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Macabre Marketing

Amy Campbell

October 16, 2008

2 Min Read
Macabre Marketing

It isn't always possible to be inspired by your work, particularly if your job responsibilities include tasks with which you simply aren't comfortable. Consider, for example, the many hats a self-storage manager must wear: customer-service representative, salesperson, accounts manager, marketing manager, handiperson, community-relations specialist... Unless you're truly a jack-of-all-trades, at least one or two of those roles are bound to cause you anxiety and even dread.

Which is why it's so important to seize every small opportunity for inspiration and creativity, whenever you can. There are those of you who really enjoy dealing one-on-one with customers, but the public-relations aspects of storage management, such as marketing and facility promotions, leave you squirming in your seat. Whether it's because you aren't trained to execute these duties or just genuinely dislike them, they're still part of your job palette. Perhaps an inventive approach can ease your pain.

Holidays make great seeds for ingenuity, and there are managers who are making the most of the upcoming Halloween celebration in terms of their marketing and consumer relations. I've made no secret of the fact that it's my personal favorite, so I'm particularly amused by some of the approaches that have been shared with us. For example, Beth Schroeder of A Place for Space in Rockford, Ill., got a little witchy with her self-storage kiosk:

Isn't it amazing what you can do with some trash bags, steel wool, construction paper and resourcefulness? After Beth and her girlfriends masterminded this project, her husband attempted to out-do them with his own artistic flair:

Beth says, "Keeping it fresh for our tenants makes the kiosk fun to use. They giggle when we tell them they have to lift the witch's skirt to get a lock out." What a great way to peak customers' interest and make the storage experience more inviting. This isn't marketing per se, but it demonstrates character and a fun-loving spirit, which encourages tenants to give you those oh-so-precious, word-of-mouth referrals.

Thank you, Beth, for sharing this fantasticly spooky scheme! As a closing note and thought for the day, I want to divulge the parting comment from your e-mail: "If your employees won't dress for Halloween, buy a kiosk ... They do whatever you tell them!" So true! Unlike us humans who sometimes require encouragement, a kiosk is always 100 percent comfortable in its role. It can be scary to consider the possibility of replacing storage managers with machines; but then the blending of humanity and science can also be a beautiful thing ...

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Editor, Inside Self Storage

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