Marketing Outside-the-Box = Getting Ahead
What does it take to get ahead in today's marketing world? Some smart thinking, apparently.
Consumers today encounter from 3,500 to 5,000 marketing messages per day, vs. 500 to 2,000 in the 1970s, says J. Walker Smith, president of consumer and marketing watcher Yankelovich.
According to USA TODAY article, Advertisers Forced to Think Way Outside the Box, technology is giving marketers a run for their money. From wireless devices to iPods to digital video recorders (DVRs), time-pressed consumers have many more choices and control over what they tune in or tune out. Even though advertisers increased spending 10% to $140 billion last year as reported by TNS Media Intelligence, that onslaught may just be turning all marketing messages into a bunch of hullabaloo that reaches no one.
Jerry Dyas, President of Trade Only Design Library, Inc., has been saying for years that in today's business world an entrepreneur has to push the envelope with his marketing message if he wants to stand out from the competition. Dyas, a nationally recognized sales and marketing strategist with an impressive history of driving revenues through “out-of-the-box” marketing strategies says people are hesitant to take chances.
“Most people look to see how others market and do the same,” said Dyas. “Most marketing is boring and gets poor results so you have to be different. Being different will offend some people but your job is not to make others happy.” Throughout Dyas' career, his empirical observation is that if marketing doesn't stand out, only mediocre results ensue.
But Dyas doesn't mean to go out of your way to purposely antagonize people. So, what does he mean by” offend people”? “Just do something that others wouldn't do,” Dyas says.
Take Measurable Solutions, a Florida-based physical therapy consulting firm for example – one that made the Entrepreneur Hot 100 List in 2005 as one of the fastest-growing newest businesses in the nation. Their marketing message that helped them hit the big-time was Get New Patients Out the Wazoo! 'Wazoo' may have offended a few people, but it was one of their most successful direct mail postcards to date.
Some other simple out-of-the-box principles are:
1) To come up with a bunch of ideas and try them out – but fast. Slow, conservative testing doesn't work. Try one, try another and another – if one doesn't work, move on. As the saying goes “perfect is the enemy of good”; don't wait until it's perfect. Be good and get your ideas out.
2) Test. Start simple and test. Push out another idea and test. Always track your response and your income — keep track of those analytics. Metrics are marketing's best friend. You have to know before you continue to go.
Dyas suggests trying a simple, postcard marketing test. (Direct mail being one of the most cost effective marketing mediums out there. Studies show that, on average, every dollar spent on Direct Mail advertising brings in $10 in sales. ) Pick a target market you want to go after, craft a message that stands out, and get it out there. Track the results and tweak the design or copy if you have to. If it bombs go to another target market or try a different message. But start simple.
3) Find out what other people are doing in your industry and do something different. It's not always advisable to follow the “Monkey See, Monkey Do” mimicry theory, but with technology, supply and demand and other key business factors moving at such a fast clip, pioneer businesses can be overtaken in the race for profits. When a competitor decides to provide the same product or service but tweak it to be better and to use more marketing, the originals are left behind.
If You're In the Box – How Do You Get Out?
One thing you can do to get out of the box, is get an idea of how other industries have innovated their marketing. Study up on innovative marketing campaigns. Burger King, Blockbuster, Pepsi One, Mini Cooper, Anheuser-Busch are four well-known companies that have had to think outside-the-box to lure more potential buyers.
Dyas enjoys teaching entrepreneurs about outside-the-box marketing. He can be found giving away tons of ideas in “a stream of consciousness” at marketing boot camps attended by entrepreneurs nationwide organized by Joy Gendusa, CEO of PostcardMania, and Marsha Friedman, CEO of Event Management Services, Inc.
On an immediate basis though, here are three ideas Dyas says you can start with:
- Offer a bold promise or guarantee – most people don't ever do this.
- Make an outlandish comment.
- Mail oversize direct mail pieces.
Dyas warns that anything is worth testing. If something is working, keep doing it while testing something else. “There is the cost factor,” further explains Dyas. “It has to be cost-effective, but you still have to try and test something.”
About Jerry Dyas:
Jerry Dyas is President of Trade Only Design Library, Inc. – the design industry's largest product database used exclusively by designers, architects, facility managers, retailers and other professional buyers. Jerry has been at the helm of major corporations where he earned a solid reputation for growing customer bases, designing aggressive programs to acquire new clients and implementing project management methodologies that produced consistent and high quality results. During his reign as CEO of a business consulting firm, his company gained recognition as one of Inc's 500 fastest growing companies. In his career as a Corporate Leader, Jerry has launched seminars nationwide as a means of attracting and acquiring new business. He teaches out-of-the-box marketing at marketing boot camps to entrepreneurs from all over the nation. Visit www.powermarketingmania.com for more information.
If you would like to interview Jerry Dyas, President of Trade Only Design Library, Inc. or Joy Gendusa, CEO of PostcardMania, please email PostcardMania's Director of PR, Ferris Stith at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 800-628-1804 x 342.