Last week, marketers everywhere mourned the loss of Jay Conrad Levinson. For those of you who are not familiar with his work, Jay’s book Guerilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business is a marketing classic and a must read for anyone in the promotion and communication field. Jay built a marketing training empire with over 100 tiles specific to various industries.
I first read his book early in my marketing career and can’t say enough how influential this book has been. One of the BIG lessons I learned from Jay is that marketing is less about budgets and more about attitude. Marketing is “the truth made fascinating” and it’s our job as marketers to keep focused on the customer and how we communicate the benefits we offer to those most inclined to do business with us.
His book is chock full of hundreds of examples how the “small guy” can beat the big guys with hustle, moxie and a bit of creativity. Ideas as simple as leveraging both sides of a business card, the way you answer your phone or your hours of operations.
My favorite example is how an auto mechanic offered free fresh donuts for his customers. Here we have donuts as a “strategic marketing weapon”. What’s not to like about donuts?
Now, one donut is not going to keep a customer…but a donut, combined with a clean waiting room, well groomed service men, a clear checklist of services rendered, a reminder call for your next appointment and a discount for referrals might. Jay’s approach is not about gimmicks but constantly honing your strategy tracking what works and strategically adding new weapons to your arsenal. Over time you can build a referral business that you can be proud of.
In the church world we are often faced with the same limitations as small business…large desires, few hours and limited budgets. If you’ve never read Guerilla Marketing now is a great chance. If you have, dust off a copy and get re-inspired.