Master Class- Alan Binder's Leap of Faith
XM Satellite Radio has been extremely helpful with our own marketing as well. We conducted a direct mail campaign in conjunction with XM, after they selected us to be the independent lead in San Diego for the product. The direct mail piece was sent to our customer base starting in August. XM also did a number of press releases for our stores. We are also part of a full page ad here in the main regional newspaper, the San Diego Union.
The response so far has been decent, though it is clear that more education is needed. Believe it or not, a lot of people still walk into the store and have never even heard of satellite radio. We get an equal number of people who come in asking for XM and wanting to find out about the system. Some of them have preconceived notions. I remember one customer saying, "L.A. and San Diego radio stations will sound great in digital format without static or loss of signal wherever we travel." Of course that's simply not the case. Only a couple are actual FM stations. The rest either emanate from XM's studios in Washington, DC or are live feeds from TV channels or other news sources.
Education can be best accomplished in the demo. When the customer hears a demo, they are impressed by the quality of the sound as well as the wide variety of choices available. When they see the name of the artist and the title of the song appearing on the face of the stereo, that's a big bonus. They love that kind of thing. One of the things we tell people is, "Here's a library of 2.2 million CDs," pitching it as a way for people to have something analogous to a CD changer in your car without having to change the CDs and get a wider variety than you could ever afford.