SCORE counselor Mike Sullivan lifts up his sleeve to display a tatoo on his arm when he presents his workshop Market Like a Guerrilla, Sell Like a Gorilla. Why? Because it is just the dramatic, inexpensive, attention-grabbing technique he preaches.
I sweet-talked Sullivan into giving me his 7 Keys To Effective Guerrilla Marketing:
1. Be creative. Use the expected in unexpected ways. For example, work to get a feature article written on your business and pass it out with marketing literature. Having an independent source describe your business has lots more credibility than your own materials.
2. Differentiate yourself from the competition. If your competition uses direct mail, set your business apart by using hand-stamped envelopes and hand-written addresses. Just hire an inexpensive temp to personalize that 500 piece mailing. Does everyone else ship in a brown box? Use white boxes instead to be perceived as cleaner than the competition.
3. Find novel ways to reinforce your message. Do you use tape to package and ship your product? How about having that tape printed with your business name, website address and phone number?
4. Make a splash to draw attention to your message. Sometimes you just have to show off a tatoo that says MOM to make your point — most people are working with other people’s money, OPM. When you have your own business, you are working with MOM, my own money.
5. Harness the power of humor. “Will it blend?” videos on YouTube are Sullivan’s examples here. Will the Blendtec blender blend an IPhone? See the precious IPhone ground to bits before your eyes.
6. Phone answering as marketing. Never underestimate the power of how your phone is answered. Personal versus voicemail. Friendly, warm and inviting versus monotone, mechanical and off-putting.
7. Use cross-marketing to enlist others in promoting your message. For example, if you sell women’s fashion at retail, why not recommend a dry cleaner whom you feel will do the best job on quality garments? The cleaner can reciprocate with story signage promoting your boutique.
Guerrilla marketing, says Sullivan, is getting the maximum marketing impact with minimal resources.
An entrepreneur at heart, Sullivan started an import/export company in college that helped pay his tuition. Having started a business in his home and selling it 25 years later to a South African Company, he feels he can relate to most entrepreneurs regardless of where they are in the process. In 1992, Sullivan was inducted in the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame.
Come hear all of Sullivan’s advice on how to “Market like a Guerrilla” on April 3, 2009. Or talk to a SCORE Chicago counselor for more marketing advice to grow your sales.