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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Can a party overcome the negative consequences of canvassing?

Leonard Megliola at Bestline Plumbing in Los Angeles keeps thinking up new marketing ideas -- and maintaining successful older ones. He is one of the leaders in implementing practical marketing approaches, and should be an inspiration to other contractors wondering how to really build their businesses in good and hard times.

This weekend on he suggests another idea, which he thinks will help mitigate some of the negative results of his (successful) canvassing initiative.

Actually, this is something I have been thinking about for many years.

Next week, I am going to look for a location in a neighborhood where I can give away free hotdogs, soda, chips, coffee mugs, calendars, ink pens, helium balloons, and literature. We may even get one or two arcade rides that will be free for small children.

As we draw in a crowd, we will hand out literature explaining the free services we will be providing in their neighborhood for the next week. We will set appointments at the booth. For those who don't set an appointment, we will warn them that our canvassers will be knocking on their doors to bother them.

We will deliver 5,000 brochures one day before the show and 5,000 brochures on the day we have the showday. Each brochure will have a coupon that will give free hotdogs, soda, water, mugs, etc. We will use our 10 inch by 6 foot Acrylic tube filled with candy to help draw a crowd.

This campaign will cost about $2,000 to $3,000. One good job will leave me with a profit and we will build a very good presence and branding effect that will be long-term. I may do this two times a year in each neighborhood.

Everybody love a good free hotdog.
I like these ideas, and I like his use of flyers, and so on, and think they all are good and valid approaches -- though I stand my ground that canvassing, while undoubtedly effective and profitable, is a bad form of marketing in most circumstances. Free hotdogs are good; waking up people at their homes, and disturbing their dinners to sell homeowners stuff, is not -- for the majority who don't want to be bothered with intrusive selling messages. But I can't argue against canvassing's effectiveness.

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