Last Orders on Leaflets?

Last weekend I spoke to my favorite entrepreneur from the events and hospitality industry. So, if you are currently drawing up a strategy, evaluating your channels or looking for growth tips – read on. 

I believe what she shares is invaluable for the Hospitality industry whilst being highly transferable to other sectors. 

What I want to share with you today are her views on leaflets. I am often asked my opinions on this Channel, as this used to be the first choice for any SME. 

So if that is you, I hope you will find your answer as I share some thoughts of this entrepreneur who used leaflets heavily over the past decade. Arguably this Chanel builds her business. 

A channel is a way you use to reach your potential customers.

She shares some compelling insights on both the effectiveness and attitudes of the audience towards leaflets.  

What makes her reports so valuable is that, as the CEO, she decided to “dive deep” and go out in the street herself to gather feedback first-hand. 

What prompted her was the fact that her last leafleting campaign brought a 0 response. 

She could not believe it. As every CEO or Growth manager, you know the day your Channel dies on you will come, but it’s a surprise each time. 

Not fully accepting the defeat, she decided to investigate some more.

Her product and message were right, so she concluded that it must have been the distribution. I will explain how she validated that later on.  

Leafleting worked well for her in the past, so why should it stop so abruptly? 

It didn’t make any sense. 

Confident that if the leaflets were correctly distributed, people taking them would respond and make a booking. 

So, she took to the streets to do the handout herself. Being multilingual and naturally passionate about her business, she made sure to have a conversation with at least part of the audience in their native language, sharing her story and vision and the awesomeness of the event being promoted. 

Again, zero response.

At the same time, digital marketing targeted to the same area was bringing in bookings. 

Ok, let’s look at some potential explanations.

  • The timing of leafleting was wrong for example her was audience not on the street when she was out
  • The leaflet was working, but the prompting online made people make actual purchases
  • The audience was niche enough to have substantial overlap, meaning she would target the same people with leaflets and online ads? 

She bet her money on the last one, as it was also good news. It meant her new test channel was working and therefore she could focus all her attention on it, moving some of the leaflet budget to experiment. . 

To get the proof she needed, she decided to go online only for her subsequent event. 

Interestingly her event was still sold out. So less effort, smaller cost and the same result? 

What’s important is that she can run the campaign single-handedly – with no print and disruption burden.  This was all good news, but she had to be confident that this was the right move. Giving up marketing that served you 10 years is not easy. 

The evidence was overwhelming. 

This approach is the key to her success – she is always planning for the next step, so on this occasion, she had her test channel ready, which meant she could do a simple switch over. 

Again, knowing that online will only take as far, she spoke about new channels – such as programmatic outdoor. A track that could meet her marketing needs as she grows, and once that, her competition is perhaps not thinking about – so she can start testing them out now. 

Her approach to channels can be summarised in one sentence: old one out – a new one in

If you want to read more on that method, get the Justin Mares Traction. In his book, he lays it out for Growth Managers how to find The Channel that works and max it out. 

The key to his method is finding out where the max is whilst constantly testing others to make sure you have a ready channel when you reach the max. 

Today you need to start testing the Channel that will take you to the next level. 

Here is the takeout: 

  1. Channel that worked for a decade will one day become obsolete 
  2. Channels get maxed out
  3. Your audience may stay the same, but their behaviour changes
  4. Find your max
  5. Allocate part of your budget for tests so you are ready for the changeover