Marketing Dos and Don’ts from Last Night’s Celebrity Apprentice

by Gail Oliver, Marketing Consultant

There were two marketing challenges last night on the Celebrity Apprentice – one was adding entertainment to a one-hour New York City boat tour and the other was creating a visual showcase exhibit for Trump’s new golf resort in Miami. So here is my take on what marketing ideas you can use for your small business, based on last night’s tasks.

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How to Keep Customers Entertained During a One-Hour Boat Tour 

The goal of this marketing task was not to change the type of tour being offered (a by-pass of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty), it was simply to make it more entertaining for the guests. The celebrities’ first mistake was not understanding the type of people who would be taking the tour, which was mostly couples of all ages. So hiring Hooter’s waitresses was not necessarily a great idea. These are visitors to New York, so I would have given them the best of the city, such as:

  • Handing out free food samples from popular local restaurants, especially ones located near the entrance to the boat docking
  • Having a photographer perched at the top of the Statue of Liberty to take zoom-in photos of guests as they pose at the bow of the boat
  • Having a quick performance of a NYC dance troupe at the start of the tour as people are getting settled, to again, up sell shows around town

This is alliance marketing at its best, working with other non-competitive businesses that service the same target market.

How to Create an Enticing Exhibit 

If you participate in any trade shows, exhibits or fairs, you realize the importance of creating an exciting visual display to lure people in. I actually liked what the winning team did, so here are things to consider at your next event:

  • Appeal to all five senses to lure people in, from sight to sound to smell to taste to touch. Trust me, people will follow a good smell to see where it is coming from.
  • Have an activity to bring people in. Back when I was a Marketing Director, I had a putting contest in my company’s trade show booth and it really got people to stop and visit. Plus, it was a great way to collect their business cards (we drew cards to win an expensive putter).
  • Giving out swag is important. Visitors expect it, and it serves you long after they have left the booth if you make it relevant to what you are selling. It doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. I had a children’s clothier hand out a “New Baby Checklist” to expecting moms at a show (make sure your logo and url are on it) and it was much more effective than handing out a business card.

‘Til next time. Thanks for reading … Gail

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Author: Gail Oliver, Online Small Business Consultant

I'm Gail Oliver, an online marketing consultant. Welcome to my blog, chosen one of the Top 10 Small Business Blogs to Follow in 2014 by American Express Open Forum. If you need help with your e-commerce business, be sure to see MY SERVICES, above.