“Permission marketing” is alive and well, and nine other things we learned at the BMS Masterclass on (almost) zero budget marketing

March’s Masterclass on (almost) zero budget marketing was a wide-ranging, in-depth session — many thanks to our marketers who presented their campaigns and fielded questions. Below are a few of James Spackman‘s key takeaways from the session.

A product can be marketed on the back of a political campaign, if the product and the messages are right. Tara Al Azzawi’s campaign for Dear Ijeawele was explicitly tied to International Women’s Day in a way which was effective and appropriate.

… but get it wrong at your peril. Brewdog got into all sorts of bother with their pink beer.

An “unproduced” feel to social media assets – such as the handmade quote cards for the Dear Ijeawele Twitter photos – emphasises authenticity and commitment.

You can create your own audio serial. Fourth Estate tweeted Dear Ijeawele in audio form as part of their campaign.

Talking to real readers can bring useful surprises. Elke Desanghere told us that it was commonplace in the PRH insight bookclubs to hear people say they’d pass on a book if it had fewer than four stars on Amazon, thus establishing an important benchmark.

Facebook advertising can be effectively concentrated on a group of 1-200k people by careful use of interest tags. Elke targeted readers who identified as Kindle owners, in her campaign for The House.

“Permission Marketing” is alive and well, as the campaign for The House demonstrated; sending a teaser postcard to book bloggers, inviting them to engage with the website and request a proof, meant they bought in from the start.

The perfect partner for your campaign can be one with a genuine need for what you’re offering (rather than trying to string together a group of partners by hedging your bets). Caitriona Horne‘s campaign for Kill Your Plants could have involved working with bigger brands than Habitat, but their customers matched the readership perfectly, so the collaboration was natural.

Caitriona also pointed out how important it was to “sell the talent, not the book” when you’re pitching for a partnership.

Marketers have to be careful with jargon when they’re reporting online results to colleagues. “Everyone switches off when you say ‘clickthrough'” said Caitriona.

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