Guerilla marketing guru shares marketing tips

HANAMA’ULU — Representatives of any business or non-profit can find ways to market and promote themselves without laying out much money.

All it takes is imagination, some chutzpah, and learning about guerilla marketing.

That’s where Al Lautenslager comes in.

Lautenslager, author of “Guerilla Marketing in 30 Days,” made a presentation to about 40 people at a Kaua’i Chamber of Commerce event held Thursday at the Radisson Kauai Beach Resort off Kuhio Highway outside Hanama’ulu.

“Marketing is anything you do or say,” he told the gathering, adding, “any press is good (public relations) as long as its not an obituary.”

Lautenslager said the No. 1 challenge for leaders of businesses or nonprofits is implementation.

“They may be good at their business and know what their business is about, but sometimes they don’t know where to start,” he said.

“What results do you want from your marketing? Prospects want to be told what to do. Prospects want you to make decisions for them,” he said.

“Effective marketing is the key to business survival, growth and success,” he said.

“Guerilla Marketing in 30 Days” offers a 30-day blueprint for business owners and other professionals to increase sales and exposure at minimal or no cost.

Laut-enslager pointed out how leaders of some national companies got their products and brands out at little expense.

He cited a Taco Bell stunt of putting a Taco Bell float in the ocean, boasting that if a Russian spacecraft scheduled to return to earth hit the float, the company would offer free tacos to everyone in the United States. He said this cost Taco Bell leaders about $2,000, but actually helped them make a gain in the fast-food segment, a difficult achievement.

Lautenslager than spoke about Sony Ericsson and what leaders of that company did to promote the digital-photo-taking features of their cell phones, which are well known now but weren’t three years ago.

He said company leaders hired two actors to pose as honeymooners asking passersby to take their picture with their cell phone. Word of mouth spread very quickly after that.

Lautenslager encouraged members of the audience to make a list of three to five things a day pertaining to marketing and their goals, before even concentrating on the business part of their day.

He also advised those attending the gathering to join the USA Today small-business panel, which is free. Lautenslager said this can lead to a lot of e-mail contacts and potential business.

He also said becoming known as an expert of sorts, and being quoted in the media for your chosen field of expertise, is also a huge benefit.

Lautenslager linked himself up as a marketing expert to review TV commercials aired during the Super Bowl.

Lautenslager is the principal of Markets for Profits, a Chicago-based, marketing-consulting firm, and The Ink Well, a commercial-printing and mailing company in Wheaton, Ill.

The event was sponsored by participating Hawai’i Chamber of Commerce branches.

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