Out of the Box Marketing: Some Public Relations Inspiration for Small Businesses

out of the box marketingDr. Stephen Yao is an orthodontist in San Jose, California, and he is using some great “out of the box” marketing to generate buzz around his practice. Since a majority of his patients are kids and teenagers, he runs a bunch of fun contests to keep them excited about their appointments. He has a rewards program where kids can collect “pogs” by making A’s in school, displaying good brushing practices, liking the practice’s Facebook page, etc. He offers various prizes for different amounts of pogs. One of the prizes is an iPod Nano! These are the kind of creative ideas that draw prospects to your practice, and set you apart from competition.

We heard about one idea in particular that we thought was absolutely brilliant! Every Halloween Dr. Yao holds a candy drive. He offers patients $1 for every pound of candy they bring in to their appointments. All the candy he collects is donated to U.S Troops at home and abroad.

This candy buyback program does three great things for Dr. Yao’s practice:

out of the box marketing1.) Helps his patients avoid prolonging their treatment period (leading to a higher cost) by eating candy that damages their brackets and wires. This shows that he isn’t out to nickel and dime them, but that he simply wants to get them the best treatment as fast as possible. This brings his practice trust and credibility. His patients’ parents will openly recommend an orthodontist who genuinely looks out for the good of the patient.
2.) He gets great publicity, because he donates all the candy to U.S Troops. Tying your business to charitable efforts is a great way to build trust and credibility with prospects, because people want to do business with someone that gives back. Just look at successful businesses like Toms Shoes.
3.) It gives him an opportunity to announce the event to the community, which makes his practice appear exciting. This generates a buzz about his practice. This kind of fun publicity is great for local businesses.

Hopefully you are inspired by Dr. Yao’s out of the box marketing ideas. I know we were. Now, take a look at your business, and come up with some creative publicity opportunities of your own!

What do you think about his reward program and candy drive ideas? Let’s chat about it in the comments…



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