That clearly means different things to different people. Some companies value marketing very little, placing more value on Sales, or the value of partners to handle the exposure for your product.
If you're like me, you believe marketing is the route to all success. Yes, you need a good product. Yes, you need a good sales channel. But the real value of marketing is in areas few fully realize.
The primary goals of marketing are to:
- Create awareness for your offerings (Generate Leads - that's the easy one...)
- The world needs to know what you have, and you shouldn't leave that up to the quality of your sales
- Reach out to all markets - Sales will focus on the sweet spots. Who will reach out to the others?
- Develop the image of your product and your company
- In a vacuum, your company image will be defined by many, even your competitors. You want to be in charge of your own image.
- Make selling your offerings easy
- Remove Objections
- Shorten Selling Cycles
So, what tools are used in Marketing? No secrets here... You have seen or done all of these... But are you doing them to their fullest?
Your typical marketing tools are:
- The Website
- Press Releases and PR (Public Relations) Activities
- Trade Shows
- Editorials and Articles
- Blogging and Forum Postings
- Product Packaging
- Company Signage, Shirts, and abused trade event swag...
We've all heard about "Guerilla" marketing. This is "Thinking outside the Box" marketing. Guerilla marketing is also thought of as marketing on a shoestring, but I like to think of it as marketing with a difference, doing the unusual. Marketeers all too often get caught up in the traditional. Do what's safe. You don't get shot, when you don't take risks... But really - marketing is about being creative, thinking outside the box. Some programs will work, some will flop. It should be OK to take a risk from time to time, try something new, and have some fun, as long as your marketing includes a mix of the tried and true, and a little bit of the "Give it a Try..."
Examples of the Guerilla Marketing ideas - done in our industry:
- Free Parking around an event - pay the city for their parking meters around an event - put advertising covers over them highlighting your company message. The prospects will love the free parking and will love the creative technique in getting your message out.
- Hang Banners in unusual places - one of the best in this area was renting the side of a parking garage for a banner that was in direct view of everyone riding a people mover to an event.
- Create custom napkins and hand them out to all the restaurants in the food court supporting an event. All the prospects need to eat!
- Make a deal with the local Cab Companies to hand out custom receipts with your company message on them, during an event.
- Hire the unusual - Segways, to patrol an event and deliver your advertising
- Hire Sky Writers to deliver your message
- Hire Sidewalk Artists to paint a mural with Chalk during the show, highlighting your company message.
- Then, there are the less "PC" ideas - Body Painting in a trade show booth, Booth Babes, etc...
- Or, Gadgets and Toys - A Tesla Roadster, A Paramoter, NASCAR, Hot Motorcycles
- Wrap a car in your message and strategically park it an an event
Creativity is an exciting thing, and often, the toughest job a marketing professional has is to convince others that stepping outside the box isn't necessarily a bad thing. Marketing should NOT be design by committee. Marketing is all about finding someone with the spark, confidence, creativity, coupled with the understanding of your message and image, and then giving them the ability to go out and do something wonderful.
This will attract crowds to a Trade Show Booth... The Siemens Smart Electric Chopper.
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