Business development · 3 April 2021

What are unique marketing ideas for the 2020s?

What are unique marketing ideas for the 2020s?

Growing your business requires acquiring new clients – simple. Get the word out there, attract new clients and make more money.

Add some blood, sweat and tears, and your marketing journey has started.

As with all things in life, some of us have our old favourites or tried and trusted things. This includes marketing activities. No matter how comfortable it is for you, doing the same old thing might be boring your audience and wasting money.

While systems and processes can make things cost-effective and time-efficient, it is important to step back at appropriate intervals to analyse those actions. Or you find yourself in a mucky, old marketing rut.

If you think you are in such a squelchy rut, have a look at this overview of four types of marketing strategies. They might inspire you as an alternative that you can use to rejuvenate your marketing plans for upcoming years, to communicate with your audience in a new way or to add some life to torpid campaigns.

What are the 4 types of marketing strategies?

Here is an overview of four types of marketing strategies to consider:

Cause Marketing – This is also known as cause-related marketing. It links a company and its products and services to a social cause or issue. This can have multiple wins by focussing on something close to your heart that you might not have had time to deal with, be a good marketing hook and deliver benefits to the cause that is being focussed on.

Relationship Marketing – This type of marketing focuses on customer retention and customer satisfaction. This strives to enhance the existing relationships with customers to increase loyalty and reduce attrition. There are huge cost benefits to this, but these ‘pampered’ customers could become your brand ambassadors and do marketing for you.

Scarcity Marketing – When using this marketing strategy, you create the perception that there is a shortage. Customers make decisions faster and buy faster if the item they are considering might be in short supply. Need we mention the infamous toilet paper buyers? This should be used carefully as the smell of insincerity will drive customers away in droves.

Interactive Marketing Strategy – This strategy encourages interaction between the brand and the customer. This is becoming a trend because of the market demand for better online experiences (UX) and improved internet technology (UI). An example of successful interactive marketing is, believe it or not, quizzes!  Ninety-six per cent of all quizzes established on BuzzFeed are completed, and the results shared across social media.

Users enjoy completing them and sharing the results with their online friends. The successful quizzes are entertaining and engaging whilst inspiring a specific action. A travel company enjoyed massive marketing success with its quirky Vacation Matchmaker Quiz – a take on online dating, matching consumers with their ideal destinations (based on their answers).

The first two strategies focus on the benefits to others. The third relies on panic buying, and the fourth offers the consumer entertainment and social interaction in return for soft marketing of a product within the quiz.

What are the seven P’s of marketing?

A good marketing campaign requires a lot of organising and strategising, amongst other things, to get a value-adding plan together. One of the foundations is the marketing mix.

The marketing mix was originally known as ‘The 4Ps of Marketing: Product, Place, Price, & Promotion. So what are the 7Ps of Marketing spoken about today? The 7Ps include the 4 original Ps and add on Physical Evidence, People, & Processes. To understand these, here is an overview of each factor individually:

Product – This covers anything being sold: a service, a physical product, a treatment, or an experience.

Let’s look at an example: A client purchases a great looking item online. It arrives and does not match up to its online image/description. Does the client:

  • send it back and get a refund,
  • complain online,
  • order a different size to hopefully solve the issue
  • or throw it in the spare room and ignore it.
This has inconvenienced them and lessened their view of the brand. No matter what you sell, it must meet the demands of and exceed the expectations of the customer.

Place – This is the point of distribution or access to your product/service, a warehouse or a high-street store to an e-commerce shop or cloud-based platform.

The place has to be appropriate for your brand and accessible. Where would your customers go for your type of product? Magazines, price-comparison sites, supermarkets, online stores, regular brick-and-mortar stores? Where are your competitors selling?

Of course, other things influence the choice, such as the product type and your budget. The critical information with a heavy weighting should be: a) know your audience, b) know their wants, c) know their needs and d) know their requirements.

Price – The price point you arrive at is not pure mathematics. It is maths plus market as the price should indicate the value the market sees in your product—priced too high, possibly losing market share if you target bargain hunters. On the other hand, priced too low means a painful loss of vital profits.

Hitting on the magical correct price point for your product needs preparation. Part of the preparation is conducting a market segmentation exercise by grouping your target market based on:

  • demographics,
  • geographic location,
  • psychographics (values, desires, goals, interests, and lifestyle choices)
  • behavioural variables
This will tease out price levels and assist with confirming what price level needs to be established. It will also reveal to you if you are targeting the most appropriate audience who bring the highest potential for optimal value in return.

The next step involves analysing the current market competition relative to your product, even if it’s not a direct match but an alternative option to your product. Look at the pricing strategy of your competitors.

Once arriving at the price of your product, you need to weigh up its impact on your customers’ perception of your brand.

Promotion – This includes P.R., roadshows, advertising, marketing, and sales techniques.  Traditional advertising includes TV, radio, magazines, billboards, etc. Contemporary placements would be within web content, ads on podcasts, social media, email marketing, or push notifications.

The chosen methodology and channel will have a direct, tangible effect on your promotion’s success and, hence, your brand. Selecting the wrong place, time, person, or poorly researched collaboration partner can put your brand in a world of trouble. If all factors are carefully planned and based on facts, then your business will become the success it is meant to be.

Promotion is a tough game. Consumers are bombarded with a cacophony of pop up ads, SMS ads, social media ads, radio ads – the list goes on. It is estimated that the consumer is faced with 5000 impressions (of adverts) per day. Your brand needs to be visible within that crowd. To do this, it is vital to understand your target audience and know what they require of you (not what YOU think they should get from you). This will put you a few steps ahead of any sloppy competitor.

So how do you achieve this understanding and knowledge of your audience? Through the market segmentation exercise we mentioned above. The process, if done thoroughly, will help you learn the wants, needs, values, and motivations of your potential customers. Analyse the information that is revealed in the exercise and take appropriate action. You can be sure, then, that your product is being promoted in the right way, to the right people, in the right place and at the right time.

Physical Evidence – How can the customer be reassured that the brand they’re giving their hard-earned money to:

a) is legitimate and

b) that they have the rights to recourse if something is wrong with the product.

They need physical evidence. Firstly they will need evidence that a transaction took place and, before that, they will need proof your brand does exist. The news is full of stories of scammers and fly-by-night setups, so it is prudent for consumers to require physical evidence.

Physical evidence can be quality of the transaction, ease of contacting the company, quality of communication with the company, the receipts, the packaging, the tracking ability, quality of invoice, brochures, online presence etc.

The customer’s belief and trust in your brand is strengthened via aspects such as your website quality and freshness, social media presence and activity, Google reviews on your company, your logo, business cards, building signage, and equipment. They will see these aspects before they have even clicked on a product.

There are huge benefits from physical evidence as it makes your brand tangible and can distinguish you apart from any competitors. It will enhance the image of professionalism, authenticity and longevity of your business/brand.

People – The cogs of your machine, the most important and the most variable – your employees. They do the selling or the designing, or perhaps they are managing teams and packing items.

If your people are the weak link, don’t bother creating a smart brand, great service or product, or investing in a social media presence. You cannot survive without your employees being of the same quality as you want your brand to be. Whether they are in the distribution centre or taking customer calls, they must have appropriate training and a superior comprehension of their role in the whole ‘brand machine’. They must understand their worth.

Managers strong in EQ and people-skills, a customer service department that listens and puts the customer first. You must choose and lead your employees with a shared vision of the brand.  If every employee is trained to comprehend customer expectations and requirements, you have a dream team, and the sky’s the limit!

Processes – The final factor in the marketing mix. For the creatives and visionaries, processes are mind-numbing to set up. This series of actions that are needed in order to correctly and efficiently deliver the product or service to the customer cannot be based on “I have an intelligent team, they’re adults, and they’ll do the right thing”.

This requires careful examination of the sales funnel, interdepartmental communication, role ownership and accountability, payment systems, distribution processes (inward, outward and returns) and CRM. It also should allow for input from the employees on how they think things could work more efficiently or cost-effectively.

Each step taken by the team must be cost-effective whilst remaining in the boundaries of giving the maximum customer benefit. Don’t forget to keep this aligned with your marketing strategy and sales strategy, as this will help you choose the right solutions.

There are macro-economic factors to weigh in on the decision to ensure that your choices are up-to-date and in line with current trends, e.g. a health food chain of cafes using electric bikes for delivery.

Big sigh of relief, you have reached the end of the marketing list. Now you are locked and loaded and ready to start some marketing magic. Before launching into the business stratosphere, here is something to pause on:

There is an additional marketing factor. The 8th factor. Performance or Productivity. This is the last one, we promise.

Performance/ Productivity – What is your brand and team’s ability to deliver the product or service to your customers in line with what has been promised to them?

Are your customers satisfied, and do they feel they are receiving value for money?

Monitoring and managing this is very important as digital word of mouth is fast, and it can snowball. Reports have stated that 92% of consumers take recommendations given by friends and family regardless of whether they have been impressed by the marketing efforts.

“Great product, but when the XYZ broke off within the warranty period. I couldn’t get a replacement part for six months. Bought the competitors product which is not as great but the service is well worth the slightly slower performance”. This type of review will crush sales very quickly.

The Marketing Mix – The 7, now 8, P’s of the marketing mix. It might seem like a lot, but every journey starts with one step. Every step taken using this marketing mix will take you one step closer to a successful and rewarding business and brand.

Analyse and leverage your business against each ‘P’, and you will be casting a rock-solid marketing strategy foundation. Happy employees, happy customers, great product/service and business flowing.

What are examples of unique marketing ideas?

The magic moment when you attract the right client at the right time is business gold. Be innovative in your marketing, and that gold could be yours imminently. So here are three marketing ideas to inspire you:

Give-aways – How could freebees help? Free offers almost always work because every customer, high end or entry-level, loves the promise of ‘something for nothing’.

The cost of the giveaway is covered by the extra sales created. Earn your potential customer’s attention and give them a chance to experience the value of your brand and product or service brings. Give away real value that will attract real, paying customers.

Controversy – If you’re too neutral, you could fade into the background. Don’t write trashing comments or start a Twitter war, rather seek out something that is aligned to your brand and take a stand for it.

Strong opinions and definite stances create discussion and dialogue, and those 2 ‘D’s are gold making magic. Within the controversy, don’t lose sight of the purpose behind your actions.

Heroes – Telling stories is an ancient art across the globe. Narratives play a key role in the marketing of products. That’s why so much money is invested in TV commercials. They are 30-second films with a story.

Customers want to be the hero of a story who is admired, respected, powerful, and strong.  That’s why high-end brands that fall over themselves for their hero clients can get such massive prices paid for their products. They want to walk away from your brand, feeling like they have a cape flowing out behind them.

Use the stories of existing customers and their journey with the product. How did it add value to their life or situation? Prospective customers’ love that as long as it is sincere and not actors faking it. Clear and emotionally compelling stories have a better chance of producing sales.

So now you can stop staring at your screen and get to interact with your customers, inspiring your staff and strengthening your marketing strategy!

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