Go Guerrilla

Harry Hoover

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Jay Conrad Levinson coined the term guerrilla marketing, which I define as low-cost, creative and typically self-implemented public relations techniques.

Here are a few thoughts that might spawn some ideas for your own business.

* When you can't get in to see a prospect, try clipping half a $20 bill in a note to her. You get 20 minutes of her time and she gets the rest of the $20 when the meeting is over.

* Prior to a trade show, visit the town's largest taxi company, and tell them to alert drivers you will have secret shoppers riding in taxis. If the taxi driver mentions your company and booth number to your secret shopper, the driver gets $100. Invest a little money on the show's first day, and get the buzz started.

* Hire college students to go to the airport dressed as chauffeurs. They hold up hand-lettered signs that contain the company name, and repeat the name of the company as people come by. Work the terminals where flights from your best markets come in. Go here to read more about trade show marketing.

* Retailers tend to overreact to a few consumer phone calls. So, take advantage of this if you are trying to get your new product on the shelf. Recruit a few friends to call the retailer in question and ask if they have your new product in stock. This works particularly well if you have some recent media coverage the caller can cite.

* Technology is making hand-written notes a thing of the past. Take the time to jot a short note to customers and thank them for their business. You'll be surprised by the kind of goodwill and repeat business this old-fashioned tactic can generate.

Harry Hoover is managing principal of Hoover ink PR . He has 26 years of experience in crafting and delivering bottom line messages that ensure success for serious businesses like Brent Dees Financial Planning, Focus Four, Levolor, New World Mortgage, North Carolina Tourism, TeamHeidi, Ty Boyd Executive Learning Systems, VELUX, Verbatim and Youth Link USA.


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