Thursday 17 July, 2014

What Is Guerrilla Marketing?

The old standby marketing tactics don’t work anymore. People are immune to television advertisements and billboards. They tune out this type of marketing. Marketers today need to grab their customers’ attention through new forms of marketing that surprise, shock and entertain.

This is the basic idea behind guerrilla marketing. It’s not quite true that old tactics don’t work anymore. They work as long as you’re targeting your market well and offering a product that’s valuable to them. But it’s true that we need new marketing techniques to shake things up from time to time.

Defining Guerrilla Marketing

When the term guerrilla marketing first started appearing, it referred to low-cost promotional ideas that were conceived outside the box. These methods included things like graffiti tagging and sticker bombing. Today, guerrilla marketing is much harder to define because its tactics are so diverse. Plus, we have the internet, which offers a wealth of new, outside-the-box ideas.

Basically, any promotion strategy that’s unique and attempts to shock or surprise people is considered guerrilla marketing. Since, by its nature, it has to be new and original, there aren’t a set of guidelines to doing guerrilla marketing. If there were formulas, they’d cease being cutting edge as soon as they became formulated. So, to help you get a better grasp of exactly what it is, here are some examples of guerrilla marketing. Hopefully they’ll get some ideas flowing.

Leaving Things Lying Around

A popular type of guerrilla marketing is to leave thing lying around in public places. Remember the Andre the Giant Obey stickers? They were a sensation because you saw them everywhere and wondered, ‘What on earth is this?’

You can leave branded items, stickers, post-it notes, scraps of paper, or promotional items in public places like bars, coffee shops or mass transit station. Give these items a message that’s at once enticing and also mysterious, along with a URL or some other way to find more. They’ll lead people to check you out and see what it’s all about.

Optical Illusions

A common type of guerrilla marketing is to make use of optical illusions. Companies do this with traditional ad space, such as billboards or bus stop advertisements, as well as public spaces like the sides of buildings or sidewalks. This is what’s known as ‘ambient marketing’ because it’s found in the background of our daily lives.

Viral Marketing

Online, viral marketing is the most used guerrilla marketing tactic. The idea is to create a piece of content that gets spread virally. This means that your audience is sharing the content with their friends so you don’t have to. It could be a video, an article, an image, a meme or anything else. It’s tough to pin down what makes a piece of content go viral, but it’s usually associated with strong emotion, such as laughter, fear, joy or concern.

So, to wrap up, guerrilla marketing tactics are all over the map, but they share some common characteristics:

* It’s unexpected
* It grabs attention
* It draws people’s curiosity
* It’s outside the box

Think of an advertisement you’ve seen recently that maybe you didn’t recognize at first as an ad. It surprised you or made you laugh, or made you eager to find out what on earth it was. This was guerrilla marketing at work.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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