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Creative Marketing Ideas: Why Small-Scale Businesses Need It and How They Can Pull It Off

  • Harlon AgsaoayHarlon Agsaoay

creative marketing ideasFor every day that your business survives, the need to think of new creative marketing ideas to extend your existing customers’ loyalty and to gain new ones remains constant.

This is especially true when there are other products in the market similar to what you are selling, which means that you’re competing with other brands for your target audience’s attention.

Such a circumstance automatically puts you in a position where you have to always come up with unique ideas to keep your product interesting.

Not only that, you also have to make sure that connect with target audience and keep them engaged.

To be fair, the need to be exceptional isn’t exclusive to established brands. Owners of start up businesses also feel pressure to do something that their target audience hasn’t seen before, whether it’s legitimately original or a fresh twist to a brilliant concept.

Case in point: if your business is to survive tough competition and stay in the market, you need to relate to your target audience and develop relationships with them. While producing quality products is critical to making an impression, a strong connection between your brand and your audience is as golden as every sale you can make after you do it right.

A solid relationship with your customers doesn’t only do well for your sales. Sensible entrepreneurs work toward something much more rewarding than monetary gain, such as empowering other people to try their own hand at business.

Why You Should Think Outside the Box

But what points do you really score for thinking outside the box? Before you get intimidated by the notion that you can’t be as innovative as the people behind the marketing strategies that made you turn your head, here are some of the perks that await you once you decide to squeeze your creative juices.

Perk #1: Develop a Unique Selling Point

Also known as the USP, your unique selling point is about developing a signature style that will make your brand memorable. A distinctive method of presenting your product or service can do a lot in making sure that your target audience will remember you. When they do, you up the chances of them going to your store the next time the need arises.

Perk #2: Keep People Interested

While it’s all right to make your business subscribe to a tailored mission, there will be times when you need to adjust your sails according to the seasons. By incorporating unique ideas to your selling techniques and on a regular basis, you will keep your customers engaged, waiting for what you’ll do next.

Being creative also stimulates your customers’ intelligence, a gesture they will truly appreciate because it means that you appeal to what makes them tick.

Perk #3: You Get to Maximize the Potential of Your Brand

Not all entrepreneurs have the privilege of gaining a clear perspective on how they want to market their product – at least, not in the beginning. Some are merely armed by their desire to share their goods to a wider range of audience but are not necessarily equipped with a long-term vision.

This is not exactly bad news. However, if you’re undergoing the same dilemma, a creative approach can help you in this department.

While it’s crucial that you stick to your brand’s message, you can play to the different slants of presenting and selling your product. By exploring what works (and what doesn’t) for your product or service, you will also discover the potential of chosen marketing tactics once they’re applied to your overall strategy.

Out-of-the-Box Options

Now that you know why you should think out of the box, let’s talk about how you actually do it. Any levelheaded entrepreneur knows that making a sale is not the ultimate goal of your business. It is equally important that you strengthen your connection with your target audience by keeping them engaged. Interested and engaged customers, who are working with you and waiting to see what you’ll do next, are a great source of inspiration and motivation.

In addition, using creative marketing ideas doesn’t only mean money for your business. You also get to communicate that it’s all right to try out different ideas and to be of service, not just to customers, but also to fellow business people.

The good news is that you don’t (always) have to pull these ideas out of thin air. Here are 10 out-of-the-box additions you can inject to your existing marketing plan.

Option 1: Social Media Campaigns

If you haven’t tried running a social media campaign, the best time to do it is now. Social networking sites are a great venue to promote and sell your products, and the fact that you don’t have to pay anything to register makes it even better.

Among the most common social media sites are Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. While it’s tempting to sign up to all of them, keep in mind that every social networking channel serves a unique purpose. You don’t always have to use everything that is available to you.

Instead, use only the ones that will really help your campaign and maximize the features of your chosen social media channel. For instance, if your prospective clients are very active on Twitter, then you might want to trend on Twitter by thinking of a catchy phrase about your business and using it as a #hashtag.

Option 2: Video Marketing

Video marketing is a relatively new concept which allows you to give your business exposure by posting short videos (say, your products or your company) on your website or your YouTube channel. (And yes – you should make one.) As some customers prefer to watch videos instead of reading articles, you can come up with two or three-minute videos which can serve as a teaser for your audience and lead them to read the rest of your content.

Option 3: Sponsor an Important Cause

A great way for your business to establish a good reputation is by associating it to other brands that support an advocacy. By doing so, you can convey your concern about issues that matter to your target audience while promoting your own brand. Just make sure that you tailor your campaign to be inline with your partner brand and its important cause.

Option 4: Give Talks at Related Events

You’ve seen successful entrepreneurs speak at conferences and share the wisdom they gained through the years. You may still be a startup entrepreneur, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t do your share of public speaking. Check if your community is holding events where you can participate and if there are opportunities for you to share to the locals what you’ve learned about putting up your business. This will not only give your brand exposure, it can also help you expand your network.

Option 5: Develop a Rewards Program

Keep your customers coming back by offering them a rewards program can work very well. Your rewards program may be exclusive to members who sign up to, say, your newsletter, or who like your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter. You can also give them a rewards card, where they can get a freebie or major discount after purchasing a certain number of items.

Option 6: Hold Flash Sales

You can also give your customers something to look forward to by holding flash sales. But before you do this, study which products are getting the most and the least attention from your customers, and then think of ways that you can use one as a leverage to sell the other. You can tie these products in a bundle, and then offer them at a discounted price. This way, your customers get to purchase their favorite item, and they can also experience a produce that they chose not to buy in the past.

Option 7: Incorporate Customers in the Inventory

Feedback is one of the best things you can get from your customers. Apart from soliciting their opinion, you can also observe their buying behavior through your sales. Your bestsellers are often expected to be present in your inventory all the time.

Option 8: Rent Ad Spaces on Facebook Covers

Nearly everyone who has Internet access has a Facebook account, and this is an avenue you can take advantage of. These days, there are people who are willing to rent their Facebook covers to brands who wish to advertise to a wider range of potential buyers; you only need to look for them online. Make sure that you use creative photos, whether it’s a picture taken from a shoot or an image created by your graphics designer. Also, keep the text to a minimum and if you must include some text, make it a call to action. You can also choose to make the image a teaser to a contest you are holding or an upcoming launch of a new product.

Option 9: Sell Limited Edition Pieces

Consumers are often elated by the opportunity of owning something that not everybody can have, which makes producing a limited edition item on your products list a good idea. It doesn’t even have to be an actual variation of your product. It can be a special packaging that matches the season, like  Christmas or summer. Many customers are driven by the experience more than the mere ownership of something limited, and this is a common consumer behavior you can bank on.

Option 10: Provide Free Samples

One of the best ways to be remembered by your target customers is by giving them free samples of your product. Not all customers are ready to spend on a brand they just encountered, and giving them something they can test can increase your chances of converting them to actual buyers.

Step Out of the Box

Building a small-scale business is a relentless process of experimentation and trial-and-error. If you are to make your enterprise flourish, you need to try different creative marketing ideas all the time until you develop a classic and non-negotiable framework for your marketing campaigns. Don’t be afraid to cross the borders of tradition, especially if you think that unconventional methods will help you advance your business.

Finally, always touch base with your audience and ask for their feedback. When you use their input as inspiration to further improve your products and your marketing approach, you can do better at keeping them engaged and loyal customers. This also helps you develop a deeper connection with your audience, who are likely to look up to you not just because of the product you are selling but also the philosophy behind it.

Have you tried any of these methods to give your business a boost? Share with us the technique you used and how it worked for you by writing a comment below.

16 thoughts on Creative Marketing Ideas: Why Small-Scale Businesses Need It and How They Can Pull It Off

Elaine Cougler

This is great, Harlon! I’m going to print it out and use it for an easily referenced check list. Already my marketing plan for getting out the word about my Loyalist novels includes some of what you mention but I appreciate the chance to expand my marketing repertoire.
Thanks so much!


Thanks Elaine. I appreciate it so much 🙂


Harlon – one thing that I do that seems to guarantee repeat business is sending my clients a gift. When our work together has come to an end, they always get something in the post as a thank you for their business.

It’s unexpected. It’s memorable. And very few other people do it. Boom !


That is definitely a big way to retain your clients and boost your business, Razwana. It’s also a way of connecting to them and building a relationship. Very effective, indeed. 🙂

Kent Sanders

Harlon, thanks for a very helpful and insightful post. I appreciate the encouragement to not feel the pressure to be active on all the social media sites. It can be overwhelming.

I have found that doing short Youtube videos has been a good way to generate interest in my Evernote video course.


Way to go, Kent. 🙂 Youtube is a very, very effective tool to launch and advertise your product. Keep it up, and a big Thank You for reading my article. 😉


Very nice checklists. I will print it and take action on the suggestions and tips.


Thank you very much Percy. 🙂


Hi Harlon,
Great pointers! I will use your post for future reference.

I am using and planning to use a few of your suggestions. I am beginning to use Facebook and Twitter. Having two social media sites is more than enough to dal with.

I am also in the process of adding video and audio to my material.

Look forward to trying some of your other suggestions.


Thank you so much Carolynne. I guarantee you, social media is very useful and effective. 🙂



Thanks for a very useful list! I have received many new ideas just by reading it. I certainly will beging putting all these ideas to good use.

Thanks again!


You’re welcome Katharine. 😉

Fabienne Raphaël

I agree with you Harlon that thinking outside of the box is a must and that having something that distinguishes you from all the rest of your competitors will increase your chances of success for your business. And yes, like you said, relationship with your customers is the starting point.

I have personally used social media campaigns and yes, I have to say that it really helped boost my sales.

But I wanted to share with you one of my friend’s out of the box strategy to get new business with a big company. He sent to that company a mobile phone with his office phone number programmed in it. A nice written sales letter ended with a call to action: take the phone, press the green button and we will be happy to schedule an appointment with you. And he got great results from this method.


Wow, that’s really out of the box, Fabienne. Very creative, and yet, it values efficiency. I might have to try that technique. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

Meryl van der Merwe

I offer a 4 week online free Intro to Game Programming course for kids and teens (my version of a “free sample”). Once they have completed that I offer them a discount off my paid Programming courses and many do continue as they know they like the way I teach. I have tried other ways of advertising my paid courses, but the free course is the most effective.


I agree Meryl. Glad to hear you’re doing free courses as a way of building relationship with your customers. That’s really out of the box, and a nice gesture. 🙂

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