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Top 10 Marketing Ideas - Part I
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By Tom Behan

Here is Part I of Top Ten Marketing Ideas...designed to stimulate thinking about a wide range of marketing areas in your business. Read all five parts, print them and make copies for your co-workers and get those marketing juices flowing.

1. Give 'em more than they expect. In your business right now, what can you de-hype a bit, what can you under-promise? Yes, it's backward to lower people's expectations, but it sure is powerful to deliver more than the customer bargained for. Pleasant surprise for them in the short run and good reputation-building for you in the long term.

2. The Take Away Sales Promo. One company had its sales staff in an all-day meeting. During that time the company VP of sales had installed a mobile office in all the salespersons' cars. This was announced during the sales meeting as the next 90-day sales' promotion incentive. Meet the goals and the office is yours. Don't and it comes out. Results? Best promotion they ever had, because NOBODY wanted to be the person who didn't make it.

3. Maximize the perceived value. A national airline wanted to do a ski/travel promotion. They planned to award a complete ski trip for two from each of 10 cities. People listening to the selected radio station in each market were directed to a local sporting store to register. Sort of your typical promotion. Then a suggestion was made to reposition the promotion that dramatically increased the perceived value. Under the new offer, there would be only one winner, but that person could go and take 19 friends! Much bigger response as you might imagine, and interestingly, it was cheaper for the airline to execute the trips.

4. How to make money on a request from a charity. Here is a sweetheart deal--everyone wins. Every business in America gets hit up for charity donations every week. One sportswear company has a unique approach. Instead of saying no to them all, they respond to selected requests by offering a 30-day pass honored for employee discounts at the 'company store.' The charity often then uses this pass at an auction or uses it to generate cash by selling it or bartering it for something else. Meanwhile, the company keeps a good image, suffers virtually no out-of-pocket expenses and may make a tiny profit when the pass is used. The user of the passgets a good deal too, of course.


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