Guerilla Marketing

By Vipul Tyagi, 3rd Eye Advisory®
Guerilla Marketing

Coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his book "Guerilla Marketing" in 1984, was inspired by the Guerilla warfare tactics which is a form of irregular warfare which majorly focuses on the element of surprise and small tactics by armed civilians. Similar to Guerilla warfare, Guerilla Marketing uses similar tactics in the marketing industry. Instead of asking you to invest money, it asks you to invest time, energy, imagination and Knowledge instead. The yardstick here is profits not sales.

The following points are necessary when a company devise a Guerilla Marketing strategy.

  1. Core Marketing message -
    A core message that stands out and effectively capturing the interest of the audience
  2. Brand Essence -
    Essence is derived from the mission and vision statements and thus should be closely related to the core marketing message.
  3. Target Audience-
    Given the risky nature of this marketing, you have to make sure that you are reaching the right audience.
  4. Impact -
    To understand what you want your audience to feel and perceive about your brand. You have to make sure that you aren't just grabbing their attention, you are connecting with them that stick and inspire action.
  5. Action -
    Guerilla Marketing strategies that focus on action will help you make your campaign more efficient for that action, but also to measure the success.
  6. Results -
    More specific brand is with goals, more accurately you can measure the results. Understanding the need of analytics tools to measure the performance.

There are several types of Guerilla Marketing tactics that can be used:

  1. Outdoor Guerilla Marketing:
    Its addition to an existing environment like putting on some artwork on sidewalks or streets.
  2. Indoor Guerilla Marketing:
    Similar to the outdoor guerilla marketing, it only takes place in indoor locations like train station.
  3. Event Ambush Guerilla Marketing:
    Leverage the audience of an in-progress-audience like a concert to promote the products.
  4. Experiential Guerilla Marketing:
    It is the combination of the above but is formed in a way that requires public to interact with the brand.

But some points need to be kept in mind when taking this approach:

  1. Location -
    Location is a must where the exposure is maximum and the exposure should be maximum.
  2. Creatives should align with the goals -
    You should have your creatives should be in line with the strategy of the business.
  3. Consider unforeseen variables -
    City laws, weather, noise, theft, etc. can get in the way of executing the effective campaign.

But every method of marketing has its goods and bad. The pros of Guerilla Marketing are:

  1. Cheap to execute -
    Any form of advertising (be it a big banner or art on the wall), it will always be cheaper than the conventional advertisements.
  2. Allows for creative thinking -
    Imagination is the necessity as it helps in engaging the customer.
  3. Grows with word-of-mouth -
    Guerilla Marketing relies heavily on word-of-mouth as nothing can be better if people remember the brand and talk about it.
  4. Publicity -
    Unique guerilla campaigns are picked up easily by the local (even national) media resulting in a free publicity.

The cons of Guerilla Marketing are:

  1. Messages can be misunderstood -
    The sense of mystery around a campaign (before the Guerilla Marketing truly reveals itself) can gather people attention. But, if the message is not clear then audience interpretation can vary and the idea of integrated message will be lost.
  2. Authority intervention -
    Some forms of Guerilla Marketing are not allowed by the authorities, can create tension.
  3. Unpredicted Obstacles -
    Some tactics are susceptible to bad weather etc. that can seriously jeopardize the whole campaign.
  4. Potential backlash -
    For some undercover marketing campaign, the audience may not approve of the Guerilla Marketing.

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Article by: Vipul Tyagi, 3rd Eye Advisory®