Reaching the right people
Here's a great idea.
What if your new rock group appeals to fans of the B52s? Or if your new book is just perfect for people who like Brad Meltzer? If you have a CD or a book or an idea that will appeal to a certain psychographic, it might not be so easy to reach just those people.
Dave came up with a super idea: go buy a bunch of B52s CDs. Then list them (brand new!) for sale on Amazon and eBay. Price them ridiculously low, like a dollar. The only people who are going to buy a copy are focused fans. Then, when you ship out the CD, include your new CD in the box as well. You've reached exactly the right people (purchasers! who spent money! who are fans!) at exactly the right moment. Why not include two or three in the box? Fans know fans, and they like spreading the good stuff around.
What a shame that Amazon hasn't figured out how to provide this as a useful service. Amazon knows who buys a lot, they know who reviews a lot... why not ask those people if they want a free prize now and then? An influential person would earn the right to a huge number of free samples. Radio DJs used to get them... but now, of course, it's us that are the DJs...
(It doesn't work so well for used cars, of course.)
This works for other fields as well. If you have a massage service that is the perfect complement to customers of a personal training service down the street, why not give that trainer a dozen intro gift certificates she can use to thank her best customers?
MJ points out that the few mainstream publishers that promote their books spend $10,000 or more on ads that don't work. Putting a book into the hands of 1,000 perfect fans may be a far smarter investment.
Thinking small, again. It tends to work. Along those lines, Rich has a neat promo going on.