Tech companies know a thing or two about how to drive new traffic to their customers online. But they also know that our lives are not only lived online. A good chunk of eyeballs are not in front of computer screens at any point of the day. Traditional offline marketing is still a powerful way to drive new users. The following tech companies created innovative campaigns to promote their brand offline:
If you’re in one of the select cities around the world MailChimp hand-selected, you may have seen their billboards with nothing more but the headshot of their mascot, Frederick von Chimpenheimer IV. The company proclaims that they don’t want to add to the overexposure of advertising already dotting cities – so their aim isn’t commercial. They simply want to put a smile on the face of customers who already use MailChimp. A nice side effect could be the curiosity that the campaign creates for citizens that wonder why there’s a chimp head on their skyline with no apparent advertisement at all. Creative offline branding at its finest.
Not content with being referenced only from the websites of local businesses, Yelp sends popular businesses stickers to plaster on their storefront so customers know they can view the company on Yelp. Although Yelp has a strict policy about businesses not openly asking customers for reviews, Yelp has no problem with these businesses plastering what is essentially a small advertisement across countless businesses across the world.
According to Brad Porteus, Former Yelp VP, “It felt pretty old school. While other companies were buying keywords, we were stuffing envelopes.” It was a genius small marketing hack that promotes both the business and Yelp at the same time.
Have you heard of Uber delivering ice cream? Kittens? Gotham City Police Cars during Comic-Con 2014? Marketing is not equal to advertising. Marketing is any part of your company that your customers interact with. Uber gets this and seems to constantly be inventing ways to deliver new products to their customers all the time. Delivering unique goods and services in a short time frame is part PR-stunt/part delivering happiness to customers. They are associating their brand with innovation, cleverness, and happiness. Oh – and a little bit of convenience. If they can deliver kittens on demand, what can’t they deliver in the future?
Squarespace is a top build-your-own-website company that uses various forms of marketing to promote its brand. Two of its biggest new marketing channels are TV commercials and podcast sponsorships. Podcasts can be debatable as to whether they are really online marketing or offline marketing. Regardless, if you can listen to them in your car without an internet connection I’d argue they’re closer to radio ads than internet ads. Squarespace also debuted TV commercials during the 2014 Super Bowl to reach a broader audience that may not even know what to search for online. Squarespace is on somewhat of a marketing blitz in 2014, evaluating more and more channels to get the word out.
What fascinates me about this concept is that these tech companies are fairly tech-savvy, but they still recognize that offline marketing is still part of the marketing mix. They’ve all concocted different strategies to promote their brand in a way to make them stand out and connect with their customers. Whether online or offline, we know how important it is for companies to promote their brand and please their customers in the most creative ways possible.
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