The Beef in Your Marketing Arsenal?

The LAW OFFICE OF MARK KNAPP provides NFA Gun Trusts, protects the gun rights of individuals and represents those who are charged with crimes in the State of Washington; i.e., criminal defense work. We have also been very involved in forming and promoting the Action Training Group in North Idaho and the greater Spokane area.

Attorney Mark Knapp, who is running for Federal Way Municipal Court judge, enjoys a coffee in the Commons Mall parking lot while taking a client’s call on his Blackberry. Photo by Seth Bynum

I just finished reading Chapter 3 of Guerilla Marketing, by Jay Conrad Levinson. I am not done reading the book but was invited to talk about the 16 Secrets of Guerilla Marketing at a meeting of Heart of Business in Coeur d’Alene.

We are not going to discuss all sixteen of the weapons in the Guerilla Marketer’s armament here. Instead, we will look at how a few of these “secret” weapons relate to my business strategy as lawyer focusing on firearms and the laws of armed force and the Action Training Group.

Carl Von Clausewitz- the 19th Century German philosopher of war and favorite of modern marketing gurus- stated, “War is not an independent phenomenon, but the continuation of politics by different means.”

Then B. H. Liddell Hart became famous for advocating the “indirect” approach. surprise and the use of airpower in combination with tanks and other fast moving armored vehicles on the ground. The German High Command solved the puzzle raised by Hart’s theories when the Germans deployed the strategy of Blitzkrieg in France. Of course, airpower, machine guns and tanks were all new technologies in 1939 and military theorists were all focused on how the new face of warfare would appear.

In the 1980s when I studied management technology and marketing at Lewis Clark State College in Idaho, Liddell Hart’s indirect approach to warfare was the closest thing to Guerilla Marketing and probably inspired Levinson. This was a time when it was common to hear that it is not bacon that we should sell, but the sizzle on the bacon! It was somewhat unclear what bacon had to do with bombs and bullets. What we are emphasizing here is the link between different pieces of technology within a total system of marketing armament- and of course, beef not bacon!

Commitment. According to Levinson, the modern face of Guerilla Marketing starts with commitment. Levinson handled the Marlboro cowboy campaign. After almost a year of featuring Marlboro’s working, cowboys in their advertising, the Marlboro brand was still at number 31 because real men did not smoke filtered cigarettes. But the CEO stuck with the campaign and we all know it was very successful.

Patient. You can make adjustments in your plan. But without sticking to the course, there is no way to know how much progress your strategy is providing. Only a period of time will answer your questions. Things will stumble. A man will see your ad and not see it. Then he will begin to finally notice the ad, become conscious, barely remember, read the ad and ridicule it before he (or she) starts to wonder whether there might not be something to the product. She will ask her neighbors whether they have tried the product or service, ask how such a thing can be profitable, figure it might be good and then start to think about how to make the purchase.

Investment. But it is not just advertising that leads to profits. The Guerilla strategy also requires that a business person invest time and/or money into other pieces of the marketing arsenal. Thus investment in websites, promotional events, mass mailing or other marketing tools will earn money if all the pieces are working together systematically. Think of German air cover protecting fast-moving armored ground troops with the ability to change directions at any time.

Consistent. The identity of your brand needs to be the same across the whole arsenal of technologies and strategies that you deploy. For example, regularly publishing the message even in small advertisements is better than expensive television advertising campaigns that you can only afford to broadcast occasionally.

Confident. Of course all of the tactics and strategies above take confidence in your plan and a great deal of patient follow-up, personal contact, and opportunities to network with vendors, former customers and an assortment of 3rd parties. The goal is to amaze people with what you have to offer, stay involved at many levels and learn to depend on your network.

Measurement. Measuring results is important. If we don’t know where or how business is generated, it is impossible to know how to invest limited resources. Our law firm is involved in the Action Training Group, Inc. and we send out many emails on behalf of the ATG. My experience with emails is that very few marketing emails get read.

Action Training Group, Inc,. The ATG is a nonprofit, volunteer group and most of our emails go to members and others who have shown an interest in church safety programs and shooting activities.

When we reach a point when a number of churches, shooting groups and veterans include links and comments regarding the ATG on their websites, measurable recruitment to the ATG should result,

Direct Mail. The concept of guerilla marketing includes email as one option in a system of many technologies that need to be tailored to the individual circumstances of your business. Even if we sent out our messages with read receipts, it is hard to measure how many folks are actually reading the messages. People are inundated with too many emails to keep up with all of them. Offering free books is not the answer because who has time to read all of the emails in their inbox? We are offering those who join the ATG an opportunity to shoot for free at our monthly Action Shoot at the Fernan Rod & Gun Club.

Augment. The concept of augmentation requires that after you have deployed 18 or 20 of the tools that are discussed in detail in the book, get one more piece into the arsenal. In our case, we need a brochure that tells what the Action Training Group, Inc. does. The Law Office of Mark Knapp, PLLC will also soon be announcing seminars that will deal with liability and other issues for church safety teams.

Websites, Blogs & Events. Online outreach, including social media like Facebook, Twitter and direct mailing are all examples of marketing tools that create a strategic system when we put them together with an intelligent knowledge of how the market works. It takes technology and learning to depend on your network. But there has to be a good product or service with integrity and content to back up all the messaging. “Where’s the beef?’ makes this point well.

Law Office of Mark Knapp, PLLC. Our law firm is located in the Spokane area and can represent you in Employment Discrimination cases, DUI or Assault cases, Domestic Violence allegations or charges of Assault With a Deadly Weapon. Many of our cases involve Display of a Weapon With the Intent to Intimidate. We help people who need their Gun Rights restored. We have also been very successful helping gun owners who just need to recover a firearm confiscated by law enforcement.

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