If you’re one of the people that have known me for a while, you’ll probably hear about my old offline marketing strategies that I used and have had success with over the years.
My real estate people have heard my “three up, three down” strategy from when I was bird dogging; my car dealership people have heard my “local race and road show” strategy, and so on.
They’re what we call creative offline marketing strategies.
Some worked for opportunistic and only work when circumstances were right, (specific events, etc), and others continue to work to this very day.
The keyword to pay attention to is creative.
It’s simple… because everyone gives you the same washed up, re-hashed, worn out information.
Go ahead, I dare you to do a search for offline marketing strategies and find something unique.
Everyone regurgitates the same info; join the local chamber, brand yourself, join local networking groups, drop business cards, give away samples, take pictures, host parties…
And they’ll say the same thing fifty different ways trying to spice it up or make it new – but it doesn’t work.
I’ll bet you hear someone throw in the advice guerilla marketing and miss the whole point of “unconventional”.
If you came here from any of the different markets in which I share my strategies then you know they’re new, they’re bold and yes, even sexy.
And right now, I’m going to share with you one of my most effective offline marketing strategies.
But here’s the deal… I want you to leave a comment below and tell me what you think.
Creative Offline Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs
I was working for a retail store that had a pretty tight budget for advertising and marketing, so things like buying bulk mailing lists from USPS was out of the question, but I did want to implement something similar, so I decided to think outside of the box and create an advertising coop with complimentary businesses.
There are a lot of things like traffic exchanges and marketing coops but to me they all had one flaw – they all drive traffic, but not a lot of business – and when you paycheck rode on the performances of sales, 1,000 window shoppers and no buyers mean you don’t pay the bills this month.
So I needed something that brought in the business and was low budget.
(I’m going to lay out what I did in easy to follow steps so that you can re-create it in your business).
My Advertising Coop
The first step in creating my advertising coop was to find complimentary businesses, and what that means is that instead of just trading marketing with each and every business on the block, you’re looking for specific businesses.
The criteria I use when creating these coops is very simple:
- Their business has to offer something my customers need.
- My business has to offer something their customers needs.
- Both of our services have to be related in a tangible way.
It has to be tangible so that when the customers see the offer it relates to their current situation and the thought “I need this” occurs almost naturally.
That’s the most important part – it has to apply to the customer’s current situation.
I’m going to use a furniture store here as a real world example, and follow the logic.
Who shops for furniture? Silly question but an important one…
The answer is people looking to replace broken furniture of course, people who are re-decorating, and people who are either moving in to a new place, or getting ready to move out and can’t take their furniture with them.
Immediately I thought about unfurnished apartments, unfurnished homes, and several other things and I asked myself the same question in reverse.
What do people who move into an unfurnished place need? It’s a “duh” kind of question but when you ask yourself those questions, it’s amazing what you come up with.
Furniture is an easy leap to make, but I was handsomely paid referral fees by local storage places and landscaping businesses on top of a regular paycheck.
(Yup! I just heard that light bulb go on in your head. Think)!
My second step was to find the businesses that matched the first two criteria and create a place where they can drop their marketing in the store once a week, and I’d drop off marketing for them once a week.
In the case of furniture, they allowed me to place my marketing directly in new move-in packages for tenants on top of advertising in the main office.
I had advertising out in 5 or 6 different cities month long for around $50 bucks extra in gas and the only other cost was printing up the marketing.
The third step was making sure to mention to customers their options and help them find their way around a new neighborhood, building off of that initial need from when they first moved in.
And it wasn’t just residential apartments. For the furniture store it was, but I was able to contact a larger furniture store that paid me for referrals for commercial furniture needs as well. There were also colleges with both off campus and dorms that wanted furniture.
How I got paid more than once was by finding other businesses that paid for referrals that lead to a sale. They weren’t part of my coop, but they got new customers and I was paid for the referral.
The take-away idea here is that you have to actively look for opportunities to market or create opportunities to market.
No business, regardless of what they do or offer, can take care of 100% of any customer need. There will always be a need or many needs that can be met.
By looking for those needs and matching them to what you’re offering (remember the 3 criteria I use), you’ll be a much stronger marketer overall than if you were to rely on everyone else giving you strategies to use.
Learn to think outside of the box, analyze businesses and see how you can fit in between the service they’re paying for, and the need(s) the customer will have.
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed sharing, and I hope you learned something as well.
Please scroll down and leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts, and if you are in the real estate industry (yup, here’s my plug), Click here to see a coop in action, (and learn about how you can get free listings and marketing too!) >>