Marketing is an important part of your business’ growth. However, with so many companies conducting campaigns every single day – consumers can often become bored. Therefore, the best marketing campaigns can be a little unconventional.
Unconventional Ideas That Worked
Cards Against Humanity are experts at unconventional marketing ideas. One year, on Black Friday, instead of following the traditional trend of lowering costs, they increased them by $5. This strategy increased sales on the day and for a period afterwards.
Another year on Black Friday, the company invited customers to buy nothing for $5. The campaign raised $71,000 on the day, with some customers making multiple purchases. The company split the money between members of the team; most of whom donated the funds to charity.
Rudy’s BBQ demonstrated that you don’t have to be a big or global business to be successful at unconventional marketing either. They regularly use negative statements to promote their brand. One billboard expressed they were the worst BBQ in Texas while another misspelt sauce. They also regularly engage audiences on social media – even when they are in one of their restaurants.
Despite these negative terms within their marketing slogans, trade is high, and they have numerous positive reviews online. It has also helped them grow from one to three sites.
Why Does Unconventional Marketing Work So Well?
The two examples show exactly how unconventional marketing can improve sales. Both present an inverse of an established trend such as a seasonal sale or the positive re-enforcement of a brand’s service.
Yet, both businesses succeed.
One of the main reasons for this is because unconventional marketing disrupts normal consumer expectations.
The human brain is conditioned to identify patterns, so people expect to see certain marketing promises and slogans. Therefore, audiences tend to ignore much of the marketing materials presented to them.
However, unconventional tactics break the familiar pattern. This forces the audience to examine the marketing literature presented more closely.
As they pay more attention; the audience remembers the brand more effectively.
In addition, thanks to social media, unusual and humorous items are shared more frequently. Therefore, the reach of such campaigns can grow organically. The more people that see your marketing materials, the greater the sales.
Finally, consumers sometimes want to test your assertions. If you claim to be the worst, they’ll want to see for themselves.
Unconventional Tricks You Can Make
The above two examples aren’t the only unconventional tactics you can try. There are numerous other tactics you could use; here are some examples:
Weird Discounts: You don’t have to increase prices to stand out in a sale. Most discounts are presented as a multiple of five (5%, 10%, 15%, etc). Instead, try for a different discount like 6.22% or 10.91%; something that is a little more unusual. These tend to work because the consumer concentrates more on the fraction rather than the whole number.
Market Another Brand: Create another brand and market that one. An excellent example of this would be Compare The Market. They advertised Compare The Meerkat instead, where a loveable meerkat would complain about all the people accidentally landing on his site instead of Compare The Market. The campaign took off so much that even after several years the characters are still around.
Send Them Cake: If you’re a local brand, and you have a marketing list, why not send a small gift. Cakes, doughnuts and flowers are typical options, but you can be creative.
Sometimes typical marketing tactics just don’t work. Instead, you have to be a little less conventional to grab the attention of your target audience. Unconventional marketing can take many forms and is only limited by your imagination.
What unconventional marketing tactic have you tried? What will you try next?
Let us know in the comments below.
The difference between a salesperson and a savvy marketer is the way they deliver their message. The ultimate goal is the same across the board – to sell product, or promote the company – but the way each department ends up going about it can be quite different, or at least that’s been the case in my experiences.
Last spring, the retail sales division of the company I worked for approached the marketing department because they wanted to start a biweekly email campaign. That’s an excellent idea, I said. And all was well and good until the two departments sat down to discuss the contents of the email.
“We were envisioning an email that features about 20 different products, with pictures and complete descriptions, every two weeks. And a 700-word or so article. And a coupon. And maybe a video of a dancing cat.”
Several jaws hit the floor. One of our designers actually passed out. Many heads tilted in confusion.
“Well…we just love our product so much and we know our customers do too, so we want to offer them as much as we possibly can!”
Ah, and therein lies the issue. Being passionate about what you do is so important. Loving your company and what they offer is a great thing, and for certain something to be proud of. But if you try to show your customers too much at once, you will scare them.
Think about the last marketing email you opened in your personal inbox and actually spent time examining. Did it feature a multitude of images, three page scrolls worth of text and about 15 different fonts? Or did it feature a clean, dominate image, a small amount of catchy copy and worthwhile links?
There’s no real rule about the limit on the amount of email content. But, think about the things going into your email as actual objects on your desk. A few nice, well placed and helpful items are pleasant, and probably tools you’ll utilize (since they’re on your desk and all). However, the more items you add the more cluttered your desk becomes, and the less you’re able to prioritize and sort out everything that’s there.
If you feel like you have too much to say and not enough room to say it, make a list of everything you want to include. Read through it, and try to prioritize one by one. Is there anything that is timely and needs to be mentioned right away? Is there anything that relates to a current news item? What can I put into a blog post instead of this email (because links are your friend!)?
Don’t worry, you aren’t the only one who loves your company and wants to hear everything you have to say about it. But think of this email marketing relationship you have with your consumers like a real relationship – if you spill everything on your first date, there’s a good chance they won’t stick around for too long.
Photo: Puuikibeach, Flickr Creative Commons