Guerrilla Marketing and Ideas for Companies that Break the Norm

Guerrilla marketing takes you by surprise. It happens in a way and in a place where you least expect it, and it makes a lasting impression. Companies and consumers alike love guerrilla marketing because it’s “in your face,” direct and memorable. Companies love that they only have to spend creative capital in huge doses while spending less of the green stuff. Some of the best campaigns bring in massive returns on their investments, and it pays to follow their lead when planning your next marketing campaign.

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What Is Guerrilla Marketing?

Simply put, guerrilla marketing is marketing that gets attention. It may be funny, controversial, satirical or shocking. Consider the ad for a movie about Marie Antoinette that had the head sliced off with an image of a guillotine shaped slant. Or the ad for the show “Ugly Betty,” that had a giant paper bag placed over the head of the ad. Or the campaign that features a red carpet that covers the length of a corridor lined with photos of flash bulb-snapping paparazzi. These ads grab your attention and make you want to stop and learn more.

Who Uses Guerrilla Marketing?

Guerrilla marketing works well for known brands, but it can also put smaller companies on the map. Companies love that they can use just a few well placed images or text to get their message across. National brands use it to promote new products or services, while smaller companies use it for branding purposes. Guerrilla marketing has been used by corporations, non-profits, television networks and public service announcement companies. Some of the best guerilla marketing ideas are used by new companies who are new to marketing and have fresh talent and a bank of creative ideas.

How Can Guerrilla Marketing Improve Your Business

You have to take risks and stretch your creative muscles when it comes to using this form of marketing in your business. Guerrilla marketing will not only get people talking, it will get people sharing. A funny ad or thought provoking image can quickly go viral on social media, leading to a surge in attention for your business. It brings with it a high return for very little financial investment.

Guerrilla marketing is made for small businesses. Its main purpose is to awe, to make you stop and look, and to get audiences to want to learn more. Guerrilla marketing is loud and demands attention. The major benefit of this is that you don’t need to rely on brand recognition to enjoy the best results. Even if you are a unheard of company, you can get massive traffic to your website and attention to your brand.

Tips for Using Guerrilla Marketing in Your Campaign

Think about your audience. What will get their attention? What will make them think? Some people think that guerilla marketing ideas should push the envelope. Some companies start social media “fights,” while others do eye-catching things like hang coupons from trees. Others take over bus stop billboards, paint images on the sidewalks and transform park benches. The possibilities are endless when it comes to thinking up the best guerrilla marketing ideas, but in general, most campaigns follow the same formula.

You Must Think Like Your Ideal Buyer

Who are they? What makes them stop and take notice? What will make them most curious? What medium is most effective in reaching them? Should you use social media or offline channels?

You Have to Be Innovative

When the ice bucket challenge burst onto the scene, people all over the world were dumping ice all over themselves to raise awareness and money for research to cure Lou Gehrig’s disease. When other charities tried to copy the idea, their results turned out to be less than fruitful. The key to a guerrilla marketing campaign is that it is novel and new. Repackaging other people’s ideas simply won’t fly, and if anything, it can turn people away from your brand.

You Have to Measure Your Success

It may sound like a good problem to have, but sometimes too much attention can be a bad thing. Consider all of the companies that launch attention grabbing marketing campaigns, only to be inundated with calls, requests for information or product orders that exceed supply. It’s hard to predict just how well a campaign will perform, so you will need to have the right supports in place to ensure that an especially good campaign doesn’t cripple your business.

Make It a Partnership

Perhaps you don’t have a team of creative geniuses that can think up one of a kind guerilla marketing ideas. This is where a partnership can work well for you. Consider partnering with a complementary company and share resources to create a campaign that capitalizes off of your shared audiences and vision while delivering the best possible value to your customer.

Be Open to New Ideas

The best guerilla marketing ideas are the ones that are non-conventional. Perhaps it’s something that you never considered doing with your business. Perhaps it’s using a medium that you don’t normally use. The key here is to be open to the possibilities and think outside of your normal box. Challenge yourself to think about things in a new way.

Be Flexible

One of the advantages that small businesses have over larger ones is the ability to change quickly to keep up with emerging trends. Larger companies often have to work through a maze of bureaucracy and red tape to take advantage of trends. You don’t. If you see that something is trending and attracting a broad audience, you can jump on it immediately. Be ready to change your mind on a dime if you discover any guerilla marketing ideas that can benefit your business.

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Summing Up

Guerilla marketing ideas run the gamut from shocking to funny and thought provoking. What they all have in common is that they take a break from the norm. Finding what works and what will bring the maximum amount of exposure for your business is key to taking advantage of this strategy. Have you seen any guerilla marketing tactics that worked? Any that didn’t? What do you think is the most important thing to consider when planning your own campaign?

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