Looking for ideas?

Ok, you are starting out, or doing a re-vamp of your marketing… where to get ideas? 

(I’ll assume that you have already taken time to do some planning and know what kind of customers you are trying to reach, and what you are trying to accomplish.)

Step 1:  Set some time limits – looking for ideas can easily turn into hours of surfing the web.

Step 2:  Start a document where you can collect links for future reference.

Step 3:  Start looking…

  • Collect materials from trade shows, look in magazines, etc.
  • Check competitors or any business you admire.  Visit them online – often who did the website is noted at the bottom and you can click through and look at their portfolio.
  • You’re not mainstream, but look at some mainstream businesses in your category.

You may not want to be what you feel is a big nasty corporation but they spend lots of time and money on marketing, and sell a LOT of products and services.  Take a look, see if you can get some ideas, and figure out if these ideas would help you promote your product or service.  I know, I know, it’s a big stretch but you want to get your creative juices flowing and think outside the box for just a bit. (It’s NOT about copying exactly what they do either.)

Examples:

You want to attract children to your corn maze – how does Attraction ABC attract visitors? Maybe a “What’s New” section would encourage repeat visits, or perhaps you work towards offering online ticket purchases.

You want to coach individuals how to eat vegetarian – how does Lose Weight Company XYZ promote themselves?  Maybe they use lots of photos of happy women – would it be possible to incorporate photos of some happy clients into your website?

  • If you are working on your logo or website – what colours do you like?  What kind of feeling do you want customers to get?  I love cruising through sites like istockphoto.com (choose illustrations when searching.)  Ask the designer you are working with where they would purchase stock illustrations and textures from.
  • Do a google search for “logo image ideas” or “website template ideas”.

Step 4:  Stop looking.  (The toughest step I think.)

Step 5:  Pick the best ideas by comparing them to your plan.  Will these ideas or looks be attractive to your target customer?  With some work, will they help you achieve your goals?  If you are already an established business, will any looks or colours you pick work with your existing branding?

Good luck!

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