Most of them...don't. Particularly the ones who make this claim right out of the gate.

In reality, the vast majority of business owners and executives want to do the same things in their box, with better results.

An even worse scenario, they want to pull their already clutter-bound, robotic promotional content into a new medium – like Groupon (the new big “thing” for corporate marketers).

For example, I recently noticed a national casino brand making its bold move into the daily discount phenomenon. No research into this decision, just a swift action based on the latest AdAge article and they’re off to the races!

A national casino brand…on Groupon? Less than one year prior to this marketing fiasco, the same company made a swift (and short-lived) promotional jump into FourSquare, with no success.

Doing something outside the norm takes courage. Most business owners and marketing executives like the idea of courage, but very few display it.

If the client had any, they wouldn’t be hiring you with such vaguely false statements of insecurity to begin with. Right?


Should you find yourself in this egregious situation, there's only one way to handle it: Give them something outside the box - and do it in the first meeting.

Present them with something new, that isn't traditional, is measurable, and will save them money. For example:

• Use social networks to promote user-participation via contests, giveaways, open-ended discussion, etc.
• Provide a chance to make people feel exclusive; target a specific group, or give people a chance to be part of one
• Reward people for their involvement – giveaways, samples, discounts, or other sign of gratitude
• Encourage honest feedback and discussion; word-of-mouth is the best marketing tactic on the planet

When your potential client's excitement immediately replaced by shock, you'll save yourself time and reputation by walking away. Far too many service providers see both pride and passion killed trying to please the impossible client.

Once you present them with your unique approach and they object, ask them how much the ad they just bought cost them. When they give you the approximate dollar figure (which will often be much higher than you're proposed route), ask them how many customers, or how much revenue, it brought in.

They won't have a clue. And if they pretend to know, they'll fall silent on the specifics. If you're a masochist, you can guarantee that your idea will succeed, or even offer to withhold any consulting fee until an agreed-upon result is met. But in all likelihood, they still won't bite.

This leaves you with one option as a business artisan - to walk away. Keeping your pride, dignity, and self respect with you. Whether or not you lose a potential client (and if you take a stand, you will), you'll gain reputation and happiness.

Don't be upset. If they reject your unique idea (s), they'll reject others. And in the long run, they'll pay a larger expense - the cost of going out of business.

Author's Bio: 

Joey Barker is a Memphis-based digital marketing consultant and copywriter. He has led traditional and interactive campaigns for a variety of leading and insurgent brands, including Caesars Entertainment, World Series of Poker, Crislu, Swarovski, Trollbeads, Peabody Hotel, Fred’s, and many others.