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10 unusual marketing tools your competitors don’t use

10 unusual marketing tools your competitors don’t use

By on Dec 10, 2016

If you are fighting for the attention of potential customers, and your marketing strategy is very similar to that of your competitors, you should expand your choice of marketing tools to ones that your competitors don’t use.

Paid ads, website, DM, brochures – we all know these.

But there are a lot of marketing and promotional channels that many business owners overlook…

Business cards

You might not have thought about it, but it’s a potentially high-volume marketing channel that people use every day. Almost everyone has business cards printed, but most people don’t really think about what they put on them. How hard does your business card work for your success?

  1. Include your slogan

Your slogan is a quick introduction. You can print it at the back of the card, a space that is often overlooked, but makes your card noticeable from front or back. It’s important to find a strong, impactful message for your slogan .

  1. Who will benefit from contacting you?

As a title, below your name, include your target audience’s name. Nobody cares. Tell them what you are, and for whom. In my case, it looks like:

Don’t: “Krisztina Rudnay, marketing consultant with 10 years experience”

Do: “Krisztina Rudnay – marketing adviser for startup entrepreneurs”

  1. Include your website

If you have a website, include the URL, and provide a very brief description what they will find there, for example, “Download the Ultimate Guide for gardening here:”

  1. Include your social media channels

Most businesses regard social media as a way to tell their story and engage with customers. It only makes sense to highlight your Facebook page, Twitter, and/or Instagram account on your card. Give curious new customers and partners a chance to see what you’re all about by directing them to the social channels where you’re active – but only those that are truly relevant to your business and that you have a marketing plan behind. Avoid sending them to personal pages not focused on your business.

  1. Think of your card as a call to action

Rather than printing a large volume of a single card design, consider producing small print runs of customized cards tailored to specific campaigns, or markets. For example send people to your website to download your lead magnet – so you can direct marketing to them later.


If business cards are the highest volume marketing material you distribute, than invoices are likely the second highest. Do you mail or provide invoices to your customers? An invoice is a direct mail piece addressed directly to your customers.

When you send out an invoice, do you only list the services and the price, or do you include a “Thank you” message?

Do you suggest some similar services, or perhaps a product suggestion you can upsell them on? Or maybe a coupon for the next purchase?

It’s one of the most effective marketing tools, but it’s one that most businesses overlook.

Become an author

A lot of people write blogs and articles. What about if you write a book? There are a lot of specific fields that nobody has written about before. And every topic can take on a new meaning when approached from a different viewpoint.

The benefits:

  • You can introduce yourself as XY, author of the book.
  • If you want publicity, you can always gain more awareness and credibility from other writers as the author of a book.
  • You can use your book as a strong marketing tool: your business, the benefits, contact info, social media platforms, etc.


Can I try?

Can you offer a free trial? Or a product sample? Customers want to feel like there is no risk when they commit to buying a product, so let them try it out first. Or try offering a money-back guarantee!

Always make sure that your potential customers are aware of your trial offers and any guarantees you may offer.


Offer an event, or a demonstration of your product for new customers. Create a fun challenge that people can participate in. Offer prizes. Use social media to advertise, or promote it in a local newspaper – you may even be able to turn it into a news story. Make it free so that new customers will happily join (and buy your product if they liked it). Put balloons, banners, streamers, or posters at the event, to create visibility and encourage more people to join.


Are you sending out coupons or discount offers to your current and potential customers?

Recommendation: Always set a deadline for your coupons. If there’s no expiration, people won’t feel a sense of urgency to act on it. They will postpone the decision to act, and then they will forget about it. If something has a looming deadline, it’s a motivator to take action NOW.

Gift cards or gift certificates

Do you offer gift cards or certificates that people can buy and give their friends or relatives?

A lot of people struggle with ideas for gifts for loved ones. Things like a bottle of wine, a calendar, or a teddy bear are typically boring or unneeded. If your customers are happy with your products, give them a chance to share that happiness with others. It’s great advertising for you, and a great way to bring in new customers. And it might just help a customer give the perfect gift.

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