When Traditional Marketing Efforts Do Not Work

When Traditional Marketing Efforts Do Not Work
  • Opening Intro -

    Newspaper advertising is expensive and not very effective.

    Television and radio advertising are also costly, while Internet advertising is a hit or a miss.

    Usually a miss.


For businesses seeking to get the word out, unconventional methods of reaching customers is necessary. Where traditional marketing efforts do not work, different methods must be sought, tested and deployed.

Be Exclusive

Finding your place in a crowed market can prove challenging. Among luxury makes the competition for a small group of customers can be brutal. Practicing “exclusivity” is the key to standing out.

Lexus, for example, was a name new to the auto industry when its first vehicles debuted in the late 1980s. Everyone knew that it represented Toyota’s luxury brand, but to attract and retain customers it had do go beyond Toyota’s reputation. The company soon developed a reputation for exclusive customer service, by providing concierge service its competitors were not offering. Sales grew and its reputation with it.

Elicit Feedback

What are your customer’s saying? Are you even listening? Smart businesses understand that customer engagement is essential, even critical, and that feedback is a must.

That means engaging with your customers directly. Successful businesses are active on social media, using Facebook and Twitter to connect with their customers. Listen to what people have to say, respond directly and never make excuses. Surprise your customers by resolving problems personally. People like to feel wanted and important, which is something that only an individual response can supply. That also means taking your lumps when the online buzz about your business turns negative.

Avoid Predictability

Quite easily you can deliver your goods and services in a traditional manner. However, that will do little in bolstering your company’s marketing effort. Instead, look for ways to surprise and even delight your customers. That, “surprise and delight” can be as simple as answering the company’s phone on the first or second ring. It may also include remembering a customer on his birthday, sending a personally written greeting card.

Find out how your competitors reach their customers and endeavor to top their efforts. Shape your marketing approach to reach all customers or tailor it specifically to a customer’s needs. For instance, you might visit a customer that is unhappy with a product and replace it on the spot. That kind of service will provide the best word of mouth marketing you can get.

Make it Personal

Marketing can come across as cold and calculating, deeply impersonal and even insulting. That so many marketers fail to grasp this salient point shows why those that deviate from traditional marketing can enjoy much success.

Simply decide that your customers are unique and approach people personally, not collectively. There is a danger in demographic marketing, assuming that individuals in a certain people group act a certain way. That approach misses out the masses that refuse to be easily categorized and would prefer that you get to know them personally.

Taking Action

Ultimately, being different alone is not enough. You also need to be outstanding. When your marketing efforts rise head and shoulders above the rest, your customers will take notice. Find ways to differentiate your business and deliver what you do beyond expectations.

See AlsoOn the Money: Small Business Marketing Savings


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Categories: Small Business

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".