Guerrilla marketing is all about the unconventional, snaffling more likes and customers by appealing to them in a way that is quirky but in keeping with their brand and its voice.
No wonder then, that businesses from a wide range of sectors are turning to this form of marketing as a means of boosting their marketing campaigns.
Expanding reach and getting talked about
From flash mobs in town centres and airports to online advertising campaigns that ‘go viral’, the success of guerrilla marketing, when done ‘right’, is far-reaching.
Better still, most people see it as a low-cost marketing tool too and thus, more reach, bigger exposure without busting the budget is music to the ears.
Guerrilla marketing is like one of those ‘get rich schemes’ we hear about. In most cases, the majority are too good to be true but occasionally, an opportunity comes along that does deliver a high yield for the higher risks investors take.
In some ways, guerrilla marketing is like this. It is a calculated risk and with thought and strategy behind it, it can increase your reach and get your brand talked about.
But you need to be ready to support the marketing campaign and that means having your brand visible, with everything from flyers through doors, billboard campaigns and effective social media strategy to using self-adhesive signs on company vehicles etc.
Three pillars that make it a success
Not every marketing campaign is guaranteed to be a success – what looks and sounds good in the boardroom is not always received in the same way by the public – with tone and message sometimes being so tone deaf, you wonder how a company allowed the campaign to take flight.
But it happens. Be careful with controversy or goading your public into a reaction because the backfires can be both spectacular and damaging.
Unique, exciting and with a potentially massive windfall, a guerrilla marketing campaign has no guarantee of success BUT, with these three pillars at the three-pronged structure, you have the makings of a decent campaign.
- A strong hook connects people with your product, service or brand in an unexpected way.
- Focussing on the idea, not the product may sound an alien concept within marketing, but this is the beauty of guerrilla marketing. In other words, focus on the emotions of using your product rather than the traditional benefits solving a problem.
- Creating something tangible is also essential. For example, American retailing giant Target created a two-storey dolls house through which customers could pass. Stuffed full of their products, the customers scanned the QR codes to buy items instantly.
It can link offline marketing with online (or vice versa)
Marketing is a constant process of highlighting your company, brand, logo and products to the buying public.
Every business operates in a competitive marketplace and with limited campaign budgets, every advert they place, every tweet they send needs to be near the mark.
Carrying out online and offline marketing in two separate distinct bubbles is not harnessing their full power. The one thing about guerrilla marketing is it can act as the bridge between these two marketing spheres.
A flash mob, for example, in a shopping mall will be filmed by at least one person on their mobile and uploaded to social sharing sites. In fact, you can guarantee several people will film it and share it.
And that’s great because that is what you are banking on people will do! You just need to be ready for people to understand where it came from.
Remember, the aim of any marketing campaign of this type is to create a sense of wonder, leaving people exclaiming ‘that’s surprising!’.
It develops your call-to-action
Guerrilla marketing is all well and good when people enjoy the quirkiness of it, laugh along with it or even cry along with it.
But if that is all it is, it is more a free show than a marketing campaign. There still needs to be a call to action, a set of instructions that once the ‘performance’ or online viral video has been seen and admired, that the customer knows what to do next.
It might be a simple case of ‘sign up now’ or maybe you want people to ‘enter to win’. Or if you direct them to your website, they might need to ‘scan the code’ or ‘click here’.
High risk it may be, but guerrilla marketing can bring high rewards too. But by its very nature, even with all the planning and all the self-adhesive vehicle signs and supporting tweets, a guerrilla marketing campaign could still fall flat. You don’t have to throw everything at it, but it can deliver a big win.