The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Monday, April 7, 2014

Free Your Mind #atozchallenge

Man thinking on a train journey.
Man thinking on a train journey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



         Some of the most successful promotional campaigns have been the result of out-of-the-box thinking.  We can get so restricted to traditional advertising methods that our efforts become tired and stale, lacking in effectiveness.   People tend to eventually ignore what they've seen over and over, but surprise them with something totally unexpected then you've got their attention again.

         This is not to say that we should give up on all media efforts.  There is something to be said for that persistent media campaign if you can afford it.  But media can be very expensive and often we may not have the resources to maintain a media push that is effective.

         Use your noggin to think up other angles for attention getting.  Blogging and social media campaigns are fine to attain an initial outreach on a limited scale, but you are mostly restricted by the size of the community that you've built or have become a part of.   Distribute your time and resources through a number of outlets.

          No idea is necessarily too crazy to think about, though you do want to carefully think through particularly wild ideas before executing them.   Wild ideas can be toned down to make them work for who you are. Attention getting is what you want so long as it is good attention.  Bounce your ideas off of others you trust to get feedback.  

           Don't be afraid to use your imagination when planning promotional strategy.  Decide on how you want to portray yourself or your product to the marketplace and then let your mind run free.

           Are you willing to take chances?    What are the best free or low cost options you can think of in promotions?    What is the craziest thing you've ever done for the sake of promotion?


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42 comments:

  1. Came t you through the A-Z challenge, I am lucky in that my main business of Garden maintenance has been built up through word of mouth and personal recommendations. As a musician it is simply a question of "putting yourself about" and getting known by the people who do the bookings.
    Come and take a look at http://paula-paulasplace.blogspot.co.uk/

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  2. Since I do business in the manufacturing industry in India, crazy promotion would make existing and potential customers think I've gone crazy! So, I have to make do with traditional methods.

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  3. I head for a nature trail to free my mind. Great post :)

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  4. Hello Lee.
    Promotions are what I do for a living but mine are a bit expensive, exhibitions.
    Promoting a service or product doesn't need to be all that costly, the internet is very effective as is dropping pamphlets in postboxes. Yes, thinking outside the box is important, and it works.
    Blessings my friend, Geoff.

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  5. Great A-Z theme. I was far more creative about bartering for services to produce my books than I have been about marketing them. Truth be told, joining the A-Z in order to grow my network is the craziest thing I've done so far (and that has been, to my mind at least, an indirect marketing approach).

    Laurel
    Laurel's Leaves

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  6. Getting others to help spread the word is a cheap option!

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  7. Paula -- Word of mouth is the best marketing you can get.

    Pro - Traditional business that is well established doesn't usually need to go beyond the norm.

    Shine -- That's a good way of freeing your inner mind from stress and worry.

    Geoff -- I've seen some nutty things at trade shows. It depends on who you are and how you want to be known.

    Laurel -- My whole original concept of A to Z was about marketing. Bartering can also be very innovative.

    Alex --Hard to beat spreading the word that way--it's the best once you get the movement going.

    Lee

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  8. Hello, playing catch up with my visits for A-Z, been out of town with next to no internet time. You are right we do tire of seeing and hearing the same thing, but sometimes these newer commercials don't make sense to me...I often can't even figure out what they're selling. So much seems directed as the younger generation...which makes no sense to me, they're not the ones spending $$
    Traveling Suitcase

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  9. I love it when people marry their promotional campaign to what they are producing. Farmers that hold slow food dinners, poets that design literacy campaigns. Everyone is trying to get their name out there when maybe they should be promoting what feeds their passion. Why do we writers want to write? Because we like reading so much... So don't just promote your book but promote reading in general, then folks will listen because they'll know you are authentic.

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  10. Finding innovative ways to get people talking is the best way to go I guess. Like you said, you just need a good or crazy idea to get you there. Lately I've noticed that upcoming movies are creating viral videos to help spread the word the way a normal trailer wouldn't.

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  11. I get tired of cover reveals. I don't have an exciting comment for them. If you want my attention, post SOMETHING to go along with it that makes me excited about you (the author). Anything to make you stand out against the endless book reveals being thrown at me.

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  12. I've heard of a few great ideas for online participation (such as character facebook profiles driven by devoted fans). Unfortunately, I haven't implemented anything on my own behalf. But I am cooking up a nice little trailer!

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  13. >>... What is the craziest thing you've ever done for the sake of promotion?

    I slept with my boss, and she promoted me to manager of the 'Mattress Department' at our Bed, Bath & Beyond store.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  14. Sandy -- Maybe it's a form of subliminal advertising?

    Jan -- Community is bigger than self.

    Cely -- The viral campaigns are probably far less expensive than traditional media advertising.

    Robin -- Everybody doing the same thing gets a bit boring. It's best to have added value to make something like that stand out in the crowd.

    Loni -- Getting others to do some of the work frees up time for ones own endeavors.

    StMc --That is totally crazy! I've never heard of a Bed, Bath, and Beyond with a mattress department.

    Lee

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  15. Whenever I'm invited to present a workshop or sit a writers forum, I say yes. I've found I always connect with someone and that has led to some new and super reviews, book sales and my books going onto bookstore shelves.

    These workshops and forums cost me time, but they don't cost me money.

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  16. Sometimes my mind gets too free, however, and I have to hire a cowboy, a really hunky cowboy with leather, um, chaps, to rein it back in again. Sorry, what were you saying?

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  17. The craziest thing I've done? Be honest. I wasn't necessarily looking for more hits, just a more authentic way of being. For a while I felt as if I'd painted myself into a corner. If you can paint your way in, you can certainly graffiti your way out. Know what I mean?!

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  18. So far, none of my original thinking kind of ideas have really paid off.

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  19. I am a baker by profession, and I started my baking business six months ago. Up until now I have only been getting business by word-of-mouth publicity and via my fb page. But what you wrote is definitely charging my noggin to cough up some more ideas. Let's see if something exciting comes up :) Thanks for this post :)

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  20. Probably the craziest thing I've done for marketing was overpay for promotions. Right now, I've stepped back from marketing to focus on finishing the next book. Getting the next book out is supposed to be the best form of marketing anyway. :)

    Part of the A-Z Challenge at Indie Writers Monthly--www.indiewritersmonthly.blogspot.com

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  21. C.Lee-- Time well spent is a good investment.

    Cathy --Oh nothing. I was just rambling as usual.

    Christina -- Graffiti can get attention especially when artfully done.

    Andrew -- At least you tried them and that can have its own payoff in a way.

    Gauri -- A photo of a really enticing mouth-watering cake or pastry might get a lot of shares.

    Sandra -- Overpaying to promote unrealistically is something many of us have done. I also heard having a nice back catalog of books is good for long term income.

    Lee

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  22. I'm afraid I don't have much to offer comment-wise as I'm not so good with the promotion of my blog or my business.

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  23. Sharing your love for a product--say, Little Debbie cakes--is the best way to advertise a product.

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  24. I am very good at using my imagination. . . .

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  25. Even the best ads become stale are too much repetition.

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  26. One day I want to stage a flash mob. Of course it has to fit the message I want to deliver and I have no idea what that is yet. But...someday. That will truly be one of my zanier moments.

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  27. I usually go running to free my mind and figure things out. I don't think I've ever tried any thing especially daring for promo.

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  28. I try to think of myself as the audience. Why did I buy that book? Was it the cover? The blurb? Word of mouth? Usually it's word of mouth, but other times it may be an impulse, and then there are the times when I don't have an answer. I just bought it. When I figure that out, I might be able to understand marketing a little better.

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  29. My clients insist on social media, whether it works for them or not...sometimes you have to go where you don't want.

    Webinars seem to be the flavor of this year for marketing.

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  30. I'm taking notes on some peoples ideas. I thought about having famous people tweet about my book. Might work. Now, if I can find some famous people to do that for me. haha

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  31. I haven't considered doing anything out of the box - I have made bookmarks, commented on loads of blogs... what I need to do is send out info (I go to schools and tell them about endangered animals, read my poems, show them a powerpoint) and you have spurred me on to try and think of a novel way of getting their attention. I did do a author speed-dating day last week! Authors one side of the table, schools the other, we had 2 minutes to pitch to each one - that was fun!

    Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

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  32. I agree that it's important to think outside the box. The A to Z Challenge is a shining example of how your strategy works time and again!

    Julie

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  33. I own a trophy company which has clients in and our of my state, so I've given book cards or shared the link to the book on Amazon with all of my customers. So far it's really expanding my reach beyond my own blog, FB, and Twitter community.

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  34. >>... I've never heard of a Bed, Bath, and Beyond with a mattress department.

    Well, what do you think is in the Bed section of the store? Bar stools? Hmmm... actually, sometimes bar stools do lead to beds.

    I 'spose I ain't takin' this thing with the seriousness you'd prefer. I'll just shut up now.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  35. Thinking outside of the box has led to some amazing discoveries and successes in life. It's definitely important to free your mind and be open to the possibilities, even if some people think you are crazy. Some of the most brilliant people in the world were thought to be crazy, after all. So you'd be in good company :)

    MJ, A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    Writing Tips
    Effectively Human
    Lots of Crochet Stitches

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  36. Hi, Lee. Interesting post. I'm a writer and haven't done much in regards to self-promotion yet. But when I do, I'll definitely try to think outside the box. Thanks for sharing. :)

    http://www.lanisebrown.com

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  37. Now you're speaking my language:) That's exactly how I broke into the film music industry--imaginative, collaborative, cross-industry promotions! I may be crazy, but it's been one helluva ride!

    WriterlySam
    Echoes of Olympus
    A to Z #TeamDamyanti

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  38. JoJo-- Work at the promotion. You have a lot of talent to share. You just need to have more belief in yourself.

    Susan Kane-- If you really like something then tell your friends. What the heck, tell everyone who will listen.

    Rob -- Yes, you have a very imaginative mind.

    Jo -- Repetition can backfire and turn people off.

    Kim -- A flash mob would be cool, but it would need to be unique and well executed to really catch on.

    Susan GK -- You don't really have to be daring but different helps.

    Lee

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  39. Tamara -- If you can get real objective I think that's a good approach.

    Rekha -- I see a lot of webinars advertised. I don't know how well they work though.

    Sydney-- Good luck with the famous people. Oprah certainly has had a hand in creating buzz for many authors.

    Liz -- If you don't try new things you'll never know how they work for you.

    Julie -- Getting others involved stirs up excitement and that's the idea behind A to Z.

    Sabrina -- Try as many things as makes sense.

    StMc -- I've seen sheets, bedspreads, pillows, and other bed things in those stores but never mattresses. But then again I'm usually in a hurry to get out of there and I'd probably never be in that store if not for my wife. And yes, please, stay serious when you're at my blog. This is a humor free zone. No laughing, smiling, or happiness of any kind permitted here.

    MJ -- New ideas are often considered crazy before they take off and then others try to copy the success.

    Lanise -- Plan carefully, but don't limit your ideas.

    Samantha -- Some industries don't do well with unusual approaches and then others like the kind you're talking about are into innovation and new ideas.

    Lee

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  40. interesting, stopping by from the a-z challenge, i am struggling some with the challenge, its the first time in a major challenge for me hope you will stop by

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  41. I want to one day create a horror theme park based of The Sacrifice Series. But that isn't right now so I guess whatever crazy promo idea I can afford.

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