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So, you don´t have an ice hotel ...

So, you don't have an ice hotel. Oh, what you have is a small ¤ #! § to make some noise and grab some attention from the competition. Good. I mean - how hard is it to call yourself a marketer if you have an ice hotel? The only thing you need to do is call the press and say: “Hi, I have built a hotel completely made of ice”. You won't need any more advertisement than that. The idea was - and is - so good that it doesn't need anything else. A good marketer is someone who gets the results over the competition, who can show why the stuff that he/she represents challenges everything else as well.
But since you don't have an ice hotel, we'll talk about what you can do to stand out and beat the drum with vigor. We'll talk about advertising coups.

5 tips on making an advertising coup

Gather courage
Stop being a coward. Let go of thoughts of  ”I can't, I call 15 newspapers and tell them that I'm so tired of the government's plans to do so and so and that I intend to nominate my canary for President.” Have fun in the process. If nothing happens, at least you've had a bit of fun.

Benefit your business with a coup
Connect the content of the coup to what you sell. You can come up with lots of coup ideas, but the idea should always benefit what you sell. Consider the question: “How do we make money on this in the end”?

But it will benefit others as well
Letting off 46 800 pink balloons over the city must be directly related to something good for your business - but also for others. Your protest/celebration will be the voice of many.

Make a stand for something controversial
Decide to prohibit non-smokers from getting into your restaurant. Ensure that you ruffle someone’s feathers. If you dislike a thing, so do many others too. You should look for your supporters in a coup, don't be worried about those who get angry.

Start planning now
Prepare to latch on to an upcoming event. Let's say that you sell software - prepare an ad where you plan to give away free accounting software for MP x (= the next person that the newspapers will reveal is involved with fraud or whatever it may be). When the scandal is a fact, just add a picture of the person to the ad and run your ads everywhere. And don't worry – there will be a scandal. Very soon!

Can you really love your customers?
Are you happy every time a customer walks through the door, calls or sends an inquiry by e-mail? As a small business owner you are. When you order a book from us, for example, you probably do it on the website. Every time there is an order, I have directed the email to my cell phone so I get the order straight away. I have also downloaded Johnny Weissmüller's Tarzan-scream that will sound every time I get a new text message from the order page at the website.
So when your order arrives, I'll know it straight away. I might be standing in line at the supermarket, sitting in my car or in a meeting but I make sure to say “thank you for your order “out loud wherever I am.
- Thank you, thank you!

Why? Firstly because it's fun, of course, fun but it's also important to keep track of the Tarzan yells enough times a day that I can afford to keep my apartment, my summer house, do my grocery shopping and keep my car. Every time Tarzan yells it's a “yes vote” for me to be able to continue for yet a little while longer in helping small businesses understand the secrets to sell more and market themselves much better.

So how do you get Tarzan to howl more frequently for your own business? Part of the secret is to work with the definition of what your business is. When someone asks what you do, what you answer?

1. I run a clothing shop.
2.  I make teenage girls the prettiest dresses in school.

Exaggerated? No! I laughed when I read a quote in a book recently when someone asked two people with the same job what they did:

Person 1: “I'm cutting stone squares”.
Person 2: “I'm helping to build a cathedral”.

There is always a risk that things like this can be a bit too brisk or too stilted and it's not what you should strive for, of course. The key is to see what your company's mission really is, to make sure that it's not just something that “you do”, but also to convey it to others so quickly that they immediately understand what you can do for them. You'll do it to your neighbor at the party as much as to a new customer or to the press.

Practice now. Develop a sense of your company's mission that you can use next time someone asks what you do.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.