Now is the perfect time to try some crazy marketing idea

Why not?  Everyone's in a tailspin about the economy and you have some down time.  Why not try something bold?  Dare I say… get a little crazy.

An excellent photographer here in Central Iowa sent this to me the other day.  Is it risky?  Sure.  But did it get me thinking?  You bet.



My guess is, he could fill some dead spots in his calendar with some pretty interesting projects. 

He solidifies his relationship with existing clients.  He creates new relationships with people who might not have given him a try. 

But best of all, he reminds us that he's willing to be creative, flexible and work/think with his clients, not just for them.  We're going to remember that long after the recession ends.

What crazy idea do you have buzzing around in your head?  What could you do in your marketplace to cause a stir.  Or even a disturbance?  What could you do that sounds crazy….but maybe crazy like a fox?

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11 comments on “Now is the perfect time to try some crazy marketing idea

  1. I’m interested and engaged by that ad: despite it’s horrible layout and disconcerting typeface. Now THAT says something for the call to action.

  2. While the offer may be very compelling to some, I hope Bill will say no to those who name their budget well below the value of what Bill offers. Drew, you are right that people will remember him after the recession is over if he treats them well today. But there is a fine line he walks – if he gives something away for nothing, that’s exactly its value. On the other hand, if he shows a willingness to value price his services(and not give them away), this may prove to be a great offer.

  3. Stuart,

    Well, I said he was an fantastic photographer, not a great graphic artist!

    I think what makes this interesting is that Bill’s ready to take risk…ready to do something guaranteed to get our attention.

    Marketing folks step out onto that limb far too seldom.


  4. Elaine,

    It’s a fine line to walk, isn’t it? Bill’s a pretty savvy businessman, so I would guess he’ll be okay.

    But…your point is a very good one. I have long and often preached on the dangers of lowering prices to a ridiculous level so I am with you on that.


  5. One of the best ideas I think you can do during these tough economic times is to VOLUNTEER services. Do probono work.

    To me it is more than just money, it is about making a difference.

    Find a cause, find something you believe in, and get out there and make a difference.

    There are millions out of work and I think the ones who get out there and volunteer will not only help people but will improve their quality and purpose of life. Money doesnt define happiness (if it did, then we wouldnt see all of these high profiles in rehabs or unhappy).

    It is easy to be happy in the sunshine, what do you do when it is raining is what defines ones life… Read “The Dash”.

    Chad Rothschild

  6. JLibbey says:

    I agree with Chad’s comments. Non-profits are hurting right now while many of them are seeing an increase in the need for their services. We have offered free Spanish translations to non-profits in our area and have been able to help a health clinic, Legal Aid, an animal shelter, and a literacy organization so far. The cost to us is minimal. We all have skills that can be used to help our communities.

  7. verna says:

    I think it shows community spirit…

    On the same vein I have been mulling over the idea of offering a pay-what-you-can drop-in bootcamp on the weekends with part of the proceeds going to the local food bank.

    Good promo for me and gets people on track to fitness with an affordable option that benefits themselves and a local charity!

  8. Sally,

    It is an intriguing idea, isn’t it? What I like about it is that you can’t help but read it and then kind of search your brain to see if you could take advantage of the offer.

    Smart marketing.


  9. Chad,

    You’ll get no argument from me on the importance of serving others and sharing your talents. Because I know Bill, the author of this postcard, I can tell you that he is a very generous man with his time and talents.

    But…that doesn’t pay the mortgage, as you and I both know. Does it come back manifold, you bet. But, not always right away and not always in money.

    So Bill’s bold approach with this postcard is interesting because he’s willing to give…by letting the client set their own price and he is also counting on the generosity of his potential clients. He’s hoping that they will be reasonable and fair…and giving them the chance to do just that.

    It will be interesting to see what comes of it.


  10. J —

    You are very right. Every business can and should help someone who needs a boost or our talents.

    I would guess that most businesses do give away some of their time and talent. Wouldn’t you?


  11. Verna,

    Sharing your proceeds with a worthy cause is always a way to get people’s attention. I wonder if people are becoming jaded…thinking we are only giving a few pennies per dollar?

    Do you think it would work better to be specific — 50% of proceeds will be donated to XYZ or is it better just to say a portion of the proceeds?


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