Fundamentally, stealth marketing is defined to be the kind of marketing which when effectively executed, the person being advertised to doesn’t really know that they’re being offered something for sale. We’re going to defenestrate the puritanical fundamentals for a bit and alter the definition a bit, simply because that’s kind of what’s required to be successful at marketing in an age that is dominated almost exclusively by the digital media space. How does one go about implementing an effective stealth marketing campaign in the digital age though?
Keeping in mind our altered definition of what stealth marketing is, consider that we’re okay with the targeted customer having some knowledge along the way that they’re actually being offered something for sale. There is no shame in selling – in fact it’s what you have to do if you want to realise the kind of success suggested by your foray into business. It’s not quite a matter of ABS (Always Be Closing), but rather just at some point acknowledging the fact that you need to present a sales offer to your targeted client.
Identifying your targeted network
The whole point of stealth marketing is that you minimise the costs otherwise associated with running an advertising campaign, so stealth marketing definitely draws upon one of the principles of direct marketing or direct selling, which is selling to your existing network of people you already have relationships with. So you’re selling to your friends, family, neighbours, colleagues, etc, which should lead you to the next point of discussion, that being what you’re going to sell. Now obviously since these are people you don’t want to mess up your relationships with, you can only sell things they actually could really do with, as it commonly arises that business opportunities that inevitably don’t work are sold in this way.
Identifying a commonly used product or service
So now comes the identification of the products and services you’re going to stealth market to your network. The best route to take is marketing products and services they already buy, and since you will have access to those products and services at a price that is lower than the retail price they’re currently paying, the savings they stand to benefit from should be enough to have them buying from you instead of from the usual retailer they buy from.
Are you an events manager or do you have a catering company, perhaps? In that case you could very easily up-sell your local customers on some save the date postcard designs by printing out a catalogue and then have them holding the designs in their hands. When they interact with the product in this way then it becomes very hard for them to pass up on the offer to complete the purchase.
Filling the identified need
It’s all about filling a need you’ve identified, whether it’s an existing one which effectively has you assuming the role of the new supplier, or if it’s a brand new gap you’ve identified for which need you could get paid to fill.