BMF Conference: Geoff Ramm demonstrates effective marketing

Marketing expert Geoff Ramm shared his OMG moments with delegates at the BMF All Industry Conference in Malta.

BMF Conference: Geoff Ramm demonstrates effective marketing

From the age of six, Geoff Ramm had an ambition to become the Milk Tray Man. The series of marketing campaigns for the chocolate, which saw the James Bond-style figure undertake daunting raids to deliver the box to a woman, left a lasting impression on the marketing expert.

“When the competition goes that way do you follow them? Of course you shouldn’t, you go the other way, and you do something different and stand out from the crowd.”

Be different, the OMG moments are what makes your customers stop and pay attention to you, explained Ramm. Not “Oh My God” moments, it’s those “Observational Marketing Greats” moments that make you stand out from the crowd.

“Do you seek opportunities within your business to stand out from the crowd or do you just let the opportunities float away,” asked Ramm.

He highlighted how some companies see the momentum that is carried by brands and latch onto it. When Fifty Shades of Grey was released in cinemas earlier this year, DIY chain B&Q released a “memo” to staff warning them of the expected increase in demand for rope as a result of the film’s storyline. The leaked memo was printed in a number of national newspapers, including The Guardian, with the story being talked about globally.

“Of course it was a fake,” said Ramm. “But what a brilliant response to something that is happening globally and to build momentum alongside.”

Think big and think differently. Ramm looked at the quality of flyers and leaflets, a good source of information that merchants can use, and how they need to stand out if they are to be effective.

He told delegates the story of a lady with an ironing service who had no customers. She produced 1000 flyers and took them to 1000 houses in an attempt to find new customers but received no responses.

“She asked me what what’s wrong, and I explained she’s doing nothing different to the others.”

Working with Ramm, they replaced the flyers with an “OMG moment” – a crumpled piece of paper with her leaflet saying “Don’t let your clothes become as creased as this”. He told her to send 100 copies of the revamped leaflets and two weeks later she had eight customers, an 8% return that is unheard of.

“You don’t need budgets; you just need a different way of getting the message out there.”

Another example of this is a competition organised by Bauer Media for Valentine’s Day. The group wanted to target certain businesses and so sent them out a Valentine’s Day card to them, personalised to each organisation, encouraging them to search for the link that was inside the card.

Once logged onto the website link, the recipients of the card were then asked to enter a competition. Of the 200 cards sent out, 70% had registered for the competition but more importantly, Bauer Media now had all the details of the registered businesses. It was an effective marketing campaign, which only cost £260 to make.

“Build on what you’ve already got, but tweak it in a way that’s personalised and original,” added Ramm.

Ramm concluded by sharing what he believes to be the best piece of marketing. When McDonald’s turned away a blind lady because she was sat with her guide dog in South Africa, it caused storm worldwide and ended up being a PR disaster for the well-known chain.

Within two weeks rivals Wimpy, the number 2 burger brand in South Africa, had responded by creating a Braille menu for the blind. “That’s what I call communication, and that is what I call marketing,” said Ramm.

That wasn’t the end of the campaign though, the burger chain had to tell its blind audience about its innovative menu, and so they told the story through Braille burger buns.

“Don’t focus on what the opposition are doing, focus on what you are going to do next.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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