Yesterday, I addressed a recent inquiry I received from a self-storage manager whose market is becoming increasing competitive (whose isn't?). She had a legitimate concern because her income is based on weekly facility revenue. One solution? Some heavy-handed marketing that'll keep her business on prospects' radar.
The important thing for all operators to understand is marketing doesn't have to be limited to hum-drum tactics such as direct mail or advertising. In fact, I think better results can sometimes be garnered from more unconventional approaches.
Take NASCAR, for example. Probably most of you would be hard pressed to draw a marketing connection between high-speed combustible engines and storage, but there can be one if you make it so. This weekend at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia, Alpharetta Self-Storage will sponsor the Billy Ballew Motorsports Team in the NASCAR 2006 Craftsman Truck Series. Talk about exposure. What a fantastic outside-the-box approach to publicity.
Now this kind of sponsorship opportunity won't necessarily fall in your lap. You need to take a pro-active approach toward your community presence. Seek out local events of note and inquire about banners, t-shirts and other collaterals that can be distributed with your facility's name. It can be anything: a festival, carnival, art show, chamber of commerce mixer... Think about your customers and where they potentially gather. Then make yourself visible. Your relationship with tenants does NOT have to start with storage.
Speaking of NASCAR, Inside Self-Storage magazine recently ran a feature article about a vendor that is also using racing sponsorships to shine in the public eye. It sheds a little more light on the value of special-event marketing. Give it a read.