Here are five powerful marketing ideas for your business. At a very low cost, these time-tested strategies can generate huge publicity for a business.

In an highly competitive and over-crowded business environment, an advertising and marketing campaign must think out-of-the-box if it wishes to stand out and draw the attention of mass consumers, within a limited budget. These are time-tested ideas, and if a business is able to use them effectively, it can create marketing history without having to spend a fortune on conventional advertising or other traditional forms of marketing and promotion.

Shock Marketing: Stir Up a Controversy

This can be an exceptionally successful marketing strategy, as long as the business believes in the subject deeply, and does not join a controversy just for the sake of it. Timing is a crucial part of this strategy. When a controversial debate is raging on any issue of national or international importance, the business can take a bold stand on it, and display its conviction. Even if people dislike the company’s stand, it will still generate sufficient awareness and publicity for free for the company. If executed with finesse and skill, this provocative strategy can turn the business into a talking point for the masses.

Green Marketing: Save the Planet

Introduce innovative schemes such as special discounts for customers who drive fuel-saving hybrid cars, or use solar energy to power their homes. Such customers may not be in significant numbers, but the scheme itself will do enough to drive home the point about the company’s stand on environmental issues. Place emphasis on recycling, reduction of wastage, and adoption of energy-saving technologies and systems for the business. This can cultivate a sharply focused pro-environment image for the company, and make it stand out from the competitors.

Social Marketing: Take Up a Current Cause

Marketing is all about being different from the run-of-the-mill competitors. Choose exceptional social causes that are not usually taken by most businesses. Instead of spending your budget on standard charitable causes, preserve your funds for a sudden and current social situation. Support the victims of a tragedy, or take up the cause of suffering child or family that is hitting the news headlines for some reason. This will fulfill a noble cause, and at the same time deliver huge benefits in terms of image cultivation for your business. It is all about quick decision-making, seizing the initiative, and acting from the heart.

Forthright Marketing: Turn a Weakness into a Strength

It takes courage to be brutally honest and forthright in a marketing campaign. Avis car rental company is a classic example of a business that created marketing history by capitalizing on its weakness and turning it into its strength. It openly declared to the world, “We are number two. So we try harder.” Similarly, if you have a product or service to sell which may have its obvious weaknesses, it is a good idea to announce them from the rooftops. It will steal the initiative from the competitors, and catch the attention of the customers. The theme of such a marketing campaign could be something like: “We don’t give extra features or services like our competitors. But we are cheaper.” This can turn a weakness into a strength and generate high publicity for the business.

Participative Marketing: Involve the Customers

Create innovative marketing campaigns that involve the participation of potential customers. Arouse the interest of your target market by choosing a subject that has a mass appeal and high current relevance. If you are launching a new product or a new business, ask people to suggest a brand name, or suggest product features, and offer special discounts or incentives for the participants. If your business is locally confined, organize local events that involve the participation of the residents and generate attention for your business in the process.