Each of the distributors received a media pack aimed at the community radio stations. We made ourselves available to do radio interviews on behalf of our distributors. Most radio stations had special interest segments related to motherhood, young children, parenting or some related topic. We trained our distributors to identify these opportunities, communicate with the local radio station, share what they were doing and demonstrate how their actions helped the community. They would then post or email our information pack to the radio station and arrange an interview. We, the company management, would then give an interview on behalf of the distributor using her contact number and personal URL. All recruits and sales generated by the interview accrued to her.
I can’t begin to count the number of interviews we did with radio stations all over the country. I am also not able to put a Dollar value to the exposure we generated but it was valuable and added greatly to brand awareness and ultimately, the company's bottom line.
To be successful and grow your business and revenues, you must match the way you market your products with the way your prospects learn about and shop for your products - Brian Halligan
This worked in exactly the same way as radio. Granted, we received fewer interviews and a great deal less exposure on TV but we did still do several high profile shows over the years. These all added to the brand’s credibility.
We purchased a trade show stand that could be booked and used by any distributor participating in a trade show. Normally a team leader would get their team together, split the costs and appear on the trade show armed with products, marketing material and a laptop. The goal was always to recruit people. They would do product and opportunity demonstrations and register people onto the Acorn Kids system on the spot. This was very successful and resulted in big spikes in new recruits and sales.
So, how much did all this marketing cost us? Nothing. It was totally free! The distributors covered the costs of the initial marketing material in their Starter Kit investment and all subsequent material was either purchased through the eCommerce store or downloaded free of charge from the member area within the website. All paid advertising was for the account of the distributor. We calculated that we had received over $6M in marketing and advertising over a 5-year period.
Will this work for your company? Absolutely! There is no doubt that this strategy will not only result in an increase in sales but will also radically improve your visibility and credibility. Most importantly, it is simple to implement. Another serious advantage is that you provide your members with a powerful way to market their business. They no longer sit around wondering what to do next. You will train them to wallpaper their city with tear-offs, posters and brochures. They will give their cards to anyone who is interested. They will contact newspapers, radio and TV stations and engage in an extensive online campaign. All with a company approved message and company backing. What could be simpler?
What was our monthly advertising spend? It was well over $100,000 per month. A number that was so far out of our reach as a company that it was inconceivable. By leveraging a small $50 per month advertising budget from each of our distributors we were able to achieve and vastly exceed this number with ease.
Yes, it required an effort to set up good advertising. Yes, we needed to spend a great deal of time training and motivating our team to use the advertising and yes, there were some inherent costs involved in setting the media up in the first place. But, here’s the kicker - due to the fact that we were receiving massive bulk discounts on the printing we were able to sell the brochures, posts, car adverts, tear-offs and business cards to the distributors for a small profit, but at a price substantially below what they could get it for themselves. We did not gouge the distributors but nothing was ever free. The profit covered our costs, making the entire campaign a zero sum.
We trained our distributors to view their distributorship as a business which, like any business, requires investment. Our distributors were expected to make the investment in both time and money. The investment was not huge. Just $50 per month and they could all see the benefits. As a result, they embraced the strategy and made Acorn Kids a household name.
This strategy does not in any way replace the normal network marketing processes. Your distributors will still do demonstrations, hold opportunity meetings, recruit new distributors and sell products to customers. What the advertising will do is provide a deeper pool of leads, generate interest, provide credibility, develop brand awareness and drive sales and recruits. This is not the only tool but it is pretty darn powerful.