You've created a product, set up your sales channels, and mastered your elevator pitch, but for some reason your company isn't getting any traction.
This was the case for Aaron Untuckit. In order to spur growth, he did something a little unconventional: He fired his public relations firm.Sanandres, co-founder and CEO of men's clothing company
The move went against every piece of advice he'd been given about marketing: Start scrappy, hire a PR firm or an in-house publicist, and let them build your brand. While Untuckit saw 100 percent growth with the PR firm they had, Sanandres felt his company wasn't taking advantage of being the first-mover in the "nascent untucked shirt market." So, with little business and retail experience, Sanandres decided to take the full $7,000 he was spending on PR and put it toward conventional marketing.
"It's very gauche for a new brand to promote itself," Sanandres says in a new Inc. video. "But at this point my fear was that there would be another untucked shirt company with a bigger megaphone and that they would drown us out. We had the opportunity to be the first storyteller, and so I wanted to take advantage of that."
Instead of going digital, he went old-school and ran local radio ads because they were relatively cheap but high in impressions--$350 could get the company's name heard by 200,000 people, Sanandres says. Untuckit ran its first radio ad two weeks before Black Friday in 2013, and within seven seconds 1,500 people visited the site (compared with the typical 150- 200). The company ran out of shirts by the first week of December.
Untuckit then turned to another old-style form of outreach: airline magazines. It wasn't sexy, it wasn't tech savvy, it wasn't new, but it worked for the brand and it brought in sales. The company spent $15,000 for an American Airlines ad and Sanandres says it returned six times that much.
Not all of Untuckit's marketing efforts have been successful. The company tried to run an email marketing campaign and it was "a complete bomb," Sanandres says. "When I say [emails] went out to 500,000 people and two came to the website, it's not an understatement."
It all goes to show that the latest and hottest marketing trends may not work for your brand. Just because you sell product online doesn't mean you have to stick to digital; old-school methods may prove just as effective. According to Sanandres, it's all about trial and error.
"I think that the biggest lesson is to be curious, right, think about the different, maybe nonconventional ways, that you can get your message to the right audience, whoever that audience is for your particular business," he says. "As long as you can measure it."