What is Guerrilla Marketing?

GuerrillaPhotoBlogThe dictionary defines it as; Innovative, unconventional, and low-cost marketing techniques aimed at obtaining maximum exposure for products and services. These alternative advertising tactics can work in place of, or in conjunction with major marketing campaigns and have proven extremely effective for small and medium sized marketers. Guerrilla Marketing relies heavily on unique strategies, target marketing and cost effective implementation. These are not off-the-wall ideas, but well thought out campaigns incorporating diverse elements utilizing creativity and timing.

To understand Guerrilla Marketing we look to the origins of the word “Guerrilla”, as in Guerrilla Warfare. Guerrilla tactics have been around since the beginning of time. In the American Revolution, the British Red Coats would form a line at one end of the battlefield and the Colonists at the other. The two sides advance, muskets blazing. Then the Americans learn from the Indians, that a few camouflaged snipers behind trees could inflect more devastation then a line of uniformed troops. Modern Guerrilla Warfare was born in the US. Today combat tactics have advanced with the Navy SEALS, Delta Force and other special forces units executing clandestine paramilitary operations often behind the lines. A handful of men can come ashore in Ninja like fashion, parachute behind enemy lines, or across rugged terrain, to surgically accomplish a strategic mission more efficiently than a mass advancing army.

Like military Guerrilla tactics, which do not replace conventional battlefield warfare, Guerrilla Marketing does not replace or substitute for traditional mass marketing. It can be applied as a specialized strategy, or in combination to enhance existing corporate campaigns. Where Guerrilla Marketing is different, it utilizes low-budget concepts to accomplish a specific objective, where as Major Marketing Campaigns involve big budget comprehensive elements and exposure of mass media. These mega-buck campaigns are cost prohibitive for all but major corporations, so Guerrilla Marketing has become a cost-effective option for many small and medium sized businesses.

How does Guerrilla Marketing work? It may be a Publicity Stunt, Super Graphics, a Display or a Special Event. It may include signage, promotional items, or collaboration with outside groups and associations along with utilization of Social Media. When properly implemented, Guerrilla Marketing is a targeted promotion with a specific goal in mind. In developing Guerrilla strategy, marketers need to look for factors that can be turned into opportunities, then explore unique and creative ways to cost effectively target the market with a specific message. What is hot today? What trend can we capitalize on? What separates us from our competition? How can we reach our market? What will our customers respond to? The creation and implementation of a Guerrilla Marketing tactic starts with a professional analysis of the marketer’s objectives, capabilities, a target market profile, and budget parameters. With these factors a cost effective marketing tactic be designed.

Every type of business from manufacturing and hi-tech services, to local retail can apply the techniques of Guerrilla Marketing. The creative possibilities are endless. Keeping the ideas fresh and not hammering the same promotion too long is important. While an idea may have worked the first time, does not mean it can continue and get the same response. Caution should be exercised, as a bad attempt can backfire and scar the marketer with a lasting negative image. Run your ideas by several trusted associates, or better yet, engage the services of a marketing professional. Test your idea on a few select customers before committing to the promotion. Monitor response; write down customer comments, pro and con. Evaluate the results and make adjustments for future campaigns.

As a Marketing Professional, I have been employing Guerrilla Marketing tactics for decades, referring to them as unique creative strategies. It wasn’t until 1984, when Jay Conrad Levinson, wrote the book, Guerrilla Marketing that it was specifically labeled as such. For outside objectivity, experience, ingenuity and the proficiency of the Marketing Professional, in Orange County CA contact: http://smisek.com/about-us/