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The 10 Commandments of Guerilla Marketing: B2B Style

Guerilla marketing tactics and an increased emphasis on public relations are important strategies for cost-conscious marketers in the business markets. But before you begin, make sure you spend your time and dollars most effectively. Start with the 10 Commandments of Guerilla Marketing ...

  1. Know your market. Know who your customers are, how they think, and where they go.
    You can waste a lot of time and money going to the wrong events or advertising in the wrong publications. Understand whom you're selling to - industry, size of company, job function, related equipment, etc. Once you've defined your customer, focus your marketing efforts on reaching those prospects directly or through a related network of contacts.

  2. Keep your name in front of your in-house list.
    Before you stray too far in your marketing program, make sure you're in regular contact with your in-house list of prospects. Your highest conversion to sales will come from this list of people who've already expressed an interest in your product. Send a regular series of electronic or snail mails to the list to keep your name in the forefront of your prospects' minds and to keep the list fresh and up-to-date.

  3. Work with the press.
    Nothing is more credible than a mention in a respected industry publication. Work with editors to get what is essentially free space. Send newsworthy announcements about your company's new products or business deals at least once a month. Note the use of the word "newsworthy" - there's nothing editors hate more than irrelevant or recycled material.

  4. Educate the market.
    Place articles in industry magazines. Start with case histories about customers who have successfully applied new methods to their operations (and just happen to use your products or services!). Develop technology articles and white papers to educate potential customers about your segment of the industry and any special innovations you've created along the way.

  5. Put e-marketing to work for you.
    One of the most effective marketing devices these days is the e-newsletter. Mailed monthly, this marketing tool can generate response rates of up to 40%, if written with the customer in mind. Don't just pitch your products, though. Educate the customer on related technology and other industry issues. Push prospects to your Web site for further information and use special tracking URLs to measure the effectiveness of each issue.

  6. Do the Web right.
    Today's technical professional is under a great amount of stress to do more, faster. To make this happen, they are scouring the Internet for the products and services they need to do their jobs better. As a result, nothing's worse for a sales and marketing program than a Web site that looks like it was put together in your next door neighbor's garage.

    Start by analyzing the 4Cs of good Web site development - Creative, Content, Clarity, and Communications.

    Creative: Does your Web site reflect a professional look and feel? If not, your prospects won't take you seriously.

    Content: Have you filled the site with lots of technical content, both product information and tutorials? Have you created a complete set of pre- and post-sales FAQs? If not, your customers will not be able to get the info they need to make a purchase decision.

    Clarity: Is it easy for the prospect to find the information they need? Can they get to everything within three mouse clicks? If not, they'll go to your competitor.

    Communications - Have you taken advantage of the interactive nature of the Internet or are you just posting text? If not, you've lost an opportunity to more directly engage your prospects.

  7. Get a prime spot on the Web's search engines.
    Banners and text-based advertising on the top search engines can result in a large increase in traffic to your Web site. If you're selling to techies, look at Google, AltaVista, and Yahoo. If you're on a tight budget, employ a Search Engine Optimization service to fine-tune your Web site's ranking in the search results.

  8. Postcards supplement an existing marketing program and are stress-free.
    In the days of the post-anthrax scare, postcards are a safer and lower stress approach to direct mail. Mail postcards with special promotions or contests that will entice your prospect to further explore your Web site or call for additional information on a product. One of our clients had a 30% response to a postcard that featured a crossword puzzle geared specifically to design engineers.

  9. Give talks and presentations at industry association meetings and conferences.
    Virtually all professionals belong to at least one organization that helps them sharpen their technical skills. Attend annual conferences. Respond to Calls for Papers to get on the speaking circuit. Don't forget to work with local branches of large organizations, as well as at the national level.

  10. Network, network, network.
    Often the best way to reach prospects is through other people or organizations that work with them on a regular basis. If you're trying to reach CEOs, consider making friends with bankers, lawyers, and venture capitalists. If you're looking to reach IT managers, buddy up with networking and communications vendors.

Sounds simple enough, right? Actually, the devil is in the details. To develop your knock-out Guerilla Marketing plan for 2002, call +1 508.755.5242.