Friday, 13 January 2017

target marketing

You invite all the people you have ever emailed in your whole life to your book launch. Six of them actually show up to drink your booze and eat your canapes.  Two of them buy a book.  And that's a win. Until recently, this was my  experience of marketing. 

So what is going on? Last week I wrote a blog in which I said I didn't really want my aunt's car. Not a sale pitch, just a passing comment. And I have received no less than six offers to buy it.  (No more than six either. It was in fact six.)

Internet works on micro-rents.  600,000 people look at something, you make six cents. Is my blog regularly read by 600,000 people?  Don't think so.  6000? More likely but still seems high. 600?  60? 16?  Now we're getting close (16 of the coolest, most insightful, fun loving folks around, mind you!  And Stephanie too.)  In which case, almost half the people who read my blog made an unsolicited offer on my late aunt's car. Now that is target marketing.  

I wonder why I had so much more success with my aunt's car than my own books?

Oh.  That's why. 

Thing is, I am feeling different about the car after another week of ownership.  Sorry, y'all.  I'm getting used to the thing.  Couple days ago I visited a pal in Oakville at the last minute.  Only one teeny crisis when I tried to find 6th gear and found 2nd by mistake.  (I didn't know the tachometer went that high!)  I'm off to the gym in a bit, and the only way I figure I won't die of exposure is if I take the car.  (Of course I'm way more likely to die in an accident, but that's another story.) So the car is still there, but I am using it more and more.

Back to target marketing.  Let's test this.  Hey there, you wonderful sixteen (or 60 or 600,000). You guys are the best!  I mean it!  Give yourselves a hand!  You too, Stephanie.  Now, have you considered what might become of your loved ones if (God forbid!) something were to happen to you?  It's a cold winter, and there are crazies on the road (I know!) and, well, anything can happen.  Wouldn't you want to be prepared? I have some forms you might want to look at.  Just a suggestion....

Saturday, 7 January 2017

my part-Scottish heritage

One of my operating principles - a mission statement that underlies many aspects of my behaviour and being - is thrift.  I want to get the most value out of things.  It's not about saving money per se. I'll happily pay more for better-tasting wine or coffee.  But I feel strongly about things being used efficiently.

So to my late aunt's car. (Not going to talk about my aunt this time. Later, maybe.)  That's it up there - same model anyway.  The machine is part of the estate.  What to do about it?

I live downtown and so do my kids. None of us wants the trouble and expense of a car.  My brother, out in Scarborough, has more cars than he can use and his kids don't drive.

Can we sell it?  Here's where the thrift issue comes in.  The car is a mid-price sedan with very low mileage. But it's ten years old and has some minor scrapes and dings. (Another reason my brother doesn't want it.  Aunt Mary Lee didn't park as well as she used to towards the end.)  A dealer would offer a few hundred dollars. I know it's worth ten times more.  Someone who doesn't care about the way the car looks could enjoy it for another 300,00 kms.

I didn't have to think too long or hard to realize that the most thrifty answer was (sigh) for me to take the car.  I don't mind dings and dents. Insurance will cost me about the same as car rentals.  And I can make use of my (until now vacant) parking space.

The kicker is that I am not as good a driver as my late aunt was or my brother is.  The car has a stick shift and a peppy engine. 
I foresee hilarity (I've already stalled in the middle of several major intersections, eliciting car horn serenades) and possible trouble. But until I end up in a ditch or blazing inferno, I will be making efficient use of the asset. Triumph of the thrift principle.