Most people have heard the term guerrilla warfare, and these marketing ideas originate from the book “Guerrilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from your Small Business” written by Jay Conrad Levinson. He talks about ideas small businesses can use to take on larger businesses. They don’t require lots of resources or a huge marketing budget but are just as effective as strategies that large companies use.
What is guerilla marketing?
These are campaigns or ideas to do that have a low time commitment, much less financial commitment and are completely outside the typical marketing strategy box. These are quirky, unusual, and really grab people’s attention.
Can this free, weird marketing really work?
Short answer: yes. It can really work. But, as with any strategy, you need to look at both sides to make sure this strategy will work for you.
- Super affordable
- Potential to reach a lot of people
- Helps enforce your brand and makes people remember you for a long time
- Very hard to track: your time and money invested do not necessarily reap a measurable amount of return
- Your plan can flop
- It can be tricky to pull off
When an idea works, the returns are huge, but when it doesn’t work… well, it just doesn’t. Best case scenario, it just falls flat. But if you’ve miscalculated the type of campaign, it could make your brand look silly thereby diminishing the public’s trust. While this kind of strategy is a low dollar amount, it is a high risk / high reward (or high negativity) kind of situation.
How can I run my own guerilla marketing campaign?
Here are some top tips if you want to try out a guerilla marketing strategy.
Tip #1: Make sure it matches your brand.
If your company is light-hearted and fun, matching a strategy like creating a mural on your wall, pulling pranks, or planning a flashmob might fit with your branding. If you have a more serious, high-trust business, your clients may not identify with the mixed messaging.
Tip #2: Tie it to a bigger campaign
People tend to have lots of good ideas for running small campaigns, but if it doesn’t tie back to a broader CTA it won’t grow the business. The activity may get a lot of attention, but the point is to get leads and drive customers back to an event or a lead magnet. You want to drive people back to your business and make them customers.
Tip #3: Run it by some friends
Sometimes your ideas may be too far outside the box, but you’ll need someone on the outside to tell you honestly whether they think it hits the right tone or if it’s a miss. Something might look fun from the inside, but once it goes public it’s not as exciting as you thought.
Seven guerilla marketing ideas
- Lead a Cause: showing care for your community
- Create a Challenge: creative idea for awareness or fun exposure
- Go Extreme: involvement from local vendors to make a big splash
- Create a Spotify Playlist: ask for suggestions (tax season playlist, anyone?)
- Free Stuff: small packet of product to get started or you can ask us to do it for you
- Survey & Publish: local survey for regional information and publish the results
- Reverse Graffiti: cleaning the community and taking credit with a branded stencil
For any questions, we would be happy to speak with you.