Best Guerrilla Marketing Campaigns

We are going to go through some of the Best Guerrilla Marketing Campaigns, and how you can use this marketing strategy. Guerrilla marketing is a brilliant marketing strategy, especially for small businesses because it’s relatively cheap and it uses a mix of strategies that are all very effective. Intrigued? Lets dive in!

What is Guerrilla Marketing?

The definition of Guerrilla Marketing relies heavily on the definition of Guerrilla Warfare. Guerrilla refers to a non-tactical army, loosely organised, fighting a bigger, more organised force. So how does this relate to marketing? Not unlike those Guerrilla fighters who use unorthodox tactics, Guerrilla marketers will use surprising and unconventional strategies, but to promote their business, products, or services. The best way to explain Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional. It’s a way in which businesses can get maximum results whilst using minimal resources. It’s a brilliant way to ditch the old, tired and overused methods of marketing and start advertising from another angle, bringing in fresh ideas and exciting a new audience.

Guerrilla Marketing isn’t new, it popularity grew after Jay Conrad Levinson published a book ‘Guerrilla Marketing’. This particular marketing strategy was aimed at helping small businesses, however it is suitable for budgets big and small. It’s budget-friendly and that’s important for small businesses or start up businesses. Even medium sized businesses who don’t have a huge budget to afford regular traditional marketing – which is more expensive. However, when you look at some of the bigger businesses who use Guerrilla Marketing techniques, you can see it’s by no means just aimed at helping smaller businesses. The likes of Coca-Cola and Burger King have used these marketing techniques.

Investopedia defines guerrilla marketing as “a marketing tactic in which a company uses surprise and/or unusual interactions in order to promote a product or service. Guerrilla marketing is different than traditional marketing in that it often relies on personal interaction, has a smaller budget, and focuses on smaller groups of promoters that are responsible for getting the word out in a particular location rather than through widespread media campaigns.”

Why does it work?

In the times where everything is an ‘AD’, consumers have become a lot less tolerant and less trusting of adverts which are thrown in their faces. We all hear horror stories about ads that are promoted by well loved celebrities, who in fact never use the product – so why should the consumer? And we sit and watch TV and see advert after advert which all merge into one, and the consumer had become accustomed to just blocking these out – they’re white noise by this point. 

Times are also changing; people are listening to their own personal music rather than the radio, people are watching TV via the internet (think Netflix, Disney+, Prime), and a lot less people are getting and reading newspapers. This makes the consumer even harder to reach. This means our businesses and brands (even the larger ones) are having to move with the times and evolve and improve their advertising techniques, and this is where Guerrilla Marketing comes in.

How does it work?

Let’s break it down and look at some common and defining features of a successful Guerrilla marketing strategy. There are varying opinions of what makes for a successful piece of marketing – even amongst the experts, so here is some of the most popular common features.

– Think creative and unusual. Guerrilla marketing techniques are often created to shock or surprise. They want to take the consumer by surprise, rather than just laying another advertisement on their lap for them to skip past.

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • It is new to it’s audience, it hasn’t been done a million times before.
  • It’s going to be popular. However you chose to do it, it’s going to create a ‘buzz’. This could be by creating publicity, or even by going viral on social media.
  • It’s memorable. Guerrilla marketing is often ‘edgy’ and a bit different. Why? To get people talking. Word-of-mouth is a huge aspect of this particular strategy. The advertising might stir up emotions, push the boundaries, create joy and excitement, or even shock or nervousness. The aim is to push people out of their comfort zone, as this is often the key to getting people talking.

Guerrilla marketing doesn’t just rely on one form of advertisement. You will be looking at using a mix of techniques that all compliment each other to create one big buzz for your business.

So let’s look into some of the techniques used as a part of Guerrilla Marketing, and remember, each example you look at will look different and use different techniques in different ways, there is no rule book, and there is no set of steps to success, you have to build those yourself.

Ambient Marketing

Creatively using the world around you to create a promotional message. Think public and think unconventional. This could be on the streets, in lifts, public toilets, anywhere that sparks your imagination that potential consumers will come across. Your goal will be to promote your product in a place that will interfere with the natural flow of life.

Ambush Marketing

A great way to picture this particular strategy would be piggybacking. You are using another organisation’s marketing to promote your own message, and your own business. Some examples of Ambush Marketing are; tactically placed adverts in unusual places, flash mobs in busy areas.

Experimental Marketing

To achieve this marketing strategy you must allow the consumer to interact with you. As a business you will have to in some way give the consumer a one-to-one experience. This can also be referred to as Participation Marketing or Live Marketing. 

Pop-up Retailing

It’s what it says on the tin. It’s a temporary retail outlet in a specific location for a period of time. Think Christmas time to take advantage of extra product demand, or getting the consumer excited about the launch of a new product.

Stealth Marketing

This is about getting the consumer to see your product, without them even being aware of it. We’ve all seen it, but we don’t take much notice. A product in a movie, a cleverly placed beverage at an interview, or even using your favourite reality star to share something on their social media. It’s advertising your product without telling your consumer “it’s an AD”

Street Marketing

Street Marketing is another word for Outdoor Marketing. When you think about street marketing the first thing to come to your mind is probably fliers, leaflets, posters? Now think about what you’ve learnt about Guerrilla techniques. Shock value, creativity, making or memorable. Graffiti is a way of getting your advertisement out, whilst following those all important Guerrilla techniques. 

Viral Marketing

The best way to get people talking? Go viral. The power of Social Media can’t be underestimated. Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, you want your customers to get you to go viral. A new challenge perhaps, or a funny video. This is the best way to get that big bang of excitement, and the more this is shared, the more people will be talking about your brand and your products.

Final Thoughts

Guerrilla Marketing is a very powerful form of Marketing. It will take some creative ideas and very different planning to what you would be used to, but when you get it right, you can be sure that consumers will be talking about your business and your product, and sales will increase considerably.

Stay true to your brand, and whilst pushing the boundaries remember that you want to do so to have a positive impact on your consumer, not a negative one – there can be a very fine line! If you’re a new business with a low budget and you aren’t afraid to take a risk and use a few unconventional methods – then this is definitely something for you!

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