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Sep 11, 2013

What is Street Marketing and How Can I Use It?

Whoever passed out the first street flyer centuries ago probably didn't have a name for his promotional campaign, but it worked so well that it's still a common form of advertising. Today, the handout has evolved into a variety of unusual techniques that put your small business in direct contact with potential customers. It's effective, inexpensive, and it's called street marketing.

street marketing

Unconventional Strategies

Street marketing is a new take on traditional advertising, and that's why it's successful. It makes the public aware of your business. Billboards do the same thing, but they're static. A group of musicians sporting your logo on their instruments, or a tattoo you design, while they serenade a full parking lot is an interactive promotion. The billboard is an everyday sight, but that band of troubadours makes an impression, especially if they play well. The approach is unconventional, but it gets noticed. Done right, street campaigns are one of the most affordable advertising strategies available to small businesses today. 

Careful Targeting

It's critical to identify a target audience so your new strategy doesn't get lost on the street. Public exposure for a great new swimsuit line won't be nearly as effective at the bus stop as it will on the boardwalk. Successful street marketing works when it involves an activity that's unusual and grabs the right kind of attention. It fails when it violates local ordinances, community standards and the boundaries of common sense. From sporting events to community festivals, the opportunities are endless. However, you're putting your brand on public display, so develop realistic strategies.

More Than Flyers

Roving musicians and faux ballet troupes are extreme examples of street marketing, but it usually involves a group of people interacting with the passing public. The goal is to attract business instead of waiting for it to find you. Brightly costumed characters handing out discount coupons to your newly opened paint store bring customers in from the parking lot. A hip group with each member sporting an eye-catching temporary tattoo you design to include your nightclub's logo and phone number gets your entrance a second look. Small samples of that latest delicacy entices the public's interest in your menu. Use some imagination, and think outside that box of printed flyers.

Creative Budget Stretching

Running a small company on a tight budget makes advertising dollars precious. Street marketing is an ideal venue for holding down promotional expenses because it brings old and new brands to the public with very little cost. If you're a fresh startup, your business needs an extra boost to get that identity out the front door.

This public approach to potential customers announces your arrival with an impressions that lasts. Consider a partnership with an organization that's not suited for this kind of promotion. Offer to fold the local charity's fund raising efforts into your street campaign, and you both benefit.

Street marketing is a unique approach to direct marketing that any small business can afford. Taking your brand to the customer grabs his attention and leaves him with an impression. When it's done right, that brief, inexpensive encounter turns into valuable brand recognition and sales that add up.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hygienematters/

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