Mini-Class: Make Your Mark: Unorthodox Marketing Strategies

Greg Selkoe, Owner and CEO, Karmaloop

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3 Videos (20m)
    • Getting to Know Your Market

    • Generating Ideas

    • Executing Your Idea


Project Description

Build a pitch deck for a marketing concept

Getting to Know Your Market

  1. Get on the level of your customers.

    The first portion of your pitch deck will include a brief rundown of your market you are hoping to connect with for whatever company you are creating this plan. No matter how well you think you know your market, there is always more to learn. Give your customers a call, send them emails, hang out with them in stores, whatever you can do to better understand what they want.

  2. Don't be afraid to hear what is wrong with your company!

    When interacting closely with your customer base, trust me, they will be more than happy to tell you what is wrong with your business. DONT SWEAT IT. This is the most valuable information you can receive. Take note and improve your shit. Simple as that.

    For your project, this information will be very helpful in developing your plan.

  3. Be on the level of your customer.

    You can't be too far removed from your market. This puts you out of touch and you will quickly fall behind in providing the necessary product to satisfy your market. Being authentic and passionate allows you to connect with your market so your initiatives are effective. Make sure to take this into account when completing your projects for this class.

  4. Web 2.0

    A lot of companies are afraid of what social media can do to their brands... but guess what? Tough shit. The fact of the matter is people have the platforms to express their feelings and opinions on a massive public stage. Use this to your advantage! Give your customer a voice and interact with them. How will you incorporate social media into your marketing plan? 

  5. Share your target demographic information in the project section.

    Now that you have researched your target market, share some information about them in your student project section. What are their ages? Where are they from? What do they like to eat? Where do they shop? What is their favorite Mylie Cyrus twerking position? You know, the important stuff.

    This will provide the foundation for your marketing strategy you come up with in the later lessons.

Generating Ideas

  1. Think beyond existing successful marketing strategies.

    It is hard to come up with something new, but it is even harder if you are using existing marketing strategies that have worked for other companies as your starting point. Your answers will not be found in a book or magazine... look beyond what has been done!

    Once you come up with a concept, however, you should check and make sure it is not infringing on another company's or agency's efforts.

  2. Open up to ideas from anybody.

    Describe your market to 3 people who might not have any idea what it is, and then ask them how they might connect with that market or achieve a certain sales goal. You will be surprised how much creativity will flow when you add a random opinion to the mix!

  3. Hack away!

    Get a bunch of friends together, provide some refreshments, and brainstorm some crazy shit! If they are your friends they shouldn't have any problem helping you with this project. Strength in numbers! See what their different perspectives bring to the table and combine that with your expert knowledge of the market. 

    I'm serious, schedule a time this friday to get everyone together for a couple hours. It will be fun!

  4. Creativity + Structure

    Once you have all of these ideas on the table, bring back your sales goals and market knowledge and combine it all together so it makes sense for your company or vision. Sure, brainstorming and going wild with directions is fun, but you have to make sure these concepts are in line with the company and worth the time that will be allocated for their exectution.

  5. Share your concepts!

    You can share sketches for a web campaign, storyboards for a viral video, posters for a live events, whatever. Start working on a visual representation that will be used for your final pitch deck. 

Executing Your Concept

  1. Plan out your idea

    In lesson two you came up with an awesome idea that hits the target market in a fun and interactive way. Now it is time to actually execute this concept. Plan out what it will take to happen. 

    • How long with this process take?
    • How many staff members will it require?
    • What type of budget will it require?
    • Will anything have to be sub-contracted? etc

    You can write this out as part of your pitch guide.

  2. Empower your customers

    No matter what your idea is, make sure you are providing an empowering opportunity for your customers. Like we discussed, social media is a gift and a curse, but when you can get people honestly evangelizing your company or brand you are WINNING.

  3. Consider partnering

    While maintaing control over an initiative is certainly valuable, bringing on brand partners can increase the strategy's effectiveness way beyond what you would be capable by yourself. While this partner doesn't have to be super logical (we worked with the Boston Ballet!), as long as you can twist it as being "on brand" you are all set.

  4. Don't lose track of the goal: Make money.

    Regardless of what business you are in, the goal of all marketing strategies is to make money (this includes fundraisers and non-profits). Make sure you include a brief description on how this plan will lead to revenue.

  5. Share your pitch deck!

    As a submission for this class, your student project section should include

    • a description of your target market
    • a visual representation of what your strategy is (can be more finalized than what you shared in lesson II)
    • and a written out plan for how you would execute this strategy

    Have fun yo!!