It is not a new strategy to create a need for products and services. Media exposure has generated demand for the most unlikely products such as pet rocks and sneakers with air pumps. However, just because it is not new does not mean it does not work.
There are many time-tested strategies to increase the demand for products and services, each applicable on- and off-line. The Internet has increased the possibilities for creating interest and hype a million-fold, but it is not the only way. The most popular methods for creating a need is through infomercials, endorsements, testimonials, straight media advertisements, fliers, brochures, on-site demonstrations, trade exhibits and direct marketing.
Credibility Of Expenditure
The problem with the first four methods is the costs involved. They are undoubtedly effective; there are very few people who have yet to purchase a blender than can do everything except wash the dog (a future possibility) because they saw it demonstrated by a has-been celebrity or former boxer. Endorsements are also very effective i.e. Air Jordan and well-made (or funny or just gross) television and radio advertisements have retention value that has made many brands household names i.e. Xerox, Coke. However, these strategies entail careful planning, execution and exposure as well as considerable funds.
Fliers and brochures are more on the small- to medium-scale in terms of costs and have the advantage of being on-hand at all times. If constructed effectively and distributed judiciously, it has a 5 in 100 chance of being retained in a handbag or letter basket for future reference, and a 1 in 100 chance of leading to a sale. If considered in terms of thousands in distribution, 10 sales out of 1000 flyers or brochures is not bad. This is on par with most Internet-based advertisements, although the statistics are based on clicks. However, the disadvantage of paper-based flyers and brochures is limitation of range. Typically, it can only cover certain areas, beyond which would be impractical in terms of distribution methods and expected response.
Trade fairs and on-site demonstrations can be costly but the returns may well justify it. The advantage of such marketing events is physical presence; the products are available, the company is there to answer any and all questions, the potential client can purchase at once. The person-to-person interaction is invaluable in any business transaction, but especially in retail where the want is more important than the need. In trade fairs and exhibits, there is instant gratification without having to deal with the complication of the client having second thoughts.
Direct marketing has been given a bad reputation because of pushy agents, but it is actually a very effective, and also very difficult, technique to master. The art of the cold call is not one for the faint-hearted.
These strategies can all contribute to pumping up demand for products and services and can be used solo or in combination. Choosing which strategy or strategies would be the best for specific products and services will largely depend on the available resources.