A piece by ean Work is the President of O.C. Search Consulting, Inc. as well as the blog editor of blog.kissmetrics.com
This morning I went to Target to pick up an expandable shoe rack. On my way out of the store there was a brand new Ford Mustang parked in the parking lot. It still had the information paper on the passenger side window, listing the fuel economy, engine size, and other features. Someone from Huntington Beach Ford had parked it in the lot of Target to attract eyeballs that would not normally stop by the dealership.
There are a lot of valuable marketing lessons to be learned from this guerrilla marketing tactic.
1. Casting a wider net for free.
In this case, the dealer knows that not everyone driving down the street is going to come by the dealership. By putting a brand new car in a high traffic shopping center helps attract more eyeballs to their inventory and gives more exposure to their dealership. And the best part is, parking the car in the shopping center is free! It’s like having a unique billboard in front of thousands of people that doesn’t cost a cent.
2. Things that seem out a place are great attention grabbers.
The first thing that caught my attention was that this car was out of place. Subconsciously I knew that this car was suppose to be on the dealer’s lot and not in a shopping center parking lot. This caused me to focus in on this out of place object, burning an image of this out of place car into my brain. And when something makes you do a double look, you know they got you.
3. Always increase the number of touches.
This is an often overlooked and really important point. It takes 17 touches before a potential customer actually makes the decision to do business with you*. A touch is any thing that makes the customer aware of your business. The first touch may be a newspaper ad, the second touch may be that they find your website, the third touch may be someone talking about your business to them, the fifth touch could be the customer seeing you ad one more time. As more and more touches interact with your potential customers, the more likely they are going to to do business with you. The Ford Mustang in the shopping center parking lot is just another touch. (Psssst! Some touches are more effective than others.)
*How do I know this? I heard it at marketing training class a few years ago. Sorry I don’t have a good scientific reference, but I believe it
4. When times are tough get creative.
The overall moral of this story is that the Ford Dealership is getting creative. Everyone knows that American car dealerships are hurting right now. In order to get those cars moving off the lot it’s going to take more than the normal marketing approach to stay afloat. Always invest in creativity. Arm your creative resistance force with the freedom to try different marketing approaches. It’s fun and you will learn a lot about your business and your customers. Creative marketing tends to have the highest return on investment if done correctly.