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Self-Storage Marketing Lessons From AOL and Coca-Cola

Derek M. Naylor Comments
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Hopefully you’re beginning to see the power of integration marketing. If you are, you’re certainly wondering how to do this in your self-storage business. That’s what I’m here for.

Ask yourself this: “What businesses in my market are selling a product or service to local residents that will prompt or expose the need for self-storage?” Let me save you a few brain cells by offering the following suggestions:

  • Fire and flood restoration companies
  • Movers
  • Realtors
  • Remodeling contractors
  • Boat and RV dealers
  • Car dealerships

Now, I realize this industry is well aware that forming alliances with companies in these industries is fruitful. But, integration marketing takes that proven principle to the next level. Rather than taking them a bag of candy and a stack of brochures, you should integrate with a fundamental process these businesses must go through to complete their jobs.

Take the fire and flood restoration company, for example. Fortunately, I’ve never had a home damaged by flood or fire, but I have worked with them for an integration marketing program. Thus, I know their process includes an assessment of damage before the restoration work begins, along with an estimate and plan for the job. Usually this includes advising the homeowner he’ll need storage for the belongings he’d like to keep.

If you have an alliance with this company, you might get a referral. But that’s it. If you’ve integrated with this company, the conversation with the homeowner should go something like this:

“Well, Sue and John, we’re sorry this happened to your home. But we’re confident we’ll be able to fix the damage and restore your home to almost-new. In the meantime, you’re going to need storage for your belongings because this process is dusty and we need to replace the sheet rock and carpet.

“We’ve arranged VIP treatment for you at XYZ Storage. Based on what I see you’ll need to store, I recommend a 10-by-20 space. I’ve marked that on this lease for you. Take this down to XYZ facility, right next to Bill’s Barbeque on Main Street. The owners will show you the right size unit and, should you approve, they’ll take your credit card for payment.”

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