If it were not for the sheer array of famous people who made the disease popular, many people would still ignore what amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease is — and definitely thousands of buckets of ice cold water would not have been spilled. Be that as it may, apparently, the already well-known ice bucket challenge effectively brought the infamous genetic motor disorder to global attention and raised worldwide awareness. Even though such benevolent crusade did not start as an intentional marketing strategy, it is definitely a case worth studying, as it clearly depicts the magnificence of unorthodox marketing amidst the social media era.
Traditionally, we at ReputationDefender have reviewed a considerable amount of tools that have been developed for enhancing a company’s digital marketing strategy; likewise, we have also stressed the importance of sparing no efforts in investing heavily in different marketing tactics in order to take any strategy to the next level; however, based on the insights collected from the ice bucket challenge, these apparently inexpensive, small and definitely unconventional marketing strategies embody a huge degree of effectiveness when it comes to marketing a brand or promoting an idea if the idea is catchy enough and moves the audience. Such scenario suggests that unorthodox marketing seizes certain activities that, at first sight, are not included in the traditional spectrum: from PR to viral videos, these unconventional strategies feed on the power of social media platforms and simple ideas.
In order for companies to determine whether one of these tactics will work for their business, it is highly important to consider the following tips that we at ReputationDefender have compiled for coming up with a solid and effective unorthodox marketing campaign that will linger in the minds of consumers.
If a company develops or produces goods that are not commonly something the audience cares about — perhaps consumers are not fond of them at first sight — it is necessary to come up with a catchy attention-grabbing idea, like the aforementioned ice bucket challenge. Similarly, several companies have come up with funny and catchy ideas that have enabled them to engage with their customers: low-budget YouTube videos, social causes linked to products strategies and, above all, any unorthodox and unexpected way of connecting with people have proven to be tremendously effective. Businesses that have tried this out have experienced an increase in sales, awareness and online presence, and, subsequently, their online reputation has adopted an unforeseen strong shape.
There is an old saying we at ReputationDefender are fond of: always go the extra mile. Under creative licenses, such saying could be interpreted differently, and its new connotation would encourage companies and people to do the unexpected in hopes of achieving something greater. Companies that are definitely willing to get past taboos and highlight what consumers and people in general usually prefer to ignore will definitely draw a lot of attention. Such is the tactic commonly used by charities and non-profit organization that, depending on the cause, use violent and strong visual material in order to raise awareness and move some fibers within the audience. And it works. Obviously, it requires some thinking so that it does not backfire. Coming up with something hilarious and controversial is truly beneficial.
Focus on ideas
Unlike well-established companies, startups and entrepreneurs have a different vision of the world — in fact, they actually convey such passion for what they do and their desire to change the world, which in turn have provided them with an incredible power. Selling products and services based on emotions, and not on rational arguments, sometimes, when carried out properly, presupposes a commercial advantage. Ideas, from time to time, are inexpensive. Focusing on ideas and sentiment rather than on what the product actually does has proven to achieve wonders. Start harnessing the power of ideas and come up with different ways of promoting products while appealing to something worthwhile.
Allow consumers to engage
Unorthodox marketing is full of different tactics. Besides the aforementioned strategies, entering the physical realm is actually one of them too. Providing ideas with physical attributes can help highlight the perks of any product or service. This strategy is commonly found especially in digital services. Successfully doing so can get companies the viral coverage they constantly crave for, as physical manifestations serve as the perfect element for making ideas more understandable and digestible.
Do not fear risk
Of course: some of these ideas surely sound disproportionately idiotic on paper; nonetheless, that is what is required in order to succeed. People ought to act, to some extent, dumb in order to thrive within the realm of unorthodox marketing. Such campaigns attract the attention they want just because of their unusual, unorthodox, sometimes infamous and scandalous nature. Remember the idea itself is small in comparison to traditional strategies, but it is the viral multiplier (shared links) what makes the campaign a huge and tremendous accomplishment.