Marketing Out of the Box

I have a confession to make: I’m a sucker for out-of-the-box thinking. I get so excited when I see a company doing something new that I can’t help but participate in any way I can. I do this because I like to see people taking advantage of the opportunities they already have, because it’s fun, and because I believe that every business owner should be doing whatever they can to make a lasting impression on their customers and potential customers.

The great part? Most consumers feel the same way, whether they realize it or not.

The problem that faces a lot of business owners is that it’s not always easy to get yourself out of that box. This isn’t necessarily due to a lack of creativity. It’s more due to the fact that most business owners don’t have time, and it’s tough to dream up new solutions when every competitor out there is after the same prize. Another key difficulty is that you’re essentially after a moving target, because as soon as someone else realizes what you’re doing is successful, you can bet the imitators will be at it in two shakes, and suddenly you’re back in that same, boring box.

THE LESS BORING HAPPY HOUR

The happy hour is a perfect example. Long tested and utilized by bars, nowadays you can find a happy hour in almost every food related business, but there are ways to energize that happy hour even more. Here’s just one example: “Codeword Thursday.” Let’s say you’re a restaurant owner that has a slow couple of afternoon hours, say 2pm to 4pm. Every week, you set up a codeword. The first person to come in and use the codeword gets their meal for free. Everyone else gets your normal happy hour deal. Let’s say you’re running a weekly ad in a product that has a large, active readership, like our own Nickel, or Ashland Revels. Use a quarter of your ad to advertise this week’s code and gear up for a response. But don’t stop there, you should also be using Facebook, Twitter, really every possible avenue available to get out that code to your customers and potential customers.

If you’re thinking you don’t have time for this, you just give us a call at 541-776-4422, and we’ll show you a dozen ways we can help you with your time.

CONTESTS

Contests are another great way to drive business to your door, to your website, to your facebook, etc. Just about every contest is going to get some response, but consider that the more active and engaged your contest gets, the more response you’re going to receive. Host a scavenger hunt that spans weeks. Direct mail a pin and a printed flyer (We can help you with both) to your qualified customers, and have a corral of balloons there for them to pop, with a grand prize hidden in one of the balloons and everything from $1 to $5 off in the others. Above all else, keep it fun, and keep your customers involved, and at the very least you’ll get traffic into your door or facebook. Make sure to get all those customers signed up to a mailing list, email newsletter or the like, so you can fully capitalize on your newly gained audience.

Again, if you don’t think you have time for all of this, you’re one phone call away from help. 541-776-4422.

YOUTUBE and SOCIAL MEDIA

What are you doing on Youtube? If you have commercials posted on Youtube, congratulations, you’re already ahead of most businesses in the valley. Unfortunately, though, you’re still well within the box. When you’re using Youtube, think of Catchphrases instead of Slogans. In the online space, emotion rules over logic. Make them laugh on Facebook and twitter, and you’ll get more shares and retweets than if you make them think. I’m serious. This stuff works. You’ve got to get your viewers, listeners, readers, engaged in what you’re presenting.

Need ideas? That’s right, 541-776-4422.

There are an infinite number of ways to bring yourself business, but they’re not always obvious. Whatever you’re doing, make sure you’re getting the idea out in front of a large audience, and that you’re doing creative and exciting things to create a buzz that lasts. One customer who remembers you and comes back to your business, even if only monthly, is better than ten customers who show up and never return again. Market outside of the box and you’re going to increase your odds of being remembered exponentially.

And if you ever need help, ideas, or advice, well, you just give us a call at 541-776-4422 and we’ll show/ help you not only break out of that box, but stay out of it.

Stephen Winters
Account Executive
swinters@mailtribune.com

 

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