When it comes to marketing, some businesses have it easier than others. A virtual reality company’s flashy technology lends itself to generating buzz by hosting events and offering demos; the obvious strategy for advertising a line of sporty, must-have trainers is through a campaign featuring celebrity athletes. In many ways, these types of clients are a dream for a marketing agency. Their strategies can be bold and fun, but they’re also tried-and-tested.
‘Unsexy’ businesses – companies whose products or services are useful but unglamourous – often pose a greater challenge. Some marketers may try loud, attention-grabbing campaigns to reach new audiences for these clients, but these tactics don’t necessarily suit the company’s brand or service. Conversely, other agencies might play it too safe, sticking to their client’s niche and not seeking out a wider audience.
So what is the ideal marketing strategy for a business that is decidedly unsexy? Here, we consider the best approach for marketing less-than-seductive businesses in a way that’s honest, creative and effective.
Focus on Authenticity
The functional nature of the products and services of less consumer-led businesses might not lend itself to sexy advertising, and that’s okay (after all, we’ve finally learned that sex doesn’t sell). Instead, it’s important to establish an understanding of the company’s ethos within a campaign, focusing on the people and the mission that keep the business going and make it authentic.
For some companies, this could mean publishing features on key employees; for others, it could entail creating ads that centre around how and why the business was founded. Build a campaign based on what sets the company apart, and you’ve already laid the groundwork for a unique approach.
Just because a business is unsexy doesn’t mean that the content you create for them has to be boring. The key is to stay true to the brand while coming up with content that draws in new audiences. Oftentimes, this requires writing blogs, designing infographics and engaging on social media in such a way that positions your client as the go-to resource in their industry – and while this industry may be unsexy, it’s up to you as a marketer to find topics that are educational, useful or entertaining.
51% of business owners report that content management is ‘very important’ or ‘absolutely critical’ to creating a cohesive customer journey – but it doesn’t matter how engaging your content is if no one ever reads it. Therefore, it’s crucial to have in-depth knowledge about your client’s target audience, which often requires more than just looking at demographics. For instance, if a digital agency in London is working for a client based in India, the agency will need to do comprehensive market research, developing an understanding of all the cultural, social and political factors at play in order to create relevant content and place it on the most effective channels.
A company doesn’t need to be the business equivalent of Megan Fox to be successful. Through a rich, authentic, content-based approach, unsexy businesses can stand out from the crowd – no gimmicks, celebrity endorsements or VR headsets necessary.