Outside the square marketing for home businesses and small businesses

Let me ask you a question…

If you have a chance to get your business featured in the New York Times, San Jose Mercury News and countless marketing-related publications, would you be interested in finding out a little more?

Welcome to WhackAFlack.com, your home of “outside the square” marketing and lead generation ideas for small business to medium size businesses.

WhackAFlack.com. It’s a weird name for a website right?

That is exactly what I thought when I was browsing a list of domain names for sale. The domain name took my eye and after researching what Whack-A-Flack was all about, I decided to base the theme of this website around the name because it stood for everything I have stood for in the past decade in business – outside the square thinking to get results.

Some background on Whack-A-Flack

First, what is a flack? TheFreeDictionary.com refers to a flack as:

flack Informal
n. A press agent; a publicist.
v. flacked, flack•ing, flacks
v.intr. To act as a press agent: flacking for a movie studio.

So flack is a slang term for someone who’s job it is to create buzz around something that is marketable. Really, a flack is responsible for one form of marketing – PR.

Explanation of the Whack-A-Flack Campaign

“This Summer e-tractions, an Internet marketing campaign company, wanted to get more clients, prove their interactive ads really work, and generate serious buzz from the almost buzzed-out press corp covering the i-ad industry. VP Sales & Marketing (Mr.) Kim Shah shared the details with us.

e-tractions, together with their PR firm Sterling Hager, decided to create a viral marketing campaign that struck a chord in the heart of every member of the press on this planet — the Whack-a-Flack game.


Whack-a-Flack is an interactive gaming site where after registering visitors can “whack” an annoying cast of cartooned PR pros with paper airplanes made out of press releases. They pop up from their desk, you whack them. They scuttle on their hands and feet across the floor, you whack them. You get the picture.

Source: MarketingSherpa.com

Feedback wasn’t totally received with positivity in the industry, with it receiving some negative feedback, one such article can be found here. The essence of the article is perhaps encapsulated by the author’s reference to the whole thing being quite demeaning to PR and Agency workers.

So the campaign was pretty “out there”. Certainly not your average everyday marketing tactic, but it generated, according to e-tractions, significant returns by way of sales leads and new inquiries.

Campaign Results:

According to The New Your Times “e-tractions says it has generated a list of at least 5,000 e-mail addresses — and what amounts to a database on how journalists view various public relations agencies.”

In less than 3 months since launching, the campaign had generated just under 40,000 visits and 13,000 people had registered for the game. The company alleges they received 1500 leads as a result.

According to the Marketing Sherpa article, a bit beyond 1 year after launching, the website was receiving 50 visits each day and had amassed over 127,000 visits in total!

Talk about results!

Now of course, your typically small or home based business is definitely not going to have the skills to develop their own online game, which it is estimated at the time would have cost anywhere between $30,000 – $50,000 to do, but the basis of high-quality marketing is there… What can you do in your business today to cut through the clutter and produce more leads and sales for your business?

My intent with this humble website is to bring together a combination of proven sales and marketing tactics along with some fresh perspectives so that no matter whether you are yet to start a business and are just looking around for business ideas and inspiration, have a traditional small business, franchise business or home based business, you will leave the site with some fantastic ideas to implement.

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