Taking a bold approach to your 2010 marketing

By Jeffery Hoyle

Emphasis Marketing & Communications


Happy 2010! What a great time of the year. The newness and potential for everything is within your grasp. As we all tend to make resolutions about ourselves, we should do the same when it comes to our business. But this year, consider a more aggressive approach.

Now, I have never been a huge fan of the term "guerrilla marketing." For those of you not up to speed on the term, let me break it down for you. Guerrilla marketing is defined as "Unconventional marketing intended to get maximum results from minimal resources." Well, I will be the first one to admit when I am wrong, and this is one of those times. Launching my business in the last year has taught me that conventional methods of business marketing can be effective, but to really pack a marketing punch, sometimes you have to pull out all the stops.

The year 2010 is being slated as the year of the great economic turnaround. Signs are visible; there is light at the end of the tunnel. But -- and this is a big but -- the crisis isn't over yet. Especially in this industry, consumers are still a bit skittish. No one is certain what their financial future holds, and those willing to take a chance with their money aren't always looking to the long-term. Folks are still looking for a quick fix that will allow them to stay in their home, or provide for their family, not provide for their retirement.

Is that a poor choice? Possibly. But the economy has tanked for so long, that long-term for most folks seems too long term to consider. So, as their professional advisor, it's your job to show them the error in this way of thinking.

This brings me back to the concept of guerrilla marketing. The term itself was coined by Jay Conrad Levinson, touted as the creator of the term, as well as the process. In theory, the idea is to get maximum results, with minimal expense. In theory, it has been around for a number of years. Now, some will probably differ, but I think one of the greatest examples of guerrilla marketing can be found in the Charles Dickens story, "A Christmas Carol."

Now I can see you scratching your head, but stick with me for a moment. The crux of the story is the redemption of the main character of the story, Ebenezer Scrooge. So how is Mr. Scrooge inspired to change his life? By receiving nocturnal visits from three specters from the past, present, and future, meant to show him glimpses from his life and the lives of others around him.

If you recall, in the story Mr. Scrooge wasn't really fearful until the last specter; the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. The fear of an unknown future was his turning point. Now here is the caveat to this theory; fear should never be used as a means to convince your clients of anything, under any circumstances. But if Scrooge's partner, Jacob Marley, wasn't the consummate guerrilla marketer, I don't know who is. The ultimate goal was the redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge, and at the end of the day, mission accomplished.

Now, specters aren't necessarily going to win you business, but maybe it's time you start your 2010 marketing efforts a little outside the box. And the beauty of it is your efforts don't have to cost an arm and a leg. Here are a couple of examples:
  • Pay it forward - When you're heading into the movie theater, pay the person's way behind you and tell the cashier to give them your business card. You're not guaranteed that the person will become a client, but I bet the word of mouth on that one would be pretty big.

  • Newspapers - You don't have to just buy an ad. Today, a lot of newspapers are hurting for editorials, so if you have any copywriting skills, you can send in some editorials to the newspapers and include a byline for your company or Web site information.

  • Put it on a bus - Mobile advertising is great and will get viewed by a lot of potential clients on a daily basis.
Get the idea? Of course you do. And no specters were involved in any of these ideas. Give it a try, and I guarantee you won't have to wait long to see the results of your efforts. More to come in 2010.

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