London, UK: Let’s start with the question: do you know who Seth Godin is? If you do, you’ll understand the concept of weird marketing ideas. This guy is described as ‘an entrepreneur and blogger who thinks about the marketing of ideas in the digital age’. Don’t leave this article just yet —go and read about Seth later—our point is he’s someone who acknowledges that sometimes a different kind of marketing works.

Standard marketing is all about PR, advertising, leaflets, websites and the like. The techniques below put a different slant on standard marketing and we hope it will make you stop and think about marketing from the other side.

Scarcity Marketing

This style of marketing works by driving demand for something that is rare or unattainable. If consumers decide they want the latest toy, phone or fashion item and they can’t get it, many will move heaven and earth to get their hands on it. And they’ll pay premium.

Clever marketers know how to create this scarcity whilst still holding an interest in the product. This can be done by making the product appear unique and desirable i.e. giving it a unique selling point. The idea works well on exclusive wines when only a limited number of bottles are produced.

The demand for something that only a few people will have and is in limited supply creates scarcity. Use the words ‘limited edition’ on a product and suddenly people will believe they can own something that others can’t.

Note: You may also be interested in reading ‘How to reach millennials: Marketing for the new age.’

Ambush Marketing

This is all about hype and participation. The concept is to promote your business or product anywhere and everywhere to get prime exposure. For example, you are the marketing manager of an animal charity and you need to boost awareness of what you do by generating income to build new premises.

You have to literally ambush by attending every local event, suggesting joint marketing activity to builders, vets, supermarkets, pet shops, architects, and pet product suppliers. Attend their events, promote at their premises, ask for sponsorship, produce joint advertorials, link to their websites and offer to work together on reciprocal blogs.

Get the idea? Leave no marketing stone unturned. Use posters, stickers and leaflets to promote your joint efforts. Invite the press, radio and even TV to events and organise something eye-catching like a competition or charity lunch. Ambush marketing is all about being seen.

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Undercover Marketing

Also known as stealth marketing, undercover marketing is the subtle way to promote your brand or business. It costs very little and can have a massive impact on sales and product awareness. One of the common stealth marketing methods is for a company to pay for their products to be used in a movie or TV programme.

If viewers see an actor wearing a branded T-shirt or drinking a particular beer or eating a certain branded food they’re more likely to purchase the product. Companies also pay celebrities to wear their branded clothing, carry their handbags, wear their shoes and even drive their cars. Sometimes no money exchanges hands and companies lend famous people their products, for example, the dresses and jewellery worn at the Oscars are usually all lent to the actors and actresses by the designers to create exposure for their names.

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Cultural Marketing

This kind of marketing takes into account cultural differences and changes by doing more than just react to consumer demand. Cultures are constantly evolving and changing slowly, and wise marketers watch these trends and adapt their marketing according to the desires of other cultures. However, this form of marketing can be very delicate as it is vital to understand cultural differences.

In a new market, many errors can be made and they’ve often got to do with translation. One of the great cultural marketing blunders happened when Sharwoods spent £6 million on the launch of its bundh curry sauces. What the company failed to recognise was that bundh means ‘arse’ in Punjabi.

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Photo credit: Campaign Creators

Humanistic Marketing

Humanistic marketing is social marketing. It appeals to consumers’ wants, needs and aspirations. Social marketers research the desires of their target market by talking to them face to face to find out what they really want from a product.

Humanistic marketing looks at how it can sell the dream and encourage people to buy into the idea. This marketing style tends to use more traditional approaches such as PR, networking, word of mouth, advertising and media campaigns. Marketers actually talk to the people instead of assuming they know what they want through studying facts and figures.

Humanistic marketing is also about honesty. It supports the trust of consumers in a brand and considers the consumer’s respect and loyalty towards a product they believe in.

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