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Integrated Marketing Association

Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla Marketing concept created by Jay Conrad Levinson when he wrote the book ‘Guerrilla Marketing’ in 1984. Guerrilla marketing strips away the traditional concepts of marketing to create excitement, intrigue, and interest in unexpected places. More of a philosophy than a set of tactics, successful guerrilla marketers thrive on building new experiences consumers can’t predict.

Guerrilla marketing strategies cost very little money but considerable time and energy. Like an attempt at creating a viral piece of content, guerrilla tactics require creativity and a concise brand message. Growth hacking is a buzz phrase commonly associated with guerrilla marketing, and it also involves unconventional tactics to influence business outcomes.

For example, turning a crosswalk into a tub of McDonald’s fries or making a creative pun about grocery produce deliver unexpected brand interactions. Consumers may not remember another email promotion, but they will take note of a couple of cows on the side of a water tank encouraging people to “EAT MOR CHIKIN.”

Guerrilla marketing strips away the rules and encourages marketers to take the daily life experience to the next level. Online, guerrilla marketing tactics may involve creating a viral YouTube video, turning a website experience into a game, or hiding Easter eggs within online content.

To create guerrilla marketing assets, businesses often search for ways to surprise consumers in their everyday environments. Using the digital space and the physical world as a canvas, guerrilla tactics run the gamut from inconspicuous and clever hidden objects to ostentatious statements. Some brands go as far as to hand out cash or allow an employee to dye his or her hair in brand colors. Anything that gets people talking could qualify as a form of guerrilla marketing.

By nature, guerrilla tactics are disruptive, edgy, and risky – they don’t always produce the desired effect. They work best alongside traditional marketing activities. When successful, guerrilla marketing campaigns can deliver an immediate and rewarding ROI.

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