A few weeks ago when I was in Toronto, I was browsing through a local bookstore spending a few pleasant minutes before the start of a movie at an adjacent theatre. I spent some time in the "eco" section, looking for some content ideas for a client, and I came across Adria Vasil's Ecoholic.
As I picked up Ecoholic to flip through it, it fell open at the "Home Improvement" section of the book. On the PAINT page. The page was marked with postcard from Homestead House Paint Company, a Toronto company that specializes in eco-friendly paints, stains and finishes. The other side of the postcard advertises Cycling Painters, another Toronto-based company that will apply your eco-friendly paint for you - and cycles to your location, for the good of the environment.
I thought this was pretty clever. It reaches a targeted, local, niche audience when and where they are looking for a specific product or service that the advertisers have to offer. And it's portable, so the potential customer could event take this piece of marketing with them without buying the book.
One reason this works, of course, is that everyone ISN'T doing it. I certainly don't want to have my book browsing time turned into a hybrid of Times Square billboards and "Subscribe!" magazine notices. But I thought that this was a good, highly-targeted low-cost example of what a local business can do to get the word out.
Plus, I now have a handy bookmark.