Should Independent Insurance Agents Use Guerrilla Marketing Techniques?
This is one of those questions that begs for an immediate response. In short, the answer is "Of course." It's one of the chief tactics that helped us win numerous battles in the American Revolution. Why not use it as a marketing technique?
Same Tactic - Different Battle - Different Application
A very broad definition of guerrilla marketing is "An unconventional way of performing marketing activities on a very low budget." The effectiveness of guerilla warfare is in the element of surprise. But the element of surprise is the result of the guerilla tactic. The actual tactic is not the same as an ambush. It is showing up in unexpected places. It is important to understand the difference because the primary purpose of an independent insurance agency's marketing plan is to attract clients, not to ambush them. Simply put, guerrilla marketing is attracting clients by getting their attention.
Subtle, But not Subliminal
The element of surprise is most effectively applied subtly, just short of subliminally. Guerrilla marketing is not about embedding a message in graphic content so that it leaves an unconscious impression on the viewer's mind. It's about putting your agency name, brand, theme or logo in places potential customers might frequent. The message should be clear enough to create a positive impression, but not so overwhelming that it detracts from its surroundings. Like guerrilla warfare, the best guerrilla marketing, from a professional perspective, blends in unobtrusively, yet may be noticed and, hopefully, distinctly remembered.
Creatively Make an Impression
Creativity is another interesting concept. It doesn't have to mean something new. It can simply mean doing something your agency has never done before.
Take coffee mugs, for example. Lots of agencies order promotional coffee mugs. Some sit on desks in the agency, some get handed out, but most typically sit in the original boxes in the supply room. A guerrilla marketing tactic would be to donate a case to some local "mom and pop" restaurants, especially if they are already clients. Restaurants are continually replacing broken coffee mugs. Why not give them your promotional mugs. Your agency shows up unexpectedly for diners and you save the owners a bit of money.
Capture Their Attention. Let Them Capture Your Message.
True story: An agency employee complained because their promotional pens always seemed to disappear. Think about it.
Why not take one of your promotional mugs, fill it with promotional pens and ask clients and other businesses to set it near their checkout stations? The pens will get used - and some will get "stolen." Guerrilla marketing at its best.
Get Them Thinking - Get Them Talking
Here's one more thought provoker. Refrigerator magnets will stick to things other than refrigerators. They might stick to metal things like doors or cash registers, but then, they might also get "stolen." Got decals? Ask friendly businesses (hopefully that is all of them) if you can affix one to their doors near the handles, right where all eyes look before opening the door.
You get the idea. These are just a few examples. Guerrilla marketing takes just a little more creativity. It won't instantly turn strangers into customers, but it will keep your agency name in front of them at times they least expect it. Some may eventually become your clients because your name will come to mind when they have a need.