When we talk about guerrilla marketing we’re talking about creative, unconventional and innovative marketing tactics that are inexpensive, or even free. The mainstream marketing landscape is dominated by digital content in the form of viral marketing, social media campaigns, user generated content and many more. Of course there can be no doubt as to the effectiveness and versatility of digital channels, but guerrilla tactics use a different playbook altogether, making use of channels that are often overlooked. Printed media, specifically business cards, are often derided as old school and obsolete. But deployed effectively they can form part of an effective guerrilla campaign and generate significant conversions. Let’s take a closer look.
As far as marketing goes, business cards are about as old school as they come. But with the world going digital, most people have all the contact details and accompanying notes saved into their smartphone or tablet. You may think this has rendered the business card obsolete, but you’d be wrong. Firstly, the method is tried and tested – it puts a physical reminder of your personality into a potential customer’s hand. The role of business cards has developed in response to the ubiquity of digital marketing – it is now a statement as much as a piece of information. You’ll need brilliantly designed and printed cards to start with, but quality printers can actually be surprisingly affordable. And as well as giving them out in the usual way – meetings, trade shows and conferences – try placing them in unusual spaces such as restaurants, bars, gym changing rooms, hair salons and local shops.
Handing out your card
When you do meet an existing or potential client, the way you deliver your card can make all the difference between a lead or not. Thus the role of the business card goes beyond the card itself – it’s about a personal transaction during which the recipient of the card feels valued. Showing a real interest in their business is a good place to start – it shows right off the bat that you are into collaboration and interaction and demonstrates an interest in mutual benefit. Personalising your card on the spot by writing a direct line number or a note about your product or service that may appeal to their business interests also generates the right impression. There is even a school of thought that favours blank business cards, with appropriate numbers and details written there and then. All of these are guerrilla tactics that really work.
If you’re trying to build your company’s visibility you need to keep your name and branding in front of the client as much as possible. With this in mind, designing materials to give out becomes important. Good ideas for getting your brand into other offices include items such as mouse mats, coasters, coffee mugs and pens. Your name and logo will be imprinted into the minds of the recipients – and everyone loves freebies! When it comes to retaining loyal customers, going old school really works – there is a reason why certain methods have been part of the marketing landscape for years – it’s because they are tried and tested. Send thank you cards, personalised, to your clients when they place an order – giving your company a human face and expressing gratitude for their business makes them more likely to repeat it.
What happens to most business cards you get handed at trade shows or conferences? Most likely they either go in the trash or end up at the bottom of a drawer, forgotten along with the contact printed on them. Adding value to your business card means that it will remain in the consciousness of the existing or potential customer. If you add a coupon code you’ll likely generate a sale – hopefully followed by repeat business. If your company offers a service details of a free trial will pique some interest. Make sure the link you offer is unique, and not simply the same link you can find on your website or social media profile – offer a longer time period or more features to really add value. And if your marketing budget stretches to it, offer some freebies via a link – a bag of swag will always make you friends!
These are just a few examples of guerrilla marketing. Don’t feel limited to printed materials – flash mobs, landscape takeovers and many more ideas can increase your reach and your conversion rate.