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The ISS Blog provides a series of insightful, industry-relevant posts to help readers keep abreast of the latest trends in the marketplace as well as premium content and educational offerings. Read the thoughts of the ISS content team and other industry experts on issues related to self-storage challenges, news, operation, development, marketing and much more.

Teri L. Lanza,
Vice President

Tony Jones,
Contributing Editor/Store Manager

Amy Campbell,

The Hunt for Self-Storage Marketing Opportunities

By Amy Campbell Comments

A few months ago, we had a very unexpected and strange storm in the Valley of the Sun. While we occasionally receive heavy rains and winds in Phoenix, this was something else. Not only was the wind of a stronger magnitude than we’re simply accustomed to, we also had a deluge of hail. These weren’t your average bits of ice raining down either. The hail was golf-ball-sized and about as hard. It lasted less than 10 minutes, but it was remarkable enough that Phoenix residents are still talking about it.

I was standing in a Verizon store when the sudden thumping drew everyone’s attention to the large glass window at the front of the store. Thirty or so people stood in awe as we watched chucks of ice hit the ground and roll across the parking lot. I’m an Arizona native. We don’t get a whole lot of usual weather, so when we do it makes news.

My mom’s company, The Mahoney Group, a Phoenix-based insurance company specializing in commercial insurance, was flooded the following week with calls. Buildings, vehicles and residences across the Valley were damaged that day.

While upsetting for many, it was a golden marketing opportunity for others. Within a week, car dealerships were running 30-seconds spots about “hail-damaged” inventory and “low, low prices.” Soon after, roofing companies and remodelers jumped on the bandwagon. I have received no less than 20 fliers, postcards and even a few knocks on the door from roofing companies offering to check my home’s roof for hail damage. And many in my neighborhood apparently had enough damage to warrant new roofs judging by the number of roofing companies hard at work in my neighborhood. It seems there’s a sign on every other lawn marketing one company or another. (And, yes, I will be making a phone call to a roofing company also!).

These companies saw a marketing opportunity and they took it. The key was figuring out what services or products they could offer to help the people affected. While I’m not suggesting your marketing should hinge on the latest weather storm or other tragic event, these things do happen and it’s an opportunity for you to step in and help your community.

But you don’t have to wait for a hail storm, flood or other tragedy to capital on what’s going on in your community. A year ago, ISS launched a marketing contest asking self-storage professionals to share their best marketing campaigns. We were flooded with innovative marketing strategies, many of which capitalized on a community event, season (Toys For Tots and canned-food drive), grand opening or other theme. Read more here.

The members of Self-Storage Talk are always talking about marketing. Some are experimenting with online and social-marketing campaigns, while others are sticking to tried-and-true campaigns such as direct mail and special offers. Join the discussion now and see what others are doing.

Finally, the best place to get marketing ideas is the Inside Self-Storage World Expo. This year’s Vegas event, March 14-16 at the Paris Hotel and Resort, will include a number of marketing seminars led by experts in the field. And because online marketing has become such a huge presence in the industry, we’ve added a special workshop on the topic. Eric Shanfelt of eMedia Strategist will talk about claiming your business listing in Google, Yahoo and Bing, explain data providers, and show you how to get your facility listed higher in the search engines. Learn about this workshop and review the full agenda here. Take advantage of our early-bird discount and join us. 


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