Marketing a business is all about developing a unique, multi-faceted mix of communications that manages to introduce people to your products and services and then convert as many as possible into long-term customers.
Establishing a distinct point of difference, or 'standing out' from your competitors is a must, however, and this can often be achieved via a single innovative marketing idea or something slightly 'left of centre'.
Australia/New Zealand plumbing and electrical contractor Laser Group, for example, has found a way to give back to local communities across its network and gain significant media coverage in the process through its long list of achievements in the charity sector.
This includes the 2015 Laser Group Kokoda Challenge, which is raising money for anxiety and depression support organisation beyondblue.
“It’s predicted that over 45% of Australians will suffer from depression, anxiety or some other debilitating mental health issue in their lifetime,” says Laser Group CEO Steve Keil.
“The stats also highlight that construction workers are more than twice as likely to suicide as other people in Australia. That’s our workplace and we’re not happy about the numbers, so we’re doing what we can to raise funds and awareness by supporting beyondblue.”
Meanwhile, Melbourne and Sydney gelato chain, Gelato Messina, has largely foregone traditional advertising to focus almost entirely on social media, rising to almost cult-like status in the process.
“We let the product speak for itself in many ways,” says co-owner Declan Lee.
“Images are everything. We also like to maintain a very specific tone of voice that’s friendly and inviting to all. It’s not aimed solely at Gen Y or Millennials, it’s really about appealing to everyone...”
Messina is a prime example of how food businesses can (and have) harnessed the the visual power of Instagram in particular, with a whopping 104,000 Instagram followers (and counting) plus thousands of images appearing under the hashtag #gelatomessina.
The company also boasts nearly 80,000 Facebook 'likers' and more than 10,000 followers on Twitter.
Community engagement through various sponsorship types is another prime opportunity to combine advertising with other, less direct media exposure.
Melbourne dental practice Smile Solutions, for example, generated a raft of media mentions, and a bucket of laughs around Victoria, when it announced its sponsorship of the Collingwood Cheer Squad in 2014 (a group of football supporters notorious for their lack of dental hygiene).
“Having been privileged to care for the club’s players and staff, in everything from general dental care to dealing with player trauma from on-field injuries, sponsoring the cheer squad seemed like a natural fit,” Smile Solutions managing director Dr Kia Pajouhesh says.
As part of the sponsorship package, cheer squad members and their children can receive discounted care for all specialist and general dental treatments, plus a 100 ‘Smile Dollars’ voucher.