Shotgun Consulting

A few months ago I got together with David Segal of Davids tea, a chain of tea shops around Canada. They’re opening up stores all over the place these days– tea is the new coffee, I’m told.

We talked about what they were doing on the web, got along well. I came and did a consultation with them about how to improve web sales and augment word-of-mouth. I didn’t see David again, though we continue to drink the tea he gave me to try out (it’s actually very good).

Fast forward to the other day, where I saw David is opening a location on Mont-Royal street– right next to Starbucks– nice job, giving Sbux clients an alternative. 🙂

So here’s the thing.

Let’s say you’re a decently-funded company (one that can open a nice retail store or chain, say). I think it’s almost worth it to engage with, and maybe hire, any social media person that is in the environment they’re in. Not to bring them out to lunch and “pick their brain,” but to say, “I will pay you for this advice.” That way it’s clean.

So if you’re in Montreal, hire everyone locally that does that kind of work, even if it’s just one hour. Montreal is actually great, because it’s such a cheap city, but it could be done anywhere.

That cost will give you good advice, but more importantly, a relationship with every one of them, all sneezers to a certain degree. They may blog it, they may not. They may love your tea, or hate it. But they’ve tried it, and you’ve created an intimacy with them by being in business with them.

It’s a shotgun approach, but I think it would still be effective. What do you think? It’s got to be more effective than “blogger outreach.”





6 responses to “Shotgun Consulting”

  1. Gab Goldenberg Avatar

    Just so long as you’re an SEO-naive innocent. Otherwise it’s called “evil” (aka buying links) ;).

  2. Kneale Mann Avatar


    In a word – YES! Okay two words – YES YES!

    Can we PLEASE stop assuming that simply because someone types words on a website they are less talented to help a company with strategy and marketing? The digital and social media circles are filled with great people. If you’ve “tried” Twitter and “dabbled” with Facebook, you are missing a lot of necessary data.

    I love this story; love that David is opening in the crosshairs of Spux and the final piece SHOULD be to HIRE you BACK.

    In my countless years in radio, I would cringe at clients who uttered the phrase of death – “I just want to try radio”. They would then buy a small campaign, it would rarely work and the medium was blamed.

    Don’t fault social media or digital marketing for your troubles if you just want to try it out and see if it works for a week or two. Your business is open for the long-term; so should your effort.


  3. Gab Goldenberg Avatar

    @Kneale: There are channels where it’s possible to break even and turn a profit faster than others, too. Obviously, the better the message and the longer it’s on the air, the better the results … But if a campaign on radio starts at, say $1000, while a Facebook campaign starts at, say $50… guess where it’s easier to make a profit?

  4. Kneale Mann Avatar

    Gab, I gave 23 yrs of my life to radio and I have never ever said it’s a dead medium. My point is giving up too quickly on whatever you choose to pursue.

    The apples are the commitment and the oranges are the medium.

    I could buy every billboard in Los Angeles and plaster “Vegtables Are Bad” and it won’t do a thing.

    The message is the medium and the commitment must be there or the shot you take will continue to be in the dark.

  5. Gab Goldenberg Avatar

    We’re in agreement there, Kneale :).

  6. CT Moore Avatar

    It sounds like a spray n’ pray approach to offline social networking. I like it. After all, they’re a lot more likely to like you once you’ve paid them. Money talks, bullshit (i.e. blog-comments, retweets, etc.) walks.

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