For 100 years marketing meant one thing and we could all agree what is was: “advertising.” That meant a plethora of TV commercials, billboards, outdoor media, glossy magazine ads and jingle radio ads. It was a method used by traditional mass marketers, that gave big companies the opportunity to make average products for average people.
Advertising (like a superbowl ad) has always been expensive, for the masses, and a part of marketing. Because marketing is made up of many, many things, you should use advertising last. Instead focus your resources (which may be time, energy, enthusiasm) on the other areas of marketing that are better than running an ad one time. Here are four marketing strategies that work better than advertising:
- Make a remarkable product. Remarkable means worth making a remark about. American Express just relaunch their Open Forum a place where business savvy people can come and share advice. Well, if you’ve visited their site you’ll notice you can’t join unless someone invites you. A local restaurant here HogsHead Cafe has figured out what’s remarkable (worth making a remark about) and it’s their menu item called “The Hog Dog” a bacon wrapped jumbo beef hot dog, deep fried & topped with our hand-pulled pork, BBQ sauce & cole slaw. (not for me) But they gain a lot of local media coverage and increased word-of-mouth.
- Build in a social aspect. Does your product, service, meeting or etc. work better if my friends use it to? Email is only valuable because there’s someone to email. Instagram is awesome because I have to get my friends to use it too. The fax machine works better when other people have fax machines as well.
- Create compelling content. Every business and personal brand has the opportunity to create content that interesting, informative, funny, educational, inspiring or that even outrages. McDonald’s of Canada has a open forum where anyone ask any question about their food and they will answer it. So, what do you think happen when a young man asked about their “secret sauce” on the Big Mac? Find out.
- Deliver value beyond the sales transaction. Continue contact with your customers through email, phone, etc. Do 90-day and 6-month checkups. Make sure they’re fully satisfied with their purchase. Send birthday cards, anniversary, kid graduation cards, etc. Zappos an online shoe and apparel shop offers special return shipping assistance, beyond their company policies. One noted example of this is when a woman called Zappos to return a pair of boots for her husband because he died in a car accident. The next day, she received a flower delivery.
Question: What could you do with zero advertising and a better strategy?