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Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days 2E_ Chapter 22

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Other Marketing: Speaking, Coupons, and Contests


TRIEZENBERG, A PROFESSIONAL organizer and president of Hire Order (, a professional organizing company in suburban Chicago, used a messy desk contest to generate publicity. The entrants sent in pictures of their messy desks. The winner won free organizing services from her company. Press releases announcing the contest caught the attention of a few editors. As the time approached for the winner to be announced, the media got involved. They wanted to communicate the winner to the public. Hire Order then publicized the unorganized before situation and the organized after situation and gained significant PR just by having the contest. In this case, the PR bang was double: PR announcing the contest and PR announcing the contest winners. In guerrilla fashion, the cost of this contest was zero. The time donated to the winner was considered a sampling



and resulted in paid work subsequent to the contest, all guerrilla feats. Contests, however, are just one of today’s subjects, coupons and speaking are also covered. Don’t you just love all this marketing? Did you ever think we could cover it all in 30 days? We probably can’t, but we will work together and see if we can get you a bang for your marketing buck. On this day we will quickly cover some marketing tactics that work just as well as those we covered in a full day. Some of the weapons described on this day are the only ones used by some guerrilla marketers and quite successfully at that. Just because these are approached in blitz fashion does not diminish their potential effectiveness for you. You have to decide, plan, and implement according to your business, your customers and prospects, your budget, and your guerrilla vision.

While the name guerrilla marketing was conceived in 1980 with the first guerrilla marketing book, there is evidence of guerrilla marketers way before that. In 1895, C. W. Post, the cereal manufacturer, offered the first money-off coupon ever issued in the United States. The one-cent-off coupon came with Grape Nuts® cereal. By turn of the century standards, this was very guerrillaish, and a lot of money. Today the use of coupons has grown so much that consumers have saved over $4 billion dollars since coupons were invented. Not bad for just a little clipping and redemption. Coupons bring a consumer to a business to spend more than the incentive cost of the coupon. That’s the basic concept of using coupons. That’s guerrilla marketing. When you think of coupons, you basically think certificate of redemption. Coupons for guerrillas are used mostly in newspapers and magazines. Sometimes fliers and handbills can include a coupon. Coupons are viable marketing vehicles for increasing product sales. Couponing is another way to commit people to brands that interest them the most. In the spirit of guerrilla marketing, use coupons in conjunction with other supporting marketing. Coupons are best used to create a short-term blip in traffic to a particular establishment, focused around one simple product or service.



The primary idea behind coupons is for the user to save money. Obviously saving money is an opportunity cost to a coupon, which might not have received the business if it weren’t for the coupon. The lifetime value of that customer is well worth the coupon cost if the customer returns to buy more products. Coupon marketing is easily measured, a valuable component in any guerrilla program. Seeing who redeemed the coupons, where the user found the coupons, and tracking print coupons can pinpoint what ads, marketing vehicles, and communication are working best. All that is required is using different codes for different placements. This can be printed on the coupon itself or coded online with coupon codes or web page tracking. As more internet technology is used in marketing, consumers continue to respond to value online, as well. Those coupons, which can be printed on a desktop printer from an online website, add value by being convenient and easy.

Guerrilla Hint: Put a printable or downloadable coupon on your website. Putting a code on that coupon also allows it to be used for phone or online purchases.

Coupon use is very prevalent in the grocery market. Shoppers who use them consistently pay for a significant portion of their groceries. The same can happen for the purchase of nonretail and nongrocery products or services. Including discount coupons in packaging or thank-you cards for redemption against your service is one way to offer the same value to a potential purchaser of your products or services. Many nongrocery stores publish their own store coupons both online and in newspapers. You can get coupons for haircuts, shoes, movies, oil changes, and clothing, to name a few. Be creative for your products or services. Consumers are used to the coupon craze. Adapting it, in guerrilla fashion, to products and services typically not associated with coupons and the grocery aisle is an opportunity in front of all guerrillas.



One of the best ways for people (potential clients) to find out about you, your company, and your products and services is public speaking. It is a chance for them to get information straight from you. You are your best marketing vehicle. Speaking to groups is nothing more than a large conversation. It is powerful marketing—and efficient marketing. A number of dynamics take place when you are in front of a group of people. First, you are the center of attention. Each audience member feels as if you are speaking directly to him or her. You’re not an envelope that goes unopened. You are not a telemarketing call that comes at dinnertime. You’re not a television commercial that gets fast-forwarded. Speaking to a group puts you at the forefront of message delivery and effective communication. You are having a conversation with an audience. Sure, members of an audience can walk out of the room, but of those present, you have their undivided attention. If all marketing could be delivered to “undivided attention,” we wouldn’t need as many guerrilla marketing strategies and tactics. As you speak, you are also establishing credibility with an audience. Hopefully, this audience has potential paying clients. If they don’t, you shouldn’t be speaking to them. You establish yourself as an expert in whatever you are talking about. People like buying from experts. They feel comfortable in their buying decisions. There are many types of potential audiences. These include community organizations, professional groups, trade associations, or civic groups. Speaking to a group is marketing, not selling. Your speaking should offer something of value, not a direct pitch. Potential speaking topics that are marketing and value-oriented are things such as (fill in the blanks for your industry or business): • • • • Top ten mistakes made when buying ________. Seven insider secrets of _____________. Three points to consider when __________. The four B’s of __________.

Another topic that is not only highly marketable, but also highly memorable, is speaking about a system you invented around an acronym. Each



letter of the acronym stands for a value point of your message. For instance a speaker that presents the Opportunity RADAR offers content related to: • • • • • R—Re-engineering A—Attitude D—Drive A—Aspiration R—Relentless pursuit

RADAR is the “system” presented in this speech.

A trainer speaking about goal setting talks about SMART goals related to: • • • • • S—Specific M—Measurable A—Actionable R—Responsibility T—Timing

Speaking to audiences doesn’t mean you have to be a paid professional speaker or hired through a speaking bureau or even famous. There are many guerrilla tactics that put you in front of potential targets: • Seminars. You can put on a seminar to teach prospects how to do something that you have expertise in. • Demonstrations. Showing how a product works is beneficial, or a service is always valuable to an audience. • Panel discussions. Being a member of a panel discussion at a forum, public event, or business meeting establishes expertise quickly and generates very good exposure. • Coordinating team exercises. Volunteering to coordinate groups, whether within or outside your company, puts you at the forefront.



• Reporting from a committee. Be the one responsible for reporting committee actions to a larger group. • Teaching. Some community colleges, extension programs, and other educational organizations are always looking for experts and those willing to share experiences with their audiences. • Presenting an award at a conference. Presenting an award will get you recognized and is a form of public speaking. • Sponsorships. Sponsoring an organization, meeting, or conference usually gets you a few minutes in the limelight. Take advantage of it, practice what you will say, and knock some socks off. When members of your audience receive something of value from you, even if it is information, they are grateful. When someone is grateful, you have the beginning of a great relationship, and you already know how guerrillas and relationships go together. Once these relationships turn into long-term buying relationships, you will know the true value of speaking to groups. Now, here comes the good part that makes every guerrilla stand tall. The cost of using speaking as a marketing weapon is free. The more you can use this weapon, the more audiences you can touch, hook, and start relationships with, and the more trips you will make to the bank with deposit slips in hand.

There is no free lunch . . . unless you dropped your business card in one of those fishbowls on one of your frequent restaurant visits. Why are restaurants so inclined to always give away a free lunch and push to get those business cards? The answer is that they are guerrilla marketers using their imagination and energy to collect your name at no cost. The purpose of that fishbowl is to accumulate names that will be marketed to later on. This little contest for a free lunch is nothing more than a lead generator. Because the winners will surely brag and talk about how great the restaurant is because they won a free lunch, word-of-mouth advertising and referrals are possible. The primary purpose of the contest is to gather entrants. The cost for you to get these names is the cost of what the contest winner receives. This price



for a targeted, permission-based list is a small investment compared to the potential return. That’s the way all guerrilla marketing should be. Contests work at trade show booths: “Stop by our booth today and enter to win a free Palm Pilot or PDA.” All entrants are now permission-based prospects that will be marketed to after the contest. Another benefit of contests is that they can generate PR.

Contests don’t have to be fancy. They can be publicized; then they will generate word-of-mouth buzz.

GUERRILLA HINT. Have more than one winner. The more prospects that can

spread the word about how you delight customers, the more potential business you will gain. Sometimes restaurants do this if they spot a key card in their fishbowl of entries. You should, too, if you see hot prospects swimming in your fishbowl.

Everyone loves a winner. Making prospects winners will make you a winner in their eyes.

Today showed you three other guerrilla marketing weapons. They all work for the right business with the right creativity and the right implementation. Take this day to see if you are that right business and how these weapons might fit into your attack.



I Coupons are viable marketing vehicles for increasing product sales. Couponing is another way to commit people to brands that interest them most. I The lifetime value of a customer using a coupon is well worth the coupon cost, especially if that customer returns to buy more product. I Coupon marketing is very conducive to measurement. I One of the best ways for potential clients to find out about you, your company, or products and services is for them to hear information straight from you in a public speech. I Speaking to groups is powerful marketing and is very efficient marketing. I Speaking to a group is not direct selling. I The primary purpose of a contest is to gather as many entrants as possible. I All entrants to a contest are permission-based prospects that can be marketed to after the contest. I Contests don’t have to be fancy; they can be publicized. That will generate word-of-mouth buzz. I I I

Action Steps
1. What product or service of yours is best suited for a coupon offer? 2. Once that coupon is presented for redemption, what ways can you upsell a prospect? 3. How will you present a coupon to your target market? Printed coupon? Included in packaged products? Included in invoices and statements? Online?



1. What value could you offer in a presentation that is related to your business or industry or area of expertise? 2. What groups are your target market prospects members of? 3. What topics can you come up with to speak about by filling in the blanks in the example above? 4. What system invented around an acronym can you invent that makes for a valuable presentation/speech?

1. What kind of contest can you have that you can build publicity around? 2. What other businesses and organizations have contests that you can donate your services to, perhaps as the prize for the winner? 3. What database tracking system will you put in place to compile entrants’ contact information? 4. How will you market to the newly formed database after the contest? What communication vehicles will you use? What messages will you communicate?

Jay Conrad Levinson and Al Lautenslager, Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days, © 2009, by Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.


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