How Storage Asset Management succeeds by marketing its third-party storage owners

SAM relies heavily on customer reviews based on reputation

Pennsylvania Asset Management, known as SAM, has an effective marketing strategy. Exceptionally, however, the company does not pay much attention to marketing itself.

In fact, we are guilty of not doing much marketing. All of our growth comes from word of mouth and referrals. We are not promoting ourselves in the best possible way. That’s what Melissa Stiles, vice president of marketing and sales at SAM, told us. But this growth has been very tangible, from the introduction of 22 management contracts in 2010 to the execution of almost 350 contracts today.

Marketing and third party management

What SAM does is manage storage facilities for third-party owners (SAM does not have one). We do everything from operations and marketing to ownership, said Stiles. Basically, anything but declaring income tax.

Therefore, the main marketing objective of SAM says Stiles, is to market managed third-party storage facilities and primarily to leverage customer discussions through the online reputation management platform.

I think we have used our reputation for about five years, said Stiles. We were always the first to use it in marketing, research, etc. We were one of the first companies to rent a unit online and we soon realized that ratings would be important and the reputation program would meet our expectations.

Focus on evaluations and SEO

Ratings help with SEO rankings, of course, but that’s not the only reason they are important. We know that about 50% of our customers have never used storage space, says Stiles. So, people want to read reviews before choosing their records.

SAM uses reputation to actively solicit comments and respond in one place. Remember that SAM represents about 76 different brands to understand how important it is. This is because SAM offers owners the option to be part of their national brand – Storage Sense – or to adopt their own brand and, often, list the website with the name of the city in which they are located.

When I first entered the industry, there were a lot of facilities called ‘AAA self-archiving because they first listed you in the phone book; now it’s the city and the self-archiving because it helps you do SEO matching.

SAM not only provides reputation management through reputation, but it also creates websites and helps with print and movement marketing. ‘We are going to build a friendly website with which you can make your rental completely online. We will do SEO strategies – on and off the page, budget, lists, etc. – on social networks, in particular Facebook, Instagram, in some cases. AdWords and payment methods, if necessary.

Social media too

The reputation platform manages social networks, with messages from all feeds appearing in an inbox. It was a lifesaver for my social team. They don’t have to go through every page on Facebook. Twenty-six points, remember.

Google [My Business] launched the [desktop] messaging feature a few months ago, said Stiles, and we’re surprised at how many people use it and the Google app doesn’t fit. So many pages, see a post. And then we have to find out which page it went to. The reputation tool was very good at putting it together. We can also see the statistics: how long is our response time, we receive messages from different sales or services, etc.

Stiles uses SpareFoot, a national storage monitoring website that he describes as storage for Expedia, but also has the local presence of representatives to build relationships with centers of influence that can be good sources of content for customers, such as storage.

Thanks to his vertical experience, SAM works with The Storage Group to create websites, but the rest is done internally by a marketing team of eight people.

And that is how SAM grew without any effort to bring it to the market. We did our best to focus on our stores, said Stiles. The success of our stores has encouraged our owners to continue buying or recommending.

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