I’m looking for a private investigator marketing idea that is totally off the wall and will get me recognized over night. I want people to think “wow, that’s crazy!”
Having worked with over 200 different companies since 2013, we have heard some off the wall marketing ideas from up in Canada down to Australia. A lot of people ask us for ideas on how to stand out, how to do something “crazy” to get them on the news, ramp up their website views, increase client interest, and possibly bring in new clients due to their stunts. But like a crazy ex-girlfriend, you forget what is all about, and only remember the crazy. No one wants to be attached to the crazy.
Personally, I think the best type of marketing is the one in which you believe what the product stands for. Be honest with your clients, stick to your guns, and don’t change your views to please your clients. If you are open about your views, beliefs, and visions, you will attract people who believe what you believe and see things the way you see them. This belief system is what creates trust which eventually becomes a brand.
Since you’re asking for off the wall marketing ideas, here are a couple of them that we’ve heard before that really stood out for their creativity. Do they work? I don’t really know, we haven’t tried them. So please let us know how they turn out if you do.
The Sticker-ed Coin
An idea that was thrown around a while back is called the Sticker-ed Coin. You go by a local bank, trade $50 for quarters, then place a round sticker on one side of the quarter with your company name, phone number, website URL, or quick message. You have to be creative because of the size. Keep it simple: “Need a PI? Visit CompanyURL.com”. Then start shopping around different areas with your quarters until you’ve distributed all 200 of them at different locations. What about defacing the currency?
“Whoever mutilates, cuts, defaces, disfigures, or perforates, or unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking association, or Federal Reserve bank, or the Federal Reserve System, with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.”
This wouldn’t get you in trouble since defacement needs to be permanent in order to be illegal. This is an example of one of those “off the wall” ideas that could potentially work with very little investment.
I can tell you that if you’re sending people to your website, you better have the website setup in a way that will convert your visitors. The last thing you want/need is for people to find your website and bounce off without actually looking at the services that you offer.
The Pre-Loaded iPad
This one is extremely expensive, but the idea is very interesting. Give a top prospect an iPad as a gift and pre-install an app on the iPad that makes it easy for your client to submit investigative assignments to you directly from the iPad. Educate them on your application, show them how to use it, and tell them that if they ever receive and e-mail and need a private investigator to simply click on the app and send it your way.
I would not recommend running with this idea because of the amount of money that goes into the stunt … but it’s very interesting.
Perhaps the most intrusive of them all is targeting your clients directly through Facebook or Google Adwords. Social Sherpa ran an experiment a while back where he targeted his roommate and almost made him go insane with frustration. (Please don’t frustrate your clients) What you can do is target your clients through Facebook with targeted advertisements.
Example: Bob is an attorney that handles vehicle accident injury cases.
Your advertisement would target him directly and will have a link to a blog post on your website where you discuss the different ways private investigators can help vehicle accident attorneys find the information they need. It won’t cost you more than $5 per month, and as soon as he is converted you’re able to shut down the advertisement and focus on a different target.
Using this same example, you’re able to target any client through Google Adwords. Use your client’s name as the keyword and when someone searches for their name (hopefully it’ll be him someday) you’re able to target him directly by linking him to the vehicle accident article.
All of these are creative but you have to understand that just because they get your name “out there” they won’t help solidify your brand or business without an actual strategy. Even if any of the above ideas worked and brought a few dozen calls/emails, if you don’t have a plan to move forward and “close” on your lead, you won’t be able to get far and you’ll be that “crazy” investigator that put stickers on a handful of quarters.
So how do you fallow through? Let’s take the coin idea as an example:
- Setup your website and create a landing page that converts your clients.
- Create a quick 30 second sales pitch to sell your services.
- Get your coins and place your stickers
- Use your coins in a wide area to increase the reach
If a user finds your coin, follows through with calling/vising your website/e-mailing you, what are you going to say/do? What if your idea gets in the hands of a reporter? how will you pitch your services in 30 seconds or less?
If you have an idea, think it through to the end. Ask your self “What if?” and when you find the answer, ask it again. Make sure that you account for variable change every step of the way. Often times we find that most of our clients have great marketing plans and ideas in place, but they fail to prepare for the outcome. They’ve ran ‘flash sales’ over spring break and realize that they don’t have the man power to handle the cases, or they send out “special offers” that actually cost them money when the sale was done.
Marketing strategies move together as a well oiled machine, if one part of your campaign fails, everything comes crashing down. Plan out all your strategies from A-Z, find weaknesses and find ways to maximize your budgets. You wouldn’t start a surveillance across the state 5 hours away without first running background checks and verifying the subject lives at the given location, why would you start a strategy without verifying all the possible outcomes?
If you need help in developing a strategy, creating a marketing campaign, or want us to help you understand your target audience, give us a call. Our initial consultation is always free, we’d love to hear what you have in place.