General, Marketing with Mansfield

“Pic” It Like You Mean It

True story. Pre-Covid ever Saturday there was a farmers’ market in downtown Riverhead, N.Y. In the spring, summer and fall it was lovely. The vendors all had pop-up tents along the Peconic Riverwalk and, having been to farmers’ markets from Florida to Hawaii, I can honestly say that this was the prettiest farmers’ market I had ever been to.

In the winter, not so much. The winter location for the Farmers’ Market was an old, abandoned looking storefront on Main Street. The winter location and vibe was the exact opposite of the summer location and vibe. You could not entice me to go down there on Saturday morning. No way, no how.

BUT, one wintry Saturday I was down there bright and early. Why????

Carrot cake.

Image by Farooq Sharif from Pixabay

I can say without hesitation that I would never have left my couch on Saturday morning if I had READ all about Rosie’s carrot cake. I’m not one of those “carrot cake or die” type people. There are no words even the most talented writer could have written that would have motivated me to drive down there.


My niece is six. There are literally thousands of photos of her (because she’s adorable but, also) because it is so easy to take them. So I don’t want to hear any excuses about how difficult it is to take pictures for marketing purposes. Anyone with a (camera) phone can take a picture. Take several thousand pictures. You know you take pictures all the time for fun. Take them – at work – for work! Show your potential customers what they are missing out on. Show your current customers how smart they are for choosing YOU.

Please put some thought into those photos. Don’t just snap a photo of a prosthesis standing over in the corner by itself. The reason the carrot cake picture “worked” on me was because it looked amazingly delicious. Rosie knew what she wanted that photo to convey. What do you want your marketing photos to convey about your business? (If you do want to take pictures of prostheses standing by themselves, please make sure they are wearing clean shoe(s) and sock(s).

When I go to the doctor, I don’t necessarily want to see what the doctor is going to do to me while I’m there but I sure don’t mind seeing a photo of the doctor’s smiling staff, clean office and happy (implying satisfied) patients. Plastic surgeons? They NEVER show you just the after. They always show you the before and after. Think about that.

Do you have “carrot cake” pictures of your business? No? Get busy taking those pics!

Marketing with Mansfield

Who Doesn’t Like Pi(e)?

March 14th is Pi Day. Maybe you knew that or maybe you did not. I’m not sure how you could avoid knowing it. It’s. Such. A. Thing. Now. I’m getting emails and more emails (I subscribe to a lot of email newsletters, if you can believe it, winky face) about the upcoming 3/14/21 Pi Day. I do not remember Pi Day being a “thing” when I was growing up but I sure do know it’s a thing now.

Mmmmmm pie

A couple years I go or as we say now, “pre-pandemic” I got up early just to make sure I got to the Riverhead Farmer’s Market before they ran out of pie. (How could they not? This was Pi Day after all!) The vendors at this farmer’s market are pretty savvy with their marketing. I am not being facetious. They glom onto whatever holiday and/or celebration day that occurs and use that in their on-site marketing. The market itself has an active Facebook page and its #1 goal is to get people to come down to the market on Saturday. So, armed with the local dairy’s empty glass milk bottles from the previous week’s market, I headed excitedly to the market.

Missed opportunity

Right inside the door was the baker’s stand. No pie was there. What…?????????

“Oh, I did not even know it was Pi Day,” she said. “I guess I should have brought some pies.” (You think?!) Over to the other bakery stall. There was still no pie. Seriously? Do bakers not have a calendar? How do you not even have a pie available for sale on Pi Day? Passed the bread guy who conveniently sells what I would have called for the day pizza “pies.” Did he? No. Quickly over to the Greek Restaurant guy who always has people standing in line for his spanakopita for a good reason. It is unbelievably delicious. It is yummy spinach pie. Is he in on the whole pi/pie thing? Nope. Took the empty milk bottles back to the dairy booth. What goes better with pie than anything else? Milk. This milk is so good that we have started bringing milk to parties instead of wine because weeks later people are still talking about the milk and I do not remember a single time ever when people were talking for weeks about a particular bottle of wine. Does the dairy lady have any signage addressing the “got pie, get milk” or anything to that effect? No.

Pizza pie

Awareness is key

MAJOR marketing FAIL at the Farmer’s Market for Pi Day. Off to the fish market down the road where we bought a lovely piece of salmon and….a clam pie. I told the girl at the counter, “You know it is Pi Day, right?” Of course she did not but I was pretty happy that I had finally gotten a pie for Pi Day even though I consider it a huge disappointment from a marketing standpoint.

Your turn. What days, celebrations or “things” are you missing out on? I saw on Facebook recently that it was National Sibling Day. I know a couple O&P practices that are owned by siblings. You know who you are. This is a great opportunity to get a little extra publicity, especially when in this day and age you do not even need a newspaper story to have something go viral. So, get busy researching “Pi Day-esque” things and see how you can use that to your marketing advantage this year!

Got a Pi Day story? Let me know!

General, Marketing with Mansfield

What’s the plan? Where do you want your marketing to take you for 2021?

Happy New Year! What are you most looking forward to – marketing-wise for 2021?

It’s been a TOUGH year but the beginning of a new year is always a good time to reflect on the results of last year’s marketing plan and to consider what changes you’re going to want to implement for 2021.

I’m willing to bet that your 2020 marketing plan took a back seat to some of your other business-related plans. Not to worry. It’s a brand new year, there IS a light at the end of the tunnel and we can take what we learned last year and start making a new plan.

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

The keys are flexibility, adaptability, trend-spotting, and commitment – and a map. If we’re going to get where we want to go then we need a map.

Begin with the end

Oftentimes when it comes to a marketing plan some people don’t start with the final destination, where they want to be by December, in mind. Instead they start heading off “down the road” – destination to be determined.

I spent the weekend of March 7-8, 2020, at the Travel & Adventure Show in Washington, D.C. It is a convention for people who, obviously, like to travel but it also includes sessions for people who like learning about how miles and points can enhance their travel experience. It was perfect timing because all my travel and loyalty program calculators had reset to zero at the end of 2019 (just the calculators, not the accumulated points or miles). This is important because in order for me to achieve my travel-related goals for 2020 and beyond, I needed to know by the end of the year how to structure my travel plans.

Well, 2020 was a bust as far as business or leisure travel so whatever miles and points plan I had originally made based on traveling 10 out of 12 months a year was pretty much useless. (Same thing could be said for the face to face education-based marketing and in-person meeting & event marketing plans!)

If my original goal was to acquire a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass in 2020 so that I could bring a companion along for free in 2020 and 2021, then I would have needed to determine what strategy I would use to acquire the 110,000 Rapid Rewards points I needed to receive the pass. The final destination – 110,000 points. I could keep the same goal but I’d really need to re-think my strategy since it would’ve been really difficult to accumulate 110,000 without stepping foot on a plane, renting a car or staying in hotels or having a reason to use my Southwest Visa card. Probably wouldn’t have been impossible but, it made sense in March to take that “destination” off the map for 2020.

Know your starting point

A lot of things in the travel industry have changed since last March. Airlines have been hit hard and they’ve adapted and pivoted so what seemed like a very difficult destination last March might not be so difficult this year. You might think that there is only one route to get there – not true. Route 1 equals flying. Route 2 equals a mixture of flying and buying things through the Southwest Airlines online shopping portal. Route 3 equals getting a Southwest credit card that will give me 50,000 points after I spend a certain amount in a certain time frame, plus flying, plus shopping. Those are just three examples but there are a plethora of routes. Some that will take me all year to get there. Some that will take me a matter of months. Some that will be cost prohibitive and some that will be relatively inexpensive. The two things that I know for sure are where I am right now and where I want to go.

Know your route options

For example, you know that you have 27 newsletter subscribers as of today but that you want 2,499 subscribers by the end of the year which route are you going to take? Just like getting the Companion Pass, there are a lot of different routes with different time frames and different cost.

In our newsletter subscriber example, we have a clear goal of acquiring 2,472 new subscribers. We want to make sure that all of our new subscribers are people who are relevant to the success of our business and not just route “detours” for the sake of pumping up the numbers.

How can you get there? Which routes?

Sign up form on your website (of course!)

Sign up form on your business facebook page

Incentives in your office waiting room or fitting rooms for signing up

Those are just a couple “routes” for you to take.

Where do you want to go? How do you want to get there? We’ll talk more about tools and budgets in the next post….