One of the biggest breakthroughs in advertising and marketing that’s occurred in recent years is the understanding of how people share innovation. For a long time, people were seen as a uniform group who were all equally informed by television ads or radio commercials, so there was little effort to determine who should have products and services marketed to them.
What’s clear now after decades of market research is that the most important people in a demographic group are the influencers. These are the people who others look to as arbiters of good taste and sound judgment, and it is these people who companies should appeal to by any means necessary.
One way to accomplish this is by providing free items, services or even promotional products to the leaders of taste in a community. This may mean giving away free promotional calendars or luxury personalized pens at professional organization meetings or trade shows. It’s also possible to give business gifts to heads of client companies in the hopes that they’ll speak highly of an organization.
Small businesses can also consider hiring brand advocates. These people are essentially influencers-for-hire and are paid, compensated or encouraged to introduce other people to a product or service. This can be in the form of an elegant woman ordering a new liquor in a bar, a friendly man on the street exhorting others to consider a certain car repair shop or even people handing out free samples.