Lessons in marketing a new product, from the Edinburgh fringe.
Early this month I had the enormous pleasure of going to see my beautiful young friend, Annie Neat and her fellow performers from LIPA, Three Mugs of Tea, perform The Jungle Referendum at the Edinburgh Festival.
Their show was an amazingly well researched, educational and very entertaining look at the Scottish referendum.
The group stated their show with a song that included the line
…we worked our arses off to bring you this
A concept that will be familiar to most small business owners . Like most small business owners they quickly discovered that all that hard work put into production isn’t enough. And as with most companies, they were disappointed with the initial public response.
If you’ve ever been to the Edinburgh festival you will be aware that there are hundreds and hundreds of performances going on and to get your show noticed is pretty much a baptism of fire into the world of marketing.
Three Mugs of Tea had done the usual stuff. They had 500 posters printed, but soon realised that within an hour of putting them up they were already covered by someone else’s posters.
They also had bundles of very attractive flyers, which they gave out every day on the Royal Mile. But again people are given so many flyers that most of them just end up in the bin or on the floor.
So how do you get heard above the noise? How do you compete with the hundred’s of other people who are talking to the same people as you? How do you get people to buy tickets to come to your show when you are an unknown company?
- Talk to people. A flyer helps to get an image out there, but talking to people, be it on-line or face to face, makes it all more personal.
- Be topical. Whether you’re blogging, tweeting or doing a TV advert, being topical will increase engagement. The referendum is certainly topical and that enabled us to have discussions with people and get them interested.
- Stand out from the crowd. This is where Three Mugs of Tea got really lucky….
A huge David Cameron puppet had been made by 2nd year community drama students at LIPA for an end of term community play – and they got to borrow it. This was their secret weapon!
Every day before and after the show the team were on the mile leafleting and walking around with a giant paper mâché David Cameron, which drew the crowds and the press.
It’s said that people have to see something 5 times before it registers as familiar. Their puppet ended up as the image for a Guardian article about he referendum, shown in the Metro and on BBC news! Having their images in the national news certainly made #Davidonthemile familiar for people, who then wanted their photograph taken with it.
Lo-and-behold, ticket sales increased significantly every day. Working their ars*s off is now paying and the people that brought David’s giant head to The Royal Mile already have next year’s performance planned.
What about you? How do you manage to get your self heard over the noise? I’d love to know your challenges and successes, so please do leave a comment below
If you would like to talk to Jane about working with your organisation get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org