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Carly Stec

By Carly Stec

Mar 25, 2014


Content Marketing
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Content Marketing

4 Ways to Market Your So-Called “Boring” Business

Carly Stec

By Carly Stec

Mar 25, 2014

4 Ways to Market Your So-Called “Boring” Business


"I'd love to have a business blog, but my product is too bor-"

Stop right there. Let me guess. Boring?

Of course it is.

If I had a dime for every time I heard someone say that their product, service, or industry was too boring for anyone to want to read about or engage with, I wouldn't be writing this blog article. In fact, I'd probably be backstroking in pool of money eating caviar from a golden spoon on my own private island. 

I'm only going to say this once, so listen closely. There is no such thing as a boring business, but unfortunately boring, predictable, ineffective marketing does exist.

So before you cry wolf about your so-called "boring" business, check out how these 4 brands managed to make something out of nothing.

How Can You Help?

According to Jay Baer, "the difference between helping and selling is just 2 letters." If your product, service, or industry is already lackluster, a stale sales pitch has the ability to make a bad situation worse.

When it comes to "unsexy" industries, it's not hard to imagine why toilet paper marketers get wiped out so easily. I mean, racking your brain to come up with a workable marketing campaign for toilet tissue must really stink, right?

So rather than relentlessly pitching their paper, Charmin found a way to make the most out of their marketing efforts by introducing the 'Sit or Squat' app. 


After recognizing that clean public restrooms were few and far between, Charmin seized the opportunity to provide people with the answer to the age-old question: should I sit or should I squat?

Based off your location, the app maps out public restrooms in the area and provides users with cleanliness ratings, comments, photos, amenities, and honest insight.

It does't sell, it doesn't pitch, it doesn't push, but it helps. 

With top of mind awareness built into their concept, Charmin found a way to successfully insert their brand's name into the conversation by simply being helpful. By maintaining a consistent and respectable presence in the marketplace, Charmin is confident that the next time you go to buy toilet paper, you'll think of them first. No ifs, and, or butts about it. 

Why So Serious?

Where’s the best place to hide a body? Page two of Google. *ba-dum chhh*

Before you throw tomatoes at me, I'll have it be known that a little humor goes a long way, especially when you're dealing with a dry industry.

If you can make your audience laugh, you've proven your ability to make them actually feel something. If you can make them feel something, you're one step closer to actually being heard.

All knowing that nothing says "go to sleep" like a rail safety PSA, the creative minds at the advertising agency McCann Melbourne created this video for Metro Trains:


If that jingle doesn't get stuck in your head, you're one of few. 

Upon realizing that their previous instructional approach to communicating their message wasn't resonating, the makers of this campaign sought out to create something different. Something light-hearted, shareable, and endearing.

Having lost count of the number of times I've watched this video, I think it's safe to say they were on the right track with this one. 

If they can make rail safety fun, you can do anything. 

Got Any Good Stories?

While your product, service, or industry doesn't have to be riveting for you to see success from your marketing efforts, your story does

At the beginning of this post I was under the impression that being a toilet paper marketer was the biggest bummer of them all, and then I remembered that there's nothing glamorous about the feminine hygiene business either.

While commercials staring women dancing in fields of flowers and blue liquid demonstrations seemed to be the path often taken for those responsible for getting people excited about buying tampons, I wasn't impressed.

It wasn't until I uncovered this video from the monthly subscription service, HelloFlo, that I started to believe in tampon marketing. (Yeah, I said it. Tampon marketing.)


This video tells an amusing story that at the very least it is worthy of a share. The creators recognized their target market and spoke directly to them and their needs. If you're a male reading this article and you weren't impressed, that simply proves how well they did their market research. 

The 'Camp Gyno' story line plays up an empathetic approach to marketing and manages to address a discrete subject in the most human way possible. Take note tampon marketers. 

What Else Are You About?

If your product is boring, don't make it the lead singer of the band. 

In the marketing industry, bloggers and influencers are constantly singing the praise of Red Bull's marketing strategy. Why? Allow me to explain.

Aware that blogging about highly-caffeninated beverages would run their content well dry too quickly, Red Bull has found a creative way to expand their horizons. By placing their focus on an extreme lifestyle rather than just their product, they not only eliminated the risk of sounding too salesy, but they've created something greater than just a product campaign.

Before I go any further, I'll have it be known that I'm aware that there are products out there that are far less exciting than energy drinks. In fact, energy drinks are kind of a sexy product, however I feel that the way Red Bull approaches marketing is something marketers with "boring" products can learn from nonetheless. 

Without limiting themselves to strictly beverages, Red Bull has granted themselves the freedom to convey inspiration, excitement, and adrenaline through the use of extreme sports footage. Check out some of the visual content I've pulled from their Twitter:




Can your product or service be connected to a lifestyle? Is there something greater you can offer? Place your focus there. 

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