Guerilla marketing

We recently had a local wine walk here in our little city of Covina, just 20 minutes away from downtown Los Angeles. Each person that purchased a ticket received 10 wine tasting’s from the local merchants on our block. Being that we are strictly a marketing agency for the security industry, we don’t get a direct benefit by participating. Still, we enjoy mingling and interacting with the more than 900 visitors that come in our office with marketing research questions. We do have to start pretty early with the market research questions, though. By the end of the night, many of the visitors are wobbling.

As we were mingling with the crowd, I started a conversation about home alarm systems with a local Covina resident of over 20 years. After learning he had three teenage daughters (talk about worries), I asked if he had an alarm system in his home. He replied that he did not have one installed; he said his security system was a 20-gauge shotgun. After trying to convince him of all the reasons why he would need one, I could see I was going nowhere fast. So I asked him, “What if you could see what your daughters are doing right now at this very minute? It’s Saturday night at 9:00 p.m., and your three teenage girls are all alone. Wouldn’t it be nice to check in on them to make sure no boys are over the house?” That very moment his demeanor completely changed, and I knew he was ready to listen. So, after another 20 minutes of talking about all the geo-fencing technology, automation, picture or video clips and the most important feature, “the spying-on-your-daughters-via-your-mobile-phone feature,” he actually asked where he could learn more
and whom he should purchase from.

Nice story, but what’s the point, you ask? Believe in the purple cow, baby! Be different with your marketing. If every competitor is advertising or sending direct mail with messages of being in business for over 30 years, best customer support or leading with price, why would you want to scream the same thing? Think about it, how many fathers out there would like to know what their kids are doing when they’re on vacation, having dinner or at the office? Create messages that make someone laugh, chuckle or at least think about your message a little bit longer than the time it takes for them to walk from their mailbox to the closest trash can.

As our wine walk progressed and the wobbling stage started to kick in, I continued to ask our visitors questions to see how they would react. I was only able to learn what I already knew: being different from others gains attention. We asked, “Hey, wouldn’t it be nice to mess with your kids during a horror film by turning on your lights with your mobile phone?” One of the other visitors jumped into our conversation and said he already did that. He scared his daughter’s friends during a sleep over; he even took a screen shot when they jumped up scared as heck (he’s supposed to email it to us — we’ll let you know if he does).

As we’ve talked about in the past columns, we highly suggest for you to come up with an ad that connects with how people are actually using their security systems. Have fun with them — connect! For example, take a direct mail campaign and use two different messages. If you place different tracking numbers and URLs on both, you’ll be able to see which one generates a better response.

Every day we are programmed to tune off advertising but every once in a while we see something that makes us laugh or think just a little bit longer about that product or service. If I asked which company has the talking baby always in front of a computer screen discussing and buying stocks or bonds, you’d know instantly who I was referring to.

 Need more convincing or want some free ideas? Visit our blog, and we’ll provide you with lots of free messaging ideas. We’re just tired of seeing the same message, the same octagon logos that changed their color from blue to red to win an award. Be innovative, be different, be a purple cow theorist! We promise you’ll never look at marketing the same. Until next month!