Want to know how to boost your brand awareness among a large audience?! Looking for a strategy to find your customers and generate leads at a low cost?! One of the solutions worth considering is Guerilla marketing! Yeah, you read it right! Now, keep reading to see what it is and how it can help!
In today’s day and age, your target customers are surrounded by different types of advertisement; brands use e-commerce marketing tools and social media to get ahead of the game. In this atmosphere, every business should go beyond its comfort zone and adopt new marketing methods in order to succeed. A viable option here is guerilla marketing!
Guerilla marketing tactics refer to using effective, unconventional, and low-cost methods for advertising products and services. So, if you ever want to get the word out there using an unconventional approach, you could use this method!
In this blog, we’ll cover guerilla marketing definitions, examples, and different types. By the end of this comprehensive guide, you’ll have the answer to all your questions!
Now, let’s get started, shall we?!
What Is Guerilla Marketing
Although this term might sound unfamiliar to you, it was first introduced to the world in 1984 with a book by Jay Conrad Levinson. In ‘Guerilla Marketing,’ Levinson presented several strategies related to traditional methods of marketing. But it didn’t end there; he also defined guerilla marketing as a method of implementing unconventional advertising with the lowest possible budget and ensuring the greatest feedback.
In short, guerilla marketing refers to an inexpensive, unconventional advertising strategy that tries to generate the most leads through shocking, surprising, or unexpected images and actions. But why is it budget-friendly? Because it invites you to spend your time, energy, and especially imagination on advertising and not just looking for money to attract an audience.
Are you ready to take a closer look at guerilla marketing definition and roots?!
Roots of Guerilla Marketing
The concept of guerilla marketing goes back to the tactics of guerilla warfare. As you may know, in this strategy, soldiers used the element of surprise to defeat the enemy. For example, they would camouflage and lie, waiting for enemy forces to attack in the middle of the night. You can probably guess what connects this warfare tactic with guerilla marketing: taking people by surprise!
To sum up, using guerilla tactics, each brand can unexpectedly enter the life of its audience, leave a good first impression, and convert them to customers. All you need is creativity, ingenuity, and direct interactions with the audience to make a significant impact regardless of the low budget invested.
Before we go on to explore the advantages of guerilla marketing, let’s hear a story, though. Ready?
Guerilla Marketing Examples
To understand guerilla marketing on a deeper level, we’ve gathered a number of examples here:
#1 Vodafone Mobile Ensurance
Mobile theft was one of the main problems in Romania. Of course, people in this country could insure their phones from theft or loss, but most think it is unnecessary. The marketing team at the insurance company, Vodafone, hired professional pickpocketers to show people the importance of phone insurance. How?
They weren’t stealing the phones but dropping promotional flyers into their handbags or pockets. “It’s easy to steal your phone; insure it with Vodafone,” The paper said. Astonishing, isn’t it?!
Although you might feel like individual security was violated in this guerilla marketing example, the advertisement actually worked! That is, it managed to gain the audience’s attention and make Vodafone more recognizable. Why did that happen? Because the audience was surprised by this advertising method, the probability of purchasing phone insurance increased. Moreover, they were likely to tell their friends the story.
#2 Greene King
This pub and brewing company decided to use experiential guerilla marketing tactics to surpass its competitors. Greene King worried that the local bar would be displaced by corporate retail, so it created a community advertisement by giving video cameras to the local pub owners. The local bars record the customers’ feedback and reactions while drinking Greene King’s beverages.
The customers would hold ‘Greene King’ drinks in their hands and say what was so special about them. Or, they would just film their fun times in local pubs!
Greene King built an emotional connection between its customers and the brand. And so, they managed to make a lasting impression on their clients!
#3 Frontline Fleas/Ticks Spray
Can you imagine seeing this scene in a mall?!
At first glance, you’ll be shocked and wondering why there’s a huge dog surrounded by so many fleas! But if you look closely, you’ll realize that neither the dog nor the flies are real. This is just a creative banner of a dog, and those spots that look like flies are actually people.
The company knew that many people would walk through the mall floor, creating this illusion that many people would see from the top floor. So, they decided to use this banner to ensure that their product would stay with their audience. This strategy is different from traditional marketing methods because it created a kind of random human interaction that reminds the viewers what the product does.
#4 GoldToe Underwear in New York
This is Guerilla marketing at its best! Look at the following picture! This big bull with its huge white underwear surprised all people on the sidewalk. Some people even decided to take pictures with it!
GoldToe advertised its new product and promoted its brand by putting underwear on a huge bull statue in NYC. Isn’t that creative?! Just because of their ingenuity, I would personally buy from their brand 🙂
Now, let’s jump right into guerilla marketing advantages.
What Are the Advantages of Guerilla Marketing
This customer-centric marketing method is a cost-effective and efficient way to promote a business. Let’s go over other pros:
It Is Cost Effective
With guerilla marketing, you can effectively advertise your brand and attract large audiences while spending much less money than you would have to spend on TV ads and billboards!
It Boosts Brand Awareness
The key factor is to use unconventional advertising methods to engage with customers in new and exciting ways. So, many guerilla tactics in marketing are interactive, low-cost, and used in unexpected places. As a result, they leave the target audience surprised yet with a positive impression about your brand identity.
Amazing, isn’t it?!
It Makes You Stand Out from Your Competitors
Guerilla marketing tactics are bold and memorable. Subsequently, they will set you apart from your rivals.
It Involves Word of Mouth
As you may know, people like to talk about things that are out of the ordinary. In fact, out-of-place objects and images arrest their attention. And your guerilla marketing campaign will be different from the common methods they have seen. Therefore, being creative and unconventional here leads to popularity and word-of-mouth marketing.
The good news is that most people trust and buy from a brand others have introduced.
It Is Possible to Choose the Target Audience
While in digital marketing, you don’t have full control over who can reach your content and product, the same doesn’t apply here! The great advantage of guerilla marketing is that you can decide where and when your campaign will take place. ‘what’s the point?’ you ask. Well, you can go directly to the places where your target market is and introduce your products or services.
Guerilla Marketing Methods & Types
There are many guerilla marketing tactics. we will present the most important types here:
Guerilla Marketing Type #1: Event Ambush
There are many companies that participate in various events to promote their products and services. For example, they advertise in various sports matches, conferences, or campaigns.
If they go for creative and different methods for advertising in such events without any permission from sponsors, it is called an event ambush guerilla marketing tactic.
Guerilla Marketing Type #2: Street Marketing
Street marketing is a recently coined term for outdoor marketing, which refers to all marketing events that take place outdoors, like on the sidewalks. It only happens on city streets, and there is a more direct interaction between customers and campaigns.
Guerilla Marketing Type #3: Indoor
If we reverse the outdoor guerilla marketing model, we will arrive at its indoor type. In this type, you should use different elements for advertising in closed spaces such as chain stores, train stations, etc.
Guerilla Marketing Type #4: Experiential
This type of marketing strategy includes all of the above. The difference is that the interaction is formed between the brand and the target audiences, and users become part of the advertising program by implementing the company’s request.
Now you may be wondering:
What Is the Impact of Guerilla Marketing on Digital Marketing
The principles of this type of marketing strategy can be also applied to online marketing, including Instagram marketing. We can find ways to surprise our audience and increase our brand awareness with low-cost strategies.
But, to reach this goal, you must be familiar with your target market’s needs and expectations. Therefore, you need the best behavioral analytics tool in your digital marketing career to analyze your customers.
Here’s the tool you’re looking for!
How to Make Guerilla Marketing Work For Your Target Audience
If you are now interested in trying guerilla marketing for your business, you might be wondering what will appeal to your audience and how you can surprise them! These are valid questions because no matter how well you know your target audience, you still can’t know how they will react to different events.
Understanding how you can surprise or excite your audience is truly a blessing! But how can you know?! Well, if your guerilla marketing efforts go hand in hand with digital marketing, your success is assured!
If you own a website, you can use the unique opportunity of testing different elements, copies, and banners to see what message catches their attention! By using reliable CRO tools, you can look into your users’ journey, see where they click, and understand what color or message has no effect on them!
Analyzing this data will point you in the right direction in all various realms of marketing! To make sure you can access all the information you need, we’ll introduce the best visitor-tracking tool out there!
WatchThemLive: Best for Guerilla Marketing Campaigns
WatchThemLive provides an in-depth analysis on which you can draw for determining your guerilla marketing strategies. By using this conversion rate optimization tool, you can see through your target audience’s eyes and see what works for them!
Keep reading to find out how WTL is helpful for your guerilla marketing campaigns.
Analyzing your customer behavior helps you know your target audience’s needs and expectations. So, you can take the necessary actions and change your designs according to their behavior.
WatchThemLive’s session replays record every visitor’s session, and you can replay it to check your visitors’ interactions with your website.
In addition to that, WatchThemLive offers other analytics features. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?!
Your online banner or landing page should be designed to lead the users to the part you want (for example: the sign-up page). So, you should configure the different sections of the website in such a way that all the parameters guide the visitors to the specific sections.
By using WatchThemLive’s heatmap, you can understand the level of user engagement with the content. Moreover, you can find the most clickable spot to place your CTA. Access to this information will tell you what color or copy looks appealing to your visitors!
Tools like WatchThemLive provide real-time analytics to help you understand:
- The number of visitors, page views, and sessions,
- Their location, device types, browser, language, operating systems, and screen resolutions,
- Plus, where the visitors entered your site (by using UTMs).
WatchThemLive has other features like live chat, video testimonials, and many more services that are used for eCommerce marketing. Interested to learn more?! Well, sign up here and take full advantage of its free plan!
Would you like to see if this is a tool you can trust?! Go ahead and read this WatchThemLive review!
Let’s dig a little deeper into examples of guerilla marketing tactics in all-sized businesses.
What Are Guerilla Marketing Use Cases
This marketing method can be used for different purposes because the most important factor is creativity. For example, special global events, such as World AIDS Day, is a situation where the use of this strategy can gain a lot of attention.
Moreover, these tactics provided a great way for small businesses to survive in the expensive world of traditional marketing. As a result, many of these businesses have switched to guerilla marketing tactics to surpass their competitors.
Back to what we were discussing, the main purpose of guerilla marketing is for those businesses that are looking for simple and budget-friendly methods to generate hype and draw attention to a product and consequently inspire their brand.
But nowadays, it is not necessarily exclusive to small businesses. So far, many large commercial brands have also used guerilla marketing ideas successfully. Ever wondering how? Keep reading to find the answer!
In the following sections, we will examine the methods of using this type of marketing for both small and large businesses. In addition to that, we’ll provide guerilla marketing examples for each type.
Guerilla Marketing Tactics for Small Businesses
This method may be the right choice for small businesses. This marketing method is usually associated with low cost and high access to target audiences. Moreover, it is a good approach to make your company look different from competitors. Why?
Because when you leave a good impression on your audience, it enhances brand awareness. Want to see one of the successful guerilla marketing examples?! let’s go!
The Witch Blair Project
One of the popular examples of guerilla marketing in small businesses is ‘The Witch Blair Project,’ which was carried out by filmmaking graduates from the University of Florida with a small budget and a camera. They used a surprising, unconventional method to achieve more audience, But How? Keep reading to find it.
They started to spread a rumor about ‘missing student filmmakers.’ They claimed that ‘in October 1994, three student filmmakers who had gone to the woods around Maryland to make a documentary disappeared. A year later, their camera was found!’ This news caught everyone’s attention.
You’re probably waiting for me to mention the result and ROI. Here goes…
This movie’s budget was around $25,000, but it went on to earn 10,000 times more($250 million)! Undoubtedly, it became one of the most successful marketing campaigns in terms of profit.
Can Large Business Owners Use Guerilla Marketing
Generally, this idea came to the aid of small businesses, but it didn’t stop large business owners from using it. Various commercial companies use Guerilla tactics as a supplement to their advertising campaigns.
But, some marketers believe that when well-known brands use guerilla marketing, their strategy isn’t guerilla because they have high budgets and are still famous at the time of marketing.
On the other hand, using these tactics for large businesses is very risky. Are you wondering why? Because, in some cases, their campaigns fail and turn into a terrifying nightmare for their brand identity. However, small businesses can easily use this method because people will soon forget their ad failure.
Now, let’s show you some examples of these tactics in big businesses.
Examples for Large Businesses
Here’s one company’s story:
Aqua Teen Hunger Force
A failed example of guerilla marketing dates back to Cartoon Network’s ‘Aqua Teen Hunger Force,’ which led to Boston Mooninite panic. Advertisers installed LED placards of one of the characters in this movie throughout the city.
These placards just turned on at night, people panicked in the city because of the similarity of these placards to bombs. The point is that Boston lacks pop culture knowledge. And guess what?
Boston Police and Fire Departments took placards as threats to safety. They claimed these placards shared similarities with IEDs (Improvised explosive devices). Here’s the scary part: Police shut down highways and public transportation and closed The Charles River to boat traffic.
In addition, 2 artists (Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens) were arrested for publicity stunts! In their first media appearance, they treated the whole incident as a big joke, and the charges against them dropped. After a while, Boston police departments removed all placards and eventually determined they weren’t bombs.
Unfortunately, Turner Broadcasting agreed to pay $2 million after the Mooninite panic subsided. Such a failure, right?!
Now, let’s give you a successful example of guerilla marketing in large businesses.
A successful guerilla marketing example is related to the Coca-Cola company. With the help of the ‘Definition 6’ marketing company, Coca-Cola designed the ‘Happiness Machine’ advertising film.
There are advertising videos taken from an automatic Coca-Cola vending machine that dispensed more ice-cold drinks instead of just the one to surprise the customers. Even in some cases, the happiness vending machine was giving sandwiches and flowers instead of a drink! Amazing, right?! Five hidden cameras recorded it at St.John’s University in Queens, New York.
The video of Coca-Cola’s happiness machine went viral, and more than 4.5 million people watched it on YouTube. It had the most influence in Brazil, Mexico, Japan, and Russia.
Now, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions regarding this marketing effort, shall we?!
1. What Are the Principles of Guerilla Marketing?
This edgy marketing strategy mostly focuses on: getting the most media attention with a low budget by using elements of surprise! And creating a positive and memorable interaction with your target market.
2. What Are Success Factors in Guerilla Marketing?
With all its positive and creative features, this impressive marketing method will become an unforgettable disaster if you don’t know the customers properly and can’t evoke their emotions and positive reactions.
According to marketing experts, the more the content of guerilla marketing campaigns matches the needs and characteristics of target audiences, the deeper the impact will be. But on the contrary, if it doesn’t meet customers’ expectations and isn’t appropriately planned, it might go wrong, ruin the brand’s image, and consequently lose its loyal customers forever.
3. What Are the Disadvantages of Guerilla marketing?
Besides its advantages, there are some disadvantages that we will discuss:
- Ambiguous message and misconceptions:
You must know that ambiguity means that your message is delivered differently than you had intended it to. So, the audiences will misunderstand the concepts, which have severe consequences.
- Legal restrictions:
Some types of guerilla marketing, like graffiti, can create a lot of tension among audiences.
- Low chances of success:
While guerilla marketing is a great way to get unique results, it also comes with a lot of fear and risks, so it must be designed and executed by professional campaign designers and marketers.
Generally, guerilla marketing has mostly helped small businesses, but large business owners have also used this marketing method. The point is that if you can’t take risks, it isn’t suitable for you, and you’ll have to give it up. On the other hand, with a little creativity, you will have a distinctive campaign at the lowest possible price.