The folks at Orvis have always taken a unique approach to their business. Their products are sold through a combination of Orvis Retail Stores, Orvis Authorized Dealers, print catalogs and online via the Orvis website.
Their online presence has also been supported by a variety of targeted banner ads across the web, among other things.
Recently, however, they’ve added a new piece to the mix: The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast. This podcast “provides weekly, five minute tips from acclaimed fly fishing author and lifelong fishing enthusiast Tom Rosenbauer.” Through this podcast, Tom (and Orvis) provides advice, tips, and techniques that have been accumulated over the years.
As a fly fishing enthusiast, I find the show to be a great resource for advice, suggestions, and perhaps a chance to pick up something that I might not have otherwise noticed.
From a business, marketing, and sales standpoint, this is an excellent example of a company that is utilizing a podcast as another way to built loyalty among current customers (such as myself) and attract new customers by providing those customers with something of value. It is important to take note, however, of how Orvis is using this medium. Rather than using this channel to talk about themselves and their products, they’ve elected to offer up real-world applications that the audience can relate to. Do they mention Orvis products? Of course. But it’s done in a way that feels like a natural part of any conversation, rather than being forced into the discussion.
Orvis has also been active in promoting this podcast, through a combination of sponsorships and traditional online advertising. On the sponsorship front, they’ve recently been heard as a sponsor of Fly Fish Radio, which is one of the first fly fishing podcasts ever produced. The Orvis Fly Fishing Podcast has also been spotted in the search engine marketing realm, appearing in the AdWords sections of relevant Google searches.
All in all, Orvis is doing a lot of things right. Much can, has, and will be learned about their ongoing efforts.