Have you seen the BBC’s Dracula billboard that went viral last year? Or the Frontline interactive floor ad? These two are the most recent examples of guerrilla marketing that are hard to miss. 

The BBC’s Dracula billboard featured an illustration of a vampire that appeared to come to life at night, while the Frontline ad featured a dog on the floor and represented actual humans as fleas and ticks. Both of these campaigns caught people’s attention and generated buzz.

Businesses online or offline are constantly competing for attention. Guerrilla marketing is a low-cost, unconventional marketing strategy that can help businesses stand out from the crowd. Guerrilla marketing campaigns are often unexpected and creative, and they can be a great way to generate buzz and attract new customers.

In this article, we are going to talk about each and every aspect of guerrilla marketing campaigns. So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to embrace some of the best marketing tips.

What is Guerilla Marketing?

The term “guerrilla marketing” was first used in J. Conrad Levinson’s 1984 book of the same name. The term is derived from the concept of guerrilla warfare, which is a type of warfare that employs atypical tactics to achieve an objective. 

It has become very popular among marketers looking for new ways to contact consumers due to the less successful traditional advertising channels. It is because it employs unique and unexpected ways to leave a lasting impression on the target audience, which can lead to increased sales and buzz.

Guerilla marketing is a non-traditional and unconventional marketing strategy that relies on creativity, imagination, and resourcefulness rather than a large marketing budget. It encompasses the utilization of unforeseen and captivating strategies to craft unforgettable encounters that deeply connect with the intended audience.

Such marketing campaigns frequently unfold in surprising venues, employing innovative channels and approaches to reach and captivate consumers. For example, a guerrilla marketing campaign might involve handing out flyers, creating a viral video, or staging an attention-grabbing event. These types of campaigns can be very effective at getting people’s attention and generating buzz, even if they don’t cost a lot of money.

Major Benefits of Guerilla Marketing:

You know the basics of the approach, now is time to know its benefits. Here are some of the major benefits of Guerilla marketing:

Cost-Effectiveness

Traditional or digital marketing methods, such as advertising on television or in print or paid ads on social media, can be very expensive. Guerilla marketing campaigns, on the other hand, can be implemented with relatively low budgets, making them ideal for small businesses and startups. By utilizing creativity and ingenuity, you can achieve significant results without breaking the bank.

According to an article written by Trina M. on Workzone “Businesses and marketers from all over the world have witnessed up to 90% reductions in ad expenditure as a result of the unique method of going Guerrilla.”

Enhanced Brand Awareness

The extent to which individuals are familiar with a brand is referred to as brand awareness. Brand recognition is vital for businesses since it can lead to greater sales and market share. Guerrilla marketing can aid in increasing brand awareness because it is designed to create a memorable impact on the audience. When executed successfully, it can generate word-of-mouth buzz, social media shares, and media coverage, leading to increased brand awareness and exposure.

Targeted and Personalized Approach

Guerilla marketing campaigns can be customized to target certain demographics or markets. Understanding your target audience’s interests, behaviors, and preferences allows you to build experiences that connect with them on a personal level, fostering a closer bond between your company and its customers. A guerilla marketing strategy can include, for example, passing out brochures in a certain neighborhood or making a viral video tailored to a specific audience. This form of targeting can help to ensure that the marketing message reaches the intended audience.

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Higher Engagement

Guerrilla marketing campaigns can be very engaging, as they often involve people in a way that traditional marketing methods don’t. This is because they often use interactive and participatory tactics that get people involved. It encourages them to talk about the brand with their friends and family.

Long-lasting Effect on Audience

Guerrilla marketing can have a long-lasting effect on the audience’s mind if it is done well. This is because guerrilla marketing campaigns often use creative and unexpected tactics that can be very memorable. When a marketing campaign is memorable, it is more likely to stick in people’s minds and stay with them for a long time.

There is one example to show how fruitful guerrilla marketing can be: Toyota sponsored the Summer Olympics in 1996, but General Motors won out by giving a Golden Holden car to all gold medal winners. The vast majority of people continue to believe that the event was sponsored by General Motors.

Can Be Picked Up By The News

Some especially noteworthy or unique guerrilla marketing campaigns can be so successful that they are picked up by local (and even national) news sources. This can result in a publicity powerhouse effect that marketers dream of. “Off the Wall” campaign In 2013 by Vans,  “Canstruction” campaign by Pringles In 2014, fake protest in 2012 by clothing company Diesel are some of the marketing campaigns that went viral very quickly with the help of news channels. Similarly, the BBC’s Dracula billboard also made headlines online as it was not only appreciated by local people but promoted by many individuals and social media  pages/channels.

Types of Guerilla Marketing Strategies

Checkout the types of guerrilla marketing.

guerilla marketing types
  • Ambient marketing: Marketers use unexpected and unconventional ways to get people’s attention. For example, a company might create a giant billboard that looks like a real tree, or they might put up stickers on the sidewalk that look like cracks.
  • Ambush marketing: It takes advantage of an event without the permission of the event organizers. For example, a company might dress up their employees as clowns and hand out balloons at a sporting event.
  • Stealth marketing: This type is designed to make it look like the marketing is coming from a non-commercial source. For example, a company might create a blog that appears to be independent, but is actually written by the company.
  • Viral marketing: This type of guerrilla marketing creates a message that is designed to go viral online. For example, a company might create a funny video that is designed to be shared on social media.
  • Buzz marketing: This one creates a buzz about a product or service through word-of-mouth. For example, a company might give away free samples of their product to people who are willing to talk about it to their friends. This method is very popular on Instagram and Tiktok.
  • Grassroots marketing: This type of guerrilla marketing involves getting people to spread the word about a product or service through their own social networks. For example, a company might create a campaign that encourages people to post pictures of themselves using their product on social media.
  • Astroturfing: This type of marketing creates the illusion of grassroots support for a product or service. There are many fake social media accounts that are designed to look like they are from real people who are supporting the product.
  • Street marketing: Street marketing is the most popular type of traditional guerrilla marketing. It involves interacting with potential customers in public spaces. For example, a company might set up a booth in a busy area and hand out samples of their product. Street marketing, according to Marcel Saucet and Bernard Cova, is a broad word that encompasses six major categories of activities: distribution of flyers or items, product animations, human animations, road shows, undiscovered actions, and event actions.

Process of Guerilla Marketing

Technically speaking, there are no one-size-fit-all procedures. These marketing strategies are different from others because they are designed differently with more creativity. However, to give a rough idea here is the typical procedure to execute a campaign.

Step-1 : Define Your Goals

What do you want to achieve with your online guerrilla marketing campaign? Do you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or drive sales? Once you know your goals, you can start to develop a strategy to achieve them.

Step-2: Choose Your Target Audience

Who are you trying to reach with your online guerrilla marketing campaign? Once you know your target audience, you can start to think about how to reach them in a way that will be effective.

Step-3: Come Up With a Creative Idea

Online guerrilla marketing is all about being creative and unexpected. You need to come up with an idea that will get people’s attention and make them remember your brand.

Step-4: Plan Your Execution. 

  • Through Offline Mode: Once you have an idea, you need to plan how you are going to execute it. This includes things like type, timing, location, and budget.
  • Through Online Mode: Once you get an unique idea, you must properly plan and execute it. This encompasses factors such as timing, platform, and budget.

Step-5: Measure Your Results

It’s important to measure the results of your online or offline guerrilla marketing campaign so that you can see what’s working and what’s not. This will help you to improve your campaigns in the future.

Measurement and Evaluation of Guerilla Marketing Campaigns

Guerrilla marketing is a type of marketing that uses unconventional and creative tactics to get attention and reach a target audience. It can be a very effective way to reach a large audience with a limited budget.

However, in order to ensure the success of your guerrilla marketing efforts, it’s essential to measure and evaluate their impact. This means tracking things like social media mentions, website traffic, and changes in brand awareness and perception.

You can also use online analytics tools and surveys to gather feedback and insights from your audience. This information can help you refine future campaigns and improve your overall marketing strategy.

Guerrilla Marketing’s Drawbacks

Guerrilla marketing may not be a profitable strategy every time, sometimes it may backfire due to lack of clarity and understanding. However, if done well, it can be a very effective way to reach a large audience and generate buzz for a product or service. Here are some of the potential drawbacks of guerrilla marketing:

Can be misunderstood

Guerrilla marketing campaigns often rely on surprise and intrigue to get attention. However, this can backfire if the message is not clear or if people misinterpret it. For example, in 2007, a guerrilla marketing campaign for the animated series Aqua Teen Hunger Force resulted in panic in Boston when people mistook flashing LED boards for bombs.

Authority intervention

Some forms of guerrilla marketing, such as street graffiti, may be considered vandalism or a nuisance. This could lead to legal action or other intervention from authorities.

Unpredicted obstacles

Guerrilla marketing campaigns often take place in public spaces, which means they are subject to the whims of the weather, traffic, and other factors. This can make it difficult to control the campaign and ensure that it goes off as planned.

Potential backlash

Guerrilla marketing campaigns that are seen as intrusive or deceptive may be met with negative reactions from the public. This could damage the reputation of the company or brand involved.

Conclusion

Guerilla marketing offers a refreshing and innovative approach to promote your business without the need for a large marketing budget. By embracing creativity, personalization, and unexpected tactics, you can create memorable experiences that resonate with your target audience, increase brand awareness, and drive business growth.

Remember to carefully plan and evaluate your guerilla marketing campaigns to maximize their impact and ensure they align with your overall marketing objectives. Embrace the power of guerilla marketing, but be aware of its risks.

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