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July 8, 2010 / jasonpinto

Taking a Few Wrong Turns

Last week, a long-time customer of interlinkONE spent a few hours visiting us at our Wilmington, MA office. He happened to be in the area on vacation with his family, which helped make the visit possible.

While we were chatting about his time spent in MA so far, he offered the following tidbit: “We spent sometime in the downtown area of Boston. Checked out some of the major tourist spots. Then, we took a few wrong turns —- on purpose.”

I loved the last part of that phrase. Sure, hitting the “major tourist spots” is a smart idea. Most likely, we will find something enjoyable there. After all, millions of people before us have. But as for taking a few wrong turns, there are not many of us that would be willing to do that in a city that we are unfamiliar with. Maybe we fear the risk of wasting our time, or perhaps ending up in a place where we feel a bit of uneasiness. However, oftentimes taken the off-the-beaten path can provide a greater reward than the popular places do. The crowds will be smaller, and our experience may be enhanced by the thrill of adventure.

This same type of approach can be applied to our marketing efforts.

Sure, there are many reasons for us to follow popular paths. We use marketing channels that have been accepted by our company for years. We may see what our competition is doing — if they’re not pushing the envelope marketing-wise, perhaps we feel safe where we are sitting.

However, we must not be afraid to risk taking a few wrong turns from time to time.  This may mean investing time and money into a new marketing channel. Sure, we may learn that a certain channel is full of hype. Or, we may find out that our customers and prospects were already communicating via that method, and now love that we are available to communicate that way too.

Here are a couple of marketing channels that you may want to think about incorporating into your own efforts:

  • Location-based Marketing: There are quite a few tools that fall into this place. Foursquare is certainly one of the leaders. If you haven’t used it yet, it allows people to “check-in” as they visit various locations – stores, parks, homes, or wherever else they would like. This type of data is helping individuals connect with friends or associates that may have similar interests. But it also allows businesses to specifically target people that are in the area.  Awareness Networks recently published “Top 10 Ways Marketers Can Leverage Foursquare“. Download it today!
  • QR Codes: Full disclosure — the company I work for produces software that allows people to create and measure the effectiveness of QR Codes. But — I truly believe the use of QR Codes will continue to grow. As we all become more dependent on our mobile phones, and our mobile phones continue to grow in regards to what they are capable of, we will become more apt to doing business with our phones. QR Codes can help make printed pieces interactive in many ways… Take a look around the web to see how some of the early adopters are using them in the US.  I bet that you’ll find a way to help boost the success of one your marketing efforts.

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