Guerrilla marketing has had a bit of a bad reputation in some circles during the past few years. However, this is only because some people consider highly effective marketing and business strategies “cheating”. Regardless, you know the saying, “all is fair in love and war”, and make no mistake, marketing business is war.
There are a lot of guerrilla marketing ideas that can benefit your business and your practice. Many people today use ideas like these to increase traffic flow for their websites, the open rate for their emails, reply rate and much more. In today’s world, you need to be creative if you want your business or brand to succeed. That’s where Guerrilla marketing comes in.
Below we’ll be exploring different types, elements, examples, and ideas on how to do guerrilla marketing the right way. One thing you must be clear on, before browsing our examples and ideas for inspiration, is the basics. Ion that note let’s begin with the most basic of all things.
What is guerrilla marketing?
Guerrilla marketing is a set of unconventional actions and business strategies to help you launch low-cost marketing campaigns. These excel at generating great marketing campaigns at a fraction of the regular cost for a campaign that would bring about the same results.
Think of it like a magnifying glass that can help you achieve more with less. You can invest 100$ in your guerrilla marketing idea and get 1000$ back as profit, that just how a good guerrilla marketing strategy works.
When referring to guerrilla marketing most people that truly appreciate it use the words effective, creative, alternative, cheap, profitable and interactive. That is because this kind of marketing strategy focuses way more on direct interaction with the public, using powerful messages than it does on reaching people and customers using conventional means.
So, why guerrilla?
Again, this is mostly based on the fact that the strategy used is a non-conventional one. It takes the public by surprise and makes sure to leave a mark using a strong message.
It uses social media and the real world to get to people, instead of a more conventional sales approach like door-to-door sales. This way you can either use emails, messages or any other platform to convey a strong and creative message to your audience and potential clients. With a good strategy, this can be done at a fraction of the cost to get a great result.
Types of guerrilla marketing ideas.
There are a lot of ways that a marketing strategy can be implemented and interact with people. This is what we refer to when we talk about the “types of guerrilla marketing”. While you won’t find these in any book about marketing, we’re confident that you can separate different strategies in the following categories.
1. Street marketing. This is by far one the most used strategies when people refer to guerrilla marketing. It basically consists of what the name says, marketing actions taking place outdoors, in the street or simply put, in the real world.
2. Ambient marketing. This one refers to any kind of marketing strategy used to promote a product by placing ads on unconventional places or taking advantage of the way things are set up in real life.
3. Event ambush marketing. Referred to whenever marketers use the audience of a particular event to promote their own views, and/or products.
4. Guerrilla projections. These involve installing hidden projectors on high-rise buildings or high-traffic streets to gain visibility and reputation with the public. This type usually has a lot of legal problems depending on the country and/or permits available.
5. Experiential marketing. Also known as “participation marketing” or “live marketing”. It focuses more on providing and designing an immersive pop-up experience which makes users experience the brand first-hand and therefore publicize it.
6. Viral marketing. Named after the aspiration set for a particular campaign. It’s basically a set of highly creative ads and messages that try to resonate with the public’s opinion about a subject in which your brand has some sort of influence.The main issue with this strategy is that it doesn’t sit too well with the public. The decision if something goes viral or not lies entirely with the audience and not the marketers. Since many people today are setting too high of a standard, such as going viral, for their marketing strategies, this is barely considered a guerrilla marketing type.
What are the elements of guerrilla marketing?
Guerrilla marketing has a certain number of elements that necessarily make up the strategy. Whether the actual campaign is successful or not, is entirely dependent on how the marketer implements those elements.
For instance, most guerrilla marketing strategies include the following elements.
Guerrilla marketing campaigns are highly targeted in terms of geographical location.
The campaigns are original and authentic.
They’re really not expensive.
It happens with good timing for the audience, but at the same time, it catches them by surprise. A pleasant surprise.
Guerrilla marketing strategies are not replicable or scalable. Regardless, any brand can easily reap the benefits of a good guerrilla marketing campaign for a long time.
A guerrilla marketing campaign doesn’t replace a promotional plan or conventional advertisement. The main focus of a guerrilla marketing campaign is to create buzz and resonate with people in creative and smart ways.
7 of the Most Powerful Guerrilla Marketing Examples.
Guerrilla marketing is largely preferred by new and fast-rising start-ups, well-known brands and organizations. The main attraction for some is the low cost for great results. For others, it’s all about the ability to reach large amounts of people with a strong message. You’ll see examples of each case below.
While Guerrilla marketing does seem very promising, you need to know exactly how to implement it. Just to make sure you’re not breaking any laws or accidentally copying other brands. If you want to do it right you need inspiration, a strong message, creativity and of course, your target audience. Be resourceful and make sure to learn from these 7 examples of guerrilla marketing.
1. RaisingTheRoof’s campaign, done to engage with communities.
This Guerrilla marketing campaign was highly effective at raising funds for RaisingTheRoof. It appealed to the way people seem to focus only on what they want to see in the street, often times being blind to the needs of others.
It aims to generate a response that can lead to lessen the homeless youth problem and create a more human response. One of the reasons that it worked out so well for them is due to the message and the careful positioning of each poster in real streets.
It is obvious that this is a guerrilla marketing strategy. It fits the bill entirely, strong message, original and creative approach, low cost for launching. This is certainly one example from which you can take inspiration from. If you do, make sure to put your own vision into play, use your creativity to change and influence the real world. That last sentence meant more than just a simple marketing strategy at the end of RaisingTheRoof’s campaign.
2. Jeep’s guerrilla marketing strategy.
The beauty of this guerrilla marketing strategy is the same one that you’ll find in most. It uses the outdoors to make a statement and generate a repercussion in people, that repercussion being positive on their brand.
While this example is certainly a risk due to parking and community rules, it is one that was well worth it for Jeep. Remember that guerrilla marketing doesn’t have to “play fair” or “by the rules” it is used to make a statement and put it in a way and place that gets attention from the public.
In this example, Jeep did great in terms of positioning itself with the public and reminding them about their brand. If you’re considering this example as one to follow for your own marketing campaign, be sure to check the rules and regulations on the target area.
3. Guerrilla marketing for environmental issues.
Again, when we talk about strong messages there’s nothing as strong as environmental messages. Using outdoors wasn’t enough, to go as far as to dress trees to make them look like they’re about to fall is a really strong message. One that most certainly resonated with the public.
This one might seem like its just another guerrilla marketing example, and it essentially is. What you want to look for is exactly what you see here. Anyone could rent an advertising space and come up with a catchy phrase about the environment. But if you go the extra mile people are sure to remember you, in this case, that was dressing tress. In case you’re wondering this is still cheaper than renting an advertising space almost anywhere.
The time when people stood at the exit of supermarkets or malls handing out flyers and asking if you have a moment for the environment has passed. This Guerrilla marketing campaign shows exactly what happens if people just don’t respond to what is going on around them in green areas.
4. Spanchat’s advertising in the spotlight.
While this is more of a conventional approach to advertising, it served Snapchat as a guerrilla marketing strategy. Let’s remember that the digital medium in which they operate is largely dominated by other brands and companies such as Facebook for example. What they did was break out of the digital mold and approach people from a real-world ad.
This did prove successful to them managing to increase their user number and brand awareness. Not only that, but people also felt more in touch with them and that is one of the great things about guerrilla marketing. When you make people interact with your brand in a more real way, you’re offering something new for some, something they don’t get from just any brand campaign on the internet or email. You’re proving them with the feel of commitment.
5. Strong environmental messages again.
Just imagine driving on the highway, looking up and suddenly finding a dangerous animal that’s not supposed to be in a streetlight. That kind of shock is the one that’s accomplished with this guerrilla marketing strategy. Before anyone gets triggered by this, it's just a doll, no real animals are the harm in the making of this marketing strategy.
Take this as another great example that can get people more concerned about environmental change. After all, it’s not just the trees that will disappear.
6. & 7. NIKE as the warlord of guerrilla marketing.
The most important, relevant and creative guerrilla marketing strategies come from NIKE. These are actual examples taken from some of their campaigns, these were done in real life.
Their tag line is “just do it” and it works great for the most part. But NIKE knows that whenever they need to reach larger audiences with a strong message, guerrilla marketing is the way to do it.
From removing the seat on a bench in a park to make people try to exercise more, to creating smart ideas to publicize their brand. While some of their most effective guerrilla marketing ideas might seem a little rude or inappropriate, they do cause a long and lasting effect on the public.
Is precisely these kind of marketing strategies that make NIKE such a heavy weight when it comes to marketing and publicity. Remember that their catchline is emphasized on doing, therefore their marketing strategy is coherent with that precisely. This reinforcement is also another strong point for guerrilla marketing and it works great for your audience.
Guerrilla marketing measured against smart advertising.
In this part allow us to clarify exactly what guerrilla marketing is not. You can come across different types of advertising and/or posters however most of them are just clever ways to post an ad or generate more traffic.
For instance, you can see different advertisements that are both creative and unconventional, and that they also use little to no words to send a strong message. This by itself doesn’t guarantee that the ad is a guerrilla marketing strategy.
If said ad also communicates the same message as other brands in the same business. It uses conventional space in an unconventional way. The ad space is paid and the message is just fresh but not as strong. Then this is most likely just a smart ad, or in the best-case scenario a marginal guerrilla marketing idea.
There is a lot of guerrilla marketing ideas available for free just using google. Yet the issue comes down to what you want to transmit and how. Remember that using guerrilla marketing does come at a price, as such it would be best to have a clear idea on how to use it, hence our examples.
Guerrilla marketing doesn’t have to be fair, but it does have to be unconventional, low cost and effective. The best way to capitalize on this is to pick a trendy recent event that is somehow related to your brand and use it in a creative way.
The 9 best guerrilla marketing tips for your campaign.
Lastly, we can share some of the most useful tips for guerrilla marketing campaigns. The main focus of every guerrilla marketing campaign is to be effective, low cost and unconventional with a strong message.
#1. Choose your targeting.
This tip is pretty straight forward. You must know your audience and who a marketing campaign is aimed for. As such you have to know how to find your ideal recipients and who they are. Just take it as homework and find as much as you can about them, at least enough to know what the majority likes.
#2. Location is everything.
The place in which you position your ads and efforts in marketing plays a key role in the outcomes, especially in the real world. This does have as a basis the previous point. You have to know where your target audience is located and how to physically reach the majority.
#3. Be original.
This is more about the essence of guerrilla marketing. Think about it, if people start seeing the same guerrilla marketing ideas over and over again, they’re going to appear normal to your public. Be original and save yourself any issues.
Remember that guerrilla marketing strategies shouldn’t be re-used, you can gather inspiration from several in the past, however.
#4. Get inspired.
Your inspiration is key to the success of your campaign. This is the creative drive that will make you be original and fresh with your marketing approach.
Think about any issues the public might have that your brand or product can solve. After that, it’s all about making a statement in a strong and public way.
#5. Be relevant.
This means something obvious. You must provide a value of some sort to every single person in your audience. Being relevant is a little bit more than that, however, this is something easy to do if you know how to dominate your product/service and/or brand.
Usually, this is found in the same way that your product/brand can provide value to your customers. Making strong impressions and statements helps the public see you as a leading brand in your sector of the industry.
#6. Craft your message.
Again, this is pretty straight forward and it goes hand to hand with being original.
#7. Make it interactive.
The great majority of people that respond well to guerrilla marketing say so because they feel engaged by a particular strategy. This is done by making people feel committed to your brand and product. The more you accomplish this; the better will things go for your campaign.
#8. Don’t fall for viral.
While the word viral does seem attractive in marketing, not everybody can tell you whether something will go viral before you launch it. Just trust your instincts and hope for the best when it comes to the public’s reaction.
#9. Measure the performance.
This is fairly easy to do, basically the metrics that you want to keep an eye for are.
You can gain access to these metrics in lots of different ways.
By now you should be pretty comfortable when it comes down to implementing a great guerrilla marketing idea. At the very least you know what guerrilla marketing is, its types and tips for a successful guerrilla marketing campaign.
On a deeper note, you might think that guerrilla marketing is simply not worth all the problems you go trough just to place a few ads in different zones. Regardless of this, you must know their benefits when it comes to visits, brand awareness and therefore sales. In fact, you can even add some of these unconventional ideas to your conventional email campaigns in order to get more and more attention from your recipients.
Using guerrilla marketing can come across as playing dirty. However, this is exactly what the guerrilla part means. It doesn’t have to be pretty or simple, it just has to be effective. By implementing guerrilla marketing strategies, you can improve your brand reception and get the most effective results with little monetary investment. Remember all is fair in love and war, and your business marketing is definitely war.
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