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February 14, 2007 | Resources and Tools | WineDirect Admin

I Didn’t Know You Could Do That!

File this blog dispatch under, “General, Marketing” and “I didn’t know you could do that.”

Here at Inertia we’re on record as continually emphasizing the basics of building direct sales and customer management, executing a wine club thoughtfully, segmenting high value customers, providing differentiated value and skillfully managing all of the small day-to-day nuts and bolts that build customer loyalty and allow any small business to run crisply.

We do not typically advocate flights of marketing fancy; quite the contrary, actually. Just the same, it is kind of cool and as Internet experts ourselves, it’s interesting to highlight other pioneers doing interesting things via the Internet.

Spot Runner is an Internet-based ad agency that makes it easy (read: relatively inexpensive) for local companies to advertise on television, nationally even.

Did you know that a Napa winery could run an ad during Fox News in Naples, FLA for $150 bucks? Or, advertise on the History Channel in Ft. Wayne, IN for $53 or on MSNBC in Utica, NY for $14?

Everybody has seen the local commercials in our market—usually it’s car dealerships or hot tub superstores, local jewelers and the like … local spokespeople that become minor celebrities with some notoriety based on their omnipresent presence on television commercials. But, what about taking some of that local charm into other markets?

This local and regionalized phenomenon is being coupled with the explosion of video on the Internet and in particular the pro-amateur movement of using YouTube, Yahoo! Video and others as a launching ground for real user-generated commercials.

Recently, Doritos snack chips ran a consumer commercial contest and the winning commercial was featured during the Super Bowl.

Dove body wash is doing the same thing and premiering customer created commercial during the Oscars later this month.

The Super Bowl and the Oscars? These are hardly shrinking violet exposure opportunities, even if these are campaigns run by large consumer brands.

Spot Runner is a bit different than the YouTube phenomena in that they won’t run *any* created ad—they in fact have created the ads that can be customized to your business, a winery for example.

I did a search for “wine” and they have four or five commercials that can be customized with winery specific voiceovers, logos, etc.

After the stock customization, anybody using the Spot Runner services would define their criteria for where they want to run the ad, their budget and their desired reach by demographics and Spot Runner puts together a campaign within the requested budget.

If you have a wine club with a density of members in Naples, FLA you could do television advertising to capitalize on what might be a robust market for your wines, driving sales to your web site.

And, other business development opportunities presumably exist, as well, if especially if you’re using our Direct-to-Trade initiative to cultivate placement in a specific market.

I suspect that Spot Runner recognizes the clear trend in user-generated content and is readying a means to exercise quality control in line with FTC standards and their own benchmarks for quality so that they can offer a winery, or any customer the opportunity to buy media inventory with a more customizable commercial solution.

While we’re not advocating this approach for our winery customers just yet, and legally some state-by-state vetting may have to be done for a regulated industry like wine, it’s hard not to be interested in the potential future possibilities to enhance customer and prospect mindshare inexpensively in melding an online and offline marketing plan that can ultimately drive more wine sales for your business.

Like I said, file this one under the “I didn’t know you could do that.”

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