The term Guerrilla was once exclusive to fighters ready to attack- think ambushes, sabotage, and raids. Relying heavily on the element of surprise, Guerrilla was adopted as a marketing technique coined by business writer Jay Conrad Levinson in the early 1980s. Since then, Guerrilla Marketing tactics have expanded across the marketing world through outdoor examples, the digital landscape, and many more outlets, catching the eyes of consumers with ideas that go beyond the norms of traditional brand advertising campaigns.
Those who opt for guerrilla marketing techniques set out to create unorthodox campaigns to grab the attention of unexpecting passer-byers going about their day. These unique experiences help brands stand out in an ever-growing competitive environment and get people talking (and most of all posting) about your brand. The adoption of guerrilla marketing builds brands reputations through word of mouth and generates social media content organically (which is budget friendly if you decide to splash some major cash on guerrilla techniques!).
Guerrilla Marketing can be broken into four sub-categories*:
1. Outdoor Guerrilla Marketing: Adding to pre-existing urban environments, such as transit advertising, removable statues, and wallscapes.
2. Indoor Guerrilla Marketing: Similar to outdoor guerrilla marketing, except it takes place in indoor locations like train stations, shopping centres, and universities.
3. Event Ambush Guerrilla Marketing: Leveraging the audience of an in-progress event- like a concert or a sporting game- to promote a product or service in a noticeable way, usually without permission from the event sponsors.
4. Experiential Guerrilla Marketing: All of the above but executed in a way that requires the public to interact with the brand.
Although some guerrilla marketing campaigns look like they’ve broke the bank, most marketers claim that it is of a fairly low-cost nature. Yes, you will need to have some sort of financial backing in order to cover the expenses, however this would be needed for any form of advertisement chosen. The real investment in guerrilla marketing is the creative intellectual one, not implementation. The beauty of guerrilla marketing is the ability to repurpose existing content and expanding on segments of each. Guerrilla marketing works by repurposing the environment around your audience and see how your brand can stand out. The most crucial investments are time, creation, and innovation.
To ensure your attempt at guerrilla marketing is a successful one try and identify the biggest problem that your brand solves and broadcast that to the public in an unconventional way to boost engagement. Secondly, think about who your audience is and where they are likely to roam in order to surprise and target them effectively. Thirdly, like everything guerrilla marketing has gone digital- give your audience a show. An easy way to do this is to get creative in the comments, start engaging with the online world and get people talking. Lastly (and most importantly), don’t over think it. Guerrilla works best with the most bizarre and eccentric ideas, so why not get a little bit more creative than before!