Guerrilla Marketing - What are you doing . . .

expat

New member
May 1, 2012
430
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Ireland
If you're like me you want to grow your business but you are small and don't have much money to splash around on marketing nor much time for promotions. But we've got to do it, so what are you doing?

We use Facebook and Twitter but don't really feel we get much money in our pocket for the effort. I would say that, for us, Twitter is the better of the two. I know that other's on Twitter tweet about our coffee and I've seen my webstore sales increase and I'm thinking some of those folks are buying it off the shelf. One tweeter hooked me up with a wine store that sells hampers full of wine, chocolate, etc., during the holidays and they are buying 300 or so bags from me so there is a concrete link to tweeting and sales.

One thing I do is to blog. I wish I could do it more often but TIME is always a problem. And writing something interesting that people want to read. But when I write a blog I can tweet about it and put it on my FB page. Web traffic goes up. My Google ranking goes up. When I first started my webiste was on about page four or five (and thankfully here in Ireland there isn't as much competition in as in the US, where I'd be on about page 100 as a start-up). Now I'm on page one. Sometimes at the very top depending on the search term. So I'd recommend that as something that takes up time but no out of pocket expense. Feel free to link to my blog posts if you want.

We ran a couple of naming contests -- name our new coffee and win a kilo free -- and didn't get much response. We promoted it on FB and Twitter. Ho-hum.

We're starting an exclusive coffee Coffee Club. We mailed to our list -- which right now is just the names of people that have already bought coffee form our webstore and got very good response. So definitely work on building your list.

Now we've started putting notes in our coffee bags promoting our club. We just put the new bags on the shelf on Tuesday so we'll see what kind of response we get as people start buying the coffee. For 1,000 notes it cost us about $15. It could have cost us just $10 if I didn't print the notes on such nice paper. The paper was $9. Then we bought 1,000 french fry bags. We put the notes in the FF bags, which are grease proof, so that the coffee won't transfer oil to the note and stain it.

Ireland has a lot of newspapers. So I'm starting to send out Press Releases. Time consuming the first time around as I'm calling all the papers to figure out who to talk to. I just don't want to send them an unsolicited PR. So the first PR announces the club. Then our 2nd anniversary is coming up, that would merit a PR. The fact that we're Americans in Ireland running a coffee business would also merit a PR. We're donating a bunch of coffee to the Royal Naval Lifeboat group and that too should be worth a PR -- Lifeboat Volunteers Drink Ireland's Best Coffee -- I can see it now!

Finally when we get in a coffee shop we try and put up a Red Rooster Coffee served here sign. The sign looks like the label on our bag so the tie in for the buyer in the retail store is obvious.

So, that's what I'm doing. What about you? What guerrilla marketing are you doing that you are finding that works? (BTW I thought Eldub using chalk signs on the sidewalk was inspired. How simple. And it worked!)
 

John P

New member
Jan 5, 2007
1,045
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Salt Lake City
Everything is marketing, but for the small coffee shop, it's more about proper internal marketing than external marketing. It takes invested time. Create a usable website, Blog, and make use of Twitter and Facebook to develop a presence, which you will do much faster than the old print media platforms. These are the things we have done post print media to grow and maintain our presence.

We have not done any print media for about five years. After that time, our reputation was sound both locally and nationally. So our focus is on internal marketing. It has been from day one, but it's really about coordinating everything so that your philosophy shines through. Design, type of ceramic used, menu -- how it's printed and in what format, size and type of drinks offered, color of your space, ambiance (music), lighting, style of tables and chairs, equipment you use, methods you use, etc. All of these things say who you are collectively and either encourage, excite, and enamor or if done wrong they will confuse, and create a disconnect between what you say and what you do... and/or what the customer experiences. Great marketing is about associating your place of business with a single concept, the rest is just details.

For us, establishing a foundation of excellence has been the best marketing. We sell whole bean at a local specialty market, have been for about five years. This helped us to create a wider presence in our community. About a year ago, we took over the coffee program for Forage restaurant, headed by Viet Pham (for those who have watched Iron Chef, Food Network Star, or Extreme Chef). Viet is one of the best young chefs in the country and both of us have the same vision for what we do, it's great cross marketing and gives each of us the opportunity to gain new customers, and what's best, the right kind of customers. Pursuing excellence has also allowed us to win accolades and awards both locally (Salt Lake Magazine, Best of Utah), nationally (Zagat) for the past several years, and print coverage in Sunset Magazine since 2009. This "free" marketing creates more like opportunities as well, and as they say, "Excellence is its own reward."
 
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expat

expat

New member
May 1, 2012
430
0
Ireland
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We're in sync on the internal marketing. We roast and distribute so don't have the exact hurdles as you but do our best to keep the look and feel of the bag, the marketing, the website in lock-step agreement with each other. When the brand doesn't ring true everywhere it touches the customer there is 'a disturbance in the force'. For us our bag is our #1 marketing vehicle.
 

CavalierCoffee

New member
Jul 31, 2013
22
0
expat
I agree that your brand needs to ring true throughout. We do our best to achieve the look of our brand with a Facebook page, a Google+ page and some printed material, but for the most part we rely on strengthening the feel, or the way people relate to, our brand by word of mouth.
 

Mr.Peaberry

Member
Aug 7, 2013
890
2
"Excellence is its own reward."

Hi John P,

I enjoyed your entire post, but was inspired by your quote above to share with you...and all...a favorite quote of mine from the great Vince Lombardi:

"Perfection is never attainable, but by chasing perfection, we can catch excellence."

I think this quote embodies the essence of your message. Cheers!
 

cedarcreekcoffee

New member
May 12, 2012
6
0
Here in missouri we started a coffee company with a great cause. Branding has been a big issue but we have developed a local following. We employ adults with mental and physical disabilities to roast, package and flavor our coffee. We are on facebook and twitter. We have not spent any money on marketing. I used to go to the grocery stores that carry our coffee and do flavor samples. I would also bring one of our special employees with me to give the public a feel for what we do. I have had a hard time expanding beyond our local market tho. We cover about a 100 mile radius but doesnt seem like FB or Twitter really help our website traffic. We do alot of festivals which are kind of our bread winner. Has anybody tried the paid marketing on Facebook? What about the different cost per click advertising firms?
 

BuzzRoaster

New member
Feb 20, 2012
82
0
cedarcreekcoffee,

First of all let me say I think what you are doing is great. Social media is a very important marketing tool when done right. Unfortunately, most business approach social media with the age-old ABC mindset Always Be Closing. Social media is just that - Social. Building relationships should be your first priority in any business and constantly pitching your products through social media is the quickest way to get people to tune you out. I'm not saying you do this but most businesses do.

Online marketing has been slowly transitioning from the Always Be Closing mindset to the Always Be Connected method of marketing. Social media is the main driving force behind this since the advent of Facebook and Twitter. Staying connected, interacting with your customers and actually being a useful resource is the one of the best ways to build relationships and create lifelong customers. What are the questions or concerns you get asked most often by your customers? Are these addressed on your website or in your social media? Can potential customers easily find the answers to those questions? Unfortunately, the very technology allows us to become more social creatures has also made us more impatient. If we can't easily and quickly find answers to our questions we go elsewhere.

This is something I posted in another thread but it bears repeating "Are you building an email list?"
If I can give you one piece of marketing advice it's - build an email list. Offer something for free to get people on that list. Direct email marketing is the best way to build a loyal customer and communicate with them after the sale. Don't spam them. Offer them coupons, special promotions even freebies. You can instantly notify them of special events and keep them up to date with your business.
Facebook has become very good at targeted advertising. For example you can create an ad that targets just the followers of a neighboring coffee shop. Or how about followers of all the neighboring coffee shops. A few advantages to Facebook targeted marketing is the cost effectiveness and the ROI.

One additional piece of advice I will leave you with is to create a YouTube channel and start posting videos. Since it's the second largest search engine right behind Google and also owned by Google it's a great way to drive traffic to your site and actually demonstrate to your customers what it is you do.
 

cedarcreekcoffee

New member
May 12, 2012
6
0
Thank you buzz that is useful stuff. I was recently contacted by a cost per click advertising firm that does targeted marketing. In your opinion would you recommend starting with something like that or paying for some facebook advertising to get some coffee shipping? We already have a email list set up on our website and I will contact our webmaster about doing some promotions through that list.
 

BuzzRoaster

New member
Feb 20, 2012
82
0
I would be cautious of companies contacting you offering CPC advertising. Most reputable CPC ad networks don't seek you out. Some of the more popular ones besides Google adwords are Media Net (which is Yahoo/Bing) and Infolinks.

Personally, I would initially focus on Facebook. Not only Facebook advertising but also growing your social media presence by posting regularly. It doesn't matter if it's once a day or once a week as long as it remains consistent. You need to get people talking and then keep them talking. If they comment always make sure to comment back or thank them. Be engaging!

Contests are perfect for building buzz and creating customer engagement. Facebook recently, within the past week in fact, is allowing contests to be run directly from your timeline instead of running it through an app. In the past you needed an Facebook sanctioned app to run a contest which were often not free. There are still a few rules you must abide by to run a contest from your page but they are pretty relaxed.

The best way to get your contest off the ground is to post it in your timeline and then "Promote" it. Promoted posts are different than Facebook advertising in that it initially only targets people who have liked your page along with their friends. You can pay more to reach more people but I wouldn't. The costs for promoted posts are relatively cheap and they work very well for engaging your customers. Especially when used in tandem with a contest or giveaway.

One more thing, local events are great venues for running promotions and getting more engagement. Make up some business sized cards detailing your contest along with your Facebook page URL. Hand them out and let people know they just need to go to your page and like it to enter.

I hope I answered your questions. If you have any more don't hesitate to ask.
 

cedarcreekcoffee

New member
May 12, 2012
6
0
Thanks again buzz. We just had a segment done on the local news and I used Facebook ads to Promote our post about it. Looks like a lot of people saw it so I will see if it turns into likes and sales. We just got a store locator up and running on our site too. And have been in two local newspapers in the last two weeks as well so hopefully all this PR will kick things in motion. We only started last may and with creating a new brand and getting it carried in airport gift shops and grocery stores and through our internet sales we are able to employ more adults with disabilities. I feel like our cause is what sells so I need to focus on that as much as possible. We use Columbian supremo beans which are not rare or super high quality but with our fresh roasts its become one of the best local coffees I have sampled. I need to learn how to cup and more about the science of coffee but that's a post for another topic.
 

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