Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe new life into worn out old marketing strategies, and on a shoestring budget if possible.
Liberty Tax Service is known for trotting out costumed Statues of Liberty and Uncle Sams by the roadside, hopefully to (not so) gently remind passersby that it’s tax time. They generally engage in this street-level campaign right after the first of the year on up through April 15th.
And what may look like an unrefined, unsophisticated marketing tool is actually rather effective. In addition to parading a reality hook with which we all can relate, these “outrageous marketing” techniques also ostensibly serve as a reticular activator in reinforcing that there is a Liberty location along one of the thoroughfares on which they drive.
Now if there is a downside to Liberty’s strategy, it is that there is no real branding value conveyed here. While it drives top of mind awareness through the roof, I’m not sure I really feel anything one way or the other about Liberty Tax.
And that may be enough. As I see H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt dropping untold sums into high dollar media branding campaigns, I’m not sure I feel anything strongly about those companies either.
And surely Liberty’s strategies appeals to potential franchisees (the entry level investment for a Liberty franchise is $34,000, compared with maybe 20 or 30 times that for a fast food establishment).
I think that, regardless of company size, more and more business owners will be looking for these “shoestring” marketing techniques. Some will strike interesting innovation models by using brainpower instead of just throwing money at their marketing problems. No doubt, many will fail in spite of (because of?) their best efforts.
If you are looking to add this type of component to your advertising and marketing arsenal, let me suggest Joe Spoelstra’s book Marketing Outrageously: How to Increase Your Revenue by Staggering Amounts!