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On-The-Spot Marketing

January 2, 2007

5 Min Read
On-The-Spot Marketing

When we think of marketing, usually its Yellow Pages, newspaper ads and neighborhood fliers that come to mind. But we also we have great opportunities for marketing right under our noses.

Frequently, we neglect to use our own facility space to reach customers already using our services or visiting to determine if this is the right location to store their valuables. Dont be a space-out. Check out the tips below to maximize marketing on the spot.

Windows

Use office windows to promote specials with professionally prepared banners and signage. Make sure to move these to a new location about every 30 days to give them new life and a fresh appearance at the site.

Also, check their condition: An old, faded or torn banner or flag is ineffective and gives the impression you dont care. Fresh, new, bright and clean is the image you are going for. If the marketing tools dont reflect this, you may do more harm than good.

Elevators

Why not hang marketing materials in your elevators? Hotels do it, resorts do it, and we should too. Take advantage of this captive audience by promoting items tenants need. A plastic sign holder in the right place can be an effective way to prompt people to think about your retail ancillary items or a referral program. When the holidays are coming, for example, you might post a sign that states: Get your holiday shipping items here. We sell boxes, tape and packing supplies.

Also promote insurance sales: Are you covered? Check with the manager about insurance for your stored items. Or try, Do you know about our referral program?

Golf Cart

How about a plastic sign on the golf cart that shows the type of locks you sell? Get people thinking about a lock purchase before they even get back to the office. Is your logo on the cart? Most people visit several facilities before making a decision; make sure they remember theyre at yours!

Finally, check the cleanliness of the golf cart. Is it tenant transport or a maintenance monster? If its the latter, youre sending the wrong message. Keep it clean and ready to impress prospects.

Grassy Areas

Roadside or temporary signs dont need to be only near the road. Do you have an auction or public sale coming up? Post a sign directly on the property to increase the number of bidders at the upcoming sale. This may help increase the sale dollars recovered while solidify in tenants mind that you are serious about your collections.

Office Entrance

Inspect your entryway and note aesthetic changes to make or opportunities you might bank on. Is it cluttered or clean? Do you have information or business cards readily available for people to take when youre closed? If they can pick up your brochure, it greatly increases the chances theyll remember to come back.

Also, consider leaving a notepad and pen for people to fill out a contact me form and slip it through the drop slot for your follow-up. Create a pad with blanks for name, address, phone, storage timeframe, what will be stored and a good time to contact the inquirer. This shows youre eager to provide excellent customer service.

Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is marketing too. Its been proven that homebuyers decide within eight seconds of looking at a house theyre not going to buy it. Dont you think the same might be true in storage?

If prospective tenants pull up and the property doesnt look appealing, they might just pull out before even coming into the office. Dont scare away prospects. Paint, plant flowers, do whatever it takes to make your site attractive. And if youre not sure, contact a consultant or landscaper.

Facility Signage

Look at your gate and facility signs. Are the messages positive and encouraging, or negative and depressing? Replace signs that have the word no too many times with friendly welcoming signs.

For example, a sign that reads This is a nonsmoking facility is much friendlier than No Smoking. It still gets the point across. As a friend used to say, Say what you mean and mean what you say but dont say it mean! You can convey the message without creating a negative reflection of your brand.

Mailers

Purchase a mailing list or use your tenant list to create and send mailers to people within your target area. A simple postcard or mailed brochure reminds people of your services. This is a fast, easy and effective way to increase your tenant base.

The Phone

Customer service and marketing often go hand-in-hand. Pick up the phone and call tenants occasionally when you get their mailed checks and thank them for their business. Use the call to remind them of your referral program. Leave a friendly thank you on voice mail if you cant reach them. If you dont have a referral program, ask for a referral anyway. Youre providing them a clean, convenient, nice solution with good customer service. Thats all they need to recommend you to others.

Business - Owner Outreach

Are you a member of your local chamber of commerce? Use the member directory and call business owners to introduce yourself. Let them know you reached them through the chamber. Find out about more about their businesses and offer storage as a solution to space-constraint problems.

Small, local retailers may have excess inventory from the holidays until they can clearance it, send it back or donate it and get it off the books. Additionally, Valentines Day, Easter and other holidays roll around quickly. Frequently, retailers will get discounts on bulk amounts of inventory for these holidays beforehand, but they hesitate to buy because they lack space to hold all the goods. Providing a storage solution that shows them how to sell more and make more could win you a new long-term tenant. Let them know youre ready to help.

And dont overlook records storage. Many local businesses need to store records; often, theyll start at the beginning of the year packing away last years files to clear room for the newly created ones. You dont have to be a fully dedicated records-storage center to earn their business by calling and offering boxes, packing supplies and storage.

Look around your site for potential marketing space. Granted you dont want to gunk up the place with ad overkill, but a few well-placed ideas will turn you into an on-the-spot marketing aficionado. 

Linnea Appleby is the president of PDQ Management Solutions Inc. Based in Sarasota, Fla., the company provides full-service storage facility management, consulting, new facility start-up services, auditing, management training and more. For more information, call 941.377.3151; wvisit www.pdqmanagementsolutions.com

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