Common Marketing Mistake: Leveraging Assets

One common marketing mistake small businesses seem to make is not leveraging operations activities for marketing purposes. As I highlighted in my “Dog the Bounty Hunter” story, the average, ordinary things that you do can be used as marketing.

I recently took a trip to Costa Rica, a fabulous country, and had opportunity to zipline with the Titi Canopy Tour group in La Foresta (outside of Manual Antonio National Park). The ziplining was fantastic. It wasn’t the scenery as much as the ride that really makes ziplining cool. And the crew at Titi Canopy Tours make everyone comfortable and safe each and every time. They are a class act.

But, they’re not making as much money as they could be. . .

No overseas zipline experience is complete without photos and the guys at Titi do a great job. They take an opening shot with their sign (shown here) and then 10 – 15 photos of each person as they zip their way through the jungle. Then, as every amusement park does, the photos are available for viewing and purchase at the end.

They display the photos on an overhead TV for everyone, bundle them with some great local animal shots and give everyone an opportunity to buy before being “shuttled” out. The photos are looked at as an event specific revenue source – but are basically discarded after that.

Untapped Photo Marketing Opportunity

So here’s the common marketing mistake that most businesses make. 90% of the work is done and yet the activity isn’t turned into a marketing tool. They do have the forethought to photograph folks with the sign at the very beginning.  And the sign has their name clearly shown – that’s the good part.

The bad part is the finality with which the photos are treated.  Consider the power of “tagging” people on Facebook. What if everyone who agreed to be tagged on Facebook could have that photo for free? Once it’s on there they can right-click and save it anyway. Tagging all the people in the photos would increase their visibility by thousands every day. Every day.

I posted a photo from the event and got 17 comments. I purposely included a link to their Facebook page – but are you really going to “hope” someone else does that? With an average of 35 zipliners per session @ 4 sessions per day – that’s 140 people. Perhaps 90 of those have Facebook accounts. If everyone got 17 comments to the photo, that would be 1,530 people per day talking about Titi Canopy Tours and their awesome ziplining experience.

(Am I pushing it too hard if I mention that’s 558,450 comments per year?)

Untapped Product Revenue Opportunity

Not only that but not everyone buys a photo from the event at the end. Some people are still on vacation “rationing” what money they spend. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t want to buy the photo 12 days later, 2 months later or even a year later. How many would consider buying it for the friend they traveled with at Christmas time?

Using a service like Brightroom, or any of the marathon photo management companies, those photos could be online for sale forever. They could derive passive income sales for a long time. And many could come from family and friends who weren’t even in Costa Rica. Had I not purchased the photos, but had a link to them I definitely would have forwarded it to the kids’ grandparents as a birthday present idea.

And some of those services offer framing and other gifts. The revenue could really go up just by organizing and loading up those photos “that were already taken”.  PLUS! Since that activity would require getting e-mail addresses from the zipliners – imagine what “logo items” you could sell with a CafePress store front – not to mention inviting them back on their next trip to Costa Rica.

Don’t make a common marketing mistake like this. You can easily turn your everyday activities into more exposure, more revenue and happier customers.