Marketing- Embrace the Creative!
Marketing is definitely a defining aspect to the success or failure of any business. Without marketing who will know about your product or service? How will people know that your product exists without your marketing strategy spreading the word about your business? Without marketing you cannot produce sales, and without sales your business cannot grow or flourish.
In today’s day and age, with technology and the web providing an easy source of marketing, how will you get your company to stand out in the thousands? It is through creative marketing strategies, the more creative and outlandish the better. But with every bold move there is always a risk for backfire, so consideration of this should definitely be taken into account. A lot of companies though who have embraced the creative have had a lot of success when using their unique methods of marketing, below are outlines of some of the more creative methods of marketing along with examples of companies that have either succeeded or failed miserably.
Ambush marketing is defined as ‘a marketing strategy where the advertisers associates them with, and therefore capitalise on, a particular event without paying any sponsorship fee’.
This form of marketing has a lot more components than you might think, and this is one form of marketing where you can make enemies, but you can also be very creative. This marketing technique branches off into 3 main types; it then branches further into numerous sub-categories of Ambush marketing. They are briefly outlined below;
- ‘Direct’ ambush marketing-
Predatory ambushing- this is where there is an intentional false claim to official sponsorship by a non-sponsor; their overall intent is to confuse consumers and gain market share from the competing official sponsor.
Coattail ambushing- a brand will directly associate itself with a property or event by playing up a connection that is legitimate but does not involve financial sponsorship.
- ‘Indirect’ ambush marketing-
Ambushing by association- is the use of imagery not protected by property laws to create an illusion that an organisation has links to a sporting event or property.
Ambushing by distraction- this is where the ambushers will set up a promotional presence at or near an event, albeit without specific reference to the event itself, this is so it can take advantage of the general public’s presence at such event.
- Incidental ambush marketing-
Unintentional ambushing- a non-sponsored party receives a comment or mention by media-coverage/celebrities/event partakers etc.
A notable example of an Ambush marketing scheme is that made my Rona, a home improvement chain in Canada. They had a banner placed under Apple’s iPod Nano billboard which is located near the Jacques Cartier Bridge in Montreal. The text on the bottom of the banner sited that ‘we recycle leftover paint’. Therefore they portrayed a relationship with Apple that was non-existent. This is a great example of Ambush Marketing.
One of the impacts that ambush marketing has on the marketing world is that is does tend to lead to prices of sponsorships increasing. It also increases on the other hand the sponsor’s emphasis on return on investment.
Guerrilla marketing is a low cost form of marketing which once included graffiti, stocker bombs and flyer posting. As this form of marketing increased in its uses and popularity different forms of guerrilla marketing came into play. Some of these new strategies included flash mobs, viral marketing campaigns and internet marketing. The overall aim of guerrilla marketing is to get networks of individuals, groups and organizations to popularise a product or idea using the strategies previously mentioned.
Guerrilla marketing includes a tactic referred to as Undercover Marketing. This is where the consumers are unaware they are being marketed too. Sony Ericson provides an example of such a strategy, in 2002, when they hired 60 actors/actresses and staged them across ten major cities. They then would ask strangers to ‘take their photo’ in which they would hand their target a brand new picture phone. A few compliments about the phone were made and thus their marketing footprint was made.
Today in a mass of advertising campaigns, promotions and businesses, how far would you go to get your business noticed? Marketing/publicity stunts are a risk but sometimes the risk pays off. A publicity stunt is defined as a pre-planned event that is designed to attract the public’s eye and attention, to create hype about that topic, event or service.
One stunt that was quite successful was achieved by Taco Bell, back in 1996, where and ad appeared in The New York Times; the headline stated, “Taco Bell buys the Liberty Bell”. This stunt is a classic and very well-known but it is a good example to keep coming back too. The ad copy announced further that Taco Bell was “pleased to announce that they had agreed to purchase the Liberty Bell. It would now be called the Taco Liberty Bell”. Although there were people in the thousands that had a negative reaction to this there was a company revenue increase by $500,000 and by $600,000 the next day; an April fool’s joke turned successful publicity stunt.
Society today is expecting to be ‘wowed’, marketing teams need to produce more creative and outgoing campaigns just to stand out in a sea of advertising. If you are creative you will create hype and interest and maybe even be the creator of the next internet craze or meme. Implementing strategies that were mentioned will allow your marketing ideas to widen, become more elaborate and sometimes more effective. So, embrace the creative. Good Luck.