As many of you know, I am a professor at George Brown College. I teach communications in the Faculty of Hospitality & Tourism. Another building on the same campus is home to the Faculty of Business. I popped by there several weeks ago and had a great chat with Tom Arhontoudis. Tom is the Coordinator for the Marketing Diploma Program. We talked at length about publishing and marketing in general and about Blood and Groom in particular. It was decided that creating marketing plans for Blood and Groom would be the final project for his Marketing students this semester.
I visited the class twice to give background and product info. The students asked a lot of very good questions. They wanted info on what I had done and what I planned to do. They asked particulars about the book and my target audience. Their assignment was two-fold: one, a written report (marketing plan) and two, a presentation.
On Wednesday April 21st, I saw all the presentations (I think there were twelve). WOW! Some of the stuff these guys came up with blew me away! Naturally, some ideas were better than others, a few ideas were good but don’t suit my purposes for the time being (maybe later...), some ideas were too expensive but may be doable down the road.
Keep in mind who these students are: They are all in the fourth semester of a three year Marketing program. I’d say most of the students are between 19 and 25 years of age. They are all pretty tech savvy; they’re up to date on various social media; in many ways, they themselves are my target market; and at a minimum, they represented a lot of word-of-mouth potential.
Some of the ideas were similar to things I’ve already done, although perhaps they offered a twist on it. They had suggestions for blogs that have thousands of daily hits from people in my target market demographic. They suggested creating an app for iPhone. They gave me many great suggestions for web redesign. Plus there were ideas for contests and cross-marekting and events. And - not surprisingly - they offered several suggestions for Twitter and Facebook, etc.
Some of the coolest ideas were the ones that may seem a little bit out there... but what the hell, anything’s worth a try! Here are some of the highlights from the presentations:
There is a sidewalk artist, Dave Johnston, who does huge sidewalk ‘murals’ outside the Eaton Centre (mall). It might be worthwhile to talk to him about drawing the Blood and Groom cover. It could sure create a buzz.
They gave me ideas about “flash mobs”. A “flash mob” (or crowd) is hard to describe if you don’t know what it is. Wikipedia gives a good explanation here: Flash Mob
I had never heard before of Hippopost, but they do direct mailing and it’s free! They snail mail postcards for you – no cost – but the back of each postcard contains an advertisement. Hippo Post
Many of the students suggested doing some surveys to collect more solid info about who my Facebook fans/readers/buyers are. Many of the presentations suggested using Survey Monkey to create a questionnaire. This service is also free. Free Survey
Finally, Tamal, a student with a creative streak, made a new book trailer. I think it’s pretty cool. Have a look here: Very cool book trailer for Blood and Groom CHECK IT OUT!!!
I am glad I spoke to Tom about getting his Marketing students to work on Blood and Groom as their final project. Now that I’m finished teaching for a while, I will have time to start implementing some of these fantastic ideas.
Thanks to Tom A and the Wednesday afternoon Marketing group. You ROCK!