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Reaching Your Target Audience

Mar 23, 2012

by Brom Hoban, TSSA Director of Communications

A recent trip to New York City- Manhattan to be specific- reminded me how different some parts of our great country are from others.

As you may know, Manhattan is a densely-packed thriving hub of a universe in itself. The pace is fast, and the action vibe is non-stop. And, as you might expect, space is at a premium. (Can you say self-storage?)

Again, as you might expect, New Yorkers themselves are different from Texans, and therefore, the most prominent self-storage business there, called Manhattan Mini Storage, uses a different approach to marketing to their target audience.

They are known for their quirky, funny ads, which appear on billboards, subway signs, and the Internet.

In fact the following their ads has, has become a marketing tool all on its own.

The first one I noticed was on the side of a skyscraper, and read: Stop Tweeting Weird Stuff, and Clean Up Your Apartment!

Kind of in your face, but New Yorkers like that. The ad is effective because it addresses them in language they would use. 

Another reads: In My Father’s House, There are Many Rooms. –John 14:2. Clearly, Jesus Was Not a New Yorker.

Those ads tie into the cramped apartments many New Yorkers live in, and the need for self storage, but many of their ads don’t have anything to do with self storage.

For example some Manhattan Mini Storage ads (which I won’t quote) poke fun at presidential candidates, joke about sex, and politics.

Why would they do that? The answer is simple.

They’ve created a following on the streets, the Internet, and billboards—people get a kick out of their irreverent sense of humor. They look for the new ads.

That attracts attention to Manhattan Mini Storage, and no doubt increases their visibility as a brand- precisely what good marketing is supposed to do.

When I think of marketing, I think of marketing  guru Terri Langhans. Langhans is the author of The 7 Marketing Mistakes Every Business Makes (And How to Fix Them) and the former CEO of a $30 million national ad agency and marketing firm that she started from scratch. She’s also spoken at a number of TSSA events.

“They’ve created a conversation. The best marketing sounds like a dialogue, not a monologue,” said Langhans. “So what would your self-storage conversation sound like in Texas? Through their ads, Manhattan Mini Storage has created intrigue. People want to see what they’ll do next. Marketing boils down to “remember me when you need me.” Who’s going to be top of mind when it comes to self storage in Manhattan?"

I’ve mentioned this Langhans quote before, but it’s worth stating again: Marketing is anything that helps or hinders the sales or use of your product.

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