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From MP3s and shampoo to haircuts and financial advising, people want and need a variety of products and services in their lives. Marketing helps bring people and the businesses that manufacture and sell those products and services, together. But more directly, marketing is responsible for successfully pairing the consumer with the product and generating the sales that every business needs.

Marketing is both an art and a science. Marketers may carry out research to determine who their target market is or the best price point for a particular product. They may design creative advertising to be used in newspaper ads, Internet banners, or radio spots. They may create a comprehensive marketing plan or a selling plan. They may hold product launch events or write press releases. In everything, marketers must combine sound business concepts with creativity.

Marketing is generally considered to be a highly creative enterprise. Though certain trends and techniques may come and go, marketing will never go out of style. Marketing is ultimately linked to the success of a company and how successful that company is in generating sales and profits.

Unusual Marketing Tactics: Thinking Outside the Box Can Yield Big Profits for Companies

Unusual marketing tactics have been used by some of the most successful businesses in history. Many marketing tactics actually started out in this way, were wildly successful, and were then incorporated into mainstream marketing. This type of marketing idea doesn't have to be expensive, time consuming or even wildly original. The most important thing is that they capture the interest of a business's target market and cause them to take action.

Find Inspiration

One way to find unusual marketing tactics is to look in other industries and see what you can adapt for your business. For instance, many retailers who target kids have a birthday club that they offer to their prospects. In exchange for signing up for their birthday list, the prospects receive something special on their birthday. It could be a gift certificate, a buy one get one free offer, or any other number of valuable incentives.

This idea has been incorporated into many different business models, from financial firms who send out birthday cards, to the local dentist who personally calls each patient on their special day.

Using Social Media

Another example of this is using the exciting world of social media to target your audience, no matter how boring your industry may be. For instance, a brilliant piece of viral content was placed on the web and passed around regarding appliances, which is a very dull topic. The piece was titled, "Appliances Right Out of the Jetsons" and featured innovative appliances that seem too technologically advanced to be real. The article was a monster hit.

Physical Props

Another way to get creative is to use physical props in your marketing efforts. For instance, you could send a survey to your customers with a measuring tape, and ask them how you’re measuring up. A travel agent could send a sandbucket during winter to remind folks of the summer sun. An accountant could send aspirin to prospects near tax time to show that she can alleviate their headaches over the filing deadline. The possibilities are really endless if you just sit down and do some brainstorming.


One easily overlooked, and very inexpensive marketing tactic is to engage your customer's curiosity and add a sense of mystery to your marketing campaigns. People have insatiable appetites to unravel a mystery, and can't stand to be left hanging. A simple change to your email titles can do this, or you could create a new direct mail piece with an intriguing message on the front. Both of these compel someone to open your message and see what's inside. For instance, one well known Internet marketer famously experienced his best open rates for an email he sent out that had 'Bad News...' as the subject line. It worked so well because it piqued people's curiosity.

The movie producer, JJ Abrams, provides another great example of this technique. He created a preview for a movie, and purposefully left the title of the new movie (Cloverfield) out of the ads. Searches for the movie spiked up 88% on the release date, as everyone feverishly searched for more information on this mysterious new release.

Engaging Current Customers

Finally, this may surprise you, but one of the most unusual marketing tactics is staying in touch with current customers. This could be accomplished through a physical newsletter, email, direct mail, or even by telephone. This may not seem very unusual, but it is – because most businesses don't actually follow through the way they should with their customers and prospects. In fact, according to a widely-held statistic, 68% of customers leave a business because of indifference to the customer by the employee or owner.

Whether it's a creative marketing tactic or simply an overlooked strategy, the premise of these unusual marketing tactics is the same. It simply involves getting the attention of the customer, and compelling them to act. What's really unusual is the fact that more businesses aren't taking the time to apply these proven methods in their marketing campaign.