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Marketing strategies to cut through the clutter

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Marketing is designed to attract customers – but when your target market is bombarded with marketing messages daily, how can you grab – and hold – your consumer’s undivided attention?

The key is to cut through the clutter – be original and different and, subsequently, you may be lucky enough to leverage free publicity.

Some do it well. Take television program Big Brother, for example. Remember in early 2000 when billboards throughout the country featured those bushy-eyebrows and narrowed eyes. With no context or product given, the marketing campaign left consumers to their own devices, deciphering the message and creating buzz and excitement along with it.

Then there are those misguided attempts, which end horribly wrong, such as the recent marketing stunt in south Russia, involving a parasailing donkey. Stunts such as these, and certainly the donkey would agree, only end badly.

The campaign

In recent weeks, one marketing campaign has managed to create buzz from the public and marketing industry alike. Radio station Nova 96.9’s Sydney breakfast team has taken their marketing to the streets. The trio, including Merrick Watts, Ricki-Lee Coulter and Scott Dooly, passed their $250,000 advertising budget onto their fans, awarding civilian promoters for their own marketing stunts.

Listeners and fans were incited to promote the show in any original and creative way that they could, and would be rewarded with cash for their efforts.

Its results

The results have certainly been creative and have garnered a lot of press. Kings Cross nightclub LadyLux, for example, changed their name to the Merrick, Dools and Ricki-Lee Club earlier in the month, and decked its insides with life-size posters and masks featuring the presenters’ faces.

Then there was the woman who independently hired a skywriter to scrawl ‘I love Nova’ in the sky during the morning traffic rush. Or the signs streaming from various bridges throughout Sydney, from the Sydney Harbour Tunnel to Parramatta Road, proclaiming their love for Nova.

Even international fast food chain, Nando’s, was awarded some money for its conversion of four Sydney stores into Novando’s with themed meals promoting the radio station.

The effect

The ‘For Love and Money’ campaign may have involved monetary reward but, really, it had very little to do with money at all. After all, there has to be an easier way to make a couple of hundred bucks – as was the case for one fan, who created and placed bumper stickers on all cars parked at Sydney airport and plastered a banner on the roof of her house, directly under the flight path.

This sort of publicity is absolutely invaluable. Not only does it have an air of genuineness associated with traditional word-of-mouth, but it reinforces already-present loyalty – Nova is effectively saying its market, ‘We trust you enough to pass on our budget to you, instead of professional advertising agencies’.

And traditional mediums, such as TV and newspaper, only add fuel to the fire, reporting on the guerilla marketing campaigns cropping up citywide.

Effectively, Nova let the consumer become the marketer – and the fervour of fans was infectious. However, time will tell whether this translated into more listeners tuning in. The next ratings data will have to be the judge of the effectiveness of this marketing.

So, if you’re looking to work on your business rather than being stuck in it, book in for a complimentary business assessment today with Switzer Business Coaching

Important information: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

Published on: Monday, July 26, 2010

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