Whatever It Takes

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Debbi J. Karpowicz, co-author and former editor of the Robb Report, believes you need more imagination than money to be successful. Off-the-Wall Marketing Ideas (Adams Media Corp., $10.95) is jammed pack with examples of marketing strategies that Karpowicz describes as “wild, wacky, and witty.”

“This book is all about marketing. What is marketing? Marketing is making yourself memorable. That’s really what it’s all about. Sometimes, all it takes is a really clever business card,” she says. White cards with black type are as memorable as last week’s breakfast, so don’t use them.

The book offers advice on such diverse topics as business card design, generating publicity, and “Pro Bono: Civic Marketing.”

Nancy Michaels, co-author, president, and founder of Impression Impact, a consultancy for companies that want to reach small businesses, says that the book’s most valuable points are the examples and how they were applied. Here are a few ideas, among many, that Off-the-Wall Marketing suggests:

  • Lease a mailbox in a high-rent district: Can’t afford the rent in the posh part of town? Then lease and let customers think you really have arrived.
  • Join or start an association: Does the type of business you’re in have an association? Join it. If there isn’t one, start one. The marketing and networking possibilities of association memberships are limitless.
  • Break the rules: A woman started her beauty-products company through mail-order advertising in city newspapers. She’s now a multimillionaire.
  • “Pay for advertising; pray for publicity”: Is your product, or anything about your business, unique? Write a press release about it and blanket the media. “Positive press coverage may not guarantee fame and fortune, but it can offer swift passage from obscurity to prominence.”