. From what I see of the Twitter account, you need to be more active on it, if you want it to work for you. The account is only following 92 people, you could use Twitter Search to find more people tweeting about relevant topics and from the local area. Start following these people and communicating with them on Twitter. Many of them will begin to follow you back and this will all help to create the buzz that you badly need. The last tweet made from the account was in Nov. You are not going to create much interest from a Twitter account that is lying there dormant.

    When I visit the FaceBook page linked from the site, the first thing I see is "Vanity only shares some of his profile information with everyone" which is hardly inviting. You might want to open up that account to the public or better still, create a fan page for the prize draw. A fan page would work much better, because people don't need to send friend requests, they could simply join it by clicking the "Like" button. Again, this could help significantly with creating a buzz, because as people "Like" the page, their friends will see them joining it and this will in turn have a viral effect.

    One question I would have in relation to the keys is whether the winner will have to honour all the other keys sold? What I mean is, will the winner of the business find that lots of their customers will be coming to them and paying with the keys, and hence not take in any actual revenue for quite some time?

    It's a very interesting and innovative concept for selling a business and I wish you the very best of luck with it. Please post back with your thoughts and any further questions. Hopefully some of our other members will also post their opinions and suggestions.
     
  3. yourmapmaker

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    mmmm 1st post and this offer eems it was also posted over a year ago see link below and to many other forums too. Again I wonder if this is genuine.

    http://www. prlog. org/10231218-sparkles-on-cars-and-sprinkles-on-cones-mi-business-owners-giving-away-their-car-wash-ice-cr.html (remove the space in domain)
     
  4. Mountain Man

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    A very big obstacle when using this type of promotion is convincing people it is legitimate. If only 1 person buys a key do they automatically win? obviously not. I once saw a news article about a house for sale for $100, the idea being that there would be a bidding war. The house was eventually pulled off the market.
    Like any product, there needs to be value for what you are selling/buying, and you need to contact the right person (whoever that is).
    Good luck.
     
  5. elids1979

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    hi
    interesting idea
    I can tell you why i think it isnt working:
    Its too complicated
    I am not sure I understand the idea, car wash and icecream are not serious, they are a pretty common services that require no thinking, you pay x $ you get x car wash and icecream
    The minute you are forcing clients to actually think if its worth it or not, you are losing them, even banks lose clients over complicated mortage plans for homes, and you are talking about icecream and carwash.
    my advice to you, define what you are offering to clients in one sentence, instead of talking about keys and if you do this you get that..
    its only my opinion, i wish you the best of luck
     
  6. maxacer

    maxacer
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    Everybody, thank you for the posts. I'll take these to the owner and see how we can use what you've said to our advantage.

    Yes this is a legitimate. The contest has been going on for about 18 months and ends in September.
     
  7. david.delaney

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    I happen to agree with Elids1979. If you are going to have an ice cream and carwash business then KIS. Keep IT Simple!
     
  8. maxacer

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    We opened up the profile on facebook so everyone can see it. The owners are going to be twittering more. Also, they have a 30 second commerical that will be airing on WILX TV 10 Lansing/Jackson (Michigan). We'll be using twitter and facebook to promote the watching of it. We might have an incentive at the store for those that mention they say it. Haven't worked out the details yet.

    Check out the commercial. Is that simple enough? The owners also made another video, showing what the whole promotion was about. They even had kids using the keys to wash their cars (power wheels) and buing ice cream. I'm working on getting that uploaded to youtube. Here's the video link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktNYL1BCTAw.
     
  9. Fergal

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    Thanks for the update maxacer, the video looks and sounds great. It communicated the website address very well and it will hopefully drive sales of the keys.
     

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