In today’s digitally charged world, people are exposed to thousands of ads- potentially 10,000. In the early days of Facebook and Twitter, it was unique and exciting to interact with brands on social media. Now it’s expected. The same goes for traditional media/advertising, just having a presence isn’t enough. In order to compete for a consumer’s valuable time – you have to be memorable. Think about some of your favorite commercials. What attracts you to them probably isn’t how much money they spent or how far-reaching their campaign was – it was something special that stood out from all the other commercials you saw that today. You don’t have to spend money to be creative. Here are some examples: 1) Use your surroundings Are there a lot of sidewalks in your neighborhood? Try some chalk art, maybe talking about a special deal or telling viewers where you’re located. Depending on the area, a wall mural could be a beautiful and unique way to get the eye of passersby. Obviously, do your research and get permission before attempting any of these- but it could be a great way to connect with people on a local level. 2) Partner with Local Businesses If you want to get a foothold in a community, it’s great to partner with those who are already there. There’s a lot of opportunity to get creative here. You could have presence at a local holiday event, setting up a stand and offering some kind of giveaway. Or you could work on a special promotion with a business that might help you reach the right demographic – in form of unique coupons, deals, etc. 3) Scholarships Scholarships are a great way to give back as well as get visibility. To create a strong sense of branding, you can have the entry requirements be relevant to your business. For example, if you sell jewelry have them draw a design, or if you are a bakery have them bake a cake and then submit their entries. At this point you can either have the entries judged internally or use it as an excuse to include social media and have people vote. 4) Make it Personal You have probably seen the personalized Coke bottles with names on them. It doesn’t matter if you sell a retail product or an in office service. Find a way to make your experience personal. Let’s say you work in a legal office. You could offer them a personalized pen to sign the final documents. At a doctor’s office, special stickers based on the location and time of year. Tie this together with a promotional campaign (a specific hashtag, etc), and you’re creating a story for your consumer to play a unique part in. 5) Host Fun Giveaways A giveaway does need to be as bland as “put in your email and phone number to win”. While those may be effective based on the prize, are they memorable? A more unique take would be to have a “local treasure hunt” and hide clues within partnered business establishments. This is a great way to create buzz, as pedestrians may enquire what people are doing and get involved. The barriers to entry for marketing are lower than ever before because of social media. This is great for small businesses to enter the market – but also means it’s harder to be memorable. Instead of focusing on checking off all the traditional “boxes” for a full marketing plan, really take a look at your demographic and unlock your inner creative. You’re going to like the results a lot more.
If you are thinking about tying a business promotion to the Super Bowl this Sunday, read on before you do. The NFL has trademarked the words “Super Bowl,” which limits the use of that phrase by anyone other than the NFL. Generally speaking, you can use “Super Bowl” to make reference to the actual game (“The Super Bowl is this Sunday.”), but not in connection with any commercial activity (“Come to Joe’s for free soup or salad on Super Bowl Sunday.”).
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Innovation is a powerful concept, and so needed today in every aspect of our lives. Innovation is the fuel of aspirations, passion and change, if we can create the space to engage with our curiosity and imagination. Recently Sojourn Partners hosted the New Hampshire Leadership Advantage Innovation Workshop where three amazing thought leaders shared their secrets. Errik Anderson of Adimab, Matt Albuquerque from NextStep Bionics and Prosthetics and Jamie Coughlin of abi Innovation Hub all spoke candidly to 60 up-and-coming business leaders about how to create an innovation mind space. What follows are the key points that the attendees reported were most meaningful to them: