In today’s business climate, your best bet in marketing doesn’t have to involve renting the biggest billboard in town. Although the garden-variety methods of marketing all still hold true to some extent — TV commercials, handbills, punch cards — we no longer need to be confined to these options to successfully reach new customers and retain the ones we have. With advances in technology — and with countless companies going through the trial-and-error processes of marketing so that we don’t have to — you may want to think outside the inbox and dedicate your time to a campaign that will make you stand out.

Setting up a referral program can be one of the best incentives for your customers to send their contacts to your business. Studies show that 92 percent of those polled trust personal references over other forms of marketing, with the bond of a trusted associate proving to be much more enticing than any kind of colorful ad campaign. Set up a sweepstakes — one that doesn’t bankrupt you when someone actually wins it — and nuance it so that the referring customers feel like they are getting something in return for recommending your service.

Another interesting method alongside an incentive program is to promote a challenge with the new campaign you’re rolling out. For example, challenge your customers to send in videos featuring your products, or have them tell their favorite story of how your product helped them, then recognize and reward the winner. It’s just free press, most of it being extremely positive. Viral marketing has never been bigger, so keep your brand in the public eye for the duration of your challenge. Staying current with trends on your hip and lighthearted social media accounts can better facilitate this type of program. Make them want to want your products and services.

Don’t let another moment go by without actively thinking of ways to outperform your competition in those realms of marketing that aren’t even on their radar. Implementing some aspects of these ideas can provide maximum output for minimum input on your end.

by: Charles Jackson,
AFEUSA President

Charles Jackson President AFEUSA