Guerilla Marketing Lesson 2: Why Do People Call Me?

by : Barrett Niehus

Before we begin, I want you to think about how many times you actually sought out an advertisement. How did you know where to look for it? Why did you choose that one? Whether you know it or not, the number of times you were exposed to the message has a huge impact on you. Also, the message and how it made you feel had a large influence on your response.

On the other side of the table, how do you know how well people are responding to your advertisement? If you are spending your hard earned cash advertising, you should be able to tell exactly what type of response you are getting and be able to track the performance of your ads.

The above are two separate but related topics that need to be evaluated when developing an advertising campaign. And as with all marketing programs, it begins with demographics and your expected return on investment.

Step One: Know your audience. Once again, what is your target audience? For a real estate investor, what type of property and owner situation are you looking for? What are your customer’s hot buttons? Back to the initial question in this article, if you responded to a print ad, you responded to the one that stuck you emotionally and fills a need.

Step Two: Speak to your customer’s needs. Think about this, if you are facing a foreclosure and need to sell your home yesterday, to which ad would you personally respond:

“I buy ugly houses. Fast Closing, Call our 24 hour recording (800) 668-6688"

“Need To Sell Your Home For Cash? Let me help you. If I can’t buy your house I will find someone who will. Foreclosure? Not a problem. Call me right now (949) 858-1877"

If I were in dire straights, I would choose a real person over a 24 hour recording and a local number over an 800 number. Also, I would be more likely to respond to the advertisement that is offering an action (to help) instead of just stating what they do. Finally, I would probably be more likely to respond to the ad that has a call to action “Call me right now" simply because it told me to do so.

What is the moral of this story? Make sure your ads speak to your prospect’s emotions. Always have a call to action in the ad, and always be available to receive the call. If a prospect takes the steps to call you, they are in the mood to deal right then. If you don’t answer the phone, they may or may not leave a message before moving on to the next advertisement.

Step Three: Periodicity: One of the first questions that I asked in this article was how would you know where to look for an ad? The answer is periodicity. If an ad has been run continuously, prospects will know where to look for it when they need it. Rarely will a prospect take action when they are first exposed to your message. However, if it is in front of them on a weekly basis and they need your services, they will immediately know where to look for your info. Run your ads continually. If your placement is correct, you should be making a return on investment from your advertising so keep your message out there.

As a personal example of the necessity of continual advertising, I found a local pizza place through our local Pennysaver. They run the same ad every week. After a couple of months of scanning the periodical for investment opportunities, I ended up ordering pizza from this place. Their food turned out to be great however, I did not write down the number. Their advertising worked, they recruited a customer.

However, the next week I was in the same scenario and was craving their pizza. I flipped opened the Pennysaver looking for their ad so that I could get the number and order dinner. That week they had discontinued placement and their as was not running. Instead of going to the hassle of calling information or opening a the phone book, that night I ended up grabbing a bag of chips and proceeding with my routine of looking for deals in the Pennysaver. They lost a sale simply because they discontinued ad placement and I, like most people, didn’t have the motivation to go searching for their information.

To summarize the message, repeat your advertising enough to make your customers know where to find you. They will call when they are ready.

Step 4: Tracking Response: If you are spending money advertising your services, you should be able to know the exact response per ad you are getting. With that in mind, find a way to track the calls to your specific advertisements. For me I use different telephone numbers for different ads. Also, know the circulation of your advertisement so that you can gauge how well the masses respond to your message. Finally, know what return on investment you are getting for each month’s worth of advertising. More to the point, know how much money in the form of deals or purchases is coming in as a result of your advertising.

In summary, make sure your print advertisements and classified ads speak to your prospects’ emotions. Include a call to action in your ad, and always include a way to track your response. Finally, remember that you must run your advertisements often to grow the response that you need.