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In business, when all top marketing trends fail, there is such a term akin to calling in the special forces—guerrilla marketing. Closely similar with guerrilla warfare and tactics, the success of guerrilla marketing largely depends on the element of surprise.
In the world of marketing, guerrilla techniques employs the same dependence on the element of surprise. Meaning, guerrilla marketing techniques aim to catch people off guard by means of unconventional methods. These methods can be as simple as drawing graffiti on a wall to as complex as staging a stunt show or event. The main point is in grabbing the attention of the people in the most unconventional, crazy, out-of-this-world way possible.
Guerrilla marketing aims to use killer strategies that branch off from the more traditional marketing strategies to the equivalent of shock and awe tactics. It relies heavily on originality, creativity, and the ingenuity of a marketer to bring out the hurt without relying on a big marketing budget you set up yourself.
Guerrilla marketing today commonly makes use of smaller and more localized strategies like the following:
Particularly popular in the cities is the use of graffiti. They are deployed on alleyways or city streets in the form of a giant canvas. Smaller campaigns make use of establishment walls either asking permission from the property owner or not. This has to be carefully thought through as not asking for permission has legal implications if the property owner decides to involve local authorities or police.
As the name suggests, this type of guerrilla marketing uses stencils just about from anything to make works of street art. Stencils often are faster to make and can be applied to many different areas or spaces in a short duration of time. They are however smaller compared to graffiti or street murals and are more simple in design.
Reverse graffiti is often done by doing the opposite of adding material to a wall. Marketers remove dirt or any substantial covering from a street or wall to create a more natural mark or message. This is still done pretty fast as they make use of a stencil and just wash over or clean the uncovered spaces of a wall or street.
Stickers are another way of using guerrilla tactics when done well. Examples should be those bus stickers that transform the bus into something else just with the help of stickers. It can either show a sticker of a battery powering up the lights or the like.
This particular tactic involves hiring a group of individuals to perform a certain action at a predetermined place and time. Actors or performers are commonly hired to perform such random actions whether it be on a bus, train, in the side roads, in a busy street or a mall—all for the reason of captivating a live audience and delivering the message intended by for the product.
Another tactic up the sleeve of guerrilla marketing is creating highly customized and quality treasure hunts that make the audience participate with the possible chance of finding a prize after following all clues for the hidden items scattered across a city or several cities.
Publicity stunts aim to amaze, bedazzle, and awe spectators in order to gain wide attention. Some stunts are premeditated and therefore organized well and should be well attended by a vast number of individuals. The stunt itself promotes the brand which sponsors the stunt.
A popular brand using this is Red Bull.
Undercover marketing involves marketers disguising themselves among the target audience. They would in their interaction with the target audience feature whatever product they want to market and display the different benefits or advantages of such products.
One such company employing such tactic is Sony. One campaign they ran showed an actor disguising himself while showing off the cool abilities of the Sony mobile phone.
Guerrilla marketing tactics are particularly highly applicable to the urban environment. It can be on a side walk or a bus stop or a train station. The main thing is to make clever use of the spaces and surroundings of an area to allow for opportunities in marketing a product and the mind’s creativity shall do the rest.
Despite mostly being confined to the physical realm of things, guerrilla marketing is also effectively being used over the Internet via online guerrilla marketing campaigns like:
Guerrilla marketing induces the creative thinking juices of the marketers. In marketing, imagination is everything and is more important than any budget cap being provided. It is perhaps one of the most lethal weapons a marketer has at his disposal. Marketing is heavily reliant on what people think, know, and feel about your brand and thus what marketing makes of a product is what is being perceived by the general public.
It is also noteworthy to mention that although guerrilla marketing is a very powerful marketing strategy, you have to take into careful consideration some implications that may happen when conducting or executing a campaign. Effectively, guerrilla marketing is not for the faint-hearted. It can have a powerhouse effect that can either make or break any business depending on how it was thought out and in the effectivity of the delivery.