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Attention Getters

Fresh ways to get a rise out of your marketing efforts.

Out of ideas? Looking for some inspiration? This month, we look at some tactics guerrilla marketers have used to rejuvenate their marketing.

  • A bakery prints a newsletter on the flip side of its bread labels, which are inserted into the plastic bag with the bread.
  • A brewery tucks a mini-catalog touting T-shirts and mugs into every six-pack. Today, orders are approaching 2,000 per month and climbing.
  • An appliance company offers a five-year warranty on ultra-reliable products, costing the company hardly anything-and boosting sales noticeably.
  • A coffee shop chain reduces the cost of direct mail and increases profits with its coffee-of-the-month program.
  • A mail order flower company gets as much as 40 percent of its revenues from a flower-of-the-month-club program, which helps smooth out the seasonality of this business.
  • A scarf company connects with an agent who knows his way around the QVC home shopping network and ends up selling 250,000 scarves on the marketing channel.
  • A gourmet grocery store increases profitability by offering cooking classes at $20 per class. The classes only break even but bring in $600 per customer in post-class sales. Guerrillas know that customer education generates sales.
  • A bicycle supply firm conducts 10 live, online focus groups yearly to see what customers think. Cost of online focus groups: $0. Results: priceless.
  • A furniture company puts lottery tickets into mailings, with a "Lottery ticket enclosed" message on the envelope. The message inside promises a follow-up call and the winning number. Seventy percent of callers listen to the pitch.
  • A distributor of consumer products cuts costs and raises profits simply by changing its sales compensation system to take profitability into account.
  • A security system manufacturer increases new customer revenue 10 percent by paying an extra 1 percent commission for first-time customers.
  • Another brewery sends digital color photos to 370 newspapers, along with a public relations story. The cost to the business owner is $725. The photo and story are picked up by 36 newspapers, including three in major cities.
  • A home furnishings store sends a Polaroid picture of big-ticket items prospects are considering. Closing rates have risen 25 percent as a result of this marketing strategy.
  • A software publisher reaps benefits from his online suggestion box, which has resulted in several "great ideas," says the boss.
  • Another bakery includes plugs for the businesses run by its customers right in its own newsletter, showing it knows how to thank its customers.
  • The president of a medical supply company gives a one-minute sales pitch. He then departs, leaving a sales contract. When he calls back, reminding prospects of his minute presentation, 90 percent sign the contract.
  • A large accounting software company makes sure its reception desk is kept well-stocked with yo-yos, candy and toys to communicate to employees and visitors that everyone is relaxed and having fun.

Jay Conrad Levinson is author of the internationally acclaimed Guerrilla Marketing series of books and co-founder of Guerrilla Marketing International. For information on the Guerrilla Marketing Newsletter and other products and services, write to P.O. Box 1336, Mill Valley, CA 94942; call (800) 748-6444; or visit the Web site at http://www.gmarketing.com

Jay Conrad Levinson is the father of Guerrilla Marketing, the bestselling marketing series in history, selling more than 14 million copies worldwide. He is chairman of Guerrilla Marketing International. His latest books include Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days, 2nd. Edition with Al Lautenslager, Guerrilla Marketing on the Internet with Mitch Meyerson and Mary Eule Scarborough, and Startup Guide to Guerrilla Marketing with Jeannie Levinson.

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This article was originally published in the March 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Attention Getters.

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