Advertising is often not as effective as people initially hope. This is true for ad placements in the digital and physical worlds alike, due to the oversaturation of visual stimulation people are exposed to on a daily basis.
The fact is, banner ads on websites and large billboards on the skyline have become so commonplace that they’ve become virtually invisible to the average person.
Finding new ways to break through the visual noise and effectively reach your target demographic can be a real challenge – one that requires innovative marketing solutions.
Here are three ideas that you may not have seriously considered in the past, which should make their way to the top of your list of offline promotional tactics to try this year.
1. Location-Based Smart Screens
With the prevalence of online stores and the convenience associated with shopping from home, it may be surprising to learn that according to one recent report, about 64 percent of Americans still prefer to buy products from physical stores. In part, this is due to the ability to touch items – and the immediacy with which they can bring the product home with them.
Advertising within stores has become an attractive option in recent years. The audiences can be segmented according to store location for targeted media buys, the opportunities to tie ad creative in with the shopping experience are huge, and in many cases, people are more receptive to brand messaging than when they’re not shopping.
Impax Media, a new in-grocery video ad platform, allows businesses to sponsor infotainment on big screens facing shoppers as they wait in line for the next cashier to become available. “A captive audience standing on a checkout line is much more likely to view a screen within their line of sight than when they are walking around the store,” Impax CEO Dominic Porco recently explained to Business.com.
Impax smart screens also have eye tracking technology that allows advertisers to collect valuable data about what grabs the consumer’s attention. This enables marketers to iterate campaigns based on what is or is not working.
Media buyers have learned valuable lessons about what types of advertising drive away online consumers. No longer are they attempting to use a generic shotgun approach to putting information in front of their audience. Instead, they are creating focused beneficial content that viewers are authentically interested in.
2. Promotional Swag
Giving away promotional products, or swag, is not a new promotional tactic at all. People have been receiving logo-emblazoned pens, magnetic calendars, squeeze toys and drink holders for as long as advertising has been a field of business. This has led to many companies overlooking their potential entirely.
However, promotional swag is still a huge opportunity to express brand authenticity and creativity while providing value.
Companies are no longer tied to traditional promotional merchandise. The key to successful promotional swag is to give consumers something that will be both useful and clearly resonates with what the brand stands for and the image it has created for itself. A brand built around business and productivity may want to provide elegant notepads, calendars, or office accessories. A company that provides lifestyle or beauty services might find that coffee mugs, towels, slippers, or branded grooming accessories are a better fit.
One study found that consumers place a high degree of value on those promotional items that are functional. Giving a customer something they will use on a regular basis increases brand awareness, with more than 80 percent of respondents confirming they were able to name the brands that had provided specific items. More than 70 percent said they preferred to keep these types of items for themselves rather than tossing them or giving them to a friend or family member.
Taking the time to choose an item your customers will use on a regular basis and ensuring they associate it with your brand you create a greater awareness and continued loyalty with that consumer.
3. Car Wraps
Vehicle wraps are becoming more popular as companies see the value of placing their brand in front of new people on a daily basis.
Everyone who is on the road with the wrapped vehicle will see and notice your brand because it is still relatively unusual. Even when the car is parked, it will likely gain attention.
It is important to choose a company to wrap the vehicle carefully as the level of professionalism evident in the finished product will be a strong indicator of brand quality to those who see it.
It is possible to use this form of promotion on company vehicles, but many businesses are also reaching out to individuals who have long commutes or who frequently drive in areas that are rich with potential customers.
Having a car wrapped for someone who is not an employee has the potential benefit of reaching a larger audience.
Make It Real
No matter what industry you need to promote it has become increasingly clear that the only way to truly engage with consumers is to find creative ways to connect with them. Often this means reaching out to them in locations which have been traditionally overlooked by marketing experts.
People are going to continue shopping for groceries on a regular basis, and they will have a regular commute during which they will be literally surrounded by other commuters. If you offer useful swag to your audience, you will be with them in a functional way on a daily basis. Use these methods to create meaningful exchanges with consumers in ways they will notice and appreciate.