Nationwide, dealers seem to be improving their foundational marketing efforts before stepping into a second-tier level of marketing — and to this we say kudos. After a while, however, dealers start to notice their marketing efforts are plateauing — naturally raising the question, “What next?” How do you continue to see growth from your marketing efforts after the initial wave subsides? When a dealer starts asking these questions, it might be the best time to experiment with some fresh — even unorthodox — ideas. Get ‘em while they’re hot!

We’d like to focus on some strategies we’ve developed for existing and future clients; consider them freebies. And should you find one of these strategies or a modification of them works for you and your company, we’d love your feedback.

First, form alliances — or, what we like to call, “mini salesmen.” If half the battle in marketing is penetrating your targeted audience, why not create an email campaign to target companies already connected with your potential customers? For example, if you are seeking residential sales, you could search the Web for moving companies, realtors, landscapers, cleaning companies, handymen, window cleaners, and the like, and offer them a $50 gift card for every lead they bring you. Put together a formal affiliate referral program and be consistent with your marketing efforts to them. Believe it or not, the leads will start to come in.

Next, consider giving away free moving boxes. This idea actually generates lots of buzz and Web traffic. For a very low cost you can have a printing company print your message on medium-size moving boxes. Next, advertise in newspapers and online: Free Moving Boxes. Now take a second to think about what happens to this box: It gets packed; it gets moved in; and it sits everywhere for days throughout the house — talk about a Trojan horse. Imagine your message being right in front of your targeted demographic for days before, as we found out, those who use the boxes try to give them away to others who are moving.

Third, consider community services. Since most normal city sidewalks are filthy, why not help clean them? This may not initially seem like an effective way to get your message out, but some creative thinking can go a long way. For less than $50 you can go to your local hardware supply store and purchase concrete cleaner. Think of a creative and thought-provoking message such as, “Did you turn off your lights before you left?” or “What are your teenagers doing this very moment? Wouldn’t you like to know?” Next, have a local print shop make stencils. Getting the picture yet?

Now that you have your concrete cleaner and stencil, go to your downtown district, shopping center or wherever your message will be seen by the most people; we suggest going at night. Next, lay your stencil on some concrete and brush your concrete cleaner into your stencil, and voilà! Not only have you helped clean your city streets, but you have created a unique way to advertise your company. Visit our blog to see a picture of this scenario.

Although Security Dealer Marketing by no means practices law or is qualified to give legal advice, we know of no ordinance or law forbidding this marketing technique because you are not defacing or destroying property — you are, in part, cleaning it.

We believe everyone has a creative side, and we hope some of these ideas helped wake up that inner creative person. Don’t be afraid to experiment or try something you’ve never done before. After all, what’s the worst that can happen — People might actually talk about your company? Your company name might end up in the news? Maybe it will go viral, and you might be facing a completely new and welcome problem: unprecedented company growth.

 Until our next crazy idea, believe in being different; believe in the purple cow. And visit our blog at