In the New Marketing World, Nothing is Too Small to Create a Big Opportunity

Principal Consultant , David Allison Inc.
  • Jan. 24, 2011

In the early days of the Internet, advertising on the Web looked like a bit of a cut-and-paste job. You had your standardized “banners” and “skyscrapers” stretching the length or width of a landing page and they just sat there, looking the same on every single site you chose to navigate.

These standard unit ads weren’t particularly captivating (and frankly, still aren’t a lot of the time), and as consumers we trained ourselves to ignore all of that extra stuff at the top and right-hand side of the page because it simply wasn’t engaging.

Now, things are getting interesting again. (Yah!)

Facebook ads, for one, have been incredibly successfully in reaching the exact audience you want with relevant targeted ads. A similar targeted approach with Google AdWords, where ads are displayed along with search results when someone searches Google using one of your keywords, is proving effective too.

And then there are CAPTCHAs – that wave of distorted letters that must be typed into a box to proceed with a purchase or other online activity, proving that you are indeed human rather than a piece of automated software.

With Solve Media at the helm, these usually incredibly annoying pop-ups are becoming more than just a bunch of randomly generated and meaningless words. They’re an ad campaign. Instead of squiggly impossibly hard to read letters (Is that a “g” or a “q”?) a sponsored ad pops up asking you to type in the quoted text, which always relates back to the advertising brand. The quoted text for Internet Explorer 8, for example, is “Browse Safer”. For Toyota, it’s “Moving Forward”.

The real point for a developer?

Everything about your campaign – right down to the smallest detail like the CAPTCHA phrase – can be your new best friend in the new marketing world.

The more of these little things you do, the greater the sum of the parts, and the better the chance your messaging will stick in the minds of the people with whom you are interacting. Suddenly, that “likely to remember” factor we’re all striving for in our marketing efforts seems attainable.

What kind of little things? What’s all that blank space on the back of your business card for? Why not include a salient fact or message. Same holds true for envelope flaps. Those signs you put up all over the sales centre telling people things like “This is included,” or “this isn’t” could be made more attractive and could convey the message intended in a slightly wry way. Can you slip wet umbrellas into branded umbrella sleeves at the entry, so sales centre guests don’t dribble all over the damask? Print ad people should fuss over URLS and phone numbers to make sure they are as friendly and easy to remember as possible. A QR code that takes you to a map of the neighbourhood – why not?

Every piece of your marketing campaign should drive home your brand, so what other micro-tweaks can we make to create a more marketing message-driven total experience? I’d love to hear any suggestions in the comments box below.

Lots of little details add up to a big impact. Like Solve Media, let’s rethink some of those little things, and see if we can make them better.

Make sure to check out Solve Media’s excellent video.



David Allison works with executive teams in real estate development and other industries to craft the early-stage vision and brand for projects of all kinds. He crystallizes the most interesting…

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David Allison works with executive teams in real estate development and other industries to craft the early-stage vision and brand for projects of all kinds. He crystallizes the most interesting…

Read more




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