The following excerpts are taken from Guerrilla Marketing; Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits From Your Small Business by Jay Conrad Levinson.

Developing Your Creative Strategy

Almost any marketing person worth his or her salt will tell you that marketing is not creative unless it sells the offering. You can be fairly certain that you will have creative marketing if you first devise a creative strategy. Such a strategy is similar to a marketing plan but is limited to marketing materials only–and directed solely at their content. If you think that there’s a simple formula for establishing such a strategy, you’re absolutely right. Here, in the simplest terms possible, is a typical three-sentence guerilla creative strategy covering the purpose of the creative message, the benefits to be stressed to accomplish the purpose, and the personality of the brand.

The purpose of a Kid-a-Licious breakfast cereal marketing will be to convince our target audience—mothers of children twelve years of age and younger—that Kid-a-Licious breakfast cereal is the most nutritious and healthful boxed cereal on the market. This will be accomplished by listing the vitamins and minerals in each serving of the cereal. The mood and tone of the advertising will be upbeat, natural, honest, and warm.

You don’t have to know how to write or draw to be creative. All you have to do is supply the creative idea. That’s the ticket right there: the idea. You can always hire someone to write or draw for you, but it’s not easy to hire someone to be creative about your business for you. That task should fall to you. And you should revel in it. Let’s look at a few examples of creativity in action.

  • A CPA wanted to create more business, so he wrote a tax newsletter and sent it every three months, free of charge, to a long list of prospects. By doing so, he established himself as an authority and dramatically improved his business. This isn’t an earthshaking act of creativity, but it was an extremely successful plan.
  • A waterbed retail store wanted to cast off its counterculture identity, so it relocated to an elegant shopping center, required its staff to dress impeccably, and hired a man with a strong, intelligent voice to serve as the announcer on its radio commercials. The results were excellent.
  • A jeweler wanted to attract attention to his business during the holiday season, so he invented outlandishly expensive gift ideas, such as a Frisbee with a diamond in the center. Price: $5,000. Another was a miniature hourglass that used real diamonds instead of sand. Price $10,000. Another was a jewel-encrusted backgammon set with a price tag of $50,000. The jeweler rarely sold such items, but he attracted national publicity, and his holiday sales soared.
  • An attorney wanted to establish warm relationships with his clients, so he made it a point to walk with them from his office to the elevator, take the elevator twenty-three stories down to the lobby with them, then walk with his clients to their car or the public transportation that would take them to their next destination.
Suggested Questions For A Customer Survey

We are establishing an automotive service that makes “house calls.” To help us serve you most effectively, please provide the following information:

  • What type of car do you drive?
  • What year is it?
  • What model?
  • How long have you owned it?
  • Who usually performs mechanical services for your car?
  • Would you want these services to be performed where you live?
  • List the three main reasons you would want “house calls” made to service your car.
  • Would you pay more to have “house calls” for your car?
  • What is your sex?
  • Your age?
  • Your household income?
  • What newspapers do you read?
  • What radio stations do you listen to?
  • What TV shows do you watch?
  • Which magazines do you read?
  • What type of work do you do?
  • Do you have a fax machine?
  • What is your fax number?
  • Are you online?
  • What is your e-mail address?
  • Do you have a Web site?
  • What is your Web address?
  • Would you purchase products as well as service from a traveling automotive service?
  • Who do you consider to be our competition?
  • Where would you expect us to advertise?
  • Do you have any other comments?

When you analyze the completed questionnaires, you’ll learn specifics about your prospects, how best to reach them through the media, how to appeal to them, and what kinds of cars they drive. You can analyze the questionnaires by grouping the responses to each question. You can learn who your competition is by learning who usually performs mechanical services for your prospects. You can determine what it is you offer that is most enticing to your customers—again helping you choose the proper emphasis for your advertising.

You should have an introductory paragraph atop your questionnaire, which could read:
We’re trying to learn as much as possible from motorists in the community so that we can offer them the best possible service. We apologize for asking you so many questions in this questionnaire, but we’re doing it so that you can benefit in the long run. We promise that your answers will remain anonymous (note that we are not asking for your name). And we also promise that we’ll use the information to help you enjoy better automotive service.

Most people will react to one or more of the following basic needs (known as “appeals” in advertising lingo):

  • Achievement
  • Ambition
  • Comfort
  • Convenience
  • Conformity
  • Friendship
  • Health and well-being
  • Independence
  • Love
  • Power
  • Pride of ownership
  • Profit
  • Savings or economy
  • Saving time
  • Security
  • Self-improvement
  • Social approval (status)
  • Style
Tips For Writing Personal Letters To Your Customers


  • Keep your letter to one page.
  • Make your paragraphs short—five or six lines each.
  • Indent your paragraphs.
  • Do not overuse underlining, capital letter, or writing in margins.
  • Do everything you can to keep the letter from looking like a printed piece.
  • Sign your letter in ink that is a different color than the type.
  • Include a PS It should contain your most important point with a sense of urgency.
  • Studies reveal that when people receive personal, and even printed, letters, they read the salutation first and the PS next. Therefore, your PS should include your most attractive benefit, your invitation to action, or anything that inspires a feeling of urgency. There is an art to writing a PS I recommend that your personal letters–but not your e-mail– include a handwritten PS message, because it proves beyond doubt that you have created a one-of-a-kind letter that wasn’t sent to thousands of people.
The Most Persuasive Words In The English Language


Discovery, guarantee, love, new, results, save, easy, health, money, proven, safety, you, announcing, fast, how, power, secrets, why, benefits, free, now, sale, solution, yes

To Increase The Number Of Inquires You Receive Through Newspaper Advertising


  • Mention your offer in your headline.
  • Restate your offer in a subhead.
  • Emphasize the word “free” and repeat it when possible.
  • Say something to add urgency to your offer. It can be a limited-time offer. It can be a limited-quantities offer. Get those sales now.
  • Run a picture of your product or service in action.
  • Include testimonials when applicable.
  • Do something to differentiate yourself from others who advertise in the newspaper. That means all others — not only your direct competitors.
  • Put a border around your ad if it’s a small ad. Make the border unique.
  • Be sure that your ad contains a word or phrase set in huge type. Even a small ad can “act” big if you do so.
  • Always include your address, specific location, phone number, e-mail address, and Web site address. Make it easy for readers to find you or talk with you.
  • Create a visual look that you can maintain every time you advertise. This clarifies your identity and increases consumer familiarity.
  • Experiment with different ad sizes, shapes, days on which you run the ad, and newspaper sections.
  • Consider free-standing inserts in your newspaper. These are increasingly popular and may be less expensive than you imagine.
  • Try adding a color to your ad. Red, blue, and brown work well. You can’t do this with tiny ads, but it may be worth trying with a large ad.
  • Test several types of ads and offers in different publications until you have the optimum ad, offer, and ad size. Then run the ad with confidence. It’s very unusual to get everything right the first time.
  • Be careful with new newspapers. Wait until they prove themselves. But once they do prove themselves, think of yourself as married to the newspaper—you’re in it for the long haul.
  • Do everything in your power to get your ad placed in the front section of the paper on a right-hand page above the fold. Merely asking isn’t enough. You may have to pay personal visits. Be a squeaky wheel.
  • Don’t be afraid of using lengthy copy. Although lengthy copy is best suited for magazines, many successful newspaper advertisers use it.
  • Run your ad in the financial pages if you have a business offer, in the sports pages if you have a male-oriented offer, in the food pages for food products. The astrology page usually gets the best readership. In general, the best location for ads is the main news section, as far forward as possible.
  • Study the ads run by your competitors. Study their offers. Make yours more cogent, concise, sweeter, different, better.
  • Keep detailed records of the results of your ads. If you don’t keep tract of your experiments, you won’t learn anything.
  • Be sure that your ad is in character with your intended market, product or service, and the newspaper in which you advertise.
  • Use short words, short sentences, and short paragraphs.
  • If you distribute a coupon, make sure that your address appears on the coupon and also next to the coupon so that if the coupon gets clipped, your name and address still appear.
  • Use photos or illustrations that reproduce faithfully in newspaper.
  • Always put the name of your company somewhere at the bottom of your ad. Don’t expect people to get the name from the copy, the headline, the picture of the product, or the picture of the storefront. And it’s a good idea to put your name in your headline. At least put it in the subhead.
  • Include your Web site address at the top of your ad. Place it prominently. Invite people to visit you there.
  • Say something timely in your ad. Remember, people read papers for news. So your message should tie in with the news when it can.
  • Ask all your customers where they heard about you. If they don’t mention the newspaper, ask them directly, “Did you see our newspaper ad?” Customer feedback is invaluable.
  • Aim your ad to people who are in the market for your offering right now.
  • If you don’t plan to use newspapers to support your other marketing efforts, use them weekly or stay away from them altogether. Occasional use doesn’t cut it.
Other Advertising Tips


  • Save money by running ads three weeks out of every four.
  • Concentrate your spots during a few days of the week, such as Wednesday through Sunday.
  • Try to run radio advertising during afternoon drive time, when people are heading home. They’re in more of a buying mood than in the morning, when work is on their minds.
  • When listening to the radio commercials you’ve produced, listen to them on a car-radio-type speaker, not on a fancy high-fidelity speaker like the ones production studios use. Many an advertiser, dazzled after hearing his or her commercial on an expensive speaker system, has become depressed when hearing what the commercials sound like on a typical car stereo system.
  • Consider radio rate cards to be pure fiction They are highly negotiable.
  • Study the audiences of all the radio stations in your marketing area. Then match your typical prospect with the appropriate stations. It’s not difficult.
  • If you want to reach teenagers, advertise on the radio, not in the newspaper.
  • Mention your Web site in your radio commercial. You have only a minute or less to convince listeners to buy from you on the radio, but you have unlimited time online.
Tips For Your Web Site


  • An attention-grabbing headline.
  • User-friendly navigation.
  • Great sales copy.
  • A clear call to action.
  • Graphics with a purpose.
  • A strong opt-in offer.
  • Testimonials.
  • An “About Us” page.
  • A FAQ page
  • Your contact information.

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