Creative Ways To Market Your Business
This guide will help uncover some creative ways to market your business through primarily traditional channels.
Marketing is one of the most important parts of creating and maintaining a successful business. Without getting your business out there, your sales and therefore revenue will quickly dwindle, and you’ll find it difficult to stay afloat. With hundreds of businesses popping up in every sector of the market continuously, you need to find something that is going to make your business stand out from the crowd.
While a simple advertisement in a shop window might have worked in the past, you need to get a little more creative nowadays. Creative marking helps push you to the front of people’s minds when thinking about where to shop from. A person wanting to buy a plant is going to be much more likely to shop with you if your marketing technique has stuck in their mind and made them remember your business name.
However, creative marketing is much easier said than done nowadays. As there are so many businesses out there in direct competition with you, it can be difficult to find a creative way to market your business that hasn’t been done before.
Today we’ll be looking at some creative ways to market your business as well as why it is so important to get your name out there and keep it there. We hope that our article will spark some creative juices within you so that you can continue dominating your market. Let’s get started, shall we?
Why Marketing Is Vital To Your Business
It goes without saying that marketing is incredibly important to any business. No matter how much innovation you put into a business, no one is going to be able to appreciate your hard work if it cannot reach them. Today’s market is a breeding ground for innovation like never before – new technologies, apparel, services, and much more are always being worked upon and business models being pushed out.
If you’ve had an idea for a new business, it’s all but guaranteed that someone else has had that exact thought and is working on it as we speak. So, how do you push ahead and make your business the one to watch?
Thomas Steenburgh and Michael Ahearne, two business school professors stated that ‘Senior leaders have great confidence in their ability to develop innovations but not in their ability to commercialize them.’ Showing that while everyone can innovate, marketing is much more difficult.
New products will need much more vigorous marketing than older, recently developed products. This is to get their name out there on the market and get people talking about the business early on. Marketing is necessary to get your product or service to the right people. The latest gadget in technology is only going to go so far when it’s primarily being shown to the wrong demographic of people aged over 85.
You cannot look at marketing without marvelling at Amazon. Amazon is one of the leading platforms in the world and is constantly advertising to people of all ages, through different channels. They advertise online for their younger demographic, on television for older generations, and everywhere in between. As a result, Amazon grew faster than the average business.
From 1996 to 1997 they’d reached over 1,000,000 customer accounts and almost multiplied their revenue by ten, reaching $148 million after one year of business. More recently, in the last quarter of 2020, Amazon generated a total revenue of 125.5 billion dollars. Amazon has dominated many online markets and is even overtaking some physical stores as well.
A lot of this success can be attributed to their extensive marketing efforts. No matter what sector of the market your business is in, marketing it correctly, to your optimal target demographic, can do wonders for your sales and longevity of the business. Never overlook the importance of marketing – it should be one of the main investments into your business.
Traditional Marketing – Creative Way To Market Business
Don’t be deterred by the word ‘traditional’ – this doesn’t mean that this type of marketing is outdated and less effective than it used to be. In many ways, traditional marketing is still one of the most effective marketing techniques to date.
Traditional marketing allows businesses to meet potential customers face to face rather than exclusively online. This marketing approach has been used for many years and has proved successful for countless businesses.
Traditional marketing includes all the activities that you conduct to promote your business, product or service. Ancient Egyptians made posters for their goods and services from papyrus, and other traditional marketing techniques were mostly created during the Industrial Revolution in the early 20th century.
Marketing encompasses so many strategies, so almost every business uses at least one form of traditional marketing as well as an overall advertising strategy. More often than not, startup businesses will use most of the traditional marketing techniques interchangeably to see which works best for their company.
Below we have listed some of the most common traditional marketing techniques so that you can find which matches your business the best. As we mentioned, many decide to adopt more than one approach to give their business the best starting push that they can.
Firstly, let’s take a look at the popular digital signage. Many people don’t know what this term means right away, yet we are always subjected to it. In fact, we bet that you’ve seen this form of marketing done within the past week, without even knowing the term for it!
What is digital signage
Digital signage is a technique that uses LCD, LED, and projection displays to showcase images, videos, information, and other forms of media. You can project your marketing images and other content on these displays for potential customers to see. Digital signage can be found all over the world, at airports, stadiums, restaurants, and other popular public spaces.
The busier the area, the better your digital signage will spread and therefore your business should get more traction. Overall, digital signage is where a screen is displaying your market content. The screen could be of any size and shape, and your content has the potential to be a vast array of things.
You can be as creative as you want with digital signage marketing, and the more creative your images and videos are, the better your marketing is likely to do. This is due to bright colors and moving images capturing more attention than static, text-based marketing.
Why use it?
Some digital signage is more tailored to a specific target audience than others. For example, if your demographic was busy professionals who travel a lot for business, an airport digital signage would be great for reaching this audience. However, if you were hoping to reach a more diverse audience of all ages, public spaces and restaurants could be a good option for you.
The size of the screen is obviously going to affect how many people your digital signage is going to reach. A smaller screen would be harder to see and easier to miss, as well as the potential for the writing to be too small to read.
Larger screens are much more obnoxious and therefore better at reaching vast numbers of people. However, renting a larger space will cost much more than a smaller screen and therefore might not be attainable for a startup business.
Great recall and retention rates
The statistics between image-based and text-based marketing is amazing and somewhat unbelievable. Visuals get 94% more views than text-based information, already giving digital signage a great advantage to that of a text-based nature.
The average attention span lasts for only 2.8 to 8 seconds, so you need to make your digital signage count. Luckily, up to 65% of visual information can be retained for three days after the viewer has seen it, meaning that your business will remain in their heads for a few days after they’ve seen your marketing.
Overall, the recall rate for digital signage is 83%. This means that the viewer will be twice as likely to retain and recall the information of your digital signage compared to traditional text-based advertising.
They can be changed instantly/automatically
A popular and successful method of digital signage is using moving content such as videos and GIFs. It’s also been shown to be successful when you change the content periodically so that the public is not always shown the same advertisement.
Continuously creating new content to push out for your digital signage will keep people interested in your marketing and therefore your business. As the marketing is being shown on a digital screen, you can change the graphics instantly and without any issues.
Unlike traditional methods of marketing where you’d need to spend time changing marketing supplies such as posters and print advertising, you can change your digital signage at the click of a button. This is much more effective and easier on the business as you don’t need to employ people to alter your static posters.
More attention from passers-by
Moving images are more likely to attract attention from passers-by who otherwise might never hear about your business.
Static images and text blown up to be incredibly large right in front of them will also grab their attention, and the larger the advertisement is the more attention it is going to receive and therefore be retained by your target audience.
This is compared to if you were to paste smaller posters or brochures around the same area. These marketing ploys are smaller and less impressive than digital signage, meaning that they will draw a much less significant amount of attention from passers-by.
Using digital signage as your preferred method of marketing also allows you to take advantage of the analytics that come with it. These allow you to see how many people are seeing the advertisement as well as what demographics you’re hitting.
Using analytics allows you to note whether your marketing techniques are successful or not, as well as whether the area of your digital signage is located is optimal for your business.
There are many features found in digital signage analytics that you can use to your advantage, such as consumer characteristics and interests. You can opt to see which individuals interact with your marketing tool thanks to video technology, monitored cameras, and analytic software.
Being able to see your audience also allows you to read body language to indicate what they are interested in. For example, if their heads are tilted towards your advertisement as they walk by, you can determine that your digital signage is effectively working on them.
Digital signage analytics also allows you to determine what products are selling best and which are not being picked up as much. This can be estimated by using both consumer interests and characteristics. You’ll be able to use all of this data to compare to your sales so that you can see how effective your digital signage is.
Trade Show Exhibitions
Another option for traditional marketing that you can allow your creativity to run wild is displaying at trade shows. Trade shows give you the opportunity to meet your target audience face-to-face without having to seek them out.
In fact, they’ll be coming right to you as attendees of the trade show! This can give your business the boost it needs to get its name out there. However, you need to make your exhibition count to ensure that you don’t waste your opportunity.
If your exhibition is not standing out and attracting as many of your target audience that you can, you’re not using the trade show to its full potential. You need to ensure that you’re using every possible opportunity to draw customers to you and remember your business name.
Trade shows contain hundreds of stands with different business ideas, so you need to impress more than the others. We never said that trade show exhibiting would be simple!
You can use colors, music, lighting, and special effects to make your business stand out to the public. As we’ve shown with digital signage, the more attention you can attract, the better. To do this, you need to set up an exhibition strategically and carefully.
How to set up an exhibition for your business
One thing that you certainly shouldn’t do is turn up to a trade show exhibition unprepared and willing to wing your opportunity. Trade shows cost on average $142 for you to meet potential buyers and generate a relationship with them. On the other hand, meeting potential prospects at their office can cost on average $259.
You’re saving a lot of money with trade shows as well as time as you can meet multiple prospects within one day. Below are the important steps not to skip out on when planning your trip to a trade show.
Plan every detail
Speaking of planning, don’t underestimate the importance of a good game plan! Use the information given to you from previous trade shows to determine what was the most effective.
You can ask for a floor plan of the trade show to help with your strategy to determine where you’re going to get the most traffic.
Make a budget for your exhibition so that you’re not overspending. Although it might be tempting to go all out, you have to take into consideration how much business you’re likely to get from the trade show.
If you’re spending more on the exhibition than you are likely to get in sales, you’ll be left in deficit and out of pocket, so be sure to pick the right show! If you’re selling airplane parts, attending even one of the most prestigious giftware trade shows probably isn’t going to do you and your business a lot of good.
When it comes to trade shows, knowledge is power. You need to know everything about your business so that you can answer any and every question that comes your way. You should also know your audience and have done your research regarding potential customers so that you can target them properly.
Prepare for the show in advance
As we said, preparation is key. You cannot be too prepared for a trade show – anything could happen.
You’re going to generate much more interest if you can react quickly to anything that comes your way, which is why some businesses take months to prepare for their trade show exhibition.
One great way to help prepare is to act out scenarios that could occur at the show. Use a good mix of both good and bad experiences so that you are ready for multiple things.
You can also conduct a dress rehearsal and practice in front of friends, family, or coworkers. Practicing your exhibition beforehand can help you to feel more confident for the real trade show.
Actual trade show
Once the time has arrived for you to go out there and sell at the trade show, there are a few dos and don’ts to remember.
Do make a good impression with everyone you meet. You can do this both with a charming persona and a great-looking booth. A good impression will go a long way with generating sales and interest, so really give it your all.
Don’t be annoying. There is a fine line between selling and irritating potential customers, and you need to find your balance to prevent slipping onto the latter side. Don’t pester or plead for sales, but be informative and friendly.
You want people walking away from your booth with a good image of your business in their heads, not because you annoyed them.
Do stand out from the crowd. You need to grab as much attention as you can, whether that be with your exhibition or supplemental promotions such as a happy hour after the exhibition.
Don’t make assumptions. You need to check beforehand if you need any additional supplies from the trade show organizers. If you assume that there’s going to be things provided for you and plan your booth around them, you’ll be in for a stressful shock when you get there. You should also not make assumptions about potential customers and always treat everyone with the same respect and professionalism.
Do know how to spot buyers from time-wasters. You’ll have been able to study the type of audience you’ll be seeing at the trade show thanks to the previous show’s audience data, but there is always going to be people who aren’t going to make a decision quickly. You need to know how to prioritize buyers over these people, and you should also plan how you’re going to get away from them quickly.
Don’t overuse technology. People come to trade shows for personal service and to talk to real people, so don’t rely on technology too much. By all means use it to supplement your exhibition, but make sure it’s not the entire driving force behind it.
Keep the relationship alive after show
You’ll meet a lot of excellent connections at a trade show, so make sure that you have ways to reconnect with them after the show. Ask them to follow you on social media so that you can reach all of them with your posts.
Alternatively, you can ask for everyone’s email addresses and send them emails periodically. This will always keep your name in their minds, but don’t overdo it with lots of emails in a short amount of time. Email them with coupons or free incentives so that you don’t end up in their spam folder.
When turning prospects into buyers, follow-up calls and emails are important. Moreover, they need to be quick so that you’re not beaten to it by your competitors. This contact should be informative, friendly, and further establish a relationship between you and them.
Benefits of trade show marketing
There are many benefits of trade show marketing, as long as you do your research and choose one with as many potential customers in your target audience as possible.
Below are just some benefits of marketing at a trade show:
Face to face meeting: connecting with new potential buyers face to face is better for creating strong relationships than online marketing.
Get traction for your product: introducing a new product or service at a trade show allows you to properly explain all of its features and answer questions rather than prospects having to make their own assumptions on it.
Build awareness for your business: generate more interest for your business from prospects, sponsorship opportunities, and other potential benefits. Get your name out there!
Gain useful connections: networking is important to any business, and you can meet customers, suppliers, and your competitors at trade shows to call upon in the future.
Build a marketing list: meeting multiple customers at a trade show allows you to build up your marketing list so that you can create more successful leads with other marketing techniques.
Creative trade show ideas
The most successful trade show exhibitions are not full of text-based content that prospects struggle to read. Instead, they’re creative and draw the attention of customers to enter your booth rather than your competitors’.
Before laying all of your sales material on your potential buyers, break the ice with a game. You can use gaming apps, virtual prize wheels, or large board games made up of multiple screens.
Enjoying a game with multiple customers can create an instant relationship and put them in a better mood before hearing your pitch. A good mood makes people more likely to listen to you and enjoy your product.
The positive emotions will also help your business to stick in their mind for longer throughout the trade show.
Fun and innovative displays
If you are using screens to display your content, who says they need to be simple squares? Give them a fun border to make them look like giant smartphones or something to do with your product. Grabbing the attention of your audience with obscure screen displays is simple yet effective.
As we’ve seen with digital signage, the larger a display is the more people are going to take notice. A video wall is a great way of expanding your marketing materials so that they are literally bigger and better than your competitors.
Get everyone involved
Drawing all of your potential customers in for a group activity can also leave them with a more significant impression of you and your business. Meeting up after the trade show for a happy hour is a good way to get everyone involved, or hosting a virtual scavenger hunt with prizes.
You can also ask people to follow you on social media so that you can continue the conversation over there. This will last for much longer than just the trade show.
Charge cell phones
A great way to creatively draw people into your booth is to offer a free place to charge people’s cell phones and other devices. While they’re in your booth charging their phone, they may as well take a look at your material!
Flyers and Brochures
Moving onto another source of marketing, flyers and brochures are perhaps one of the least expensive ways to get your name out there. Not only are they cheap to make and distribute, but flyers and brochures are simple to make, and you can place them almost anywhere that your target audience would see them.
Traditionally packed with information about your business, flyers and brochures don’t allow for any technology to impress prospective customers with. So why are they still used so frequently?
How flyers and brochures fit into the digital age
You can mail flyers to potential customers so that they travel straight to them, ensuring that the flyer is at least seen by them. Alternatively, they can be left in high-traffic areas such as receptionist or office buildings where your target audience frequents.
Flyers can make a good first impression due to the fact that they are full of information so that the prospect isn’t left with lots of unanswered questions. They’ll get a detailed view of your product as well as various methods to connect with you should they have any questions.
You can be as creative as possible with flyers and brochures, with fun colors and fonts, images, and interactive social media links. Brochures are an inexpensive way to get prospective customers coming to you rather than the other way around.
What’s more, brochures are not replacing your digital presence – they are simply enhancing it. Providing links within your flyers can help the customer to view your digital marketing techniques and give them even more information on your business.
While flyers and brochures might not be the most effective form of marketing anymore, they can certainly enhance your marketing efforts and spark interest around your business from your target audience.
Telemarketing is the act of calling your prospective customers directly and giving them your sales pitch down the phone. Many people mistaken this to be an ineffective form of marketing, and therefore it is discarded by a lot of modern businesses.
However, this is not always the case and immediately discarding telemarketing might leave you missing out on a portion of your potential customer base. Why is telemarketing still a viable option, you might ask? Because your return on investment (ROI) could still be interestingly high.
ROI from telemarketing is still impressive
New data from the UK has shown that the average return on investment of telemarketing is at £11 for every £1 spent. However, other telemarketing campaigns can see you achieving a ROI of over 12,000%. Calling the right people with the right techniques can leave you with some very impressive clients.
Telemarketing allows you to speak to your potential clients personally rather than through a screen. They can hang up on you or shut you down with a simple ‘No’, but people are less likely to do this due to them wanting to remain polite.
This is much different from people being able to delete your email or scroll past your social media post without reading it. Telemarketing will get you some of your largest clients who are not going to come to you for business otherwise.
You can use telemarketing creatively, with fun and interesting sales techniques rather than reading off of a script. Utilize audio clips, ask the client to watch an audio demonstration as you’re talking them through it down the phone, or get them involved in the pitch themselves.
Print advertising is found in newspapers and magazines, and has changed slightly over the digital age. While print media is not as commonly used anymore due to people using social media and online platforms to get the news, it can still be useful with some target demographics.
Business magazines are beneficial to get your product awareness from other businesses and professional potential clients. Newspapers are also regularly read by older adults and busy professionals, so they can also be effective marketing techniques.
Print advertising allows your potential customers to pick up the advertisement whenever they want to, so there is no pressure of getting back to you right away. You can often purchase advertising spaces of quarter, half, or full page in size.
The bigger your advertisement, the more attention it will grab. However, even small adverts can gain interest if they’re creative, colorful, and intriguing. Again, print advertising will not suffice as your only marketing tool, but it can enhance others and give you another way to reach customers.
Guerilla marketing is the term given to marketing techniques that are out of the ordinary. This is an idea form of marketing to let your creativity run wild and wow all potential customers with unconventional marketing methods.
Painting large murals on walls or flooring will certainly draw attention to your business – just make sure that you get permission from the property owners before doing so. Pops of color with your name tattooed on the walls will keep your business in the minds of your target audience.
Publicity stunts are great ways to capture attention and get people involved in your ploy. A good example of this is when Redbull employed Felix Baumgartner to complete the world’s highest skydive, breaking the world record with a height of over 128,000 feet. Any stunt that gets people talking about your business is a great creative way to market your business.
Large inflated balloons, video walls positioned in high traffic areas, and obnoxiously large displays will help people to take note of your business no matter where they are. The bigger the display, the further away people will be able to see it. Just make sure that your name is large enough for everyone to read easily.
Who doesn’t love an unexpected flash mob? Flash mobs pull large crowds of people without you having to do anything, and your name will stick in their heads throughout the rest of the day. Flash mobs are so unexpected that a lot of people who see it will also go and tell their friends about it, giving you an added benefit of word of mouth advertising.
Press releases are a way to promote your businesses news to journalists who will then repeat the news to their audience of their different platforms. With a press release you’ll be promoting your story for the journalists to write about, so being creative is important.
You don’t want the result to be a boring article that no one can read the entire way through, so adding creative content along with the press release will help the article to be more interesting for the readers.
This is a great way to reach potential customers who don’t have access to, or prefer not to use, digital platforms. While digital is becoming more popular in marketing, we have to remember that it is not the only option for many people. Instead, you should cover all bases with both digital and print platforms.
There is no denying that marketing is incredibly important to any business, as getting your name out there is the only way to reach all of your potential customers. Traditional marketing is sometimes frowned upon by people thinking that it is outdated and less effective, but there are still plenty of ways to use traditional marketing creatively.
Digital signage is an excellent method of creative marketing, ensuring that your marketing tools are so large that they’re impossible to miss. Visual marketing is much more effective than text-based marketing, and you can alter digital signage automatically.
Trade shows are another great way to get your name out there – provided that your booth is the most impressive and eye catching. You need to plan everything to the best of your ability with your trade show exhibitions, and if done correctly, you can make countless excellent connections to use in the future.
There are so many methods of showing your creativity during trade shows, such as games, interactive screens, and social media conversations.
Flyers and brochures might not seem like the best marketing tools in a digital age, but they can aid your marketing efforts for people who don’t look on digital platforms. The same can be said for press releases and print advertising, which can allow your business to reach more people other than just through the digital age.
Guerilla marketing is a great marketing tool to allow people to see your business without you having to do much at all. With some out of the box, interesting and innovative displays positioned in high traffic areas, you can reach a lot of prospective customers.
Finally, telemarketing is a commonly misunderstood marketing technique. While many think that it is unsuccessful in many ways, the return on investment is still impressive, and it is one of the best ways to get some of your biggest clients.
Overall, there are plenty of different marketing techniques to get your business name out there. What’s more, there are countless ways to make your marketing more creative and stand out from the crowd. So, get out there and come up with something that we’ve never seen before!