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Guerilla marketing is just like guerilla warfare, only that there is no fighting involved.
The first time you come across the term guerilla marketing, it may seem like a strange form of marketing you have never encountered. But once you get to learn more about it, you will find out that you have seen or even been converted by certain brands using guerilla marketing. Marvel Marketing explores what guerilla marketing is all about and how a business can benefit from this type of marketing.
What is Guerilla Marketing?
For those of you who were keen during history classes, you may have heard of guerilla warfare. It’s a tactic used by traditional militaries to attack and raid enemies using ambushes. Guerilla marketing is just like guerilla warfare, only that there is no fighting involved.
In the modern era, advertising competition is at an all-time high. When you look at what other businesses are doing, one can easily feel overwhelmed and question their ability to succeed in the market. Instead of giving up, we advise you to look into guerilla marketing.
Guerilla marketing is a technique where businesses engage in the most unconventional strategies that surprise and capture their audiences’ attention. Compared to other forms of marketing, guerilla marketing is more effective when a business is working with a creative marketing team. Any advertisement that may seem unconventional and trigger memorable reactions is considered guerilla marketing.
As a form of marketing, it doesn’t follow the typical rules. In most cases, it’s attention-seeking, energetic, lively, and shocking.
Here are characteristics that will distinguish guerilla marketing from the rest;
- It requires more creativity than resources – Marketing is often expensive. Guerilla marketing, however, relies solely on creativity and not money. To be an effective guerilla marketer, you need to be extremely creative.
- It’s audience-oriented – The guerilla marketing technique aims to reach the masses. It reaches two types of audiences; those who see the message and those who hear about it.
- It contains the element of a surprise – Just from what the name implies, guerilla marketing ambushes the audience. It’s why it creates so much impact and memorability.
- It taps into emotions – Guerilla marketing is more effective in B2C campaigns. That’s because it mostly taps into the emotions of consumers. Unlike B2B marketing campaigns, where the target audience makes decisions based on results and performance, consumers make decisions based on emotions.
- It’s risky – Guerilla marketing isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. Due to its erratic nature, there may be some risk involved.
History of Guerilla Marketing
After understanding what guerilla marketing is all about, you are wondering – who came up with this? Let’s start with the origins of guerilla warfare. It was popularized in the 1960s by Che Guevara in his book ‘Guerilla Warfare’ where he described the nature of these tactics and how they were beneficial in competitive atmospheres.
The phrase mostly applied to combat. It’s John Conrad Levinson who introduced guerilla tactics in marketing. In 1984, he wrote a book titled Guerilla Marketing aimed at helping small businesses. According to Conrad, through guerilla marketing, you would create awareness about a brand which would improve sales. Since then, many businesses have utilized unconventional marketing tactics to boost sales and brand awareness. You, too, can use these techniques to realize business growth.
What's the Legal Status of Guerilla Marketing?
From the definition, guerilla marketing may seem a bit unorthodox. And for any serious marketer, you may be concerned about the legality of this tactic. Even though various companies have been punished for engaging in guerilla marketing, it is 100% legal.
At times, creativity can be costly if you are not careful. If your campaigns involve the use of public property, you will need to get permits. Your campaigns must remain confined within legal frameworks to avoid infringement of the law. If you are in doubt, it’s best to consult the expert advice of an attorney.
Remember when we said that guerilla marketing is risky? The reason why it’s that way is because it directly impacts your brand. If permits are needed, make sure you have them because you will be fully responsible. To avoid making the wrong move, you may consider working with a reliable digital marketing agency experienced in engaging in such. Using their knowledge of guerilla marketing and experience, they will ensure your campaigns are effective and don’t infringe the law.
Are There Any Benefits of Practicing Guerilla Marketing?
Before incorporating any type of marketing, you need to familiarize yourself with its benefits. It’s the only way to determine whether a marketing campaign will succeed. Despite the use of unconventional tactics, guerilla marketing is highly beneficial in the following ways;
- It will boost your brand awareness. Guerilla marketing performs exceptionally well when it comes to creating hype about a certain brand. The result of that is a boost in brand awareness.
- It will help you outsmart your competitors. Guerilla marketing isn’t as popular as other types of marketing. Therefore, very few businesses engage in it. If you add it to your campaigns, it will place you steps ahead of the competition.
- It can establish a deeper emotional bond with your audience. Due to the nature of guerilla marketing techniques, it evokes emotion. Making it an excellent method of fostering deeper bonds with clients.
- Guerilla marketing campaigns are very memorable. If you come up with a creative campaign, guerilla marketing can bear fruit by disseminating memorable messages that will linger in the minds of your audience for years.
Hands down, guerilla marketing, can take your business to greater heights. It’s not that expensive, and as long as you are creative, you will notice results.
The Different Types of Guerilla Marketing
1. Ambush Marketing
Ambush marketing is very risky, but it can be rewarding if played right. It entails ambushing an event that has been hosted or held by another company. Let’s assume your competitor hosts a basketball tournament. Your business can opt to reward the winners after the game. You will therefore be riding on the competitor’s efforts and in some way ambushing the audience. There are a lot of legal concerns associated with ambush marketing. If you must use this technique, be careful.
2. Undercover Marketing
When we said that guerilla marketing revolves around unconventional techniques, this is what we were talking about. Regular marketing is when the audience is aware they are being sold a certain product. However, in undercover marketing, consumers are exposed to a sales pitch without their awareness or consent. A good example is when a film or music video character uses a certain product. Undercover marketing has become quite popular in mainstream media.
3. Ambient Marketing
Unlike other types of guerilla marketing, ambient marketing is slightly odd. It entails placing marketing messages or pictures in an area people would least expect them. For instance, instead of placing an ad on a bus which people are mostly accustomed to, you can write it on the waiting seat. Therefore, ambient marketing doesn’t refer to the typical ads such as on billboards. Ambient marketing has a high chance of going viral, especially if the messages are unique and creative.
4. Experiential Marketing
In this type of marketing, consumers are exposed to a memorable situation whereby they experience a situation that represents your brand. The best example of experiential marketing is hosting or sponsoring an event.
5. Street Marketing
Today, it’s not strange for you to come across adverts on the streets. Even though there is a fine line between outdoor advertising and street marketing, the latter has got the characteristics of guerilla marketing, such as the element of surprise and tapping into the consumer’s emotions.
Astroturfing is basically paying people to market your brand or products in an area where your potential consumers may likely be gathered. An example is paying a social media influencer or celebrity to make fake endorsements or recommendations. A lot of astroturfing is occurring these days on social media. It’s quite risky when your customers find out, and it can easily turn into a PR nightmare.
A Guide to Creating a Guerilla Marketing Campaign
If guerilla marketing sounds like the best choice for your business, here is a guide to developing an effective strategy.
1. Learn More about Your Audience
Guerilla marketing is more successful if you know your audience’s fears, desires, and thrills. A good place to start when learning about your audience is by interacting with the current clients. What are some of the issues your customers have? What makes them happy? By learning more, you can know when to ambush them or which messages or marketing campaigns you should use.
2. Develop Realistic Goals
Even though guerilla marketing sounds funny, it’s still a campaign, and it needs to have realistic goals if you want to accomplish something meaningful. Do you want to create buzz around your brand? Or is the goal to drive awareness? A clear target will make it easy to develop the best guerilla marketing tactics.
3. Evaluate Your Customers' Environment
The best surprises are when a customer is caught off-guard in a familiar environment. To achieve such a situation, you should evaluate the environment. This step is crucial, especially if you plan to engage in ambient marketing.
4. Get Creative
With everything set up in place, it’s time to get creative. You can seek the help of colleagues in coming up with the best guerilla marketing campaign. If you don’t seem to get any results, you can hire a digital agency that is well-experienced in guerilla marketing. With expert help, you have a better chance of creating an idea that will yield results.
5. Incorporate the Surprise Factor
Guerilla marketing is all about ambushing the consumers. Don’t forget to add the surprise factor within the campaign. That will be a sure way of making the message memorable and effective.
6. Measure Results
With the help of research and social listening tools, you should measure the results of your efforts. If your guerilla marketing techniques are beneficial, you will see a change in brand awareness and an increase in sales. If it wasn’t successful, you can make the necessary changes and try again. Guerilla marketing techniques may not be a success the first time. That doesn’t mean you should give up. It would be best if you didn’t put too much pressure on your audience as that may hurt your brand.
Examples of Guerilla Marketing Strategies
Developing a guerilla marketing campaign from scratch can be difficult. That’s why the team at Marvel Marketing decided to share the following examples you can use as inspiration.
- Launch a pop-up shop in an unusual environment. Pop-up shops are all about hype and not boosting sales. If there is an upcoming football game at the nearest sports center, you can set up a pop-up shop for your electronics business next to the food stands. When people see your pop-up shop, they will be surprised at what you are doing there. That will be an ambush that will attract more interest to your brand.
- Have a team draw graffiti about your brand on the streets. First, you must have a permit to do so. Lest the authorities will come for your brand. Secondly, you need to hire talented graffiti artists who will draw an eye-catching message.
- Air a projected video on a busy park or street. That should ambush clients.
- Hire a mascot. This may be old-fashioned, but it’s very rewarding.
- You can advertise using a means of transport.
Hire Marvel Marketing for the Best Guerilla Marketing Techniques
Guerilla marketing, though risky, can be very beneficial. If your business hasn’t achieved tangible results from other marketing techniques, you can experiment with guerilla marketing. This technique has been used by many companies, both big and small. Since guerilla marketing techniques require a lot of carefulness, you should only work with an experienced marketing agency. Marvel Marketing has been developing and implementing effective marketing techniques for many businesses. We can also do the same for you. If you would like to hear some of our interesting guerilla marketing ideas, call us at 1-800-427-7113.