Marketing Idea No. 30 – Pushing time to push sales

Have you ever wondered just how many of your decisions you put off till the last minute?

Our fascination with deadline starts from our early childhood. Remember just how many times we used to finish our syllabus the night before the exam despite having so much time in our hand before? Remember just how many of us postponed our career decisions until the last day? We have 365 glorious days to invest our money, but its only in June that we see the people flocking the Banks and Post Offices in search of bonds and other investments. Why? Because of that June 30 deadline.

The assumption is clear. We postpone our decisions till the latest possible hour. Thats why its always better to have a time bound push in your marketing messages. If you have a sales target to meet, always focus on the “Time”. If you are running a Consumer promotion, assign a big space to show when this promotion will end. That is the number one factor at times, that will make or break a sale.

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Marketing Idea No. 29 – Promoting Art through IT

This idea is contributed by Mohammad Jobaed Adnan 

When Pohela Baishakh comes we see Dhaka get painted with different shades. We know who do this great job to make this colorful spectacle. They are the students of Art College. Every year a good number of students are passing from the CharuKala Institute. We know they have quality but do they really have a chance to prove it? Currently, they don’t have an effective enough platform to do what they do best and earn money in doing so. But a simple idea can change all that.  

How many people of our country buy painting or creative works? Its minuscule compared to how many people buy it globally. Who says Bangladeshi aspiring artists need to sell to Bangladeshi buyers only? If we get rid of this notion and apply the wonderful world of World Wide Web in the selling process, it can really do wonders for the aspiring artists of the Art College. 

Introducing marriage of IT and Arts to create a promotional website for CharuKala Institute. When a student at CharuKala Institute enrolled then s/he will get a user ID and password from the Institute to access the website and upload his/her portfolio on there. This way each and every student would get a chance to upload the images of his/her works. Then there would be option for adding price, postal change (FedEx, DHL, UPS local EMS and so on). When someone would purchase something then the amount could be divided in two parts. XX% of the total income could go to the owner of the art work and the rest YY% could go to the account of CharuKala Institute as a service charge or so.  

Globally web 2.0 sites like Flickr are doing wonders for the art and photography world. We can replicate the same model here.  

Marketing Idea No. 28 – Why segmentation is no longer enough

Most companies sit on their laurels thinking they have made the journey from mass marketing to segment based marketing and doing one heck of a job. Well such thinking is soon to be a thing of the past. 

Companies think in terms what is technically and financially possible for them to prepare. But customers think in terms of what can help them solve their problems. Companies think in terms of volume, but an average customer think what is best for him only. Companies design product and market them for segments, like 26-30 year old career women, not looking at individual tastes and differences. But what is good for the 9-5 office going 26 year old career woman with a close-knit family upbringing may not be the same for a 9-8 office going 26 year old woman who is balancing both family and career and living with in-laws. The company views both of them as the same, but they demand different treatments.

In near future, simply looking at segments on a broad level will not be enough. Those segments will be torn open, and individual needs will be met in a cost – effective way. Companies who can rise to meet this challenge can dominate the future. If you think meeting each and every customer need individually is not possible, just looking at our favorite jeans company Levi’s is good enough. With their “Personal Pair” and “Original Spin” initiative – Levi’s profitably customized jeans for each and every one of their customers. If Levi’s with their millions of customers can do this, what’s stopping you?

Some old fashioned thinking perhaps.   

Marketing Idea No. 27 – How to distribute marketing messages like urban legend

Anyone coming to Gulshan in the morning through any of the following 3 forms – CNG, Black and Yellow Taxi Cab – will know how time consuming and frustrating it is to convince any taxi or cab to travel to Gulshan at that time. Reason? Their belief is once they drop you off at Gulshan, they will not find anyone to pick and drop anywhere else at that time of the day. While the merit of such a belief is arguable, have you ever pondered how unanimously they stand in that belief? No matter from where you try to manage a ride at Gulshan in the morning, have you ever stopped and wondered exactly  how everyone of the CNG and cab drivers came to know of this?

Thats the power of urban legend for you. Once a few knows, in a moment the rest knows. Thats how it works. Remeber a few months ago, when an urban legend “Mobile handsets are exploding” came to existence? The idea took exactly 24 hours to spread to every corner of the nation without a single financial investment. If you can harness that kind of power in your marketing, yours will be one success story that itself will spread like an urban legend.

The trick of doing so is stated below.

1. Make sure the message you are spreading is news worthy. Meaning – people will want to share it with someone

2. Make sure you deploy traditional media like TV, radio at the latter stage of the campaign – after the phenomenon has taken a shape. Reason – if everyone knows about it, then the novelty and sharing value wears off.

3. People will always want to be the center of attention. One easy way of doing it is sharing with others something amusing that they dont know of. Allow them to do so with your message and facilitate them in any way possible. If you can facilitate to make them look cool and knowledgeable, they will do your job on your behalf.

Now only if anyone could do something about these CNG and CAB drivers so that they can bring me to Gulshan everyday!

Marketing Idea No. 26 – A Coil that works like an air freshner

This idea is contributed by Mohammad Jobaed Adnan

When that irritating buzzing sound is nearby, nothing quite seems peaceful. I, of course, am referring to mosquito. To get rid of mosquitoes, we have a range of coils manufactured and marketed in the country. The current coils are differentiated in terms of shape, color and amount of smoke.  A major deterrent for coil using was the smoke. It is thought to be harmful.  Agreed that right now we have coils that do the job without creating much or any smoke. But those are quite expensive and out of the reach of low income group. Also, what about the smell? It is not that we don’t want any smell, otherwise we would not have bought any air or car fresheners. The problem is we want the right kind of smell, not the kind of smell that usually comes out of coils. 

The Big Idea 

Introducing low cost, smoke producing, mosquito coil that smells good. We can utilize this coil for two different purposes. One vital use is to kick out the mosquitoes and the other issue is to use as air freshener. All that we will have to do is to add some perfume in (A Major R&D job). This feature will work as an extra value for the coil.  But most importantly this will help the Coil to stand out in the market. ACI and Reckitt, are you listening?  

Marketing Idea No. 25 – Customized Gift Shops

This Idea is contributed by Rizwana Tasneem 

Whenever there’s a gift to buy for a birthday or anniversary or any other special occasion, nearly all of us have to rack our brains trying to think of the perfect gift to give to that special someone. What we end up doing is buying something straight from the shelf, because there is no other option. Not much thought goes into this.

The big idea

Introducing gift shops specializing in customized gifts. You tell the store what you want the gift to be, how you want it customized according to the receiver’s tastes & likes, choice of ribbons & decorations. That way, you give the person what he/she likes and something that will be close to their hearts. So, for example, if you want a certain gift item in a different color, or if you want to gift a box of brownies to your friend and you want it in his/her favourite blueberry flavor, they will cater to that.

Marketing Idea No. 24 – Branding is part science, part art

This is an age long question – is branding an art or a science?

According to one school of thought, its an art. It deals with emotions, raises certain feelings in people’s mind, cannot be quantified 100% and can best be explained as that “X” factor for which people choose one option / product / company in place of other.

According to another, its pure science. It deals with certain input in the form of promotion and others and can in return generate measurable amount of output in the form of mindshare, sales and revenue.

But probably the best way to define Branding is its part art part science. Meaning? Here is a very interesting way of defining branding

Branding = Beautiful Strategy + Solid tactics.

On a broad level, branding is about developing strategy. And strategy, to a large part deals with unmeasurable attributes. A good strategy paves the way for achieving the brand goal, but it does not crystalize the small details that can give an idea about the ROI. That is where the tactical plan moves in. The brand tactical plan will follow up on where strategy has left, and take all the beautiful words and turn it into harsh number crunching reality.

Thats why on a strategic level, branding looks like a glorious artwork. But on tactical level its science at its best. Since effective branding can’t live without either the solid framework of strategy or the practicalities of tactics, branding is definitely part art, part science.