How to promote your company with innovative marketing ideas and strategies?


The Best Advertising Ideas

In life, we’ve all learnt quite a few things. And some things, we’ve had no alternative but to learn them the hard way. When it comes to innovative advertising though, there are five pointers that all companies interested in advertising and branding have to understand.

1. Tried and tested isn’t always the best approach.

2. Just because it’s working for everyone else doesn’t mean it will work for you.

3. A unique and innovative idea doesn’t always make a favourable impact.

4. Every company needs to create an interactive medium that can negotiate the company’s interests and the interests of the consumer.

5. The most efficient ROI advertising campaign is the one where there is interaction between the brand and the consumer.

Traditional branding and marketing ideas have been around for years, but now we’re beginning to understand that it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best. These days, several upstart entrepreneurs are able to come up with creative ways to advertise and make their presence felt, so much so that several companies in the big league have been forced to hastily reassess their strategies to compete with the little fish.

Good ideas are a dime a dozen, but effective advertising is difficult. And advertising is a good thing, otherwise no one will ever know you exist. Word-of-mouth and viral marketing is a means of advertising too.

But how do you go about it? Just because everyone is advertising in newspapers doesn’t mean you have to do it too. It’s a good option for awareness, but the ROI is low, and can stoop really low at times. When Capt. Gopinath wanted to launch his helicopter venture, Deccan Aviation, he was strapped short for money to afford a full-fledged print media campaign, and as he says in his book, he couldn’t even imagine spending money to advertise through the television medium. Advertising was an expensive proposition, but he had to reach out and let people know his company existed or he’d burn out of funds. He spent considerable time on this problem and realised a simple fact. He needed a niche advertising medium that would give him the maximum efficiency. He realised that all people who flew in an airplane don’t fly in a helicopter. But all people who flew in a helicopter did fly in an airplane. That gave him his niche audience. All he had to do was reach out to people who flew in an airplane.

Quite a few years ago, there were two established music channels in India, Channel [V] and MTv. Channel [V] was in the forefront though, and MTv was just unable to cater to any specific audience. And to make it worse, their shows weren’t really garnering any attention from the public. MTv needed a facelift. In came spanking new shows, great veejays, new themes, a channel that’s able to laugh at itself, and connect with a niche audience, and out went the traditional format of “play-songs-all-day”. Then followed shows like Roadies and Splitsvilla, and as it has been said before, the rest is history. Today, MTv India has the strongest young urban following and great niche advertisements that help it stand out from the other channels. With a little tweaking, MTv was able to create a niche audience out of thin air, and hold their attention with innovation.

Levi Strauss is a well known brand across the world, and though they haven’t really focussed on a strong online presence as most other youth centric brands have, they are able to create innovative offline campaigns that have been making a noticeable difference in their sales figures. With the recession looming large over most customers’ heads, the sales of branded jeans had inevitably slumped to a trickle. Levi’s realised that customers didn’t really hate jeans during the recession. They just found expensive jeans to be quite steep for their dry wallets. Something had to be done, and fast. Levi’s India understood that people would buy the jeans, just as long as it doesn’t hit their pockets too hard, in one blow. It was a simple insight, but simple ideas are usually the most overlooked ones. Levi’s introduced a new concept, the EMI initiative. Using this concept, customers could pick up their favourite jeans and pay for it in instalments. And all of us know this, what doesn’t hurt our pockets, makes it better. And better it did, because now the customer could keep their money, and wear a new pair of jeans.

We’ve seen changing tides in Indian politics too. If Obama can, well, so can anyone else. Or that’s what L.K. Advani thought. But just because it worked for Obama doesn’t give reason enough for any other electoral candidate to try a similar process, even with a few tweaks, of course. In the last national electoral campaign, Advani and his party spent over two and a half billion rupees in an extensive online campaign to promote his party. But even with that kind of resources, it only made the online users dislike him all the more. His online brand managers seemed to have overlooked a few simple facts that even a fresh entrepreneur would look into. But there’s no point brooding over history.

On the other hand, another political party took another path. Every company needs to create an interactive medium that can negotiate the company’s interests and the interests of the consumer. Advani tried using the online medium, and failed. The dominant party chose another unique medium. They used a young, dynamic potential leader called Rahul Gandhi. And was he a forest-fire or what?! The magic trick worked, and his party was able to tap into the younger audience that wasn’t even remotely interested in politics. Catch ‘em when they’re young may be a good campaign for Seventeen magazine to generate advertising revenue, but when it comes to a nation like India, it definitely would lead to a lot more. And that’s loyal fans for several years to come.

Silk soy milk positioned itself and branded itself differently, so did Ben & Jerry’s, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, and a host of other successful brands. And they have been able to bask in the sunlight while the others huddle in the cold downpour.

Skittles wanted to innovate, so they launched an online campaign keeping Twitter users in mind. And failed miserably. They forgot two crucial factors. They forgot their target audience. They didn’t realise that the best branding and advertising campaign is one where there is a two-way interaction between the brand and the consumer. And made one big assumption. That they were bigger than the consumer.

Even the biggest brands, with their vast weaponry of strategists and brand builders, can make the clumsiest mistakes. And at times, the smallest one-man-army entrepreneur can send a shiver down the core of their competitors’ strategies. That’s the beauty of a good advertising and branding idea. It can come to anyone. Anyone who can clearly understand the problem from all aspects, and visualise the perfect solution. All this, while considering all the movable elements that dictate the efficiency of the strategy. And once you’re able to do that, I assure you, there will be no looking back. It doesn’t matter if there are goliaths, fire dragons, or monstrous scheming competitors in your path, the perfect advertising idea can create a ball of invincibility around you, and take you right to the top.

But then again, that idea in your head, do you really think that’s the perfect answer to all your questions?