Creative Marketing Strategy You Can Copy For Your Business!

I recently moved into a new apartment and as we were moving in I came upon a creative marketing strategy that any small business can use…and the best part is that it’s just about free and is incredibly effective.Here’s what happened.We purchased our bed from a store called “EFO (I’m not sure if that’s local or a huge national chain).When the bed came to the house, the delivery men did the simplest target marketing strategy I’ve ever seen – all they did was hand me a small postcard giving me $20 on my next purchase…just for filling out a tiny little survey that took me about 20 seconds to complete.

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Now some people might think that the importance was that I took the survey, but honestly I don’t think they cared about that.So when I realized that they were offering me off my next purchased I was like …”yikes, for only a few seconds of work…nice!”So #1 – It developed an instant rapport with the company.#2 – I ended up going back to that same place and doubling the price of my original order (we got our couch from there as well, which was roughly the same price as the bed).Now I’m not saying that a creative marketing strategy like this completely caused me to go back to them, but I can tell you one thing…it definitely made me more likely to go back.

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And you might be saying, well…it’s just .Yes, it’s only …but it’s the fact that they were giving me $20 JUST to fill out a tiny little survey.And as marketer myself I knew all the psychology going on behind it and that they just wanted to get me back in the store, but for someone who didn’t know better…I think this marketing strategy model is a great one to follow.All you have to do is simply change your offer and tailor it to your own clients or customers.

Creative Marketing: Just Your Style

You’ve enlisted some of the traditional marketing
methods to sell your services: you received some
publicity in your local paper; your website is up and
running; and you’re listed in the Yellow Pages. So
why isn’t the phone ringing off the hook? Maybe
you’re marketing strategies need to get more creative!Creative marketing will allow you to attract new
clients, as well as remind past clients that you’re still
around. You’ll also stand out from the other
professionals in your field: creative marketing gets
you noticed, enticing people to want to know more about
you! And the beauty of creative marketing is that
there is no one right way to do it. Methods that
work — and feel comfortable — for you might not
work for others.Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices
flowing:

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Staying In TouchRather than relying solely on the phone to stay in
touch, utilize mail and e-mail. It’s fast, easy, and tells
your clients that you took the extra time to think of
them.Send birthday cards on your clients’ birthdays, or
better yet, send an anniversary card to celebrate the
date when you first worked with a client.Another great option is to send postcards or
newsletters filled with tips. This establishes you as
an expert in your field. Be sure to include an update
of your current services or any special offers you
have.Give-Aways that WorkEveryone loves a little gift now and then. Promotional
give-aways can boost your business by showing
appreciation and offering a reminder that you’re ready
to help.Steer clear of pens, notepads, and keychains. Your
clients have enough of those. Brainstorm with friends
and your local advertising specialties representative
to find affordable, unique ideas that represent you
and your business. (Look in the Yellow Pages under “Advertising Promotional
Products” for companies near you.)
For
example, at Time to Organize,
my company found an affordable, colorful travel alarm
clock that can double as a desk clock. Imprinted with
my logo and website address, it’s a gift that was
useful to my clients and beneficial to my business.
Remember that memorable and useful items are most
appreciated.Getting VisibilityTry to draw a little attention wherever you go.
Depending upon how shy (or flamboyant) you are,
you might try something as simple as wearing your
nametag in public to driving around town with
magnetic signs attached to your vehicle that tout your services. Don’t be shy about
tooting your own
horn. If you tend to downplay your strengths, fearing
you’ll sound brazen, squash that feeling now! As a
small-business owner, you don’t have a marketing
department, so you must be your own loudest advocate!
Making others aware of your products and services is
NOT bragging.

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I hope these ideas jump start your creative thought
process. I would love to hear from YOU about your
creative marketing strategies. What worked best?
What bombed? Happy thinking…Copyright 2005 Time to Organize. All rights reserved.

How To Use Creative Marketing and Sales During Tough Times – The Harris Rosen Hitch Hiking Odyssey

There are external factors in all businesses beyond the direct control of any manager or owner. Then there are internal factors in all business over which a manager or owner has some degree of influence or control.Using creative marketing and out of the box sales approaches can have big payoffs during the inevitable tough times.It may be the creativity of internal responses to external factors to achieve a more favorable outcome than pure chance. Let us learn from what one Orlando business owner accomplished during some recent challenging times.Harris Rosen is a well known and top shelf Hotelier in the Orlando market. He graduated from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration in 1962 and is now CEO of Rosen Hotels & Resorts. He owns seven quality properties totaling more than 5,000 rooms. Business in 2008 appears very good.

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But when Harris bought his first Quality Inn hotel in 1974 there was a major gas shortage in the US. Folks were just not traveling to Orlando. Few travelers meant few guests at any area hotels.Hotels and restaurants obviously need guests and diners to literally survive. So what to do?Well, Harris Rosen used to stand at the highway near the exit ramp to his Quality Inn and try to use will power to influence people to leave the highway and check in. He soon found, however, that his willing powers were lacking, so he came up with a Plan B.A Special One Man Sales Program was put into place.Harris knew that motor coach operators in New York were still traveling to Orlando. He personally hitch-hiked to New York and made cold sales calls on the motor coach owners.”Hi, I’m Harris Rosen. I just hitch hiked up from Florida to talk with you about a really big benefit for you and your tour coach customers. I own a nice hotel in Orlando. You just tell me what nightly rate you want and I’ll agree to it,” he would say. This is a paraphrase, but essentially how the sales calls were made according to the story as recounted by Harris Rosen himself.In short order he made friends with many tour bus owner/operators and cut deals for as low as $5 a night for guests to stay in his Quality Inn. The contract was a business card given to the coach operator where Harris wrote 5 dollars a night and signed his name. “You just give this to the front desk at check in and they’ll honor your special rate for you and all your passengers,” he told the tour bus owners. Harris gave out enough business card contracts to fill his hotel. Then he bought an airline ticket to Orlando and flew home.

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After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on New York’s Twin Towers the hotel business in Orlando really suffered. Harris Rosen began dropping rates to as low as $39 at some of his 4-star properties. He marketed and promoted. Many locals traveled to Rosen Hotels and helped prop occupancy and thus the hotel was able to better maximize overall hotel revenue, cover housekeeping costs, and reduce layoffs.When the bad times roll in, just roll out some creative promotions and marketing to not only survive but thrive.

Creative Marketing, More Customers

The days of big television ads and full page newspaper ads that drive thousands of customers to your booming business are over (Unless you have an unlimited amount of funding). The Internet and our socially connected world have changed business and marketing forever and it makes me so happy! It has never been easier to get the word out about your business and show people why they should become your customers. And for little to no money if you get creative enough.I got my first life lesson about marketing the day I opened my first business. Finding funds, setting up the business structure, filing legal documents, getting adequate insurance and all the other logistical things involved in starting this business were easy. But when I found myself with open doors but sitting on only $400 in my bank and business bills coming due, “nervous” doesn’t come close to what I was feeling. I knew that marketing was important so I took the first $1000 that I made and paid an “advertising expert” to put our money to good use. This generated Zero customers. So hey, marketing takes time right? So the second $1000 went to an advertising piece that went out to 10,000 subscribers. It too produced Zero customers. Funds were now getting very low. We did have customers from word of mouth but not enough to sustain the business. At this point I did the only thing I thought I could, I spend an hour designing a flyer and got 200 of them printed off. I spent the next few hours woefully passing them out in a small college town. Numbers skyrocketed a few days later and I was completely amazed. A cheap flyer got us customers?! $2000 dollars…. Zero Customers. But, $10 worth of a creative marketing piece,that some “experts” would laugh at, produced dozens of customers. I estimate that we earned around $1000 from those first flyers.

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The flyers themselves were not what produced the customers. It was the way that they were passed out. I knocked on each door, talked with each person that answered the door and invited them to come to our business and check it out. That, is Creative Marketing. We do many types of advertising in our companies now but the best way, that we have found, to market that first business is still passing out flyers. Getting creative in your advertising will go a long way. You can find low cost, fun and easy to do methods to bring tens of thousands of dollars to your bottom line. This is where you have to understand your business and experiment. Some marketing books and gurus will tell you specific things to do in order to get customers. I am a little different. I have had and have run multiple companies and each one has to be treated differently. Each one has a different type of customer and it is different to get the word out to different people. This is where the fun comes in! How can you market to the most people for the least amount of money? Figure it out!

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Will the Internet help your company? Social Networking sites? Google Ad Words? (Yes, they will)Do you want your message to be serious or funny?What message do you want to send to your customers?Do you want to offer them a good deal? (Remember – You customers will spend money if they find your product or service of value)Find what works the best for you and your company. This may take some time but it will save you a lot of money and you will gain very valuable customers. Creative Marketing shows your customers that you care and that will go a long way. And remember, creating a large customer base takes time. When we started our first Facebook page for our Indoor Rock Climbing gym, no matter what we posted it didn’t change how much money we made. Now, we can run a good deal, post something on Facebook and watch the bank account grow by thousands of dollars.Be patient, be willing to try and be creative!

Using a Trade Show Pop Up Exhibit As a Creative Marketing Idea

A very good creative marketing idea is to use a pop up exhibit as a central component of your trade show booth. While it is true that there are many other displays that use the pop up, it is not that difficult to create a totally unique display on a budget.By making use of a standard, modular design, you will save yourself a great deal of time and money. Not only will your budget be more manageable, but the outcome will quite possibly be superior to something you created entirely on your own.Quality trade show designs can be accomplished by making use of the expertise that the suppliers offer. A good company offers assistance in developing your marketing strategy in conjunction with the tabletop or pop up display.

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Because the library of designs is as extensive as it is, companies can choose a basic design and work with the supplier to customize it to meet their own particular needs. Color choices, logos, branding and the overall look and feel can all be integrated as a comprehensive whole, rather than a piecemeal approach.The pop up exhibit is particularly appealing because it has so many variations and is so easy to modify. The use of a fabric display in the pop up is quite effective and very versatile. Nearly any aluminum frame that you can create can be covered with fabric, the possibilities are almost endless.With the improvements in printing technology it is common to have stunning graphic displays on the fabric. Rich gradient coloring, together with special booth lighting can accentuate your exhibit and be a real crowd pleaser.Another advantage of the pop up is its portability and ease of storage and setup. The portable display makes it possible to move the components and change the presentation in a way that meets the changing mood or need of the visitors.Even the cases can be used as part of the exhibit, which saves more space and money. With floor space at a premium, it is crucial to consider how to maximize every aspect of the display. A well thought out booth has no wasted space, energy or other resources.

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One of the best ways to get ideas is to visit trade shows that are in other industries than your own. This is always a refreshing exposure to new and different ideas. Because people tend to imitate others who are perceived as successful, it is very critical to think outside the box in order to stand out in the sea of sameness.Overall, the pop up exhibit has many excellent characteristics that make it a good starting point for a successful trade show exhibit. With some serious planning, communication and coordination you will have a display that you can be proud of and that will attract visitors.

Creative Marketing Plans for Commercial and Retail Property Sales

In this property market, the marketing plan that you create as real estate agent is critical to the generation of enquiry. This market is slower and more discerning in many ways. Every marketing dollar spent should be spent in a clear and precise way.So here are some rules for building a creative marketing plan for commercial property in this market:Inspect the property fully before you form any opinion about how to market the property. It is best to do this with the property owner present. You can then discuss what you see and ask the right questions.
Understand the history of the area and the property to identify any impressions or hurdles that he property is taking to the market today.
Review the demographics of the local area in both in community and local business terms.
Supply and demand for property in the local area will have an impact. Check out the new developments and vacant land that could impact what happens in the sale of the property.
Find out what property pain and concerns the client has for the property today and how they want you to help them.
Understand where the comparable properties are in proximity to the potential listing and review the prices and rents being asked. Add to that the history of the rents and prices of completed deals.
Decide what the target market for the property should be in this economy and ascertain what that market is looking for.

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Once you have this information you can build a creative marketing plan to submit to your client. Here are some ideas to help with that:Stage the marketing for maximum impact core period of 4 to 6 weeks at the very start. After that time you move to less intense marketing.
The highest impact marketing tools that are right for the property should be chosen and used in the campaign. Consider a mix of newspaper, internet, signboard, email database, flyer, direct mail, direct call canvassing, and door knocking the local area.
Marketing adjustments should be made weekly depending on what is working to get the message out to the market. When the enquiry rate is poor you adjust quickly.
Enquiry tracking is essential in all phases of the marketing plan. All qualified prospects are put into the database with complete categorisation for future reference and follow-up.
Cost control balanced against communicating the property message is a fine balance.
Inspection strategy should be identified and agreed with the client first. That will be the way that you inspect the property and how you take prospects to the features of the property.
Feedback reports from every inspection are critical. In only that way can you condition the client for the event of a correct offer.

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Creative marketing of a property for sale is not a generic process. The very best agents do it so well; they get the results faster for their clients.

Make Money From Home: Creative Marketing Ideas for Small Online Businesses

Owning a small business is both exciting and hard work. If you have the privilege of working for yourself, you understand that both discipline and marketing skills are necessary in order to make a sizable profit. In today’s tech world, online marketing is essential to getting yourself some publicity, but there are also good old fashioned marketing ideas that you can utilize locally.Here are some creative marketing ideas to get you making money from home via your small business:1. Get articles published in local magazines. Write a few high quality articles and see if you can get them published in your local magazine or trade magazine. This is very cost effective and can reach many readers.2. Sponsor a sports team in your community. If you want to build brand or service awareness, sponsor a local sports team. Use your logo and name on the uniforms and send out a press release letting others know that you are a generous community member.

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3. Teach classes and workshops. If you’re an expert in your field, feel free to hold your own classes, workshops, and check into speaking at seminars. As you get out there in the communities, you’ll connect with many people.4. Create a blog and update it regularly. The purpose of a blog is to dazzle your readers with interesting and relevant content. If you’re not a writer, you can hire a freelance writer for a very good price so that you’ll always have fresh content. Doing so will get you a better search engine ranking so that more people will be able to find your website via search engines. More traffic equals more sales!5. Host a free event. Do you have knowledge or a quality service to share? Go ahead and host a free event to get the media interested and get plenty of prospects for your product or service. Give away prizes and be sure to have an email sign-up sheet for a newsletter or other free giveaways.6. Get your information online everywhere. In addition to your website and blog, get active with online marketing avenues like YouTube, iTunes for podcasts, Facebook pages, Twitter, and other popular social media sites. As you expand your sphere of influence, you’re building credibility and attracting more traffic and possible sales.

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7. Honor birthdays and holidays. Many business owners report that the fact that they send handwritten birthday and holiday cards to past clients has won them bonus points in a major way. Take the time to do this and you’ll be more apt to see your past customers time and time again and get them talking about you to family and friends.If you own a small business and want to make money from home, it is essential that you tap into online and traditional marketing techniques. Some of these ideas only take a little bit of time, so you have no excuse for slacking with your marketing strategy. If you don’t have ample time to spend marketing, hire someone to do this for you, as the investment will be well worth the payoff.

Creative Marketing Ideas – 5 Unstoppable Top Tips to Beat Your Competition

Are you struggling to think of creative marketing ideas to promote your business? It can be hard, but here are 5 fresh ideas to get your creative juices flowing again. They each show how treating your customers as individuals and personalising the way you do business with them can really make an impact on customer retention.Did you know? – Research shows that it costs you 6-8 times as much to gain a new customer as to keep an existing one, so don’t let your customers slip away!An excellent way to make your customers feel special is to personalise your communications with them. You know yourself that if a business you are dealing with takes the trouble to know you by name, it makes you feel that bit more special; that bit more appreciated.

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You may feel that personalisation is too much trouble or too expensive for your business, but take a look at these ideas before you dismiss it out of hand:1. Shortly after a customer has purchased from you, send them a personalised note, offering them (by name) the chance to buy again at a discount (with an expiration date so that it does not just get filed away). Make it clear that this is a special deal, just for them, as a thank-you for doing business with you.2. If you know the customer’s date of birth from your records, why not send them a birthday card? For the cost of a card and a stamp, you have brightened their day and put your business back in front of their eyes.3. When a customer buys from your business, send a thank-you note. Not an email, or a pre-printed, anonymous, computer-generated card but a real postcard or brief letter. Hand write the note if possible, thanking them for their custom, with enough detail that they can see you really know what they bought and that the thank you is genuine.4. Make a note of the first time you do business with a customer, and send them a card on the anniversary of that date, maybe offering them a special deal on a repeat purchase.5. Offer your customers the chance to join a free online “club” and send out regular newsletters announcing your latest product or service, offering special deals on slow-moving lines, or giving loyalty bonuses to club members. You might run a competition, with one of your products or services as the prize; you could offer an incentive for the best “bright idea” from a customer on how you could improve your business. The customers will feel special, you will be able to collect information about them, you might get some good ideas from them, and you will have a ready-made mailing list for product or service promotions.

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Try brainstorming ideas with your employees – there are loads more ways that personalising your service can generate repeat business and help you retain good customers. These are just a few creative marketing ideas to help you get started.

Secrets to Creative Marketing for Small Businesses

Marketing is very important for any type of business: small, medium or large, because it is the main key in drawing more and more customers to buy your product. If you want to get more customers in the future as well as keep your current customers, you will need a creative marketing strategy.For small to medium businesses, here are some tips that will help you in building a creative marketing strategy:Marketing Secrets
The product itself – It is important that your product is made of high-quality materials especially these days when customers value domestic trademarks. Based on research conducted by business experts, the quality of product you sell really makes a difference when it comes to marketing, and you can promote the quality as a selling point. Of course, in order to get more people to buy your product, they need to be of value and worth in the first place. Customers can tell the difference.

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Communication – Have you ever tried looking for a certain small business on the internet to find out more about their products? Apart from marketing your products in person, you also need other communicating outlets such as having your own website, and making sure it is promoted well. This will give a good impression of your trade and will also be a way for you to communicate with your customers and answer any of their questions and inquiries. Also be sure to implement social media strategies to more quickly and efficiently communicate with your customer base.
Promotion – In order to attract local customers, you may make use of local media coverage through newspaper promotions so that you may draw in more customers into your products. With the newspaper, it will be easier to find customers near you. Contact a newspaper publishing company’s ‘business’ section editor. Ask the editor to give you a catchy profile and post it on the newspaper. Otherwise, stick to online marketing because all trends in marketing are heading in this direction.
Sponsor Local Organizations – This is another way to market your small business and make it known to the people near you. You may sponsor a school program, a local fair or any activities where there will be lots of people attending. Sponsoring educational and purposeful activities will get attract many different consumers’ attention toward your product. It is also a way to do good deeds for people within your community, which will always be beneficial when it comes to marketing.

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Professionalism – These days, marketing is not just about knocking on people’s homes and introducing them the product which you are selling in a door-to-door basis. It is also not just about giving out flyers. These types of marketing strategies will not take your small business far. You will need a more professional approach in order for you to market your products to the public. Also, people these days have become more sophisticated when it comes to trying out new products. Be professional in every method you use to communicate – in person, on the phone, and even online. In order for you to sell your products successfully, you need to have a professional disposition that convinces customers that they should be working with you.

Advantages Of Time Management – Action Chasing

OverviewWhat are the advantages of time management? Exactly how many times do you land up tracking down information that you will need to achieve a task. Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could ask for the article people would like at the final minute and it would actually be ready just when you need it? Not super early but just in time. I can easily hear you all exclaiming, ‘no chance’, ‘it’s just wishful thinking’.It is simple in this situation to believe the other individual is incompetent, not a team man or totally idle. Just why should it be the other guy’s negligence? Take a proactive attitude and see precisely how you can affect the position.Let’s explore a few straightforward techniques that can serve to prevent this frustration.Deadlines:Don’t leave steps to the last minute yourself. Give the job time some ‘slack’, so that you get the important information you require in advance of when you need it. The timing should be in discussion with the person providing it. It is no good trying to get the important information way ahead of time when you need it just in time. Endeavoring to obtain details too early might be unfeasible, or the material that you do get could potentially change ahead of the time that you use it.

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Mistakes in communication:Make completely sure that the detail you need is unmistakable and agreed. Put it in writing and challenge the person if they are satisfied with the request, completely understand it or have any concerns. Exactly why do you require it and in what format? This practice is not so that people will have a person to punish in the future. A lot of requests for information are sought way in advance of a required deadline. If you don’t record it, for the person supplying the important information, it may become not so clear as the due date arrives.Diary reminder:Don’t make the mistake that others will manage their schedule as efficiently as you. Put a prompt in your diary to chase up the action. This lets people to keep abreast of development and forms a reminder to the person producing the important information.Act on continued culprits:Some people, with the best motives, will continuously appear to be too late at supplying details. Discover why. Be proactive, don’t merely presume it is a one-off. If you determine the reason and fix the problem it will be better for everybody down the road. If a person affects you with their unsatisfactory time management they will almost certainly be doing the exact same to other people. Will they require coaching in the advantages of time management themselves? Do they report to another manager that you can speak to? Strive to solve an issue to the advantage of all before thinking about any form of punitive route.

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Meetings:In a comparable vein, people not showing up on schedule for meetings may be really irritating. Adjust the approaches above to look at improvement. This is a lot more appropriate for business meetings with one to three people. For larger meetings this is less effective. The concept that individuals will attend a meeting unless they tell you differently does not usually hold up. As earlier determine the problem and respond in the correct fashion.