2017 Reflections

Time for a few wee thoughts on the past year? Why not, indeed.

Pour yourself a wee drink – if you’ve got any left over from the holidays – and relax for a minute or two.

Happy New Year to you all. Was Santa good to you? Or were you on his naughty list? Maybe he was good to you because you were ON the naughty list?  But that’s between you and Santa.

Anyway, while just a few days into the New Year, I thought it best to ruminate on 2017’s ups and downs, triumphs and tragedies (alright, that’s melodramatic, thankfully there wasn’t any of the latter) before galloping headlong into 2018.

Rather obviously, first and foremost saw Lascivious Marketing come to life. The plan, nay, crusade, was born: making marketing sexy for sexy companies. Improving the marketing effectiveness of #sexySMEs, erotic entrepreneurs and Risqué-Takers and the like. Not only helping individual erotic retailers in the business of love and lust with their marketing – adding some oomph to their marketing libido, so to speak – but embarking on an even bigger crusade, to help the industry as a whole up their marketing game. A noble cause, n’est-ce pas?

Thankfully, a fair number of you see what myself and Deborah are trying to achieve and feel the same. Bless you all!

Interviews – Hello Risqué-Takers!
Assuming you’ll have visited the website you’ll have seen a raft of interview posts featuring some of the brightest young and not so young things making a name for themselves in the erotic manufacturing and retailing sectors – and perhaps one or two other related sectors. It’s been a win –win relationship: the retailers can highlight the interview on Twitter and post on Facebook, or Instagram. It’s good free content that can enhance and increase a brand’s profile, and offer followers a nice behind the scenes appreciation of the brand and the driving force behind it.

Needless to say there’s more of the same to come in 2018 and beyond. You’ll be seeing plenty more ambitious erotic entrepreneurs with distinctive and engaging brands answering the key questions that you want to know when it comes to running a #sexySME.

I’ve already waxed lyrical about the interviews and what I look for when I’m approaching companies and individuals. The best interviews have been the ones who have offered unique, personal insights and have treated the interview as an opportunity to really tell a story and let the reader into the inner sanctum – despite the confines of a dozen or so questions. Having great imagery also helps!

And which were the most visited interview posts to date? Here’s the top 5, in reverse order:

5. Peter Cooke, Fetters
4. Monika Tomcalova, Persephonie Ncredible
3. Sophie Thorne, Twisted Lingerie
2. Nataliya Vakhovskaya, LoveBox

And the most viewed interview, based on ye olde Google Analytics is…

  1. Liva Steina, Flash You and Me

Liva Steina, Flash You and Me [credit: Flash You and Me]
And the winner is…..
[credit: Flash You and Me]
Liva’s interview didn’t only tick a lot of boxes with Yours Truly based on the criteria laid out elsewhere, but it seems Mrs Steina wasn’t shy about publicising the interview as well. Let’s just say there’s a lot of local Latvian love – or mere curiosity at the very least – especially in Riga and Ventspils.

Well done Liva, and I hope 2018 is a corker of a year for you, as well as all the other interviewees.

Clients – Yay!
I’ll be honest – I was reckoning on it being a lot longer to get the first client – even up to a year or more. Starting from scratch, I had to raise awareness of LM and what was being offered, and establish some credibility. Thankfully those lovely people at European erotic retail trade magazine EAN more than ably assisted when they thought it a jolly good idea having me wax lyrical on all things marketing each month. Whether opining about sex robots, digital dildos, rock god raunch, or even mere marketing mission statements it definitely helped. And there’s much more to come. Ahem, again.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the time between launching and bagging my first client was SIGNIFICANTLY shorter than what I’d originally envisioned. “Yay!” indeed. And so with 2018 I’m hoping there will be more clients, more fun working together, and more positive results from the activities undertaken. Naturally, if you’re looking to add some oomph to your marketing effectiveness, I’m more than happy to take your call or email and see what can happen.

Risqué-Takers’ Rendezvous
Just before Christmas a few intrepid erotic entrepreneurs decided they wanted a break from Christmas shopping and would rather have a blether with myself and each other. And a jolly good time was had putting the world to rights, talking shop and just generally enjoying a good old chinwag. Nothing more, nothing less

There’s another one of these planned for Saturday January 20th. Same rules apply: no spitting, gouging, fighting, politics, or any of that malarkey. If you’re on my radar and you’re in and around the London area, emails may well be exchanged.

Research Panel – pass me the tissues!
Unquestionably the biggest disappointment of the year. Initial optimism and lofty intentions were dealt a big blow when despite some great assistance and exposure from my cohorts at EAN, industry executives did not leap at the opportunity to join the first erotic retailing industry research panel and have their say on key industry issues and participate in an initial industry-wide survey. It is however hoped that sometime in 2018 the panel will have grown in number to the point where a survey can be launched with sufficient responses in which to conduct proper drill-down analysis and subsequently report on the findings and implications, shortly after.

A dedicated landing page will appear on the LM website with full details, Q&As about the panel and what it entails, and an embedded sign-up form. And of course, if you have any further questions, don’t be a stranger – talk to me!

It’s high time the erotic retailing industry enjoyed the same levels of transparency, visibility, and accountability that is present in nearly all other industries around the world. What’s so ‘special’ about this industry that has it playing second-fiddle? Good industry-wide research can really help increase awareness and understanding among outsiders: who knows, it might even help dispel some misperceptions.

So, having said all that, it’s time to get moving. More interviews to upload, more to arrange, more EAN articles to write, and the not small matter of a book to write. Much of the latter, by the way, will also appear as blog posts in some form or another.

And while the holidays and hopefully the hangovers are now over, it would be remiss of me to not remind you to ask yourself why you’re in this business. I’m serious. My most recent EAN article covers this. Be true with yourself, be true to the mission in hand and work hard.

The clock has started, the time is ticking, and you’ve got a #sexySME to run. Go do it, and I wish you the very best of success in the business of love and lust and everything inbetween!

Brian