How to find customers – using public relations to reach your target markets where they live

How to find customersIt was early Spring, 2010 and Chief Operations Officer (COO) Manish Naik of Furnace MFG (pronounced “manufacturing”) was wondering how to find customers for his company’s vinyl pressing division.

If you’re like me, the first thing that crossed your mind was, “Vinyl? Who still makes vinyl records these days?” Well, as it turns out, vinyl has had quite the resurgence recently, especially among audiophiles and nostalgia junkies.

An issue arose when Furnace MFG considered strategies to reach some of their target markets.

With their state-of-the-art facilities, Furnace MFG was on the forefront of this trend, however an issue arose when they considered strategies to reach some of their target markets.

“We have two target audiences,” says Naik. “One is the big labels such as SONY, EMI and Warner Brothers/Reprise and the other is a combination of the smaller labels and thousands of independent artists.”

Reaching the larger labels was a straightforward sales job and Furnace MFG had succeeded admirably with that market. Reaching the other market, fragmented as it was by type of music, size of label, size and location of fan base as well as many more diverse segments, was just the opposite: a marketer’s nightmare.

The Challenge

The challenge facing Naik and Furnace MFG was how to find customers in a cost-effective manner when they did not hang out in the same places, read the same news or even know that vinyl pressing was easily available these days?

The answer was to combine the power of public relations with the reach of the World Wide Web.

Starting in Spring 2010 and continuing through the Summer, Naik distributed 10 press releases via PRWeb(affiliate link). Each of the releases focused on a vinyl printing run they had done for a large label for big-name groups from Green Day to Neil Young.

“The goal was to be everywhere,” says Naik. “Since we could not reach our audience directly, we made sure that when they read about vinyl in the news, our name was included. We wanted to be ubiquitous where our target audiences were.”

“The goal was to be everywhere…we wanted to be ubiquitous where our target audiences were.”

Because of the high-profile nature of the releases, each one got a lot of pick-up. Furnace MFG was mentioned in blogs, on Facebook Walls and at the top of news outlets across the Web. In addition, Naik assembled a targeted list of relevant blogs, each of which he notified via e-mail when a release went live online.

“Over time, the strategy worked well,” says Naik. “When a smaller label or individual artist was ready to press vinyl, they would think, ‘Who was that company again? Oh yeah, Furnace MFG.’ and that’s when our phones began to ring.”

Measuring Success

When asked about measuring success and return on investment (ROI), Naik had the following to say, “We don’t measure our PR efforts specifically; it’s almost impossible to do so.”

“Our efforts were very low cost…and accomplished our goals of building our brand and gaining legitimacy.”

“The key is that our efforts were very low cost (thanks to PRWeb (affiliate link)) and accomplished our goals of building our brand and gaining legitimacy in the vinyl pressing industry.”

Building on their success in gaining name recognition among the hard-to-reach smaller label and independent artist market, Furnace MFG will be sponsoring “Record Store Day“, a celebration of independently owned record stores and the perfect place for target market exposure.

The Tools

The Tools:

Naik “loves PRWeb’s(affiliate link) interface and how fully-functional it is at such a great price.” He also appreciated the “tracking interface where he could view reads, views, RSS feed pick-ups and more.”

Facebook also played a big role in Furnace MFGs success (see their Facebook page). “We put a lot of time into our Facebook presence,” says Naik. “Because of the high-profile nature of the labels and artists mentioned in our press releases, we found that our page came up a lot in Facebook searches. Therefore, we wanted searchers to find something they could act on when they arrived.”


  1. PRweb I here helps with SEO and link building. There are also alot of free press release sites that can also help. Great post!


  1. says:

    How to find customers – using pubic relations to cast a net…

    A conversation with Chief Operations Officer (COO) Manish Naik of Furnace MFG who talks about his company’s successful use of pubilc relations to find customers online….

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