by Steve Adubato, PhD

“Guerrilla Marketing” is a term coined by bestselling author Jay Conrad Levinson many years ago. But when you break it down, “guerrilla marketing” comes down to exceptional and consistent communication. In his bestselling book, “Guerrilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business,” Levinson, who recently expanded and updated his classic book, explores the modern day differences between traditional and so-called “guerrilla marketing.”

Yet, regardless of what you call it, every professional, no matter what business you are in, has to become a great marketer.

When many people hear the term “marketing” they think sophisticated advertising campaigns and focus groups, graphic designers and people who create digital images on computers so that your Web site is filled with bells and whistles.

In fact, what great marketing comes down to is understanding that everything we do--from the way your receptionist answers the phone to what your business card looks like--is all about marketing. Everything is marketing. Therefore, there is no excuse not to be the best because in these difficult economic times, we must be communicating on every front. More specifically:

--Look at your Web site. Is it all about you? And if so, is that the smartest way to go? Of course, you must communicate what services and expertise you offer, but a more important message to send is that you and your organization are all about solving customer’s problems and helping them succeed. Does your Web site communicate this? Does it offer free advice, tips and tools? Are you offering columns and articles for free instead of selling them for a few pennies? Your Web site is one of the most powerful marketing and communication tools you have, so take a close look at it and make sure it represents you and your business philosophy.

--Traditional marketing focuses heavily on making sales. It’s all about the sale or “closing” the deal. Of course, selling is important, but great marketers understand that the real communication and marketing begins once the sale is made. Do you meet your customer’s expectations? Are you keeping in touch on a regular basis? Nearly 70 percent of all business is lost because the client believes the seller has lost interest in them until the time comes to try to renew a deal.

--Speaking of follow-up, the way you use e-mail, including your Blackberry, is a powerful marketing tool. Are you getting back to your clients and prospects within 24 hours? Are you attaching articles or items that are relevant and timely? Effective use of technology as a communication tool is something that guerrilla marketers didn’t have 20 years ago. Now there is no excuse.

--Traditional marketing is focused on reaching as many people as possible, while “guerrilla marketing” understands that communicating with the masses has little value for most small businesses. Rather, your goal should be to communicate with those you can potentially have a business relationship with. I am talking niche or targeted marketing. Not everyone needs to know who you are or what you do. However, those who can use your products and services must know.

Finally, excellent marketers understand that sometimes NOT trying to go for the so-called “sale” is the smartest sales approach. Everyone’s hawking something, and if you can stand out as someone who is more interested in helping others address their needs and goals, you will inevitably make more sales and bring in more profits.