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Shooting Industry February 2012 Digital Edition - Page 22

Arms Arms and the woman o one can deny the power of the Internet, and if your business doesn’t have a vibrant, interactive website, you’re missing a huge marketing opportunity. If you already actively cultivate clientele with your website and various social media options, you may have been tempted to jump into the world of Internet social Lisa Parsons-Wraith Internet Daily Deals: Marketing Dream Or Nightmare? N marketing deals. New opportunities to offer your goods and services at a discount are cropping up every day, but before you take the plunge, there are a few things you need to consider. First, what is the goal of the discounted offer? Do you want to target new women shooters? For example, many operations with ranges that host training classes have promoted women-only gun safety classes with daily deals. ATP Gunshop and Range in Summerville, S.C., offers general training classes through daily deals once every three months. As an experiment, Arlyn Pendergast, ATP president, decided to test a womenonly deal and discovered a flaw in the system. He said the normal price of the ladies-only class is so low that, while the deal received a good response and brought in new shooters, he made very little money. By the time the price of the class was cut in half and a commission paid to the marketing company offering the deal, there was virtually no profit on the class. He noted, however, that there is always a slight increase in sales after a class. Clearly, it’s important to define your goals when you run this type of promotion. You have to balance out the reduced price and the commission charged against your goal of new customers and increased Balancing Goals ATP Gunshop and Range in Summerville, S.C., has an active female shooting community, and has experimented with daily deals to attract more women to the sport. been reflected back on his business. People call his store and range to try to book classes or complain about the deal — all s one gun storeowner discovered, not all Internet deal mar- when Bill’s Gunshop and Range actually isn’t even involved keters are scrupulous in their business methods. John Mon- in the transaction. son, owner of Bill’s Gunshop and Range in Robbinsdale, Minn., Monson said he asked the training company and the marketsaid when he ran a social marketing deal through his local news- ing company to remove his business address and it has been a paper, he got good results and was happy with the increased traf- difficult process. Even when the training company asked the fic. It all went bad, he said, when one marketers to remove the range of the big-name national marketing address, the marketing company New opportunities to offer your companies started using his address was reluctant to do so. Since the to sell training deals from indepen- goods and services at a discount are situation has happened more dent contractors. than once, and Monson feels it “What happens is, the salespercropping up every day, but before is damaging his store’s business son will book a deal with a training and image, he is considering takcompany that is supposed to hold you take the plunge, there are a few ing legal action. classes at our range. The ad on the The old adage of “buyer bethings you need to consider. daily deal website lists our range’s ware” could very well be applied address, so customers think we’re to daily deal marketing. If you part of the deal,” said Monson “The problem is, the training normally rent your range to gun training companies, make sure company has never booked our range for the class. We’re not of- you have it in writing that they cannot use your store or range fering the deal, the training company is, but because my range’s address without your permission. Part of the rental agreement address is on the deal, customers are complaining to me.” should be that the only contact information listed on any adverMonson said both the marketing site and the training tising is the training company’s information. company owners provided poor customer service, which has The speed at which Internet deals are accomplished make them The Flip Side: A Marketing Warning A “ ” 22 FEBRUARY 2012 Subscribe to SI DIGITAL

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