Friday, August 24, 2007

eBay Marketing

Sometimes I go to the local coffee shop – Diedrich’s. Yesterday was one such day.

They had an odd piece of information up by the register in a holder. You can see it below – I scanned it. They had 30 or 40 of them stacked in a stand-up paper/brochure holder. The piece itself was printed in B&W on a standard 8.5X11 piece of paper. Super low tech. Very non-threatening (from a marketing perspective). It’s a story about how coffee got started. Take a look.

Kind of interesting. A conversation piece. You might tell your friend or wife about it after you stopped into the shop. It’s something to read while you’re waiting for your latté.

It’s not trying to sell anything. But it leaves you with a positive feeling about Diedrich’s.

Essentially, I think its purpose is to spread the word about the particular patron’s trip to the coffee shop. You might come home from work and tell your wife that “goats discovered coffee.” This is one of those fun, Cliff Claven-type factoids. You tell her the story and where you saw it. Then she thinks, “I love going to coffee houses, maybe I’ll go tomorrow.” This type of effect is probably working for Diedrich’s as we speak/read.

I like it – nothing to sell but some information that’s connected to the establishment. The word will get passed on, and the brand will be mentioned.

Can you think of stories that are not your own that you could co-opt for marketing or customer information purposes? Try it out. Find some stories that relate to your eBay products or eBay store and fashion them to your liking. Pop them into shipped packages. Send them to your newsletter subscribers.

P.S. knocked 32% off the cover price of "The 7 Essential Steps to Successful eBay Marketing" (McGraw-Hill, 2005). sells if for 36% off!

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