Developing Your Guerrilla Marketing Plan on Campus

Guerrilla Marketing Form

This is one of the documents from a whole collection of resources that were provided to me from now defunct VarsityBooks.com.  I was an on-campus marketing representative.  Read the full story of My Guerrilla Marketing Tactics On Campus With Varsity Books.

Developing your Guerrilla Marketing Plan

MARKETING PLAN  (You can see my actual guerrilla marketing plan here)
(YOUR SCHOOL NAME HERE)
(YOUR NAME HERE)

Every plan must start with some goals….

Goals for your VarsityBooks.com marketing plan:

1 Build Awareness of VarsityBooks.com on your Campus
2. Drive Traffic to the Website
3. Prompt people to buy textbooks from us

EXTERNAL FACTORS

In order to understand factors that influence sales on your campus, please respond to the following:

1. Bookstores on/off campus (How many?)

2. Campus rules strict/permissive?

3. Online Competitor Marketing: Which companies have you seen on campus? What presence have they had on campus?

4. Weather: What is the weather like the first 3 weeks of school?

5. Prices: VBC Prices Lower, Higher or Equal to area Bookstore? Have you noticed decreased prices in your campus/off campus bookstore? Does your campus/off campus bookstore carry a large supply of used books? Does your campus/off campus bookstore offer price matching?

6. Are the students on your campus wired/non-wired ie.. Do most student have access to computers?)

DEMOGRAPHICS

TYPES OF STUDENTS YES NO NOTES
Commuters

Part-Timers

Non-Traditional

Apathetic

Thrifty

Greeks

International

Keep in mind how these factors might influence your sales on campus!

TARGET GROUPS

People who buy textbooks and people who influence textbook buyers

WHO THEY ARE:

Influencers
• Professors
• Parents
• RA’s
• TA’s
Students
• Upper Classmen
• Freshmen/First Years
• Commuter Students
• Part-Time/Non-Traditional
• Student Leaders

Organizations
• Student Government
• Greeks
• Ethnic Organizations
• Activities Clubs
• Intramural Sports Teams
• Service Organizations
• Academic Clubs

THE MARKETING TEMPLATE

The Goal of this template is to provide you with a framework to help you plan and execute an amazing marketing strategy. You will need to provide your Rep Coordinator with a completed copy of the “The Marketing Plan” for the following timeframe:

• The Planning Period
• One Week Before Classes
• The Week Classes Start
• The Second Week of Classes
• The Third Week of Classes

The Planning Period

• This is a VERY important time for planning your marketing strategy. Only after you decide who you want to reach and exactly how you want to reach them, can you conduct a successful campaign.
• The book-buying season goes quickly! You need to get all of the background and administrative activities out of the way so that you can focus on doing the real work – getting people to buy books from VBC.
• You and your team members won’t be the only ones who will be busy once the book-buying season starts. RA’s, TA’s, professors, and other influencers will also be very busy. Identify these people early and decide how best to reach them. Don’t put off contacting these people until they are too busy to talk.
• Getting a student group signed up as an affiliate takes time. Get in touch with organization decision makers now. Pitch them the idea and let them speak with their organization. Don’t forget to follow up. The Affiliate program is a great way to get other people to do your work for you!
• Organizational fairs, job fairs, campus events are also set up at least several weeks in advance. Look for opportunities on the horizon so that you can get into them when the time comes.

One Week Before the Start of Classes

• Many students have not arrived yet, so now is the time to build the background advertising. When students return, we want them to see VarsityBooks everywhere they go. Postering, chalking, and flyering mailboxes and under doors are great ways to start an all-encompassing campaign.
• Wrap up your affiliate work and prepare to visit group meetings as soon as they begin. If you are just contacting someone for the first time now, there probably won’t be enough time to meet with the leader, let him or her talk to the organization, and then get the word out to the group members.
• As soon as students move back into their rooms, and before they get the chance to purchase their textbooks, we want to get our message to them. Move-in day is an excellent time to talk to parents and students since they are all interacting in a central location.
• Price Comparison Flyers and the schedule for class announcements should be completed now, while the bookstore is easy to navigate. This is a very time-consuming project. You should get this done before you get too busy doing class announcements and talking to students. It also helps you prepare your messaging. For example, if you know that bookstore has cut prices to compete, it allows you to emphasize convenience more right from the start.

The First Week of Classes

• This is it. This is the time you have been working toward for weeks and months. It is important that you are organized and efficient in your marketing efforts. Sales are lost if you delay or waste time executing your plan, so stay focused.
• Stay in communication with your Rep Coordinator. He or she might have important news or helpful information.
• While we want to reach as many people as possible, the type of contact that we have with people is much more important. For example, postering may be seen by many people, but it’s the one-on-one conversation you have with someone in the student union that will drive a sale. Find ways to talk to as many people as you can. Class announcements are great for exactly this reason!
• Don’t be passive. While it’s great if the entire campus knows about us, it’s sales that matter. Drive people to the website as much as you can. Having great brand awareness is not going to sell books.

The Second Week of Classes

• Keep working hard. Although the lines in the bookstore may have died down, we see a large percentage of our sales in the second week.
• Out-of-stock books are one of the best ways to drive sales and demonstrate our service to someone who may not otherwise have used us. We get to be the good guys coming to the rescue of students and professors stuck without books. Check the bookstore for out-of-stock books often.

The Third Week of Classes

• Be ready to take advantage of any opportunities to get the word out on campus. Thank you cards are a way to solidify good relationships. When you come around next semester, they’ll remember it.

Time
Frame MAJOR TASKS
(For Complete) RESULTS
THE PLANNING PERIOD
 Talk to your Rep Coordinator. Your Rep Coordinator will go over your marketing plan with you. Bring any problems or concerns to his or her attention as soon as they arise.
 Hire Team Members (*See the Team Building Section)
 Schedule a conference call with your Rep Coordinator and your entire team. Talk with your Rep Coordinator to arrange this in advance. This initial team conversation should occur about 3 days before classes start.
 Make sure you know the rules on your campus! If there is a written copy of the rules, get it and send us a copy. The rules will drastically impact your marketing plan and its implementation. Some campuses will be more restrictive than others, but we have creative solutions for even the most restrictive campuses. You should also have a sense of which rules are enforced on your campus and which are not. Pay attention to the marketing activities of other companies and student groups. If your school requires you to get the posters and flyers approved, please allow extra time for the approval process. Look into partnering with a student organization if it will allow you greater access to the campus. Some schools have very specific policies and procedures while others are much more lax.
 Research. Identify the largest classes to target for class announcements. Identify living groups and student organizations where you might want to make announcements or discuss the Affiliate program.
 Sign Up Affiliates (*See the Affiliate Section)
 Look into Student and Activity Fairs. You might want to market at these fairs once school starts
 Holiday Alert! Keep in mind some people might be on holiday. Try to pick the most convenient non-holiday time to make contact with your Rep Coordinators and team members.


THE MARKETING PLAN (Template)

TIME FRAME TARGET GROUP MAJOR TASKS
(For Complete, R For Restricted) Team Member Responsible RESULTS
ONE WEEK BEFORE CLASSES STUDENTS
 Postering all over, on campus and off
 Flyering in high traffic Areas
 Handing out premiums in high traffic areas
 Tabling in high-traffic areas
 Develop price comparison flyers
 Write a schedule for class announcements
 Follow-up on potential fairs and events

PROFESSORS

 Talking to professors about the company and making class announcements
 Signing up professors as affiliates
 Stuffing professor mailboxes

ORGANIZATIONS
 Talking to organization leaders about the company and asking permission to make an announcement at an organization meeting
 Signing up organizations as affiliates
 Follow-up with existing affiliates

OTHER INFLUENCERS
(Parents, TA’s, RA’s)
 Signing up RA’s and TA’s as affiliates
 Making small presentations at RA/living group meetings
 Target parents on move-in day
EXTRAS
(Any Group)

THE MARKETING PLAN (Template)

TIME FRAME TARGET GROUP MAJOR TASKS
(For Complete, R For Restricted) Team Member Responsible RESULTS
THE WEEK CLASSES START

STUDENTS
 Handing our premiums in high traffic areas
 Tabling in high traffic areas
 Distributing price comparison flyers
 Flyering in high traffic areas
 Postering all over, on-campus and off
 Chalking in high traffic areas

PROFESSORS

 Talking to professors about the company and making class announcements
 Signing up professors as affiliates
 Alerting professors to the availability of out stock books at VarsityBooks.com

ORGANIZATIONS
 Talking to organization leaders about the company and making announcements at organization meetings
 Signing up organizations as affiliates
 Giving help to existing affiliates on how to purchase their books

OTHER INFLUENCERS
(Parents, TA’s, RA’s)
 Signing up RA’s and TA’s as affiliates
 Making small presentations at RA/living group meetings
EXTRAS
(Any Group)

THE MARKETING PLAN (Template)

TIME FRAME TARGET GROUP MAJOR TASKS
(For Complete, R For Restricted) Team Member Responsible RESULTS
SECOND WEEK OF CLASSES
STUDENTS  Targeting Out-of-Stock books
 Making class announcements
 Flyering in high traffic areas
 Handing out premiums in high traffic areas
 Tabling in high-traffic areas

PROFESSORS
 Write Thank-You letters to Professors

ORGANIZATIONS
 Making small presentations to organizations
 Write Thank-You letters to organizations who signed up as affiliates 

OTHER INFLUENCERS
(Parents, TA’s, RA’s)
 Making small presentations at RA/living group meetings

EXTRAS
(Any Group)

THE MARKETING PLAN (Template)

TIME FRAME TARGET GROUP MAJOR TASKS
(For Complete, R For Restricted) Team Member Responsible RESULTS
THIRD WEEK OF CLASSES

STUDENTS  Targeting Out-of Stock books
 Making class announcements

PROFESSORS

 Write Thank You letters

ORGANIZATIONS
 Write Thank You letters

OTHER INFLUENCERS
(Parents, TA’s, RA’s)

EXTRAS
(Any Group)
 Follow-up on Team Member paperwork and payroll issues

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