Re: Best Places to Advertise for New Members
From: Pam Rank (pamrankfresnocohousing.org)
Date: Fri, 5 Dec 2008 11:52:10 -0800 (PST)
This is exactly right. & rather unfortunate. 

Finding the right message that will resonate with the target audience & 
determining when to put it out there is a challenge for selling any 
product/service.  Unfortunately a lot of businesses, nonprofits etc do not have 
funds available to hire an agency (occasionally a non-profit or small business 
can get a agency or school to take on their project at a reduced fee or free) & 
have to rely upon often untested intuition or the skills of a production person 
at the publication - who often has zero understanding of the product & is 
translating the salespersons perception of the product & market. 

Though I've been working in advertising/marketing for over 15 years, in a 
variety of industries, cohousing has proven to be a unique and  interesting 
challenge for me - finding the right message & right audience is resulting in a 
certain amount of trial and error advertising. I have not hit on exactly the 
right message yet... but... this is & is not exactly a problem... mainly 
because you NEED to put different messages out - what resonates for me - will 
not necessarily for you... I guess a current campaign that might express this 
is the Geico commercials, the Gecko & the Caveman ads are designed to connect 
with different audiences - a realization that what might connect with the 
person protecting their estate and children's future - will not connect with 
the person that rents & wants to protect their personal swag.

The one thing I think is true for ANY advertising (especially when you don't 
have the time/budget for trial & error advertising) is to find the "thing" that 
makes you unique. When I had the opportunity to enjoy the No. Ca cohousing tour 
- the thing that struck me was how very different & unique each location was - 
each one had some similarities which are likely to be true for the majority of 
cohousing projects but each one of them had that "Thing" which made them unique 
& beautiful. I think it's finding that thing & marketing it which is key to 
advertising success. 

One other area of consideration - I am NOT a big advocate of FEAR advertising - 
"Things are horrible  - cohousing is the only solution" . Given this, our 
current economic concerns, historic benefits of living in a supportive 
environment & the global interest in reducing waste makes cohousing a viable 
solution for people interested in these important issues. Crafting messages 
that support these thoughts make good sense - they MUST be sincere. One of my 
BIGGEST frustrations in advertising is when a new buzz word comes out & 
everybody grabs it to sell though it means NOTHING or little to their product. 
"Green" is the latest example of this.... EVERYONE is touting their 
greenness... it's often deceptive at best & often a outright lie. 

Pam
Fresno Cohousing Marketing / Sales Coordinator

----------------------------------------

From: "Eris Weaver" <eris [at] erisweaver.info>
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2008 5:03 AM
To: cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Best Places to Advertise for New Members 

With all this talk about WHERE to advertise...I think we often don't spend 
enough time talking about HOW and WHAT to advertise - what is the message or 
image we're trying to convey. I've seen many groups (not just cohousing, but 
nonprofits and even businesses) spend lots of money on ads in good venues but 
then the ads are poorly executed -- unclear, visually boring, poorly timed, 
etc. ------------------------------ Eris Weaver, Facilitator & Group Process 
Consultant Member of FrogSong, Cohousing in Cotati,CA eris [at] erisweaver.info 
707-338-8589 http://www.erisweaver.info fa cil' i tat: to make easier 
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