I was rather excited to read a story in today's Australian about US Sauce company, Tabasco, employing a bit of "zero budget marketing" thinking to expanding it's marketing in Australia.
Admitting they had great brand recognition but not much in the way of a marketing budget, instead of trying to employ mass marketing to get to consumers, they're trying to talk to chefs & restauranteurs - to both use it as an ingredient and have it as a condiment front of house.
This advocacy over advertising is a smart strategy that gets your product in the hands of potential consumers - whilst funding this campaign through channel sales. It's a "trial" opportunity for the brand, sampling in a more smart fashion.
So what can we learn from this? That when it's too hard or too expensive to try and talk to your end market, the smart effort goes to trying to identify a channel and influencers, to get your brand in front of prospects. Who haven't you been talking to that you should have been?...