By Caroline Creedon
Top 3 Tips for Innovative Marketing
What is Guerilla marketing?
Think of it as a type of marketing that works great without having to spend a ton of money.
True guerilla marketing is when you piggyback on someone else’s marketing strategy and use it to your advantage. Essentially, you’re not coming up with anything new or reinventing the wheel, you’re jumping on the success that someone else is already seeing.
Picture this: You’re headed to a concert. It’s totally sold out and band merch is all over the place. Official merchandisers are scattered around the stadium selling t-shirts for $50 a pop.
But then you see a guy outside the gate with a sign that says “BAND TEES ONLY $20!” That’s guerilla marketing.
It’s all based on the principle of simply being a little more clever – swooping in for the sale (or connection) when it’s least expected. Some people think of it as “stealth marketing.”
I’ve come up with something just a little different that I think works even better. It’s marketing that’s a little more innovative, a little more outside the box.
Here are three innovative marketing strategies you can use in a million different ways (and examples that have actually worked!):
- Surprise and delight.
Hand out something tangible but novel. This works great for people who are already familiar with your business, either new, existing, or prospective clients. Maybe it’s a simple gift or trinket, but the thought behind it is going to make them go “Ha, that’s clever.”
Alternatively, you can use this same strategy to get people new into your business. Come up with a unique way to get people inside. I once knew someone who hosted an art exhibit in their warehouse, just to keep people on their toes and get new people in the door. And guess what? It worked brilliantly.
Bottom line: Find different ways to connect with people other than a direct sales pitch.
- Meet people where they are.
This is where stealth marketing comes into play. Instead of trying to capture someone’s attention with your own landing page or billboard, figure out where your audience is spending time (both in person and online) and get yourself in front of them.
I once worked with a real estate agent who would go down to the local café and offer free coffee to the first 50 customers that walked in the door. When they went to pay for their coffee, the barista would say something along the lines of, “Don’t worry about it, your coffee was paid for today by so-and-so” and hand them a business card. Now, compare the amount you’d spend on buying coffee to what you’d spend on paid ads or leasing a billboard!
- Use unexpected cross-promotion.
I know a barber who set up shop at a car mechanic! They offered a “service while you wait” deal that gave customers a discount on both services. So when you went to get your car serviced, you could sit around the waiting room twiddling your thumbs, or you could get a haircut. Bonus for the mechanic too, because once word got around, their business saw a boom in new customers too.
Is there anyone in your database that you could partner with on something like this? It’s a great way to build a new alliance with a business that has absolutely nothing to do with yours, but serves as a win-win for both of you!
So bottom line: Do something that’s totally different to get people into your business!
People get bored with typical marketing strategies. Remember, they see ads all day, every day. Get outside the white noise of standard advertising and brainstorm some creative ideas using those 3 key tips to connect with your customers in unexpected ways.
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