ENTREPRENEURSHIP / AUG. 23, 2014
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Is Door Hanger Guerilla Marketing Right For Your Business?

Direct marketing for small local operations used to be fairly easy: buy the biggest Yellow Pages ad you could afford, hand out up business cards to everyone and don’t even think about buying media ads until you exploited direct mail enough to build a loyal customer base. Oh, and be sure to at least give doorhanger advertising a shot.

The technological revolution of the new millennium has changed many things when it comes to advertising. This is especially true in the case of a small businesses marketing primarily to a localized demographic. Still, that doesn’t mean that just because you are now capable of using a web presence to market your business around the world that it’s okay to forget your local customers. When a small business still has a very strong local presence, the internet still offers little that compare to a strategic doorhanger campaign when it comes to raising awareness. You can even manage to reach the millennial generation who receive all their marketing online by virtue of doorhangers being something they may never have seen before.

It’s not whether you can craft a profit from investing in doorhangers, but whether your business is the type that can achieve such profitable success. To answer that big picture question, you first need answers to some snapshot queries. Does your business provide goods or services to a centralized geographical base? Can you reach that base just as effectively through a targeted doorhanger strategy as you could through TV, radio or internet advertising? Is such media-saturation advertising outside your budgetary limitations? Is your budget expansive enough to afford bulk printing of high quality doorhangers featuring full color images, glossy paper stock and, preferably, creative and interactive design? (Today’s doorhangers are most definitely not the ones you grew up with). Keep in mind that your ability to afford the best in doorhanger advertising is more likely than your ability to afford the best in TV or radio commercials. 

If your answer to those questions leaves open the possibility of exploiting doorhangers to market your business, then it’s time to start considering implementation. In other words: do you have the capability of getting those doorhangers onto every door in your target area? Will you have to hire new employees or can your current staff be put into action? If the upside of engaging a doorhanging strategy is the significantly low cost relative to other forms of advertising, then one of the biggest downsides is that it is one of the most labor-intensive. If you don’t think you can pull off the task of ensuring that every doorhanger you print actually makes it onto the doorknob of a member of your target customer base, then it’s time to rethink the option.  

One key to determining whether doorhangers would be cost effective is to do a trial run. Design and print out enough test hangers to cover the small bullseye portion of that target audience. If you find that you can hit at least 75% of that bullseye and then further discover that your business has benefited directly from the advertising, then you should definitely start looking to what worked in the past as a way to enhance your more tech-savvy means of advertising your business. 

Image Source: Project 365

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