You usually see them in major cities—individuals distributing thousands of leaflets, thanks to leaflet printing services, to people in the street. Or you might find a small booth that distributes samples of a new health drink. Or perhaps there are a couple of dancers doing their stuff, promoting a new dance school nearby.
These are examples of street marketing, a term which refers to certain marketing techniques that are utilized to expose products, services, events, and ideas in a non-standard way in public places. As the term implies, street marketing is done exclusively in streets and public places such as gymnasiums, shopping centers, public libraries, and similar venues.
Unlike traditional marketing campaigns that make use of billboards, television, radio, the Internet, and similar forms of media, street marketing entails innovative practices to establish direct contact with the market. A primary goal of this interaction is to illicit an emotional reaction in the clients. For example, the act of smiling and pleasantly greeting a person while giving them a leaflet can cause a happy and favorable response. An unexpected but superb performance by dancers who are initially “hidden” in the crowd can illicit a surprising response so that people will remember that these dancers come from a new dance school. Ultimately, the objective of street marketing is to get individuals remember brands in a different manner than the way they are used to.
Street marketing originated from the need of small- to medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) to use a marketing campaign that does not involve a huge amount of money; SMEs are usually limited in their marketing budgets. In addition, they want to draw customers to their business instead of waiting for them to come as with the case of more traditional methods of marketing. To do that, their representatives need to go to the streets and actively promote the products, services, ideas, and events. In the past, the methods were simple such as distributing flyers. But as time went by, more unconventional techniques such as impromptu performances, mini-sporting events, minor competitions, and sampling of products are implemented to catch the attention of the target audience.
Today, the fad of street marketing is not limited to SMEs anymore. Multinational corporations have realized the power and effectiveness of the strategy and have joined the bandwagon.
If you own an SME, then street marketing is a great way to expose your products. You can start on simple leaflet printing and distribution then progress towards more complex methods of promotion.