Did you try new marketing tactics in 2014? Maybe you finally did a site-wide SEO overhaul. Or maybe your social media manager ran a kick-ass campaign that resulted in 100,000 followers. Good for you, but now it's time to take another risk and try something unconventional.
Out-of-the-box marketing, or any type of guerrilla marketing, has its benefits: it's inimitable, it's emotional and it's shareable. And it could seriously bump your bottom line too.
A strategy alive with guerrilla marketing campaigns can result in a 30% increase in sales and a potential decrease in budgets by 95%. Get the attention of bored consumers with something new and exciting. Take a look at our favorite avant-garde marketing ideas and try one (or three) this year.
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Establish a personal connection
Coca-Cola launched their "Share a Coke" campaign in early June, swapping their legendary label with the names of over 250 people. They also gave consumers the ability to order monogramed cans online. This personalization resulted in more than a 2% sales increase and actually reversed a decade-long decline in soda consumption. Consumers loved the sentiment and ignored childhood obesity for a few weeks.
Can you personalize your product or service with photos or monograms? You should think about it, because consumers are demanding personalization. Especially with email and social messaging, people respond more favorably when companies relate to them and their interests. A study by Harris Interactive found the majority of consumers (81%) said they would be at least somewhat likely to increase their purchase behaviors if they received some sort of personalization.
(Source: Coca-Cola Instagram)
Create new customer experiences
If you can get people to physically engage with your ads, you could have the same success these companies have had. In 2009, Volkswagen embarked on "The Fun Theory" campaign to promote its consumer and environmentally friendly cars.
In conjunction with ad agency DDB Stockholm, VW painted life-size piano keys on the stairs of a subway station to encourage people to take the stairs rather than the escalator. Their video went viral and was viewed more then $2.5 million times on YouTube. They hit their goal too- the number of people taking the stairs increased by 66% after the piano keys were painted.
Thank customers in a unique way
TD Canada Trust realized the value of thanking loyal customers. To kick off their "TD Thanks You" campaign, they distributed $20 thank you gift cards to over 300,000 clients. Then they did something extra special for a dozen of pre-selected patrons. Upon entering, employees sent them to special ATM machines (affectionately named Automated Thanking Machines) and explained they were part of a special ATM analysis. Little did they know that the machines would pop out awesome thank-you gifts. Some got cash, and others received more personal gifts: plane tickets to visit sick loved ones in Trinidad, the opportunity to throw the opening pitch at a Blue Jays game and paid college tuition.
If you don't have the budget for elaborate surprises, at least send personal thank you cards, free product or company swag (and get them to share and hashtag their special gifts).
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Go three-dimensional with your advertising
Chalk-art has gained popularity in the past few years, and for good reason. It draws crowds and encourages social sharing with pictures. Not to mention it can be done fairly inexpensively. LA Fitness and Daily Mail had success with their 3-D outdoor ads- as did many other businesses. A few years ago, according to SAS, 95 percent of the UK's top 100 advertisers were using outdoor advertising, and because of the ROI. For every $1.58 spent, $2.10 was earned.
Get creative with installations
Use your surrounding environment to create 3-dimensional advertising. Proctor & Gamble utilized the prevalence of tangled phone lines to display their brand message. They installed a giant green comb to "untangle" these hair-like phone lines, with the apt tagline: " Tangles? Switch to Rejoice Conditioners".
FedEx and Mondo Pasta also applied their surrounding settings to advertise their products. FedEx used the crosswalks (like McDonalds and Mr. Clean also did) of New York and an oversize bottle of whiteout in an attempt to market new Kinko's office supplies. Mondo Pasta was able to use a docked ship for their installation of a colossal spaghetti noodle.
Choreograph an employee flash mob
This might be out of your comfort zone and maybe inappropriate for your industry, but we'll share this for amusement. To celebrate a national Indian holiday (and most likely to get their foot in the Indian Market) Finnair employed 50 flight assistants to participate in a flash mob. How are your dancing skills?