Covering marketing in self-storage is by far my favorite part of writing about the industry. The nature of the businesspeople and companies needing extra space for all of their itemslends itself to creative, humorous and eye-catching advertising. (The number of puns involving "stuff" has no bounds!) Of course, there was a time when the demand for self-storage was so high that it didn't matter what the billboards and posters said; the consumers were still coming in droves. In today's market, though, just having a facility in a good location at a reasonable price isn't enough. Increased competition means you must get customers' attention, and creative advertising is one of the most obvious ways to do it.
Self-Storage Talk, the industry's largest online community, is currently hosting a discussion thread where industry pros are sharing some of the best self-storage marketing pieces they've seen or created. These include billboards, direct mail, print-media ads, online ads, marquee messages and many other media. Of course, New York's Manhattan Mini Storage, the operator that leads the pack in shocking advertising, was one of the first to be called out.
To post and share your best stuff, visit the thread, "Who's Got Cool Ads/Billboards/Marquee Pics to Share?" When posting a reply, click on the paperclip button in the posting window to attach an image from your computer. You can also share a Web image by clicking on the button that resembles a mountain with a setting sun and entering the image's URL. The best submissions will be included in an upcoming slide show on the Inside Self-Storage website.
However, you must be a registered member to read the thread or post an image. But don't worry: Registration is free and can be done by visiting www.selfstoragetalk.com and clicking "register." Even with more than 5,100 members on the rolls, there is always room for more.