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2 Steps to Brilliant Marketing

downtown halden

Brilliant marketing is not part of any ad campaign. Brilliant marketing is not a viral video on YouTube.

I love social proof, but it’s not enough that I’ll write a review of Social Metrics Pro, it’s social proof, and a testimonial, and it will make sales, that’s great, but it’s not part of brilliant marketing.

The two steps to brilliant marketing

There are many small parts of brilliant marketing, and two major parts.

The first step to brilliant marketing is to add free, this means that people can use the product or service before they buy it. This way, you’ll never get customers who didn’t understand what they bought. You’ll have a lot less complaints. There are many ways to add free, but a free trial is one of the most common ways to do it, or a light version that’s free, and then a paid/ premium version with more features.

The second step to brilliant marketing is to actually create something that will help people, no matter if they end up being your customers or not. I love what TOMS shoesΒ are doing. With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for one. But, you need to be a customer to make this happen.

Let me give you an example of brilliant marketing from a Norwegian business.

Brilliant marketing from a Norwegian business


I Wrote a blog post about how to market high speed internet service providersΒ a while ago, and I asked the question, because usually, what happens is that an internet service provider will create a marketing campaign that focuses on low price and high speed. But, MonsternettΒ is different.

Monsternett is a local internet service provide in Halden. And if you don’t know this already, I live in Halden, a fairly small town in Norway. I am very impressed with what they’ve just accomplished. They announced a few days ago that they are now providing completely free internet access (WiFi) to downtown Halden. The free internet access is for the shopping street. No username or password are required, and it’s open for 3 hours per user every single day. That’s more than enough time for most people.

I know I’ll be thinking of Monsternett whenever I am using the free internet.

Monsternett has added free to their marketing, and they are helping regular people with their marketing and not just customers.

That’s brilliant marketing.

Your turn

What’s your thoughts on what Monsternett have done, is this brilliant marketing?

37 responses to “2 Steps to Brilliant Marketing”

  1. Carolyn says:

    Hi Jens, You’re right, that is brilliant marketing. People love free and appreciate Wi-Fi service so combining the two is a great idea. The trick is how to utilize the freemium model with your product.

    App developers are doing this a lot and you’re right, allowing a free “light” version gets people hooked and then they understand what they’re getting when they purchase the product.

    • Hi Carolyn,

      The great thing about Monsternett, is that Wi-Fi is the product they are offering, so now people can test their product before they decide to buy it. And they are giving back to the community. This means that people will appreciate the business, because they are doing something good as well. It’s not just about the business.

  2. Lisa says:

    Jens, but what happens when they have to charge? Will people pay for it after getting it for FREE? Also how would small businesses apply that to their sales process? If one cannot afford to give away product for FREE? Interesting concept but not sure it can work with smaller companies. Love your take on it! I do love the Tom’s strategy (and use it with my retail store for cancer charities.)

    • Hi Lisa,

      I agree, it can become difficult when they have to charge. Many times, after I have used a free trial for a software I have to decide if I really need the software. If I decide that I need it, I’ll have to pay for it. It’s my decision, and since I have tested the software I understand my needs better than if I had just read an article or watched a commercial.

      And, for many businesses it might be too expensive to give away a product or service for free. But, on the other hand, it should be something to consider. Many times it’s actually a lot cheaper to give away the product as part of a marketing strategy than to pay for commercials. They can add it for free for a specific period of time, or for a light version of the product. Each company should take a look at how much it will cost them to make it free.

      For instance, Monsternett is giving away Wi-Fi for a specific area and for 3 hours a day. This way, if you need more than 3 hours a day, you’ll have to pay, and if you live in a different area you’ll have to pay. But the point is that they are giving it away to help people and the city. And I believe that helping is the real point here. And that’s the same with TOMS shoes, it would be such a great strategy if they only did it to earn more money πŸ™‚

  3. Bill Dorman says:

    Can I get it in Florida?

  4. Jospeph Hipolito says:

    Those 2 steps you share in here sir jens was really helpful I love to see this page in here..

  5. Jeevan Jacob John says:

    3 hours of free internet?

    Now, I could get all my daily dose of blogging in that time πŸ˜‰ (well, I would want more time for college studies and some entertainment :D).

    That’s just brilliant marketing. I think they may have established a trend – if the company grows stronger and puts up some competition, others are going to join in (and eventually, we will have more free internet πŸ˜€ – hopefully!)

    I think their success can be attributed to the fact that they did it first (It’s the first time I have heard an Internet provider giving free internet). But, I like it how they did. Took the giving away model and applied it to their industry!

    Thanks for the share, Jens!

    • Hi Jeevan,

      3 hours is a lot, and during the summer I might want to work outside in the park and get the free internet access. On the other hand, it’s in Norway so it won’t be that much fun to work outside during the rain πŸ™‚

  6. Felicia says:

    Hi Jens,
    What Monsternett is doing in your area is really great and a brilliant marketing so to speak. One brilliant marketing idea that I often see is Red Bull. Instead of simply slapping a badge of advertisement the way Marlboro does, Red Bull creates and finances its own teams on many international sports level. They not only brand and market themselves in sports, but it’s like they are also disguisedly claiming that in sports, things can be achieved with their tonic drink.

    • That’s a great example Felicia. I have seen Red Bull everywhere the past months, and they’ve created some awesome movies from their sporting events as well. One of my friends bought a new Samsung smart TV, and it was packed with 3D movies from Red Bull πŸ™‚

  7. It is brilliant marketing. And, Monsternett backs it up with premium service is my experience. At last, this article is also great marketing of one of the best places on earth to live Jens…Halden, Norway.

  8. Joy says:

    People instinctively derive value from significant yet free products and services. It would really be wise to make initial investments to keep our potential customers interested. Thanks!

  9. Kristine says:

    Being given the opportunity to test a product before taking the plunge is very much appreciated during these uncertain times. This is a good way to gauge if it will meet our expectations or not. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Tim Bonner says:

    Hey Jens

    That’s a great way to get some loyal customers to offer something free. I love the way you can get to try loads of software this way before deciding if you really do need to buy it.

    In terms of free Wi-fi, I would always be slightly wary though as there’s been bad press in the UK about how secure using free Wi-fi is.

  11. Kelly says:

    Phenomenal writing! I can’t believe that everything I’m doing can be summarized in two brilliant steps. Great tips!

  12. Veronica says:

    Wow, I always think marketing is very hard. This article makes it seem so easy!

  13. alexstrauss says:

    Hi Jens,
    Excellent am totally agreed with this post. Yes the lines of dedication is important before starting of any marketing. And your two steps i.e Free & Help is sounds reveal innovative steps. Am happy to share this information speaking honestly.

  14. Stacey says:

    These are excellent ways to market! I will surely employ this for my business strategy.

  15. Eran says:

    Agree with the marketing tips, but not only with the amazing keyword FREE. There are others as well… for example HALF PRICE, AMAZING, BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE …. you get the drift. Anything that will make the customer pause.

  16. Dipa says:

    These are brilliant marketing tips. In this economy, every business needs all the help it can get and amid all the noise, marketing is the key. The tried and tested ideas are great, but everyone is doing them; getting creative in a manner you have suggested above can bring in increased visibility to a business in its community. thanks for sharing.

  17. Sandra says:

    Way to go! I think those are two smart steps to build up a marketing business! Thanks for sharing!

  18. Calra says:

    I love your brilliant marketing strategies! I hope I have a similar mind as you do. Nice tips!

  19. Sonia says:

    Free always gets my attention and I will sign up if I feel it’s a program I can use. For instance, PicMonkey a free tool that resembled another tool like it before Google bought it and took over is free and easy to use. Will they ever charge for their services? Yes and they actually hinted that certain features won’t be free for long, but I still use it because I love playing with its features.

    So what happens when they start charging? I will still use it and will upgrade to keep using certain features because at the end of the day, I love using their products. During the boom, everything online was free and as time by when it all tanked everything that was free either disappeared or you started see changes to their features.
    I remember wanting to continue using most of the programs, but soon everyone started charging and there was no option for a free limited version and I eventually lost interest.

    So with the company you mentioned it really boils down to their service and the need to use it. Once you set the tone, people are hooked regardless.

  20. Elaine Salt says:

    This is a nice marketing strategy. Giving them the chance to try the product for free, will test if it will be helpful for them. This is great help in marketing and as well as to the customer.

  21. Brilliant marketing can lead your business to excellence, thanx for nice information.

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