Some good ideas were generated. The most popular and the one that made sense was getting referrals, which meant doing great work but that wasn't enough.
One attendee said he made it really easy for his customers to tell others about him. He would leave pre-stamped post cards with the message like, "XYZ just did a great job for us. We highly recommend them!" and asked his happy customer to send out a few to their local friends and family.
It all went downhill from there. Another company said they just entered a year-long contract to have their company name and phone number (along with a photo) put on the child's seat of every shopping cart at a local grocery story.
Silence. I guess the other attendees didn't agree that this was a smart way to spend marketing dollars.
What are some marketing strategies that you have tried (or heard of) that utterly bombed?