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107 unusual marketing ideas with a twist (used by tech giants!)
Feeling stuck? Explore a list of 100+ out-of-the-box marketing ideas, used by leaders at Uber, Airbnb, Slack and more
Hey, Tom Orbach here. 👋 Welcome to the TL;DR version of my marketing career: A list of the most powerful ideas for tech startups you can’t find anywhere else online.
Ready to get your juices flowing?
Buzz generation (one-time stunts)
Place a 10-sec ad on Times Square just for the shareable photos (e.g. Gong)
Coordinate micro-influencers for a major buzz day
Exploit algorithm shifts on existing platforms (e.g. X)
Promote on Reddit without getting caught (AMAs, TILs)
Win “#1 Product of the Day” on Product Hunt (e.g. Loom)
Organize a real-world scavenger hunt (e.g. Invader)
Troll the internet with a parody product launch (e.g. mindf)
Ask a controversial question in ad creatives
Set up permissionless co-marketing (e.g. Moz)
Activate an 'Influencer Ripple Effect' by paying 3 big creators to define your product as a hot discussion topic, leading to free copycats
Brand awareness (long-term engines)
Praise and celebrate big names in your industry (e.g. Mine)
Give users personalized content to share at scale (e.g. Spotify)
Invite well-connected guests to your podcast, event or webinar
Solicit reviews aggressively on platforms like G2 and Trustpilot
Be honest about your mistakes (e.g. Wix)
Analyze a popular brand on your blog in a positive light, gain their attention
Be the first to launch on emerging platforms (e.g. Evernote)
Publish a 10,000+ word industry guide (e.g. Kinsta)
Create a fun game that mirrors audience pain points (e.g. Startup Simulator)
Share love stories, not testimonials (e.g. Red Wing)
Give customers an embeddable certificate or badge (e.g. Hubspot)
Add a little humor to your public release notes (e.g. Slack)
Collaborate with other companies by creating a movement they can relate to (e.g. Walnut)
Boost employee advocacy by providing ready-to-share content
Go hyper-viral on Linkedin
Make the act of using your product public: Word of Sight (e.g. Readwise)
Submit your product to product databases while offering huge discounts
Add rhymes to your copy, it boosts trust
Be the best, most, or first in any niche
Engage with every single comment you receive on social media
Offer your insights to journalists (HelpAReporter)
Host timezone-friendly, semi-live webinars (recorded once and replayed)
Put bizarre words & things on your website
Repurpose all your content
Put your sign-up form over a dimmed UI (e.g. GRIN)
Offer concierge migration (e.g. ConvertKit)
Give immediate in-person demos instead of scheduling them for later (e.g. Stripe)
Limit the number of choices you present on your website
Create a comparison page that puts the competition in a whole different category (e.g. Asana)
Include social proof early in the user journey
Hide an element of your product for positive suspense (e.g. srprs.me)
Use recent interactions as hooks for personalized cold emails (e.g. Gumroad)
Start an invisible referral program
Use a Call to Value (CTV) button instead of a CTA button (e.g. SentinelOne)
Directly approach unhappy competitors' customers you find on G2 / Capterra
Deploy scarcity tactics like discounts or limited availability
Find expiring annual contracts of potential customers with BuiltWith
Build a playground for testing the product without signing up (e.g. mmm.page)
Gamify your onboarding to the max (e.g. Twilio)
Host exclusive offline events for online power users. (e.g. Yelp)
Reward users for exploring more features
Give users the option to praise each other (e.g. Asana)
Invite users to take part in shaping a story within your product (e.g. Tinder)
Allow users to share achievements from the product
Put leaderboards in your product and celebrate power users
Count streaks to motivate users to use the product consistently (e.g. Duolingo)
Let users suggest new features and give them early access to what they requested
Show product updates on the sign-in page
Encourage using your product as a daily ritual (e.g. Slackbot’s morning check-ups)
Recap value in emails like "You saved 13 hours this week!"
Allow users to pause instead of canceling their subscriptions
Offer quick help (e.g. Zappos' legendary customer service)
Tease premium features (e.g. LinkedIn’s profile viewer hints)
Tap on completion bias with progress indicators during checkout flow
Introduce a budget-friendly tier as a ‘foot in the door’. (e.g. Adobe's photography plan)
Proactively offer engaged monthly users to switch to the annual plan
Create a distraction-free checkout by removing the header and footer
Reframe price into daily cost (for products that are used every day)
Upsell on the “Thank You” page
Shift account creation to the post-purchase stage
Display prices in small font size
Integrate a gamified free trial extension (e.g. ProdPad)
Why did I share my secret list? 🧠
Marketing is an open-world game.
Every day, you need to choose your way forward:
Path 1: The Easy Road. You play it safe. You use traditional marketing strategies (e.g. paid ads, SEO, influencers, email marketing). You stick to what’s worked for you before, grinding the same marketing channels over and over.
Path 2: Tall Grass. Here, you try new things. You experiment with creative tactics, discover hidden channels, and encounter wild
monsters opportunities. This path is more difficult and risky, but incredibly rewarding.
If you’re reading this—your choice is clear: You’re not afraid to step into the tall grass. Always on the hunt for new marketing ideas. I love you for that.
But here’s the problem.
If you try to take the Tall Grass path in 2023, you'll find some bad advice on the internet:
Lots of guides recommend ideas that demand too much time, too much money, or are impossible to test quickly. Most of them are based on old case studies that are hard to replicate in the current landscape—like “Start a killer referral program like Dropbox” or “Copy the API trick that AirBNB did with Craigslist”.
Then there are those marketing influencers with no real-world experience, who are selling false dreams for likes (“Do this for 30 days and voila, you’ll have 1 million users”).
So, in short, finding good marketing ideas that actually work is hard.
That’s exactly what I’m here to solve.
I'm Tom Orbach, and I currently lead Growth Marketing at Wiz (the world's largest cybersecurity unicorn), while also teaching a few marketing courses at Reichman University. You might know me as the creator of the "Viral Post Generator"—a parody product that attracted 2M users & was acquired in less than a week. This granted me a spot on Forbes 30 Under 30, an honor I’m deeply thankful for.
Over the years, I've gathered hundreds of unique marketing tactics while rubbing shoulders with some of the sharpest CMOs and entrepreneurs on Earth. With these ideas in hand, we go into the Tall Grass with confidence.
But there’s more!
Join 2,000+ subscribers and get new creative ideas (with guides and real-world examples) straight to your inbox, once per week:
✨ Fresh new exclusive ideas every Friday ✨ It’s free!
See you soon ✌️
P.S. Please share 💙 Send marketingideas.com to other people who take the Tall Grass path. Friends always make adventures easier.