5 Creative Marketing Strategies That Work

With holiday sales slumping across the board and consumer confidence holding at all-time lows, some small businesses are finding creative ways to keep customers coming and buying. If you are looking for ways to revamp your marketing strategy without straining your budget here are five techniques that work. And as you can see from the examples that follow, for those who are prepared to be creative and maybe even a little off-beat, there could be a big pay off at the end.

1. Will It Blend. Create a viral marketing campaign consisting of catchy articles, blog posts, or videos.

Blendtec has been promoting the power and versatility of its line of blenders in a popular series of infomercials featuring Blentec founder Tom Dickson blending a host of unlikely items including: golf balls, an iPhone, the Wii remote, credit cards, and the McDonald’s Extra Value Meal. There are also videos featuring attempts to “blend” the writers strike or the political parties.

2. Heart Attack Grill. Find a way to use even bad publicity to your advantage.

The Heart Attack Grill was founded in 2005 by “Dr.” Jon Basso who unabashedly promotes his restaurant’s unhealthy menu. The Heart Attack Grill offers burgers called single, double, triple, or even quadruple bypass (depending on the number of beef patties), beer, hard liquor, regular soda, unfiltered cigarettes and french fries cooked in pure lard all served by a scantily clad staff of “nurses.” What could be better?

3. The Million Dollar Homepage . Find creative, low cost ways to to use widely available material and mediums to advertise your business: think body art (logo hair cuts, hand-stampers, fake tattoos), logo projectors, or…

Check out what one clever entrepreneur did. He created a page with a 1,000,000 pixels, and charged people a dollar per pixel to advertise. Not a bad way to earn a quick million!

4. Bottled Water Marketing Campaigns. Create a brand distinction even when the differences are small or nonexistent.

With high profile endorsements and grandiose claims about their product’s purity and contribution to good health, bottled water producers have successfully created a distinction between natural mineral water versus tap water in the minds of many consumers. And this image has persisted even as several bottled water producers were exposed for fraudulent claims.

Today, bottled water producers are further buffing up their brand distinction by supporting a variety of green initiatives even differentiating themselves from soft drinks.

5. The Mentos/Coke Geyser Video Contest. Get your customers involved in promoting your business. Request personal videos from your customers that show them using your products, giving them as a gift, or shopping at your store. Run contests for the best logo or T-shirt design or the best commercial.

A recent Mentos/Coke geyser video contest in conjunction with YouTube brought 150 contestants. Now there are about 10,000 videos with this theme. The contest also set off a viral frenzy as the videos were shared among countless people.

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