The importance of marketing is something that no young business professional should ever overlook. In today’s world, there’s simply no way to rise above the competition with employing proper marketing principles on a consistent basis. The thing is, most people already know about and are actively utilizing some of the more common techniques in marketing like print and radio advertising, social media marketing and general PR. Given the competition in the marketplace, this may not be enough for you to get ahead.
Adding unique marketing techniques to your business plan is a great way to attract more attention and can dramatically affect your ability to turn a profit, regardless of industry. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, as marketing is far more an art than a science.
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Vain
Everyone is familiar with vanity plates. Perhaps you even have one on your personal vehicle. The concept doesn’t just end at license plates, however. This is something that you can utilize to reinforce your brand without spending a great deal of money at all. You can use license plates with your company name. You may even use a vanity phone number like 1-800-DENTIST (you can search for available numbers at customtollfree.com). Believe it or not, “vanity marketing” can actually lend an air of professionalism to any business, as it solidifies them as an entity.
Publish a Local “Zine”
This is a great marketing technique for young, hip companies that are trying to build up a following within their local community. “Zines” (think DIY magazine) were extremely popular among the music and arts scenes of major cities in America throughout the 90s, but unfortunately took a dive once the digital age took over. Lately, however, there’s been a resurgence not only for bands and artists, but for small businesses of all kinds. A monthly Zine will allow you to not only publish information about your company, but also about happenings in the community. Think of it as a hip, physical version of an e-newsletter, and as long as you’re okay with the DIY aesthetic, you can print and staple them right in your own office.
Offer a Locals Discount
For brick and mortar businesses (or any business that works primarily with local clients and/or customers), your local following is your lifeblood. Offering a discount that only the locals will be aware of is a great way to get them through the door on a regular basis, but it doesn’t have to end there. People love unique discounts and will actually go out of their way to obtain them at times. For example, let’s say you were a retail shop owner and were to offer a 5% discount to any customers who bike instead of drive over. Environmentalists will be thrilled by such a concept, and something like this will no doubt keep them coming back.
Marketing isn’t always as cut and dry as what they teach you in college. Use your head, and you’re sure to come up with even more unique ways to get your name out there, even if you’re a relatively new company in an area rife with competition.