By Eric Brown
|Eric Brown is a founding partner of Urbane Apartments in Royal Oak, Michigan.
Each month Eric contributes a guest article on guerrilla marketing ideas.
The legendary Seth Godin first wrote about Permission Marketing in 1999. Permission marketing is a term most commonly used in e-marketing. Marketers will ask permission before they send advertisements to prospective customers. It requires that people first “opt-in”, rather than allowing people to “opt-out” only after the advertisements have been sent. It’s about gaining trust.
The rule of thumb is that you should first have permission to “touch” a customer. There are many touchpoints throughout the lifecycle with your customer that allow you to market your brand. But what exactly is a touchpoint? A touchpoint is defined as, all of the communication, human and physical interactions your customers experience during their relationship lifecycle with your organization.
Within each of these touchpoints lie opportunities for the savvy Guerrilla Marketer, and here are a couple of successful examples that we use at Urbane Apartments. It’s important not to ignore some of the most effective and efficient opportunities to engage customers in conversation. At Urbane, we use naturally occurring touchpoints to reach out to our residents. Every evening we send a direct email to each resident who had a service request that day. An amazing 68% of the residents respond, mostly thanking us for the follow up.
What is most important is that we have opened up a conversation with our customer. Residents are now comfortable receiving and opening our emails. We have gained their permission, but gaining their trust. When we send out a marketing campaign email to every one, our penetration increases. This strengthens our strategy of looking inward to our customer base and increasing Word of Mouth Marketing.
Our most recent resident email blast regarding the Urbane Sponsored Flirt Fest, was sent out once; on the day of the event. Our residents turned out in numbers, check out the pictures in the Urbane Lobby. This is “Guerrilla Marketing,” defined as a classic unconventional system of promotions on a very low budget. Instead of big marketing budgets, rely on time, energy and imagination .
Perhaps the greatest benefit for us by utilizing these tactics and strategies is the related free publicity. When a potential resident does a Google search for Royal Oak Apartments. Urbane Apartments pop up on page one, consistently ranking number four or five. This typically drives the prospect right to our web site, allowing us to showcase our brand. We do not use any print ads or any paid Internet ads, yet we have scratched and clawed our way to page one of the Google search engine results page.
Guerrilla marketing approaches will work for your business too. What are some of your ideas and what has worked in your small business marketing plan? Please use the comment link below.
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