At age 16, Richard Fosbury was finding it difficult to compete in high jump at his high school. The qualifying jump of 1.5 metres for most high school track meets was simply too high for him. The dominant technique at that time (the 1960s), was the straddle method, which involved an athlete going over the high jump bar facing down and lifting his legs individually over the bar.
Fosbury found it difficult to coordinate all the motions involved in the straddle method.
Instead of moaning and giving up, Fosbury began experimenting with different techniques that would allow him to jump higher than his limit. He started the technique of turning just when approaching the bar and jumping over backwards, landing on his shoulders and back. Amazingly that enabled him to jump higher than ever before. In fact the technique won him the gold medal at the Summer Olympics in 1968. Even today the “Fosbury Flop” is the dominant high jump technique all over the world.
When facing apparently insurmountable hurdles, we can learn to apply creativity like Fosbury did and come up with new and better techniques.
For example, in our environment characterized by low consumer demand and stiff competition, some creativity in your marketing will make your business stand out and thrive, growing your customers and revenues without a huge marketing budget.
Denise, who sells handcrafted travel bags online, found that making customers feel special made her stand out from competitors. With every jewelry and lingerie bag she sells, she encloses a small, rose scented satchet and also sends a handwritten thank you note. Customers respond to being recognized, especially in these rush-rush, get-the-lowest-price times. “Even with a web-based business, good customer service is possible,” says Denise.
Elliot , a marketing consultant, noticed that most people don’t bother keeping business cards that you give them. Instead of having your card tossed, he advises, create one that recipients actually will use—say, a good-looking notepad with your contact info and tagline on every page. “The business card notepad is referred to almost daily, kept for 30 days or so, and carries a high remembrance factor,” says Elliott.
Remember, marketing is not something you do once in a while. When customers have a positive view of your business and your products, they are more likely to buy from you. Continuous, creative and targeted marketing makes business easier and your firm will stand out from the competition.
What creative marketing techniques have you found useful? Please share by emailing me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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