Guerrilla Tactic Whats in a Name

Surveys have a shelf life. The 2006 Annual Survey of Trends in Hotel Management, for example, is less interesting to readers if they first see it in the middle of 2007. Inform readers when the survey was conducted, but do not use the year in your survey's title. Instead, call the survey "The Annual Survey of Trends in Hotel Management."

These one-on-one or small group briefing sessions fuel the marketing power of your survey. You have the opportunity to present the results, listen to the concerns of the respondents, and build relationships that could result in future project work. It's not unusual to find challenges to your findings in these sessions, so you also have a great opportunity to refine the next survey and add or delete questions. As you conduct the survey, approach industry association executives, business leaders, and civic organization officials about sponsoring a speech or small seminar on the survey findings. Many of these organizations plan their programs well in advance, so approach them long before you complete the survey. Offer to write a summary article for their respective newsletters or Web sites, so members will know the survey is available and a seminar is scheduled.

Arrange for publicity in as many appropriate media outlets as possible, including television, radio, and the business press. Put the results on your Web site and your clients' sites and intranets, if possible. Include survey information in your zine, blog, and any other media where you publish.

Conducting a survey is among the toughest, but highest value marketing activities in your marketing program. In a world swamped by data, you'll find clients will welcome organized, new information with enthusiasm. Treat your survey as you would a paid client project. Use the same rigor and attention and your marketing effort will hit its mark.

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