What Is Guerrilla Marketing?

Guerilla Marketing has been there with us for a long time. Jay Conrad Levinson introduced this innovative and highly effective marketing concept in his book of the same name in the 1980s.

He intended with this concept that it will help small businesses to promote their product and services in unconventional ways to make a big impact but at a relatively low-cost than traditional marketing.

Jump Directly to

1 . What Is Guerrilla Marketing?

2. Top 5 Advantage and Disadvantage of Guerrilla Marketing

3. Various Types of Guerrilla marketing Strategies

4. How Big Businesses Are Using Guerrilla Marketing?

5. How Small Businesses Are Using Guerrilla Marketing?

6. For what kinds of customers are Guerrilla Marketing effective?

7. 5 Head-Turning Guerrilla Marketing Tactics for B2B 

Guerilla Marketing is the form of marketing that uses unconventional ways to generate a maximum buzz, usually by offering immersive and surprising experiences to the target audiences.

Guerilla Marketing is mostly used by small businesses that leverage this tactical marketing to attract maximum gaze using relatively small budgets. But big businesses also use Guerilla Marketing as this unconventional method is sufficient for them as a scalable marketing strategy and allows them to create better stirs across prospects.

77% of marketers use guerilla marketing as a core part of their advertising strategy.

Coming to the fact that Guerilla Marketing attracts the maximum gaze and creates larger impacts on prospects, let’s also take a look at what merits and demerits are associated with this unconventional form of marketing.


Top 5 Advantage and Disadvantage of Guerrilla Marketing

Advantages of Guerilla Marketing

✔️Budget-Friendly

The main highlight of Guerilla Marketing is its affordability. Businesses love to go by Guerilla Marketing as it is budget-friendly and provides them a better way to carry out low-cost marketing.

You as a business can use Guerilla Marketing to promote your products and services with relatively low expenditure on executing it in contrast to traditional marketing. 

Unconventional Guerilla tactics allow upto 90% savings in advertising spending.

✔️Broader Awareness

Strategic and proper execution of Guerilla Marketing campaigns can garner an outstanding level of exposure and generate broader awareness about your brand among your audience.

It enables businesses to build brand loyalists and top-of-mind awareness in their niche through various creative methods.

✔️Creative Freedom

Imagination and creative thinking are the key essences of Guerilla Marketing. When brands plan and execute the Guerilla Marketing campaigns, they focus significantly on complete creative freedom that actually makes their strategy much more customizable and attractive.

✔️Drives Word of Mouth

Rhetoric plays a significant role in any form of marketing because it extends your brand or product’s reach. 

Guerilla marketing is most powerful in doing just that as it takes a sweet form into word-of-mouth and gives your brand new strength, immense popularity, and positive vibes. 

✔️High Return on Investment

Guerilla marketing is a flexible form of marketing that creates an excellent path to get a high investment return. You spend a little to work and promote your product but fetch a great return in the form of increased sales and brand positioning.

Disadvantages of Guerilla Marketing

❌Misinterpretation

With campaigns going the route of Guerilla Marketing, there can sometimes arise situations of lack of message clarity which can lead to misinterpretation and ultimately confuse some audiences, or bystanders may misinterpret what is happening.

❌Time-consuming

A most frustrating aspect of Guerilla Marketing can be that a lot of time is required to carry out research, targeting, execution, and measurement of the results.

Therefore, your campaigns’ results might not be instant, and you will actually need a considerable amount of time before you see the benefits and impacts of the campaign. 

❌Unpredictability

Guerilla Marketing campaigns are often intended to be carried out in public places that mean such campaigns are prone to unpredictability and vulnerable to unexpected obstacles such as unfavorable weather, venue issues, bad timing, etc.

Therefore, such unpredictable and uncontrollable situations can lead to campaigns concluding early, being delayed, and even getting canceled. It doesn’t sound good, right? That is what unpredictability is all about.

❌Loose Campaign Soundness 

The next major disadvantage of Guerilla Marketing is the deviation in the soundness of your campaigns. It means you as a brand needs to be super careful about your campaign’s soundness and relevance so that it should match with the essence of your brand and product.

If your campaign lacks relevance with your brand or product, you will not create positive buzz and lose your potential prospects. 

❌Authority Intervention

This point is the classic one and is specifically for small businesses. You unexpectedly will draw authority intervention if you do not have permits for your campaign.

It can cause local authority issues, which can even attract fines, delays, and cancellation if you are doing an event campaign.


Various Types of Guerrilla marketing Strategies

1 . Ambient Marketing

Ambient marketing means placing ads on or around ambiance or physical surfaces available in the place where the target audience is present. This form of Guerilla Marketing utilizes the collection of atmospheric knowledge, versatility, and productive use. 

From crosswalks to gas stations, from bus stands to golf-hole cups, all these kinds of ad placements are prime examples of the Ambient form of Guerilla Marketing. The intention of Ambient marketing is simple:  to surprise the audience through the unconventional placement of ads. 

Netflix’s most popular show ‘Stranger Things’ used Ambient marketing, showcasing the upside-down inference to promote the show. 

2. Ambush Marketing

Ambush marketing involves associative marketing through which a company or brand uses the publicity value of a major event, usually sports, that the company or brand is not directly affiliated with or hasn’t contributed to its sponsorship. 

This type of guerilla marketing tactic is typically targeted at major events where official sponsor rivals hustle to build an association with the event, and in the process, sometimes latently succeed in raising awareness for their brands.

Interesting Read : 11 Ways for Marketing Campaigns to Promote Virtual Event?

A classic example of Ambush Marketing is Nike’s “Find Your Greatness” campaign in the 2012 London Olympics, where they were actually directly competing with Adidas, who was the official sponsor of the 2012 London Olympics.

3. Grassroots Marketing

Grassroots Marketing is when a brand focuses on building a personal or rather unique bond with the audience at the individual level by engaging with them through a mutually shared vision, ultimately creating lifelong relationships.

Grassroots marketing often uses non-traditional, experimental, and creative marketing strategies. As a result, it is usually less expensive than traditional marketing ideas while still yielding big results.

4. Experiential Marketing

Experiential marketing is a type of guerrilla marketing that encourages and engages the audience to interact with the brand before considering buying. Hence, it allows the audience to be active participants in a marketing campaign, thereby giving them a memorable experience.

You got it right; it indeed will create word of mouth- positive or negative, depends on your product.

5. Buzz Marketing/Viral Marketing

Viral marketing focuses on the idea of rapidly attracting the maximum amount of attention by communicating a brand message within your target audience while creating opportunities for the rapid spread of the message or content by personal, word of mouth rhetoric, network promotion, or social media shares. 

Interesting Read : 10 Emerging Social Media Platforms Which Are Great for Marketing

This form of marketing relies heavily on amplified or organic word-of-mouth buzz around a brand or product and the audience’s extreme emotional engagement. If you provide something unusual or delightful to the customer in the form of a product or service, you are actually creating a viral marketing campaign.


How Big Businesses Are Using Guerrilla Marketing?

Guerilla Marketing is often a profitable way to go for small businesses that need to get a large audience’s attention without spending a lot.

The same thing is true for big businesses too, which actually prompts them to use Guerilla Marketing tactics to attract attention, create buzz, and primarily to differentiate themselves from competitors. Besides that, Larger businesses use unconventional ways of marketing to complement their advertising efforts. 

Today numerous big businesses have striven to maintain a competitive edge by utilizing a traditional understanding of marketing and trends. However, some big businesses have begun adopting the more creative strategies offered by guerrilla marketing, which consists of low-cost strategies to increase the chances of success in a fiercely competitive environment. 

Guerilla Marketing can also be far riskier for big businesses. In some instances, their guerrilla can backfire and ultimately lead to a PR nightmare.

For example, Microsoft used a swarm of artificial butterflies with stickers captioning “It’s better with the Butterfly” that unleashed across Central Park West’s sidewalks in Manhattan (2002) advertising effort for its new MSN 8 Internet service.

It actually attracted authority intervention and also made the general public furious.


How Small Businesses Are Using Guerrilla Marketing?

Guerilla Marketing is quite a phenomenon in the world of advertising and can be the right solution for small businesses, especially those in their early stages.  With limited resources and a stressed budget, it can be challenging for smaller businesses to invest in growth strategies to find their ground.

Furthermore, they compete with relatively larger firms that already have better brand recognition and can afford growth-driven marketing campaigns. So, small businesses employ Guerilla Marketing.

When executed well, it will often be low-cost marketing that will reach a highly targeted audience. Guerilla Marketing assists small businesses in a great way to get noticed, differentiate themselves from the competition, and eventually earn a distinct and promising reputation.


For what kinds of customers are Guerrilla Marketing effective?

Guerrilla marketing is most useful for attracting new customers while also encouraging old customers to buy and become brand advocates. 

Besides this, Guerilla marketing best attracts those customers who feel saturated by traditional marketing messages and prefer to see something new, fun, and delightful.


5 Head-Turning Guerrilla Marketing Tactics for B2B 

Guerilla Marketing thrives on great creativity and surprising elements for attracting attention. For the B2B sector, Guerilla Marketing is not impossible but it just requires extra creativity and focuses on surprising and delighting people.

Here are 5 head-turning Guerilla Marketing Tactics that worked for the B2B sector:

1. Salesforce’s Mock Protest

Salesforce, a B2B CRM company, used the element of surprise. They employed Guerilla Marketing tactics by mocking a protest at a Sibel conference. They also rented dozens of taxis to provide convenience and free rides to people for the conference. If you ask how they drew attention by this- well, the taxis were actually designed as mobile Salesforce marketing booths and contained their marketing brochures.

By employing this innovative tactic, Salesforce managed a simple, powerful, and straightforward brand positioning and grabbed attention away from their biggest rival. 

2 . Slack’s 404 Page

Revamping 404 pages into interactive web pages to eliminate the usual error message can be another effective tactic for the B2B sector. 

Slack did this with their 404 pages. They transformed their 404 pages into a charming scrollable animated page with beautiful details. This simple guerilla marketing tactic effectively grabs visitor’s attention for Slack and encourages them to visit the help center to resolve the error. 

3. Upwork’s Billboard Campaign

Billboard has been the most staple method of marketing that aims at projecting an advertisement. Most such advertisements are usually bland and less creative. The tip here is to be more creative with your billboard advertisement if you wish to create an impact. 

Upwork Inc, a freelancing platform, utilized billboards for their “Hey World” campaign. They set very specific call-outs to create pattern interrupts and were successful in grabbing people’s attention.

Interesting Read : Ultimate Guide to B2B Marketing Automation Strategies

Their specific call-outs targeted NASA, Elon Musk, and Businesses that still used Comic Sans fonts. It fetched Upwork a tremendous amount of people’s attention and also of those businesses who required freelancers, a bull’s eye, Right!

4. Canon’s Exclusive Event

Canon wanted to target C-suite executives but grabbing their attention wasn’t easy. Canon decided to host an exclusive golf event to create a buzz. They sent a massive gift package to each executive in their target base to invite them to the event. The package contained Golf balls, Golf course turf, Two invitations to the event, and Various other golf-related gift accessories.

This guerilla marketing tactic helped Canon fetch an overwhelming success and generate favorable results as more than 50% of the recipients registered and attended the golf event. 

Almost 31% of marketers believe live events are the most effective marketing strategy over any other form of marketing.

5. Moo’s Pop-up Shop

A pop-up shop is a form of flash retailing, where a short-time small sales shop is opened in a high-traffic region and often lasts for a few days or weeks. Moo, a print and design company, opened their pop-up shop in the center of London city to create a surprise element among people. 

Moo managed to attract significant attention and create a natural buzz using this guerilla marketing tactic as they were featured in highly-reputable publications for their pop-up shop.


Over to you

Guerilla Marketing is genuinely an effective marketing strategy but requires you to blend multiple critical elements and tactics to harness maximum reach. You don’t need massive budgets to create Guerilla Marketing campaigns.

But you must use all Guerilla Marketing elements, such as surprise, delight, and pattern interrupts, to carry out your Guerilla Marketing campaigns.

Author

Sandeep is the Senior Content Writer at Aritic, where he creates content that adjures attention, builds authority, and drives action. He is a Linkedin maven who believes that learning is a lifelong process and has the ongoing curiosity to learn new things.

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