by Wendy McClelland
Here are some marketing ideas for you to try that are a little different from what you might have heard before.
First, define the end user of your product. Many times when I ask people who their ideal client is they will tell me "oh everyone can use my product!". Actually the only two things that EVERYONE uses are air and water, SO narrow your focus - really key into WHO your customers are. What are their age, gender, hobbies, interests, etc. By refining your focus you can better serve your customer and become "THE" supplier of choice in your market.
Once you have identified your key customer you can find out what other companies are trying to appeal to that market as well, and then see if you can do a "joint venture" or "cross promotion" with them. This means you both contribute something to the deal, and you both generate some revenue for your business. This will allow you exposure to a whole new batch of customers, without having to spend anymore money!
(EXAMPLE OF A JOINT VENTURE) Are you appealing to people's health with your product or service? Why not approach a health related support group or health food store, and offer to give an educational seminar - this does not mean a sales pitch. Explain how people with the specific condition these people have can take better care of themselves, and how possibly your product may help them. Explain the benefits of your product well but don't "push" the product, or you will very quickly turn people off. This way you educate people and they'll naturally want more information.
A good way to let people see that you are interested in their health and not just selling them something is to start a newsletter that you can send out via email or regular mail. It should contain good health information, maybe some recipes, tips for fitting exercise into daily life, new research into aging, and a "little" bit about the product you sell. By offering information and education you become a trusted advisor, not just a salesperson. People are more likely to buy from someone they trust.
Do you make something that could tag along well with another product. As an example if you make little girls' hair bows - why not see if a hair salon will let you package them with the children's shampoo or brushes they sell?
Do you have a great new dog food or cookie - why not check out local pet stores and offer to give away a free sample with each puppy toy that's sold? Or team up with local dog trainers and see if you can sell your doggy treats in bulk to them.
Make sure the packaging has contact information on it, so dog owners can get in touch with you once their first package is finished and they want to buy more. (SALES TIP: MAKE SURE YOU ALWAYS PUT CONTACT INFORMATION ON YOUR PACKAGING SO PEOPLE KNOW HOW TO GET IN TOUCH WITH YOU)
If you're a make-up artist, why not put on a make-up demonstration in a bridal salon on a Saturday morning when brides looking for wedding dresses, and girls looking for prom dresses are getting fitted. Have a draw for a free makeover, and use the names from the draw as a mailing list. This is an ideal way to target your key client!
These are just a few unique ideas that you can custom tailor to suit your business. Get excited about your business, take a look around and see what other unique ideas you can come up with, and most of all - HAVE FUN!
by Wendy McClelland ©2004
Wendy McClelland is a motivational speaker, marketing innovator and Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach who specializes in teaching people to "think without boundaries!" She is a past nominee for "Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year" and her clients have included software developers, an Olympic athlete and a wide range of business organizations. She has spoken to 10,000+ conference attendees, about Marketing, Internet Business and Motivation. You can contact her through her website - http://www.thinkwithoutboundaries.com.