In this digital age, the realm of marketing is no longer reserved to professionals in the field. Today, anyone can market their business—regardless of funds or experience. Guerrilla marketing embodies the idea of the “everyday marketer,” and provides unique techniques to achieve maximum results with the lowest barriers. Guerrilla marketing tactics are low-cost and high-yield, making these campaigns ideal for small businesses.
The definition of guerrilla marketing is difficult to pinpoint. Several adjectives can be attributed to the term. Guerrilla marketing is unconventional, unexpected, sometimes controversial. Perhaps the best way of describing it is “disruptive” or “sticky.” Guerrilla marketing is something audiences don’t expect but something they will certainly remember. Think flash mobs dancing in a train station—that’s guerrilla marketing!
To successfully utilize guerrilla marketing as small business, it’s essential to think outside of the box. To go guerrilla, you need to change your state of mind. As a small business, you have something larger corporations don’t: flexibility. To move up the food chain and get your name out there, you have to take the high dive.
That said, guerrilla marketing isn’t for all businesses. You need to consider the industry you’re working in. Small businesses in highly regulated industries, finance and insurance, for example, could get into serious trouble for launching guerrilla marketing campaigns. These types of industries would do best sticking to a conventional marketing plan. The best guerrilla marketing inevitably ruffles some feathers. If this is a risky proposition for your business, small business guerrilla marketing may not be a good option for you.
Guerrilla marketing campaigns begin with unique ideas. As mentioned above, you need to think outside the box. Before you embark on any action, sit down for a brainstorming session. Maybe your guerrilla marketing campaign will be handing out temporary tattoos at a college homecoming, installing giant statues in your town, or planting thousands of flowers in an open field, but whatever it is, make sure it stands out.
Ask yourself this important question: What is your essence? What is the core message you are trying to send, and how would you phase it in 5 seconds or less? Identify what is you want your message to convey. Is it simply an advertisement for your business, or is it a call to action? Do you want viewers to buy your product, visit your website, or like your Facebook page?
A call to action is essential to gauging results. You need something trackable, something that can determine whether your campaign was successful. Guerrilla marketing might not be for you, but there are plenty of other marketing strategies for small businesses to choose from.
Guerrilla marketing techniques can be incredibly effective, but only if used properly. A guerrilla marketing campaign carried out using incorrect tactics can spell disaster for your business.
When running a guerrilla marketing campaign, there are a few things you should never do:
Many companies have embarked on guerrilla marketing campaigns, some have done it to great success, while others received negative results. Follow the below positive examples and avoid the negative ones!
Get started! Brainstorm, plan, execute!
A successful guerrilla marketing campaign is well within any company’s reach. However, it takes creativity, dedication, and very careful planning. Sit down with your team and analyze what resources and funds you can put towards a campaign and what you want to accomplish with one. You’ll find the ideas for the campaign itself will start rolling in in no time! Lastly, push your hesitations aside. Guerrilla marketing is gutsy, and a bit risky. There’s only one thing to do at the end of the day: take a deep breath and take the plunge.