When is the last time you looked at a completely different industry as a model for your marketing? If you are like most firms, you probably have not. Why is that? Most people rationalize that their industry is different and marketing has to be done a certain way. My response....B.S.!!!
If you are not looking outside your industry for examples of what works (and what doesn't) you are missing the boat. The example I am going to use is American Idol. Just stay with me for a few minutes....
I am not a fan of the show, but the marketing is genius. I am not talking about the advertisements you see on TV to advertise the show itself, but the "behind the scenes" marketing that is happening. I am not sure if you realize how much time and money it takes to put a new "Star" out there, but it can be expensive. So, someone came up with a plan to launch their stars on TV.
The creators of American Idol used an idea that has been around....think star search and transitioned it into their own creation. Not only does American Idol profit from the ad revenue for the TV show, but their "talent" is instantly famous...even if they can't sing. (You know who I am talking about....) So now, instead of having to find talent, market the talent and hope for a winner....the work is done for them.
So how can this idea work for your business? Simple, you have to look outside the box. How can you create a buzz around your product or service that is so different, no one will see it coming? I once saw an example about a guy who removed old septic tanks....talk about a stinky job. I am sure it is not easy to advertise or find customers, so what this guy did was talk about what could happen if a small child fell in the old septic tank. He used a real story and became the expert on septic tanks...just by thinking differently about his service. The best part of the entire story, he had a fantastic story the local news covered. Who do you think was swamped with work after that story aired.