By Jeff Hayzlett
Today’s cluttered marketing environment demands creative approaches to getting people’s attention. And to get people to act really requires you to grab them by the throat.
It wasn’t too long ago that “Guerrilla Marketing” was considered a cute, grassroots, and more inexpensive way to generate awareness. Today, if you’re not implementing some sort of guerrilla activity, you’re missing the boat.
The term “guerrilla marketing” covers a wide range of non-traditional approaches to getting attention for your cause – but all of them have the same thing in common: getting to people directly in a manner they aren’t expecting. Fun is usually a side effect of well implemented guerrilla tactics.
At Kodak, we use guerrilla marketing often, and with great results. To make the most of our guerrilla efforts, we keep three simple rules in mind:
1) Be ready for anything – great guerrilla marketing opportunities pop up all the time, so keep your eyes peeled and your team prepared to jump in when they need to.
2) Know who you’re talking to – guerrilla marketing gives you the opportunity to speak directly to your target consumer – make sure it’s the right person!
3) Drive home the message – don’t let getting attention alone be your goal. If your audience doesn’t remember your message, you’ve failed.
Be Ready for Anything. Last Halloween, our team in New York City recognized a great opportunity and in less than 12 hours, they made national television. Picture this: The Today Show was promoting a Halloween episode, encouraging folks to come down dressed in creative costumes. Our team jumped at the chance – three energetic souls dressed up in vintage ’70s outfits, complete with big hair and loud pants. They then cobbled together a white “frame” out of cardboard and – voila! – “A Kodak Moment in Time.” With one evening’s worth of work, we earned airtime on national television and reinforced the good feelings people have about Kodak.
Know Who You’re Talking To. Placing ads about your hot new nightclub in retiree magazines may not make much sense. In that case, it wouldn’t make sense to distribute free passes to your opening night to those folks, either. When Kodak wanted to make college students aware of our new inkjet printers, we went right where college students are: on campus. We worked with a college athletic organization to get demonstrations of our printers onto a hundred campuses, and exposed hundreds of thousands of students to our easy-to-use, high-quality system. With the promise of free printouts, a chance to win a trip to the Sugar Bowl, and a great discount on a Kodak printer, our target customers flocked to learn more – and we had them, hook, line and sinker.
Drive Home the Message. To increase awareness of Kodak’s consumer inkjet printers, Kodak teams took to the streets. Our goal: find holiday shoppers and make sure they know that Kodak’s printers cost a lot less to operate than our competitors’. We were armed with fun giveaways (giving away free stuff is always a great way to get attention), but wanted to be sure people got more than a neat tchotchke. So we quizzed people before they could win the prize: “Why do we eat salad before dinner? Why do we wear wedding bands on our left hand? And most importantly, why do we pay so much for printer ink?” In other words: Why do we accept certain things as status-quo, without questioning the validity of the assumption? Our key message was clear: “Now you don’t have to spend so much on ink.” Understand that, THEN you win your free gift!
With these rules in mind, I challenge my team to keep thinking of the next “big idea.” Get attention, catch our customers in the moment, and make sure they remember why their best choice is Kodak.
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By Jeff Hayzlett