Upcoming ARCHA Alberta Championships

Photo by: Natalie Jackman. photog.have-dog.com

Today’s blog entry is short and sweet. There is an upcoming show at the end of this month in Claresholm, Alberta, hosted by the Alberta Reined Cow Horse Association called the ARCHA Futurity, Derby & Championship Show. I am truly excited about it – and not just because it means the three-year-old cow horses will be coming out for the first time – but also because the ARCHA is a very forward-thinking association when it comes to the promotion of cow horses in Canada.

Plus, did I mention there’s a $10,000 purse up for grabs?

Enjoy the video and hope to see you there!

Marketing Mondays: Pinterest Updates

If your business is employing Pinterest as a marketing tool, you may already be savvy to the newest updates.

If not, here are several links which will bring you up to speed.

I like the new look they’ve introduced. A couple of the highlights include:

• Pins from the same board: You can explore the entire board without leaving the page you’re on.

• Pins from the same source: Here you’ll find other things pinned from the same website. This is a great option for quick searches.

• “People who pinned this also pinned” feature.

• Easier share options.

• The Rearrange Boards button has been moved, but you can now easily do this by drag and drop.

There’s also a few aesthetic changes such as bigger pins (was 600 pixels wide, now 735 wide), removal of the Comments button, and useful changes such as a back button. My saunters through Pinterest have, until now, been a bit of a free fall journey, landing me wherever in the Pinterest universe the click may take me. Now, when you scroll and click through pins, the back button lands you right back where you were no matter how far you’ve gone.

Read more about the new look and features here.

Deploying it to your Pinterest page is simple. You’ll need to have a business account or list a website on your profile. Then, hover over the profile menu and click Switch to the New Look.

Importantly for businesses, Pinterest also introduced Web Analytics. Now you can see what pinners are repinning most from your site and also track their activity. Learn more about it at this link, and find installation instructions and tips to optimize your Pinterest business page here.

Finally, a few more useful insights and tips at this post. 

Marketing Mondays: Horses and Taxes

Marketing Mondays: What's Left

Views From the Auction Block

Making A Ruckus in Your Industry

This is entirely borrowed from Seth Godin, a daily blog I’ve been following for a while now. I thought this older post was particularly adaptable to the horse industry.

P.S. – the photo is entirely mine, taken with my ultimate iphone camera app, the Hipstamatic and shot on a stormy evening at last year’s Calgary Stampede. The subject is the gorgeous new bronze on the grounds.

On Making a Ruckus in Your Industry

Bring forward a new idea or technology that disrupts and demands a response.

Change pricing dramatically.

Redefine a service as a product (or vice versa).

Organize the disorganized,

connect the disconnected.

Alter the speed to market radically.

Change

the infrastructure, the rules or the flow of information.

Give away what used to be expensive and charge for something else.

Cater to the weird, bypassing the masses.

Take the lead on ethics.

(Or, you could just wait for someone to tell you what they want you to do)

Marketing Mondays: 2013 Reorganization

Marketing Mondays – Pinterest 101

I’ve maintained a personal Pinterest page for about six months now, which I use to collect ideas – for renovation projects, farm shots, event ideas, favorite photographers, books, films, art, travel, barns, kitchens, gardens, decks, it’s an endless list. It’s like a great big picture book of favorite things, and a source book of ideas when I need it for a specific project, such as the barn we’re planning to build in the spring, for instance.

We launched Western Horse Review’s Pinterest a few weeks ago and it’s slowing gaining momentum.

We’ve developed the idea of three goals for our WHR Pinterest page. Primarily, we wish to invite viewers back to our site, and convert passer-bys into fans and regular viewers. Secondly, we use it to profile the work of our partners, such as advertisers, photographers, artists, contributors and so forth. Thirdly in our Pinterest mandate is simply an imagery of the western way of life – from horsemanship to culture to style – both in our modern times and history. With both a Canadian viewpoint and a global outlook. You’ll find all from Brazilian cowboy artwork to pins with links to local western heroes.

If you’re a real neophyte, and are wondering what this Pinterest is all about, it really is just another social media sharing site. It allows you to visually share, curate, and discover new interests by “pinning” Users can either upload images from their computer or pin things they find on the web using the pinterest bookmarklet, pin it button, or just a url.

I haven’t gotten to all of the business and marketing possibilities with Pinterest. But, I will in future Marketing Mondays posts. In the meantime, good luck with your own Pinterest ventures. Here’s an infograph you might enjoy, a bit dated, but still does a great quick job of explaining Pinterest, how it works, and from a marketing perspective, why it matters.

 

Marketing Mondays: Groupon & Such

It’s no secret the daily deal craze is in full swing across North America. Groupon, Offeron, Wagjag, Dealathons – these are just a few of the purveyors of the daily deal: a special one-time offer usually suggesting an offer of 50% off retail rates. Prospective buyers are able to see these deals by signing on to the e-list of the purveyor. They all work a little differently; some require a certain amount of buyers for the deal to be “on,” others contribute some of the dollars to charity, almost all are a time-limited offer. Commonly, the offers are for restaurants, hair stylists, auto detailers, dry cleaners and such.

Occasionally I’ve noticed someone in the western world test the waters of the daily deal, such as the California trainer above who offered nearly 60% off on western riding lessons and sold out of them. His “deal” ran in the Los Angeles Times LA Deals. 

It’s unlikely we’ll see the top trainers of the nation moving towards daily deal offers, their barns are likely full with waiting lists, but for those trainers just starting out, or perhaps, wanting to reach out to more of an urban demographic to encourage new involvement this could be a an interesting marketing venue to test.

Incidentally, Western Horse Review has a Groupon subscription effort running June 6-12. Our marketing circulation director thought it would be interesting to test it; so we are. Our test region will be Alberta – primarily the Edmonton and Calgary region. If that shows significant return, we’ll look at a national effort. Since we’ll be promoting our July/August issue with a special cover, it’s a good opportunity to invite new readers to see what Western Horse Review is all about.

The incentive for us is the low cost of entering the agreement. The client (WHR) needs to only agree to offer a product at 50% off. The downside is the payback. Each subscription is offered at $12.00, or 50% off the regular rate of a subscription. Groupon takes half of that, and the other half comes back to WHR. Which means we realize $6.00 out of every subscription sold. Certainly not a profit in this scenario, but we do it for two reasons: 1) to introduce new subscribers to the product and; 2) for the renewals on year two, assuming these new subscribers will be back for year two.

And, of course they will be!

I’ll let you know how it went in a future post.