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Blog: Guerilla Marketing

By William Lynott

Most conventional marketing ideas simply aren’t worth the effort in marketing an electrical distributorship because (a) they just don’t work or (b) they’re too expensive.

That’s where guerilla marketing comes in — unconventional and inexpensive ways to build your business Here are some guerilla marketing techniques that you can put to work right now:

  1. Adopt a marketing attitude.
    Building a successful and growing distributorship requires an ongoing marketing program. Competitive prices alone won’t do it. Good service alone won’t do it. Specialized knowledge alone won’t do it.
    Take the time to market your business. Rather than spending large sums of money, marketing a small business means investing your time, passion, and energy instead.
  2. Get more mileage out of your “business cards”.
    Most conventional business cards are tossed at the recipient’s first opportunity. Instead of wasting money on an ineffective marketing idea, hand out something that your prospects can use. Effective alternatives include small notepads with the name of your business and contact info. Scratch pads are hard to come by these days and most people will hang on to and use them. Every time prospects jot a note, they are reminded of your business.
    Other possibilities include magnetic cards with local emergency phone numbers and your contact info. Imprinted ball point pens are inexpensive and who won’t hang on to a free pen?
  3. Harness the awesome power of the telephone.
    Marketing studies consistently show that the telephone remains one of the most neglected business tools. In one study, researchers called 5,000 Yellow Page advertisers to say, “I saw your Yellow Page ad. How much does your service (product) cost?”
    More than 78 percent of respondents didn’t bother to ask for the caller’s name. More than 55 percent took eight rings or more to answer. Some spoke so rapidly that the caller had a difficult time understanding what was said.
    To harness the potent power of the telephone, you must regard every call as a marketing opportunity. If you use an answering machine, your outgoing message can be an effective marketing tool. Make best use of it by speaking slowly and clearly in a welcoming tone.
  4. Stop servicing break-even customers.
    If the idea of losing any customer makes you shudder, think harder. If you’re hanging on to break-even (or worse) customers, you’ve fallen victim to the trap of working to increase sales instead of boosting profits. If you drop unprofitable customers, you’ll have more time and resources for developing and servicing customers who actually grow your business. Dropping any customer in these tough economic times seems almost unthinkable, but keeping unprofitable customers is a barrier to growing your business.
  5. Grab your fair share of the best publicity of all.
    Advertising professionals know (but usually won’t admit) that free publicity is often more effective than the best paid ads. Most prospective clients will be more receptive to a simple news item about your business than a typical advertisement. So, how do you go about getting a piece of the free publicity pie? Your news item doesn’t have to be of great importance to gain a free spot in the media, it just has to be “newsworthy.” That simply means there is something about your or your business that the public might find interesting. Many neighborhood papers run columns dedicated to residents and businesses in the community. Such things as hirings, promotions, and special awards are ideal candidates for submissions to these columns. public service to the community. Don’t be shy when it comes to publicity for you or your business. If you’re involved in community service, invited to speak to a local service club, have an unusual hobby, or operate your business in an unusual way, don’t hesitate to grab a spot on the free publicity bandwagon.
  6. Take action now.

Which first step you take in your guerilla marketing program isn’t important. What matters is that you do something new and creative in order to overcome the inertia that keeps many small business owners from ever reaching their full potential. Creativity and originality are the keys to a great marketing strategy. Don’t be afraid to try something new, no matter how unorthodox it may seem. If it doesn’t work, move on and try something else.

While marketing is work, it’s a different kind of work. Marketing your business will be challenging, exciting, and rewarding. Try it. You may be pleasantly surprised.

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