By Jay Bemis | Advertising Systems Inc.
Learning how to deal with the loss of third-party cookies and finding new ways to attract customers up and down the marketing funnel may be among your company’s top goals as 2022 unfolds.
But be mindful that there are a number of out-of-the-box or “unrelated” ways that can complement your marketing efforts and help you connect with the buying public, as a dozen top marketing executives who are a part of the Forbes Communication Council shared in a recent post.
“Sometimes, drawing on information or resources that are seemingly unrelated to your product or service is a good way to capture consumers’ attention,” the Council says in the post, titled “12 ‘Unrelated’ Ways To Complement Marketing Efforts.”
Take supporting your surrounding community, for example, which is a trait that many companies especially have tried to highlight consistently the past two years during the COVID-19 pandemic. Assuring customers that you will continue to be “here” for them during dire times — as well as when the good times roll — has been a chief source of such brand messaging.
“Building a reputation as a supporter of your current and prospective customers’ community is vital to your brand,” Kimberly Osborne, interim vice chancellor for strategic communications at UNC Greensboro, told Forbes.
“If a consumer begins to connect to your brand through community engagement, they develop a deeper understanding of your company.”
Here are a few more “unrelated” marketing steps that the Forbes council shares with its followers:
Share Your Company’s Values
“Corporate values may seem unrelated to marketing, but today’s customers and prospects want to know that the companies they do business with are aligned with their values,” says Monica Koedel, Cisco’s senior director of digital experience and Forbes Council member.
“Cisco’s values around creating change and inclusivity are frequently shared across our social channels and campaigns. We believe this is a big factor in our consistent ranking on the ‘World’s 25 Best Workplaces’ list.”
Connect Your Products or Services to Social Issues
Nysha King, Healthmonix vice president of marketing and communications, says delving into social issues is a good way “to organically introduce topics that might ordinarily be unrelated to your business.”
“Whether it’s a national holiday or simply the discussion of the day, audiences want to know where companies stand on social issues,” she says. “Engagement rises when you provide a glimpse of your company’s culture.”
Rely On Alumni Networks
James Freeze, Interactions LLC’s chief marketing officer, is a graduate of Ohio State University and says personal connections from those ol’ college days can go a long way.
“I find fellow alumni in every corner of our industry — including on my company’s podcast — and connect with them over Big Ten pride,” he tells Forbes followers. “While not directly related to our business, the shared connection humanizes the interaction and establishes a strong foundation for future conversations.”
Keep Providing Quality Customer Service
Quality customer service is something that your customers will remember and perhaps make them more likely to return to your products and services.
Says Gala Grigoreva, chief marketing officer at Adsterra:
“This will help you maintain a loyal customer base and increase word-of-mouth advertising. We created a new system to compile customer feedback and categorize it so that we can better address the specific needs of our clients. This has helped us maintain a great reputation and grow our business.”
Include a Cute Pet in the Mix
Ah, yes, as you scroll through images of cats in your Instagram feed, or learn of some worldly canine feat on your local nightly news, remember that including those furry figures in your marketing efforts usually commands attention.
“When in doubt, add an adorable puppy to the mix,” notes Forbes Council member Melissa Kandel, whose workday role is chief executive officer of little word studio, Orange County, California.
“We recently worked with a client who wanted a way to do something different with a real estate video, so we suggested filming the message in a locale she loved with her four-legged best friend by her side,” Kandel says.
“The result? Huge engagement. Sure, it’s unrelated to real estate, but cute pups always win.”