Marketing wizard and author Jay Conrad Levinson created a whole new way of looking at marketing in "Guerrilla Marketing." Since its original publication in 1984, the book has sold more than one million copies and Levinson has launched a series of "guerrilla" books and videos. In his most recent book, "Guerrilla Marketing Excellence," Levinson identifies "50 golden rules for small-business success." He picks out a few he believes are most essential in this interview
with Executive Edge.
Q: Which marketing rules do you think people need to take more seriously?
A: One is what I call the "parable of patience" or "what the stone cutter knows." It reminds people to be farsighted, to have a plan and stick with it. Just like a sculptor working on a rough piece
of rock, marketing may not produce anything pretty in short term, but if you keep chipping away, your persistence will pay off. Do not seek or expect instant gratification.
Q: What advice can you offer people who are having to do more with less?
A: The key to marketing economically is not in saving money but in making every investment pay off handsomely. Determine the cost-effectiveness of your marketing campaigns by results, not by
Q: But many companies today simply have less to spend on marketing. Are there ways to get more bank for the buck?
A: Definitely. Out of the hundred or so most effective marketing tools, half are free. These include product demonstrations and samples, informative seminars, articles in which you're identified as the expert. Then there's the free gift, advertising special or, in more common parlance, bribe. Let people know that they'll receive a free gift (and it can be a very inexpensive gift), if they request product information. Make your first offer easy to say yes to. This is the "soft step" rule: It is easier to get someone to take the hard step of buying, if they first take the soft step of requesting more data. Another way to stretch your marketing dollars is to spend more time with your current customers. It costs five times more to reach and convert pro-spects into customers than to serve those you already have.