No, we are not talking about renting a gorilla costume from your local costume shop and standing on the street corner – although it might be a way to keep your kids or mother-in law occupied during the summer (and she might not even need the suit)! Guerilla marketing is an unconventional way to promote your business in unusual ways that rely on ideas, energy and imagination, rather than a large marketing budget. The goal is to use unusual approaches, such as encounters in public places, product giveaways, PR stunts and any unconventional marketing to get maximum results from minimal resources. Here are some examples:
Tip off the press. While many business owners work to develop special events, many do not have a list of press contacts who are looking for things to either list or do stories on. Call your local newspaper, radio station, etc., and let them know what you are doing and ask for contact information. Write up a short press release and develop a mailing list of contacts.
Have a contest. Customers love to participate in contests and this can help get them in your store. For example, one former client I had who sold sweet potato pies had a “Dress Your Favorite Sweet Potato” contest. Customers and their kids decorated sweet potatoes and brought them to the store to be displayed and judged. The winners took some sample pies home and had their potatoes on display in the storefront.
Have a Vendor Day. Ask your vendors to come and set up tables to talk about their products and give away samples. Customers always appreciate being able to speak to product specialists and most vendors will do this at no charge.
Be social! These days, every business should have a Facebook and Twitter account. Use it to stay in front of your customers for free and develop a follow- ing. Don’t know how to use these? Check with one of your local service providers for seminars on this topic.
Pay it forward. When you are in a check- out line, pay for the person behind you and give the cashier your business card to give to them. No guarantee that they will become a customer, but it will at least build goodwill within the community for your business.
Business Cards. No, not to print and hand out, but take them to your local library. Find books that are relevant to your business and insert your cards into them. People who are interested in this topic will find your card and already have an inter- est.
There are many, many other ideas on how to do Guerilla Marketing. Just put it in Google or your favorite search engine. Guerilla Marketing can be cheap, fun and a way to set your business apart from the competition. FBN
Russ Yelton is president/CEO of NACET in Flagstaff. Contact Yelton at 928-213-9234 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on NACET, visit www.nacet.org.