Remember an effective marketing piece can be an unusual business card or postcard mailing, a flier, or an inexpensive promo item. We once had a huge field of weeds behind our facility that we plowed and planted with wildflowers. We ordered seed by the pound and wound up with much more than we needed. So many people raved about the flowers that the next spring, we purchased some tiny manila envelopes, filled them with seeds, and added a label with our facility information. Our total cost was about 30 cents per packet. The seeds were a hit with the community and helped our image. We strategically targeted our market, and the wildflowers beautified the area.
Finding What Works
Not all marketing promos will work for your particular self-storage audience. The point is to find what works for your site, clientele and budget. That might mean a terrific ice-scraper in cold-weather climates or perhaps a reusable green shopping bag for eco-friendly communities. A smart approach is to align your marketing decisions with your community’s focus or identity.
Self-storage facilities that follow this type of strategy achieve the AMA’s marketing concept: They effectively communicate their offerings, and their company name lingers in a customer's mind when he needs storage.
Not every idea will be successful. In trying various approaches, we've had our share of flubs. Start small and see what works for your faciilty. Once you find an item or tactic that resonates with people, you’ll know you’re onto something good, and then simply let the marketing piece do the work for you.
Gina Six Kudo is the general manager of Cochrane Road Self Storage in Morgan Hill, Calif. She has more than 15 years of self-storage experience and a strong customer-service and sales background. She is also a moderator for Self-Storage Talk, the industry’s largest online forum and community.