How to Make Your Marketing Stand Out

By Cheryl Salazar, The Partner Marketing Group

Are you looking for ways to make your marketing stand out? Well then, keep reading! I think the American Strip Mall is the worst invention. EVER. I loathe them and, in my opinion, they stifle innovation, creativity and the personality of the location in which it is placed. While it may be functional and provide access to a salon, nail bar, Subway, some kind of Insurance Company, ice cream store and dollar store chain for the local neighborhood, there is NOTHING enticing to me about shopping at one. The sad thing is that other countries somehow think that the strip mall is a good thing.

But, what if you don’t want the same cookie as everyone else?

southafricaDuring a recent trip to South Africa, I noticed an increase in the number of shopping malls, almost as if that’s the only thing there is to do when you have some free time. And the malls, usually in close proximity to each other, feature the same stores—perhaps they all want to deliver that neighborhood convenience. I much prefer seeking out the unique store—whether it’s a boutique on a London street (who doesn’t love shopping in London?), or a chap on the side of the road trying to make some money to feed his family. Intro the ‘bespoke’ shopping experience.

Having traveled back to South Africa last year after a several-year hiatus, I was delighted to find so many interesting things to purchase, and usually to support an underprivileged, undereducated or depressed community. I came back feeling all enthused about my African experience and when I traveled back again in March of 2016, I decided to get a start on my shopping by doing some online purchases before I left. While I do love the convenience of online shopping, the sad thing is that you miss out on all those merchants—formal and informal—who do not have a good web presence or are unable to transact online. Fortunately for me, I have family in South Africa who I could ask to pay for my goods in advance or place orders on my behalf.

One of the items that I really wanted were some more beaded animals. This is a cottage industry in South Africa where some of the unemployed or even uneducated locals use materials they find (wire, bicycle spokes, beads) to craft different animals like you see in the picture.

I wanted something more specific than a rhino, an elephant or a giraffe so I asked my parents to visit a roadside ‘store’ (little more than a dirt patch), and ask the gentleman there if he could make me some dung beetles. Dung beetles are very industrious beetles and are one of my favorites. They do a fantastic job in cleaning up the bush once a herd of animals has been by. If they weren’t there the place would smell like a latrine. These industrious bugs can smell dung from a long way and arrive within minutes to roll their dung balls, lay their eggs and provide food for a variety of animals that snack on these dung balls.


Back to this gentleman … he didn’t speak much English but told my parents he’d have them ready by the time I arrived. Lo and behold when I did stop by his dirt patch, there was a huge array of beaded dung beetles just for me to pick and choose from.

I was absolutely delighted with my find, a completely unique souvenir has made its way into my house. You should’ve seen the smile on his face when I made my purchase. I wish I had taken a picture; his delight and his smile are etched in my mind.

Even if you’re selling the same cookie, you still have to find a way to make your marketing stand out.

The point of this whole story about being special, being different and standing out. We are taught at school to conform and are encouraged to shop at the generic mall. Really is there any difference between the shops in the mall in Seattle and the mall in Portland? No, there is not. We’re encouraged to ‘cookie cutter’ our solutions to drive down cost of sale. That may be a good thing for customers—but be sure to standout with bespoke service, bespoke marketing and/or bespoke content. Be remarkable. You’re sure to be remembered … just like my awesome dung beetle.

Make Your Marketing Stand Out: What We Do

At The Partner Marketing Group, it’s what we do every day, and we’ve got lots of marketing resources and expertise to help you stand out.

Thanks for allowing me to share my South African experiences with you. You can read Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them.

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