Marketing Stripped Down - Part 1
Updated: Dec 11, 2020
The project I swore would never show up on my resume.
Preservation of investor capital became a full-time job for many people within the company, which leads me to the willingness of how far we would go to preserve. At this point, my position in the marketing department was challenged with a project I swore would never show up on my resume and yet here I am writing about it. I would be remiss if I left this story out. It will give a good prospective to our investors of today to just how far we will go to protect your capital investment under my leadership. Being that we are in Las Vegas, it will not come as a surprise that I was called into a meeting and informed that one of the assets we were in the process of taking back through foreclosure was a gentlemen’s club. No surprise there, but what came next, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall to see my expression. They wanted to continue to run the strip club and they wanted the marketing department to market the club. What came out of my mouth was not PG. I did not sign up to market a strip club, not to mention I had no idea how to market a strip club. This is one of those moments when you take a few deep breathes and realize this is not the end of the world. Maybe this was just a challenge to see how I would react. I then thought maybe this was a sick joke. Nope not a joke. I answered, ok I will do it. Then I got to see the shock on their faces that I was a willing participant. That was the easy part. I then had to figure out how I was going to break this news to my two employees.
“This will give a good prospective to our investors just how far we will go to protect your capital investment under my leadership.”
Breaking this news to them or, better yet, telling them about our next project was not going to be easy. The employees of the marketing department consisted of a well-educated wholesome woman and a strait-laced Mormon woman. Yep, it could not get any worse. Here I am delivering a thousand-pound gorilla. It went better than I thought. They did not quit, although I am certain at least one of them wanted to.
The next challenge was figuring out how to market a strip club. None of us had any experience in this industry. People get fired for searching this information on the internet and here we are three women online trying to understand the secret sauce (no pun intended) of how others are marketing the strip clubs in Las Vegas. We all felt like internet predators, but we had a job to do. We had to keep the strip clubs’ patron levels up (again no pun intended). The weekends were not the problem, during the weekdays was the challenge.
After a few days of research, we felt like we needed to visit the strip club to see what other opportunities for marketing we had in and around the club to put together a comprehensive marketing plan. To know Carrie is to know that I do not do anything half ass. I went back to the senior management members to request access to the strip club to complete our marketing plan. What I got was a blank stare. It was at that moment that I realized I did not have the only Mormon in the company working for me. It was in that moment, I realized they did not just come to me to market the club, I was going to be the company’s intel for the strip club. Keep reading because the story can only get better from here.
So off goes the well-educated, wholesome woman and I on a lunch outing to the strip club.
At this point, we knew where we would be advertising in print. We had taken over the strip club website. Not even sure I want to discuss what it took to keep up the Twitter account where you would have to create a persona of an entertainer at the strip club to entice clientele to stop in. I will let you use your imagination. As we drove to the strip club it became apparent that billboards were a marketing approach used by the industry, so we added that to the list. As we parked the car all I could think was, what are we doing? We are marketing a strip club, that is what we are doing. As we approached the entrance, we were met by the man who was managing the club for our company. He took us on a tour. This was no amusement park tour, but for some reason it felt like one. After all, how many of you that are reading this have been on a tour of a strip club. Maybe the better question is how many of you would want to? It was interesting to see the innerworkings of a primarily cash only entertainment business. From the entrance fee to the alcohol to the lap dance, you cannot arrive with an empty wallet and if you do, no worries they have ATMs in the facility that will cost you a huge processing fee. No worries men, the processing fee for the cash withdraw is disguised, just in case someone else happens to question you later. We of course saw the ATM machines as another means to advertise to the patrons as the screens were interactive and enticing.
The interior of the club was dark. I imagine they kept it this way as to not point out the imperfections as the club clearly needed a facelift. I guess the alcohol and entertainers were distracting enough that no one noticed. Then we started talking about “the girls” as they referred to them. It was as if they were running a nail salon. When I say nail salon what I mean by this is that a girl would pay to work or rent her space and then pay a percentage of what they made throughout the night to the house. The difference is that a girl could drop in as they wanted. If she wanted to work on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday it was at the discretion of the club to allow a certain number of girls based on the level of patrons. Why was this important for us to know? Because we were planning on having a Miss Seamless Contest to increase the weekday revenue as it was nonexistent. Now that we have seen the club and understand how we can entice the girls to show up, we had some planning to do to get the publicity needed to get the word out that we were having a contest that included prizes and celebrity judges. Where there are desirable women, you are bound to draw male patrons. Little did we know we were marketing to men and women, but we did not find that out until later into this adventure. Like I said to begin with, this was all new to us.