4 Marketing Methods More Powerful Than Advertising

4 Marketing Methods More Powerful Than Advertising

Guest post by Alex Clifford, Marketing Executive at Virally.

The balance of power has shifted in marketing. It’s like being on a seesaw with a growing child. Over time they become bigger and bigger, to a stage where they are bigger than you. Now they’re the heavyweights bossing you around.

You can’t just dumbly advertise. You need to do things differently. Here’s 4 marketing approaches which are much more powerful than advertising.

Give earth-shattering customer service

Imagine you’re 7-year-old Luka Apps. You took your Jay ZX Lego minifigure to the supermarket, only for it to fall out your pocket. Then your Dad tells you to write to Lego. In response they send you an awesome email offering a replacement and a baddie for him to fight. How would you feel? You’d love Lego for life!

There’s plenty of these stories around! My sister accidentally dropped her iPhone down the toilet, and went back to the Apple store. The manager took pity on her and offered her a free replacement.

Use your customer service as a beacon of goodwill. Giving away a few goodies might be a bit expensive, but it is the cheapest way to earn lifelong brand advocates. Ads are a one-off nuisance. Whereas these stories and good feelings will last a lifetime, and people will broadcast these stories to their friends.

Listen to your reviews – promote the positive ones, learn from the bad

Have you ever looked for a hotel? What sold you? Was it the hotel’s self-description or was it the guest reviews? Other guests won’t ignore the cockroaches, overlook the toenails on the floor, or forget to mention the freeway outside your window. They’ll let you know.

Of course reviews aren’t perfect. Which is why we read so many of them. 84% of us trust a brand after reading 10 reviews according to the Local Consumer Review Survey 2012. We trust other people and their feedback.

Listen to the reviews of your company like a top-secret spy. Take their feedback on board. If it’s positive – plonk it on the front of your website. If it’s bad, make improvements based on what your customers said. Their opinions matter more than ever now.

Engage people with your content

You should create magnetic content which brings buyers towards you. You should produce materials which consumers will really really want. Look at tablespoon for example – they’ve got loads of delicious recipes which people want. They hook you in.

Content marketing is much more effective than advertising. With blog posts, guides, white-papers and videos, you won’t need to buy adverts. People will come towards you because they like what you have to say. If your content is valuable to somebody – they’ll remember you for it. And share it with their friends.

Engage with top influencers

Some people are more influential than others. There may be a certain company, person, or blogger which holds huge sway. Positive reviews from these guys are invaluable!

Airlines have been offering free upgrades to people with high Klout scores. Will Cathay Pacific be remembered well for upgrading people to their posh airport lounge? They will be. They’ll be tweeted about.

Look for the most powerful people in your industry and get in touch with them. Show them your product, offer them perks and treat them especially well. They’re probably more powerful than you so you should treat them accordingly.


The public are now more powerful than your company’s might. At best, your advertising can be contextual and slightly helpful. Think search engine PPC. But most of the time it’s just a nuisance. When you watch TV – do you watch it for the ads, or your favourite show?

Step up your content marketing, listen to customers, soup up your customer services, and speak to the people with power. Then your marketing budget will go a lot, lot further.

  • Your title is impressive, Alex! It convinced me to read the article. Good Work Actually!

    Keep it up!

  • Abbie T.

    Great post! All of these are definitely going to bring a company more customers over just simply advertising. What all of these have in common: they are mostly consumer-driven! People have to want to connect to take on this approach, and our society has definitely moved into this era. Advertising is now just a small part of creating a loyal customer base and more businesses are figuring it out.

  • Thanks Hassaan! I will keep it up! Don’t you worry!

  • You’re spot on Abbie! You can use PPC search, and other advertising tactics to build that initial loyal base. But the key part of your marketing campaigns should be customer-driven, like you’ve discussed!

  • This is so true! Engagement is the key!
    I think is even a search engine factor! I am not sure about it, but I really think that Google analyses visitors’ behavior!
    I am trying to get better at engaging my visitors. And I will keep trying until I succeed!! Thanks for the article!

  • I’d agree Felipe. Yeah, I mean Google may be using their data from Google Analytics to measure bounce rates, and time on spent on a site to determine the value of a page.

    How do you get that? With engagement.

  • muhamad fawad

    Great read.I agree with you.Thank you for sharing.
    Education Information

  • sharon

    These marketing strategies are really going to help me market my products as well…Thanks for the useful post..

  • Sam

    Great article! I especially like the point about keeping up with reviews. So many businesses neglect these reviews because they find them harmful and one sided. Contrary to what people think, many reviewers are not vindictive, but are genuinely concerned with providing feedback to other potential customers. It is imperative that businesses pay attention to both the positive and the negative and work to fix it.

  • Good points Sam. The thing is you can’t hide anything any more. Even if you just respond to the reviews to say: “Sorry you had a poor experience this time. Can we offer you a refund?” The people reading will at least know that you’re being transparent, and care about what people think.

  • These are the perfect things to follow if you are looking for non-paid marketing. It will get you genuine followers and active engagers which are priceless as far as online marketing is concerned. I liked the point of engaging with top influencers, a positive comment from them will really make a big difference.

  • I love your phrase, earth-shattering. It isn’t just average, or worse yet, below-average, but way beyond expectations.

  • kalam

    ti is nice pos

  • Arden Raphael

    artical is a more helpful but advertising is also a part of business for its runings….

  • Doris

    Thanks Alex for this eye opening article. I have a daily devotional in digital format as a product. What can I do to get more people subscribe for my devotional online?

  • Sarah Kerin

    I love this article! I think so many companies over look
    simple marketing strategies in order to make the best, most extreme commercial
    or advertisement. Simple customer service is what really works. People will
    always have questions or need assistance. If it’s easy, quick and efficient
    they will really appreciate it. I know the customer service horror stories are
    endless. It is so important to keep your current customers happy and content
    with your services because then they will trust your brand forever. Great

    Sarah Kerin

    Tulane University

  • Daniela Jones

    Marketing has become conversational in that both
    the business and the customer are listening and responding to what the other
    has to say. Customer service is extremely important because it generates
    loyalty. However, customer service may not attract a new customer, so reaching
    out to influential people to reel in new customers is a great suggestion.
    Building a relationship with top influencers should not be difficult
    considering how easily people are reached through social media.

    Daniela Jones
    Tulane University Student

  • Alex Naseree

    Mr. Clifford,

    I agree completely that interacting with top influencers is one of the most important modern marketing methods. The trust given to certain bloggers, celebrities, or others by many individuals is crucial. I think it is amazing how much people are influenced by their peers, role models and other important figures in today’s society.

    Alex Naseree

    Tulane University Student

  • content writers

    The internet puts customers directly in touch
    with businesses in a way that has never really been possible before and those
    customers now have more power than ever before as well. This makes making
    connections with your customers the best kind of advertising that you can do.
    Most of us ignore PPC ads but remember the fact that our queries were answered
    or that a business took time to help us with a problem. This really makes engagement
    the key to promoting a business successfully.