Geoffrey the Giraffe’s Extinction Notice: Spring 2018

It feels like they refused to grow up, getting by on nothing more than nostalgia.  Eventually memories weren’t paying the bills, and the store is now coming to a close.

I was instantly transported back to 1988, as I walked through the sliding doors with my daughter’s hand in mine.

I don’t want to grow up, I’m a TOYS “R” US kid

Very little had changed in this mega toy store.  I’m certain over fifty percent of the toys that overloaded the shelves were the same toys I enjoyed during my childhood.

Fisher Price xylophones, Cabbage Patch Dolls, Lite Brites, Easy-Bake ovens, Power Wheels, the game Hungry Hungry Hippo, and Guess Who?  All there for the taking.

geoffrey the giraffe 2018 toys r us through the years
Image adapted from original, original source unknown

It was a fantastic trip down memory lane for my husband and I, both products of the eighties.  But not so fantastic for a dying retailer that never evolved.

They got a million toys at TOY “R” US that I can play with.

They may have gotten the million toy part correct.  The store felt chaotic and overloaded with all the toys haphazardly jammed inside.

They got the best for so much less, it’ll really flip your lid.

Except no one has actually associated them with having low prices in quite some time.  And in an Amazon world, it’s probably not the best idea to try to compete using copious amounts of in-store inventory.  The liability is too large.

They already had a lot of square footage in their stores.  They could have converted a portion of that to encourage experiences…

  • an entire magical Island of Sodor set-up for kids to indulge their Thomas the Train day dreams
  • a stage to encourage play with dress-up clothes, musical instruments, and story time
  • miniature houses with back yards to ignite the imagination using outdoor basket ball hoops, scooters, baby dolls, and play kitchens
  • a humongous Lego table featuring the best child-made creation of the day
  • or even a race track around the store for those Power Wheels that the kids still love today

Honestly, I’m excited just thinking about the possibilities!

Some will contend that kids are busy playing with iPads and computers and aren’t interested in the same kinds of toys.  But every family I know, still has a house full of bikes, train, and video games.  The toy market isn’t dead.

From bikes to train to video games, it’s the biggest toy store there is!

JK Coy
Get the latest books from J.K. Coy, Click Here

It’s just that the retail strategy has evolved and grown up since the eighties.  TOYS “R” US should have revised their in-store experience long ago.  It feels like they refused to grow up, getting by on nothing more than nostalgia.  Eventually memories weren’t paying the bills, and the store is now coming to a close.

I don’t wanna grow up, because maybe if I did, I couldn’t be a TOYS “R” US kid!

Sadly, as of Spring 2018, no one gets to be a TOY “R” US kid.

Game over.

 

 

Lady Logic: Wasted Money or Amazing Deal?

So there I was, saving money for my family, and then the Lady Logic creeps in.

You know the rationale you use to validate your crazy?

Well, that’s your Lady Logic.

Let me use myself as an example.

Today I left the house to run errands.

I had showered, and left the house by noon with a newborn.  Just for that,  I was pretty proud of myself.

Gold star!

Eventually I stopped by Old Navy to make returns. We had some extra outfits that we didn’t end up using for family photos this past weekend.  So there I was getting $29.00 in returns done, saving money for my family.

Gold star!

And then the Lady Logic creeps in.

On the way home I stop by a children’s resale boutique, just for a peek.

The kids don’t really need anything…but then again, maybe they do?

And apparently they did.

Browse all the cute kids Toms Here.  One of each please!

There were the mint condition kids Toms,  because I’ll regret passing up a deal like that…

A long sleeve baby sleeper, because it’s been colder than normal here in SoCal…

The black and white Nicole Miller outfit, because everything looks cute on a toddler…

And the toddler Roxy lounge wear, because…

Just because.

My Mom is the Worst Book Cover
My Mom is the Worst available on Amazon Here

The final damage came to $32.00.  And you know what? I left feeling pretty happy.  I made those $29.00 in returns earlier, so it’s like I only spent $3.00 and got all these adorable “essentials.”

Gold star!

And that my friend, is Lady Logic.

***

Wasted money, or an awesome deal?  You decide.

 

How to Become a Millionaire, Even If You Are Still Trying to Master Facebook Ads

Who knew coming to a children’s book website was going to make you a millionaire and save you thousands?!

Numbers never came easy for me.  My math grades consistently weighed me down throughout the years.  But as I grew up, I’ve become fascinated by what math can do.  I

think I first got into it when I learned about compound interest while reading Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover, around the same time I was starting my first “real job” as a mortgage loan officer.

As soon as I found out there were simple formulas for things like becoming a millionaire (hint: the earlier you start saving in a 401k the less you have to put in later to become a millionaire – more on that here)

Start investing early
Assuming a 12% interest rate, photo cred. @DaveRamsey.com

and paying off your mortgage seven years early (don’t pay a company for this advice – the trick is taking one of your monthly Principal and Interest Payments, dividing it by 12, and adding that to your monthly payment so you have essentially made one extra payment per year).  You will save THOUSANDS in interest.

Who knew coming to a children’s book website was going to make you a millionaire and save you thousands?!  You can now spare a few bucks to check out my children’s books, and maybe even send a set to a friend.  ***Hey I’m about to have another baby and you don’t get maternity pay when you are self employed, so I can’t be above shameless self promotion.***

Anyways, today I wanted to share some other numbers with you.  They are the metrics behind the Facebook ads I’ve been placing (you can follow me on Facebook @StoriesbyJKCoy).  As marketers we know social media advertising is important, but it can become overwhelming and difficult to know if our spending is moving the needle.  Hopefully these will give you a point of comparison for your own social media marketing efforts.

There are so many metrics that can be tracked, and I am still learning.  I’m also experimenting with Amazon ads, so expect future posts on that.  But today I am going to throw out where my different Facebook ad types are bench-marking.

Below are results for the last 45 days.  That is around the time I published my second children’s book (My Mom is the Worst), launched this website, and have gotten more focused on testing and tracking my marketing efforts.  I am going to refer to everything at Cost Per Click (CPC).  Facebook sometimes refers to these metrics as Cost Per Result because some ads have different goals:  getting viewers to watch a video, leave a comment, like a fan page, visit a website, sign up for an event, etc.)

Facebook CPC 1.16.18

1.  Traffic (Blog):  5 ads, $0.12 CPC Avg., $0.05-$0.38 CPC Range

2.  Post Engagements (Comments/Shares/etc.):  3 ads, $0.06 CPC Avg., $0.04-$0.16 CPC Range

3.  Facebook Fan Page Likes:  2 ads, $0.59 CPC Avg., $0.40-$1.80 CPC Range

Engagement is good.  Engagement creates a relationship with customers.  It creates fans, and raving fans are happy to market for you even when you aren’t around.  So for that, I am pumped to be able to drive a potential fan to this blog to read about a topic that connects with them for $0.12.

But as I said, maternity leave is just around the corner, and we gotta keep a roof over our heads.  So, I need to know how this all equates to book sales.  Sign up to follow the blog to get email updates as soon as I hit publish on the next marketing results post.

And be sure to add Love You to Pieces Beautiful Monster and My Mom is the Worst to your book collection.    (Yep, I’m still trying to fund that maternity leave.  The more books I sell, the longer my husband will let me stay home.  Kidding….maybe…).

$$$ Remember the thousands I saved you, you awesome little millionaire?!:)  $$$

Feel free to let me know how your own Facebook Ad CPC’s compare, and whether you have seen a direct impact on your sales, in the comments.  I appreciate your vulnerability.  We can all stand to learn from each other.