You have a great product. You have your marketing budget sanctioned. You have spent time with the creative team of your ad agency and had come up with a compelling campaign. The media managers have told that you will get the best slot, best insertion at the best price with an added complimentary promotional article inserted discreetly.
All looks good and fine. But still you have that underlying fear in the stomach. Will my campaign get noticed or will it get lost ? Can I get a decent ROI ? Can I get enough leads which I can follow to convert them into revenue ? The frank answer could be you are not sure. You are not absolutely sure. Its a crowded jungle out there and if you want to stand out in all the crowd it needs a little bit of thinking. Either you spend a fortune or think a little smart and get noticed. Let us have a look at few unusual ways of advertising which can give some surprisingly effective results.
Use the Invoice Or Bill copy
The bill receipt or the invoice copy given by the vendor to the customers usually has its backside blank or have some promotional material of the vendor. Have a tie-up with the vendor or shop-owner to have your products advertised in the back side of the invoice copy. Depending on your product/service this campaign can give reasonably good results. If you need your product/service to be promoted for the end-user you will target few supermarkets, departmental stores, few mom and pop stores and try to reach your customers (who purchases their goods from the above mentioned stores) .
If you want your product to be purchased by a retailer, then you will target the supplier who supplies to this retailer and offer the above proposal. You will target all the wholesaler’s/distributor’s in your area and through them (by advertising your products in his invoice copy) reach all the retailer’s (your customer).
Say, for example you have come up with a new range of biscuits, if you want to reach your end-users – the customers who consume your biscuits, you will tie-up with the supermarkets and dept. stores and promote your product. For the same product if you want to target the retailer’s (the supermarkets and the dept. stores) who need to store your product adequately, then you will have a tie-up with the distributor/wholesaler who supplies the biscuits to them and promote your product.
Advantage – Your ad campaign will be reaching your target customers directly and there is higher chance of success. Depending on how it goes, you might even supply the bill printing stationary to your partner free of cost !
Use The Menu Card And Paper Napkins
People do spend time on restaurants right ? Any decent restaurant says 20 minutes is your waiting time before you get your food freshly cooked. People need to kill that time. What do they do ? The one who is going to pay goes over the menu card the others start doodling over the paper napkins kept there. You get the idea, right ?
All it needs a little bit of talk with the few restaurant owners and you can run a small campaign by promoting some of the relevant products in the menu card and in the napkins. Some of the restaurants provide the take-away menus to their customers (in the form of a flier). You can even considering advertising in that menu card too.
Advantage – Little chance of people missing out on the ad. Again, it reaches the end user without any clutter.
Be Where Your Customers Are
Identify the potential areas where your target customers are likely to be available as a group and try to reach there. If you are selling toys/books/stationaries targeting school children ensure that your products are promoted/advertised there. Have a billboard/poster advertising your product/services so that it is not missed by the parents as well as the kids. If the billboard is not allowed, be there physically for few days and distribute the brochures/fliers detailing your product/services.
If you are promoting a healthcare product, make yourself available in the popular walking areas early in the morning and try to reach out to the health conscious people.
Advantage – You are reaching out to the customers rather than expecting them to come and see your store/product. This gives you an edge over your competitors as you have seen the customer earlier.
Give Freebies Or Try-Before-You-Buy Option
Have a small or mini version of your product and ensure that it is given free/complimentary to the potential prospects. Already this is practiced in several sectors but its full potential is not yet realized. People love freebies and giving the same as a cute miniature version adds to the charm. Mini soap, mini match box, mini perfume bottle, mini wine collections are all some of the popular items already following this promotional way.
In software this has been used very effectively. Any software product has a basic free version (with limited features) or a fully functional version available for limited period (15 or 30 days evaluation). This ensures that the customer evaluates the product fully before making the purchase decision.
Advantage – Good branding. Curiosity factor gets in to try out the fully functional version. Even if somebody chooses the free version later they will upgrade to the fully functional version.
Use Toll Plazas
Ensure that you have somebody stand whole day in a toll plaza and distributes your brochures and fliers to all of them who passes by. People need to stop their vehicles in the toll plazas and if you have relevant product(s) catering to the wide audience that are passing by a toll-plaza you sure are to get few inquiries.
Real Estate promoters promoting a new project, farm house promoters, road side motels/restaurants, theme parks all can use the above methods to get reasonably good leads.
Advantage – Easy and effective way to reach a wide cross-section of the customer base.