When Robyn Hanna talked about some inexpensive or even cheap marketing ideas she referenced a term that brought to mind big, hairy apes. But it quickly became clear that she was talking about guerilla, not gorilla, marketing tactics.
While marketing encompasses any message from any person or thing related to your business (i.e. sales people are marketing tools as much as your printed brochures or advertisements), what makes guerilla marketing different is an unconventional system of promotions that rely on time, energy and imagination, Hanna said. The campaigns are often unexpected and unconventional, which is why it is called guerilla marketing.
The one piece of advice she received from high-ranking marketing executive was to never spend money on marketing. While this seems to go against the grain, she (and the attendees in the session) offered many ideas for low-cost programs that saw good results. The key to all marketing campaigns in the new millennium is to develop and maintain relationships, rather than focusing solely on sales, she added.
One of the low cost ideas discussed during the session was the colored envelope promotion. Bakers place a prize, from something as small as a free cupcake or coffee to something as big as an iPad. The bakery then hands an envelope to customers (either the ones who spent a certain amount or regular customers or anyone who walked in door), and instructs the customer to come back during a slow period to open the envelope. When the customers return the bakery during the specified time, the bakery staff opens the envelope after the customer has made an additional purchase. That's when customers find out their prize. A method such as this can be relatively low cost to bakeries but help ensure that you get an additional two visits to your bakery.
It is important to remember that it costs more money to get a customer than to retain a customer you already have, Hanna said, so you have to make sure you have follow up with customers after making the sale. In her business, she has wedding couples fill out an order form that also asks for their birthdays. This way the bakery can send a coupon or some type of communication to the couple when their birthdays roll around to hopefully gain more sales and build a relationship with them. It's all about following up, she stressed.