A few months ago I exited my local Wal-Mart and found a "gift" wedged between my driver side mirror and the door of my Dodge Dakota pick-up truck. It was a small gray box with a business card sticking out. The card was from Marc Caviglia of Don Weir's Reno Dodge. What was the gift? A mini tool-box for my truck:

Tool Box

Not only is this good marketing, but it is also good online marketing. I may not be in the market for a new truck but I love the tool box and I'm linking back to the website because of it.

In all likelihood Mark is simply trying to drum up business. He's hoping these toolboxes get people thinking about buying a new truck and therefore coming down to see him. That might work.

What's missing here is a larger effort by Reno Dodge. Sure, they would rather have faces walk in the door, but while they are at it this type of offline marketing can easily be leveraged to build their online presence.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Make the URL of the site more prominent on the business card and give people a reason to visit. "Visit our site to see all new makes and models."
  • Provide a URL where Dodge owners can "tell their story" about their Dodge Vehicle. This gets them to the website to creat user-generated content and possibly a link from their facebook or myspace profiles highlighting their story, if it's a good one to share.
  • Tailor the business card to the audience, not the sales-person. Provide a URL to a page on the website that links directly to trucks, or more specifically in my case, the Dodge Dakotas. It would be easy enough to have several versions of cards printed up for each vehicle make, each with a URL pointed to a page on the site for new models of that particular vehicle.
  • Have a note in the toolbox that reads: Link to us in your blog and trade this 22 piece toolbox in for an upgraded 50 piece tool set. This would get links AND give people a reason to visit the location. While they are there they might take a test drive.

The toolbox is a great way to get people's attention. I like it and I kept it. Use that attention to get people to take action. A business card isn't a call to action.

You don't want to load the box up with advertising, a single business card can do the trick. All it takes is a little creativity and out of the box thinking to turn your offline marketing into great online marketing.

September 24, 2009

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.


I agree that that is very smart marketing. I've created a flyer for my website, and these tips will definately help when promoting the flyer. Thanks.

This is a fantastic promotional tool that will catch your attention and I bet its something that you will use in the future. Anytime you can have a promotional item that serves a purpose, you are taking a great step to sticking your product in the mind of the consumer. I would agree with the tips that you give as well. If you want to increase your online presence, you need to make you URL prominent. I also like you idea of linking the site in your blog and being able to upgrade the tool set, this will increase the call to action and probably generate some additional sales.

I'm more amazed each day at how many promotions aren't even listing a URL. I would have to agree on the personalised URL's for specific conditions, in your case the vehicle model.

Time and time again I've seen a promotion on a product that simply references a home page and boy do you battle to find the product that they're trying to promote.

Oh well... such is life.

I went to see a band at a venue last night and couldn't find a website or address details anywhere online. I find that really frustrating! Offline marketing is easily transferred to a strong web presence.

In the era where online marketing is gearing up fast, such ideas definitely click. They help businesses to grow and get in touch with audience who may not need the product but are often impressed by the way its presented.

Love this - a great example of creative offline marketing. Next time you go to Wal-Mart, I'll bet you'll have thousands of flyers and business cards stuck on your truck!

I had a similarly impressive experience with a PR firm who sent me a box of chocolates through the mail. I had only enquired about their services, and thought it was a great way of making their company stick in my mind. It also made me recommend them to others.

Oh and I enjoyed the chocolates too!!


What a super great idea! I have never been so blessed as you with a freebie, but I know this is a great idea, one that I might start applying to my business. Thanks for the share

What a very good marketing strategy! Thanks for sharing your experience. This would surely help and give our businessmen a good idea on how to improve their marketing strategy. Indeed very helpful and unique!

Doubtful. I no longer live in Reno. :)

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