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Guerilla Marketing Is Dead - Long Live Small Island Marketing

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"What we are seeing is an emergence of a completely new way of life. Or, put differently, a new civilization. We talk about connectivity. We are busy connecting everybody to everybody." Alvin Toffler - author of Future Shock

In the old days media was expensive. Print, television, and radio all involved a heavy investment in technology. Families would sit around the television starved for content and advertisers would put together big budgets for limited airtime.

It's exactly opposite today. The cost of creating and distributing a message has plumetted. Families sit in different rooms fending off "content" whether it be telemarketers, popups, spam, spyware, etc. Further, we walk around with almost immediate access to the people and media in our lives. The former advertising channels just don't offer the same value they used to. In fact, the old thinking of how to market is obsolete. So the answer is guerilla marketing, right?

"Guerilla marketing produces high returns on marketing investment through unconventional activities...Most of my methods are seen as super unconventional some even say evil. I just recently deployed my Guerilla progs for a small debt consolidation company out a Tampa, FL. Within one month they have already tripled their sales. Evil or not my tactics are still make them and myself lots of money." - found posted on forums.digitalpoint.com

That's alot of promise for a small busines with a small budget. However, let's take a quick show of hands. How many people have noticed the shift toward "guerilla marketing"? Do you get calls at dinner? How about free offers? Popups? While there are certainly businesses that can benefit from this sort of thing - it doesn't really bode well for long term success.

How can we stand out in a chaotic environment with direct communication between buyer and seller? First of all, it starts with integrity and friendship. Long Live Island Marketing - clever locals are able to build thriving businesses without the benefit of MBAs and market plans. So how do they do it?


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1) Start by making new friends. Listen to what they are looking for and honestly enjoy their company. People do business with the people they like.

2) Build networks of high quality businesses. Help people find what they are looking for by refering them to your friends.

3) Make yourself easy to find. This might mean a place you spend your days, an easy to find sign, bright yellow paint for your house, or simply a phone you personally answer.

In one case I made a new friend while drinking a Pinecollada. We talked about hiking the volcano. It was raining but he came back to introduce a friend that's a guide. Later that day I went out of my way to find his pizza shop.


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The rental car companies all offer the same maps for free. They have ads for attractions that a tourist will DRIVE to see. "What's happening" guides are another example. In St. Kitts there is a weekly guide that tells you which bars are having live music, beach parties, etc. It's just a folded sheet of paper and they leave piles at bars and super markets. Who buys the ads? Rental car companies, taxi cabs, other bars, etc. It's not cluttered with articles and small enough to stick to your fridge.


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Little rumshacks line the streets, so why do some do better than others? At first glance you might think the brightly colored ones do the best...but it's not the case. People go to the ones that look like they handle the most traffic. We like to know that others have tested the water for us, and that we won't be just walking into someone's living room.


There's a Chinese saying - "Ultimately people are one of three things: a mower of lawns, a well poisoner, or a life enhancer." Sure you can take people up the volcano. But the entertaining guide that brings rum and makes you laugh can charge twice as much. And, he seems to have fun too.
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