When you think of the different marketing/advertising methods at your disposal, what comes immediately to mind? Digital and print ads? Commercial spots with your local TV and radio stations? Social media?
All of the above are effective ways of getting your brand out there to your target market. Remember that they also exist in a very crowded space where each message is forced to compete for the attention of a consumer base who is already over-inundated with advertisements.
By limiting your marketing strategy to the “go-to” traditional methods, you are pitting yourself against others who offer the same service. You are thrown into a mix of restaurants, car dealerships, and other businesses all waving their arms wildly and shouting “Hey, look over here!”
In fact, studies suggest the average person is exposed to roughly 4,000 advertisements a day. That, my friends, is a whole lot of arm waving and shouting. If you want to stand out and rise above that kind of clamor, you might have to go guerrilla.
The concept of “Guerrilla Marketing” can be traced back to the early 1980s when author and advertising guru Jay Conrad Levinson first coined the term to describe any “unconventional marketing tools used in cases when financial or other resources are limited or non-existent.”
While books have been written detailing the finer points and evolution of guerrilla marketing since it was first introduced, the overall concept remains the same and can be pinned down to one word—unconventional. So, what does that look like?
For starters, guerrilla marketing does not necessarily mean “free advertising.” Despite the above description, the fact remains that, in order to make money, you have to spend money. However, a little creativity can go a long way when it comes to the money you invest into brand awareness.
At its core, guerrilla marketing is all about taking the consumer by surprise; presenting yourself/brand/message in a way that strikes a resonant chord with whoever encounters the “ad.” This is actually easier than it may sound if you don’t mind pounding a little pavement. As an independent agent/advisor or the owner of a small agency, your business is based on forging real-life relationships with your consumers. You can get that ball rolling by taking your marketing efforts directly to would-be-clients.
Before the days of Facebook, you couldn’t walk past a telephone pole, public bulletin board or storefront without seeing an array of fliers promoting concerts, speaking events, garage sales, etc. In fact, you probably still see them scattered about the community, which should tell you there is still something to this overlooked, but cost-effective promotional vehicle. Consider hanging a few fliers for your next seminar. Just make sure they’re in a well-trafficked area and posted with permission
Plant A Seed
Community gardens and pocket parks are popping up in neighborhoods all over the country. Chances are, you pass by one or more on a daily basis. Chances are even greater that you pass by one or more locations that would greatly benefit from a little beautification. Look into filling those voids with a flower garden and bench, complete with a “Brought you by [Your Brand Here]” plaque that lets everyone know that you have a vested interest in the community.
Make an Appearance
Think about all the various community events, gatherings, festivals, and parades that take place in your area. Are you getting involved in any of that action? You should! Keep in mind that “getting involved” means more than just paying to have your brand displayed on the event poster. Arm yourself with a bag of “swag” (aka cheap giveaway items that feature your logo and contact info) and send everyone home with your brand in their pocket. If you’re at an event with vendors, consider giving away reusable shopping or tote bags to people as they come in. Charging cables, phone holders and USB drives are also handy items that we never seem to have enough of. And don’t forget about the kids! Sure, a fidget spinner or squeeze ball with your logo might not seem like the best way to connect with people who are interested retirement planning and life insurance. However, that’s exactly who is going to pick it up once their child puts it down.
These are just a few of the hundreds (if not more) of non-traditional marketing opportunities that you could add to your toolkit. Maybe these will work for you. Maybe they won’t. Hopefully, this post has at least got you thinking outside of your own box a little. The point here is to highlight the fact that you are not confined by the formulas set by traditional marketing methods. If you’re still looking for new and innovative ways to engage your target market, get in touch to find out how we can help.