About Guerrilla Marketing
Updated: Jul 8, 2020
Guerrilla marketing is a term that began its journey in the 70's. Guerrilla is often associated with warfare, a special type of warfare which greatly consists of element of surprise and ambush. But when it comes to marketing we are not talking about warfare tactics and Che Guevara. We are talking about a highly effective and popular marketing concept which is inexpensive but hard to implement. So let's break it down!
What is it?
Even though guerrilla marketing isn't about warfare, it does take the main premise of the warfare tactic, the premise of surprise. The main goal of the guerrilla marketing technique is to surprise people and catch them off guard. It's a technique that utilizes everything that doesn't fit the mold and is out of the ordinary. Since it is heavily based on creativity and thinking outside of the box it is very hard to define it. Best way to define and explain guerrilla marketing is by showing it. But we can't just let this hard to grasp concept escape our ability to word it so here it goes. Guerrilla marketing is a technique used in marketing which focuses on surprising people when they least expect it. The goal is for the surprise to be so creative and out of the ordinary that it sticks with people for a long time.
The main attribute of guerrilla marketing is the cost. It should be way less expensive than an ordinary marketing campaign. That's what also connects it to the warfare technique, since guerrilla warfare is about a small force gaining advantage by surprise over the bigger force. But not everything that bears the name of guerrilla marketing, truly is guerrilla marketing.
1. It should be very budget friendly. In some cases the less it costs, the better, depending on your objectives.
2. In many cases it's not a marketing campaign, it serves to create a buzz around the future campaign or it's used to raise brand awareness.
3. Location, location, location! Location is everything in this concept and it can even be a starting point for planning.
4. Authenticity! It HAS to be something authentic and never seen before.
5. Execution is key, there are no second tries, if your concept doesn't succeed at first its back to the drawing board.
1. Outdoor Guerrilla Marketing or Street Marketing. Refers to all marketing actions taking place outdoors, using all the outdoor or street elements.
2. Indoor Guerrilla Marketing. Concept is the same as with the Outdoor marketing except that it’s used indoors in schools, malls, colleges, train stations and so on.
3. Event Ambush Guerrilla Marketing. Tactic which uses a certain event and its audience to promote a product or a service. It’s usually done without permission but in order to work it has to be highly noticeable and effective.
4. Experiential Guerrilla Marketing (Participation Marketing, Live Marketing). Uses all the elements listed above, but is executed in a way that requires the public to interact with the brand.
Guerrilla marketing in practice
Possibly the best example of guerrilla marketing in modern times is The Ice Bucket Challenge. Challenge gained traction during the summer months of 2014. and quickly became a global talking point. The challenge was very simple, stand in front of a camera/phone and have somebody pour icy cold water over you. This simple concept led to millions of videos of people from all walks of life and all over the world being drenched in cold water. But the challenge wasn’t just some weird masochistic experiment, the weird nature of it and allure of seeing people experiencing discomfort was used to gain awareness for a disease called ALS and encourage donations to research. It became so popular that you couldn’t go on the internet and not see at least one video of it. Everybody was doing it, actors, athletes, musicians and even politicians.
The Ice Bucket Challenge was a great example of guerrilla marketing in the social media day and age, it became viral marketing. A concept whose purpose from the get go is to become planetary popular and spread around the internet like wildfire. Creating something with an intention to become viral is next to impossible. There is no way of knowing how the audience will react to it, but this challenge was something so different that it was destined to become viral especially with the noble cause behind it. Ultimately The Ice Bucket Challenge was a huge success, during its virality it raised around 220 million dollars and was introduced again in years to come but never gained the traction it did originally.
Your main goal might be to become viral, in order to do that in this day and age you have to rely on the audience. It isn't up to you if your concept becomes viral it's up to the audience. The most you can do is let your creative juices flow and do something extraordinary. Easy enough, right?
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