The Art of Advertising: Surprising Media Strategies for Business Success

A successful business strategy always involves advertising, but not all of its forms are equal.

Some of the most successful advertising campaigns have used unorthodox methods or clever timing to promote companies and products to new heights. The media world makes competition in business a dog-eat-dog affair, but some of history’s most successful businesses cut ahead of the competition by making the most of successful publicity stunts.

While some advertising gimmicks prove to be useless (and others, dangerous), the power to create and use publicity effectively separates the winners from the losers. Not all advertising success involves quantity or quality of media usage; success outside of traditional media advertising involves business creativity, courage, and persistence.

Employ New Trends in Self-Advertising

Be among the first to grab a piece of history or be linked to the latest discovery. Many businesses find self-promotion lies in being part of the latest trend. From innovative technology to breakthrough scientific discoveries, anything that grabs media headlines and turns heads is a potential advertising strategy.

Leaping ahead of the pack by linking to headline news requires creative thinking. Is it worth it to launch an app for the latest internet phone? Or partner with a science team on the cutting edge of medical research to create a scholarship program? If the news is something that appeals to potential consumers (or people with the potential to be consumers), then the answer may be “yes.”

Create Unique Publicity Stunts

Publicity stunts are nothing new in the business world; many firms shy away from them given the “crash and burn” nature of publicity stunts gone awry. Great business success, however, can be linked again and again to successful and over-the-top publicity stunts that grabbed public attention.

From Red Baron’s advertising scheme involving WWI-style planes in flight to P.T. Barnum’s elephant plowing fields along train routes in Connecticut, a clever stunt can be irresistible to the press and to the consumer. Stunts small and large, when executed properly, are a powerful tool, including offering self-challenges with a guarantee to back the claim- just be prepared to deliver when the press (and potential consumers) call for a demonstration.

Link Business Name to a Cause

Being part of something bigger than the business industry doesn’t have to be a publicity stunt by name. A more conservative (and traditionally safe form) is the decision to support a charity or cause; a more secular form involves indirect promotion, like contests, demonstrations, or setting goals.

Host a cancer walk or a talent contest; form a committee to encourage local business affairs or draft a sign on to publicly break a world record. Money outlaid for events or public participation by the business is simply advertising money spent through alternative sources.

Learn from Mistakes

When even the best-laid plans go awry, the businesses that pull themselves up the fastest have an edge over their competitors. Bouncing back from publicity or business failure requires swift thought and action, but companies that linger at the bottom to feel sorry for themselves are wasting valuable time that could otherwise be used to draft a more successful campaign.

Advertising doesn’t have all the keys to success in its pocket, but few businesses in history have ever succeeded without it. Finding new strategies to engage the media and the consumer, from publicity stunts to positive public relations, is the best means of employing advertising to its maximum business potential.

By Sarah Briggs.
Source:  Suite101
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