When a company is still in its young startup phase, there are a lot of costs that can’t be avoided. It is important that you spend your money in the right places, and marketing is an area where you can’t cut the budget because this is where you are going to draw the customers in and spread your brand awareness.
Unfortunately, the amount of money you spend can really add up fast, so you have to think of marketing costs as an investment. All investments come with some risk, but it is directly related to the return you can potentially make. In marketing, the rewards are new customers, increased brand awareness, and more sales. Of course, on the flip side of that, the risk is that your new campaign may just be a waste or money and time.
With marketing, it often feels like we’ve “seen it all.” You have to try something new to really get your customer’s attention. Unfortunately, the same kind of creative thinking that could make you famous could also demolish your reputation. Are you willing to take that kind of risk?
Breaking the Mold
There are plenty of businesses who have taken risks in their marketing campaigns, but only the successful ones are still around. In order to catch the eye of your potential customers, you have to stand out. Some companies have succeeded by being funny, others by making people think. Still others have done it with annoying commercials or catchy jingles. Each one has had its risks and each has had its own rewards.
Head-On, a product that had a commercial that aired almost every break on some channels, took a risk with their tactics. The announcer would repeat the same line over and over the entire segment, “Head-On, apply directly to the forehead.”
The billboards and magazine ads all had the same background picture as the commercial and the same line written across it. It quickly became joked about as the most annoying commercial in history, yet it brought in a lot of money for the company, and the name certainly stuck in your head.
Dove decided to take an innovative approach to their commercials by using real women instead of models. This risk proved to be very successful for this company, especially on the internet. They had several commercials go viral, reaching millions of people on social media sites where they spoke about the need for women to know they are each beautiful. Dove uses the insecurities of women as their focus, teaching love and acceptance of ones own self.
Another company that has had a lot of success online is Old Spice. This company took on a risk with their “Smell like a Man, Man” commercials because they were a very dry sense of humor. Before the first one aired, they didn’t know if the consumers would totally grasp the idea and the humor they were going for, but they did and the videos were shared and tweeted relentlessly. In case it wasn’t obvious already, the success was even clearer once organizations across the nation started mimicking the ads with their own versions.
Ads online are powered by search engines and social media. Product placement is important to internet marketing, but in a different way than the traditional sense of this concept. Instead of worrying about whether or not your product is at eye level or your store is visible enough, the focus is on generating discussions and being seen in countless social media streams and at the top of the search engines. Taking risks can generate a lot of clicks and shares, and expand your reach among potential customers.
The most important thing to remember when developing your marketing campaigns is to keep them relevant to your brand vision. If you are selling cosmetics, the consumers should understand that those are the products you sell after watching your commercials or seeing your ad. Another important thing to remember is that even if your potential customers like your ad, but don’t know who you are or what your name is, then you have failed. No matter how many risks you decide to take, always keep your marketing relevant to your company and its goals.
Weighing the Risks
Marketing your products online is totally different than in magazines or on billboards. When you advertise online, you market to an audience that is going to share your videos or products on social media. The goal is to come up with a message that speaks to someone on a level that they feel the need to share it with their friends. The risks for these types of campaigns are generally less because it is less resource intensive than offline media.
The risks are still there, though. You need to hire on the help you need to create and market your ads. Software and labor are not cheap, and timelines are hard to keep. Budgets still tend to go over when you are working on a complicated ad. When you take a path with more risk, you also have to understand that you may deal with a lot of backlash. If your ads really do reach a wider audience, there is more potential that your hard work could either be great or horrible.
If you want your campaigns to go further and make a longer, more lasting impression, take a risk. Be brave in your efforts and you just might strike gold in the marketing world. Just be sure you understand all the implications.