Marketing Idea #87: Demonstrations Work

Marketing Ideas Demonstrations Work

Many a cheap diaper has been bought because of commercials showing it can hold the contents of an entire water balloon. Whether at trade shows or in your TV ads or videos, demonstrations prove your products work. This is why those late-night infomercials are so successful. Even brochures can illustrate a step-by-step series of images that prove success.

What can you do to illustrate your product in action?

Marketing Ideas #32-37: Navigating Networking Events

Marketing Ideas Who to Look for at Networking Events

You’ve arrived at the latest networking event. You have your name tag. You have your drink. You’re looking sharp. Now what?

If you arrived at the event with someone else, you shouldn’t be standing around talking to that person all night. You’re there to make new connections.

#32: Don’t be afraid to smile, extend your hand, and introduce yourself. This is why you’re here: to meet people.

Trick: If you don’t know anyone, stand in the food or bar line. This way, you’ll always have at least two people to talk to: the one in front of you and the one behind you.

#33: Don’t interrupt a conversation. Not only will this create a poor first impression, but everything you say after that will be received at a deficit. Instead, stand close, and when a pause presents itself, ease into the conversation gracefully.

#34: You have two ears and one mouth. Use them proportionately. It’s about them, not you. Ask about them and show a sincere interest. “They don’t care what you have to say, until they know that you care.” —Zig Ziglar

#35: Ask smart questions. Listen and learn. Prepare several qualifying questions before going to a networking event. If you find a prospect, qualify him before arranging a follow-up.

#36: When it’s your turn to talk, be brief but succinct and powerful. You must be able to present your case in sixty seconds or less. This may include who you are, what you do, what benefits you offer customers, and why you are better than the competition.

#37: Be enthusiastic and positive. People don’t want to hear you complain about your day, your boss, or your lot in life. (Save that for your spouse, therapist, or best friend.) People enjoy working with positive people.

Remember: Your goal at a networking event is to meet as many people as possible, qualify them, and arrange appropriate follow-up. Sell yourself first, and then your products and services.

Target Marketing: Speak Directly to Your Target Audience

The other day, I stumbled across an ad that caught my attention. The ad was for Careers 2.0, a site dedicated to programmers and the programming industry. What I found remarkable about this ad was the laser-fine focus it possessed. This ad was so specific about its target audience, there could be no mistake. Before I continue further, here is the ad:

Marketing Ideas Careers Ad

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I saw this ad, I arrived at several conclusions:

  1. Its message has something to do with your job; thus the “Your Job.”
  2. It’s an ad promoting a job website of some kind. Maybe that’s what “Careers 2.0” is supposed to mean, right?
  3. The ad is written in HTML code; the basic markup language of the Internet. This is deduced by the use of the paragraph open and close tags (e.g. <p>, </p>).
  4. Now—and maybe this is a reflection on me—but my first assumption is that they’re saying something profane. I imagined something that rhymed with “Crew Your Job” or “Muck Your Job” written in the ASCII version of cartoon curse-squigglies. (Yes, it’s a technical term, “curse-squigglies”.)
  5. The ad is targeting programmers (who may still have to look up “&#x2665;”). Sure, other web folk may be caught like I was. This is definitely geek speak for something, but what?

The ad presented a mystery! To solve the puzzle, it was easy enough; just do a Google search on

&#x2665; html codes

and you’ll be able to discern very quickly that the ad actually reads:

♥ Your Job

As in, “Love Your Job”.

Awww. That was much better than what I was thinking. (Maybe I should talk to a professional about this?)


There you have it: an ad so targeted, you actually have to decode it to read it. In fact, you not only have to decode it, but you have to recognize it as code to begin with, which will be a barrier for a good-sized segment of the population. Of course, if it’s a barrier, it’s a good bet those folks are not the target market.

Not only did this ad compel me to stop what I was doing and research its meaning, but now I’m writing about it and sharing my experience with you. Obviously, this ad appeals to the web-oriented problem-solvers among us. If you like conquering riddles like a pirate on a treasure hunt, this ad was meant for you.

Marketing Challenge

What can you do to communicate with your target market on such a core level that you’re able to speak their native language to the exclusion of the rest of the world?

Marketing Idea #41: Brew the Best

Marketing Ideas Tea Time

Always offer fresh, high-quality coffee or tea. Make sure it’s good. It’s this kind of touch that shows you care about your customers. You might also want to offer bottled water for those who don’t care for coffee or tea. There is nothing worse than a company that cares so little about its customers that it makes them wait in a cramped waiting room with battery acid for coffee. The right beverage, at the right time, can have a very calming effect (even if it has caffeine).