This is the sixth in our series of "Spin Zone" postings & deals with the two-year period just after adjusting to cure our first bout with growing pains. The extra time we created for ourselves was used as planned to grow market share & expand our geographic footprint. That was the easy part.
The hard part was coming up with something sufficiently beneficial to offset the loss of contact we suffered by switching from a monthly to a quarterly. We clearly understood the parallel & complementary nature of our magazine & our website, & the importance of our shop to test the effectiveness of any new features. As we pondered options for the best next step, we decided to make our website more accessible.
We did so by building four ASK machines (Advertising & Sales Kiosks). We placed them at high traffic antiques malls throughout our market area & moved them regularly for maximum exposure. Keep in mind, the Internet was in its early years & few malls had Internet access & virtually no small shop had computers, let alone Internet access. We therefore out of necessity configured our ASK machines to operate without Internet access by utilizing a zip drive to provide a snapshot view of our website. We updated the zip disc often, but were looking forward to the day we could provide live Internet access via our kiosks … but that’s a subject for future postings. For then, we enjoyed the cutting edge advantage our ASK machines provided.