When it comes creating visibility for a product, service or idea, there are no limits to the ideas you can leverage. Sometimes the best ideas come from marketing “amateurs,” not the pros, because they aren’t locked into the safe, familiar categories agencies can sometimes assume. Often the least expensive efforts are the most effective. Maybe even free. (This is the part I”ll deny ever writing.)
The real key is creativity. In fact, creativity can be a substitute for money—or at least make your marketing spend go further. A creative effort will only need to reach an audience a few times to register with them…maybe even just once; whereas a small fortune will be required to drive a boring message into their brains (like the mind-numbing PC Matic television commercial that mentions the brand name 16 times in one minute, and seems to be running on every cable network all day long).
Some examples of awareness-building creativity:
- The St. Paul Saints minor league baseball team used ballerinas for “ballet parking” to attract new fans to the ballpark.
- An athletic shoe company in England offered a free pair of shoes for your kid if you traded in the TV remote in order to get him to go outside and play.
- Here at The Creative Alliance, we designed and distributed custom-printed beer coasters to local bars to help the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Colorado chapter promote its annual bike tour to their male 18 – 54 target audience.
- The Driven to Drive Less program in Denver and Boulder placed an upside down, wheels-up Subaru Outback in numerous, high-traffic public areas to raise awareness for carpooling and mass transit use.
We occasionally ask clients, If money were no object, what would you do for marketing? We get back some great answers, because that one simple question removes self-imposed limits at the idea phase of marketing. Of course, because money is an object, we find ways to apply related ideas in an affordable way; but the affordable ideas might never have surfaced without the big unlimited ones.
But an equally good question all companies and agencies should ask is: What would we do to market ourselves if we had no money to spend at all?
And those might be the best ideas of all.