Initially, guerilla marketing tactics have only been used by a startup or small business. Nowadays it is trending and mostly used by more established companies rather than startups. Such marketing triggers emotional consumer expressions which have proven to be more if not the most effective way to communicate marketing content and resulted in an increase in popularity. Usually, guerrilla marketing is one occurrence but it can also be a series of messages that tell a story.
The content of marketing such as images, videos or written content has usually four objectives which is as follows: to inform, inspire, convince or educate. General advertising has different types of creative appeals namely rational and emotional appeal. Guerilla marketing encompasses at least three content marketing objectives at once and has a strong emotional appeal making it a very efficient way of marketing. Since startup have experience success in guerrilla marketing big companies started jumping on the band wagon. This type of marketing can be classified as the most influential worldwide. It can also be defined as a way to create marketing content with little budget or resources.
What is Guerilla Marketing and what does it entail?
Guerilla marketing also known as ambient tactics in integrated marketing communication, revolves around the concept to utilize the natural environment in which the brand will be found. Guerilla marketing is a form of inbound marketing that entails highly unconventional and bizarre ways that are used to communicate marketing messages. These tactics have been used by big companies for decades. The objectives of this type of marketing are to ultimately raise brand awareness with the main goal to capture a large audience’s or target market’s attention. It is also often used to address social concerns and ethical issues such as drinking and driving, homelessness, environmental issues, global warming, and so forth.
The term “guerilla marketing” is often associated with guerilla warfare. The tactics used in guerilla marketing depends mostly on the unexpected or element of surprise similar to warfare tactics, hence the name of this style of marketing was made from that association. The most important thing that has to be considered in is the context in which this alternative marketing communication takes place. Extensive context planning and research have to be done before implantation can take place.
The origin of guerilla marketing
For brief history on guerilla marketing. The original objective of this type of marketing in its infancy stages was to educate people only later when it seemed to be the more popular means of marketing the main goal was to entertain. This types of marketing were officially established in the 1970s when more and more companies started making use of this unique and weird way of visual communication. The first medium that was used for this marketing was posters or print advertising, however, marketers realized that the marketing was getting less effective. This lead to creators coming up with out of the ordinary ways to transfer what should be conveyed into revolutionary marketing campaigns. with the passing of time and companies that become more engrossed by competitiveness in the market and consumers great desire for instant gratification- Guerilla marketing had to be adopted. It had to become more reliable to attain a desired outcome. The demand for great designers and visual communication artists rose. It takes a good artist to create successful guerrilla marketing art and to meet the demands of the firm that paid for their services.
The marketing proposition of Guerilla Marketing
Every type of marketing requires a proposition or plan and follow up phases to determine and measure the success of campaigns. For the procurement of the public’s attention the marketing has to stand out. A definite requirement is that it should be unusual, rare and original. Authenticity is key. Guerilla marketing must also be aimed at changing consumer behaviour. Objectives and goals should be well identified and refined. A strategy should be created that will define the goals, method, marketing message and approaches. The desired emotional state or emotional feelings that should to be triggered by the a specify campaign must be identify to ensure that it fits with the advertisement. Also important to include in the plan is the task team, event management and budget.
Drivers of guerilla marketing
The drivers for guerilla marketing are pivotal for the success of the campaign. These drivers include, as previously mentioned, the element of surprise, viral marketing or diffusion effect, and lastly the approach used. Surprise creates a sense of disbelief, astonishment, and amazement among the individuals who were exposed to the extraordinary advertising method. Viral marketing is the tool that initiates guerilla marketing that can be used to simulate the diffusion effect. To put it another way, the marketing message can be defused either directly or indirectly. Viral marketing also reinforces the message and drives traffic increasing overall revenue. This strong and willing content is driven by innovation and out of the box thinking. Social media plays a very important role in creating awareness of guerilla marketing. Thus, the internet should be considered as the most crucial driver of guerrilla marketing since it offers so many opportunities in terms of likes, shares, and hashtags. These types of social media tools are worldwide, for example, something made or guerrilla marketing taking place in London could be shared globally with the whole world. Guerilla marketing is a bold and brave move made by companies in which the drivers cannot and should not be ignored. On contrary, it should be nurtured to enable the campaign to reach its full potential. Apart from other types of marketing, guerrilla marketing is amongst the most distinctive, as exceptional as the words “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” meaning fabulous. If the drivers of guerrilla marketing are managed correctly it will also be fabulous. Imagination is a compulsory factor of guerilla marketing and without the right execution, the campaign is destined to fail. The competitors of a business that use this type of marketing can also be seen as a driver rather than a thread because the campaigns can be used to inspire new campaigns yet to be created.
Benefits of guerilla marketing
These essential elements make up successful campaigns at the end of the day. Guerrilla marketing offers a lot of benefits such as the fact that it is low-cost considering the number of people being reached. Another benefit is that it immediately captures the attention and it definitely stands out from other marketing tactics as it is way different. Furthermore, guerrilla marketing will be remembered and recalled by audiences exposed. It is implanted in the memory of the individual because it was so unique and creative. Additionally, the brand will be associated with innovation which is a notion that a lot of people favor. For a brand to be associated with such good characteristics is one to be reckoned with and the brand will defiantly have a competitive edge. Creating astonishment and disbelief in marketing will play which is the viewer’s emotions with is the strongest way of marketing something. Emotions make people act on impulse or get ideas in their heads. These perceptions play a vital role in creating brand identity and changing consumer behavior. Guerilla marketing can also be seen as marketing that entertains so the viewers of this marketing might find it so entertaining they will share it on social media or with friends and family by taking photos either of it or with it. This will in turn result in an increase of foot traffic to the designated area as people will be enticed to see it in real life. This will help with return in investments in all the ways, not just in marketing investments. This budget-friendly marketing is also very beneficial in terms of content repurposing. Repurposing content entails creating new ways to communicate a specific message by expanding the content’s reach or often also transforming or converting it into new formats.
Types of guerilla marketing
There is not only one type of guerilla marketing but interestingly quite a few. Old content can be optimized or repurposed through this style of marketing. The investment that is done is more intellectual-orientated than the cost itself to obtain it. although guerrilla marketing is classified as a highly niche types of marketing, there are several type of it. These are the main types of guerilla marketing:
- Augmented reality or Virtual Reality- using high technological advancements to project figures with laser and holographical light projections. This is the most impressive type. Although it is still in development, technological advancements are changing and before we know it worldwide companies will make use of this high tech marketing.
- Indoor guerilla marketing- as the name suggest this type of marketing takes place indoors. Add something unique to indoor spaces. Such as halls and malls with lots of foot traffic. Usually also very common at places with the most indoor traffic such as sub stations/train stations
- Outdoor guerilla marketing- using the outdoor environment to express message for example, recently to address the Covid-19 pandemic a mask was placed on the statue of the lady of liberty.
- Experiential Guerilla marketing- this will entail the customer to interact with the brand or vice versa for example, Coca Cola once ran a campaign at an airport that entails visitors to do a number of squats in front of the vending machine to earn their free cool drink Coke can.
- Online guerrilla marketing- this is type is still in development but growing and becoming more popular, the best example, is the Instagram posts that are created 3D and designed to look as if the image will come out of the post.
- Ambush guerilla marketing- is a form of interruptive marketing done without consent of the viewers on anyone exposed to the marketing, which uses people to reenact the marketing message through dance, movement or done at a sport event. There is no agreement or affiliation between the merchant andthe event host.
- Buzz and viral marketing- is marketing that can be controlled or uncontrolled. If controlled for example it would be a trend initiated by the company. Uncontrolled is when fan clubs start a positive campaign on behalf of the brand. It can also be negative where other people might try to boycott a brand’s campaign. It creates a buzz on social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok Videos and Twitter hashtags. It is spread like wildfire through shared content. These word of mouth campaigns are not always planned or good for a business’s reputation. However, it can be good when it puts emphasis on the brand’s strength and markets the brand in a positive light.
- Grassroot marketing- This style of guerilla marketing is highly niched, aimed at only a small number of people. This type has the objective to encourage people to spread the type of marketing and that not just the target market will find it appealing but most of the general public as well.
- Street marketing- mostly seen on the street in the form of graffiti. This is the most cost-effective way of marketing alternatively. And as the name suggest-only seen on the streets of the targeted location. On the street not only the target audience is exposed but all people present at the time of the marketing occurring.
Examples of Guerilla marketing*
This type of strategic marketing is growing and evolving with numerous companies jumping on the bandwagon. Here are a few examples:
- Nike is one of the most innovative brands when it comes to utilizing guerilla marketing tactics. They always encourage people to do the right thing with their intended message. More specifically promoting healthy living since they are a brand associated with exercise and fitness. For example, they will encourage people to take the stairs instead of the escalator by creating customized barded warning tape associated with construction work.
- The slogan of a popular automobile brand, Jeep, “There is only one” was portrayed in the following guerilla marketing. Jeeb famously always sates that the Jeep can drive anywhere and will have no trouble parking or being stationary on harsh terrain such as seen on images below. The parking spots are clearly branded by Jeep.
- Guerilla marketing addressing environmental issues such as global warming. This will help create awareness of the issues and will immediately capture the attention of people walking by a tree with this particular poster around it. A very effective way of marketing as it stands out from the rest. Another example of this type of marketing is the cheetah on the lamp post depicting how important trees are to the environment and animals that are dependant on trees. Just as much as animals are dependant on trees, humans are too.
- Tesla also recently embarked on the guerilla marketing strategy releasing a series of humourous print advertisements entitled “zero budget”. Viral marketing also contributes to this well known the brand of Elon Musk. Viral marketing usually short clips that make fun of the new technology. The brand commonly uses guerilla marketing tactics. Edited short clips or memes of Elon musk’s inventions are created and shared on social media. The initial responses from the public were to make fun of these inventions, however the brand leverage it and used it as an opportunity for marketing- Any publicity for this brand is better than no publicity.
- Here is an excellent example of the hot to incorporate the different types of guerilla marketing in one setting. The brand Coops Paints got the right wording and copywriting that complements the marketing. “Life comes at you fast,” this brand thought on its feet out of the box and designed a masterpiece incorporating special items and thinking of the details by including automobile cars also covered in the fictitious paint spilled. This also makes it look more realistic and will definately capture attention.
- Shock advertising incorporated with guerilla marketing. This highly state-of-the-art creation had to be planned and crated perfectly as it requires light art and should be executed at the right angle. BBC wanted to promote their new series released at the start of 2020, Dracula.
- Placed at the perfect spot with a lot of foot traffic. Bounty also incorporates symbol and written marketing with the finer details like the warning sign indicating “cautious when walking, slippery” which adds a humorous twist.
- Addressing a social concern. This type of strategy is also known as societal marketing. The first advertisement addresses the social concern of texting while driving. Its uses shock advertisement tactics by making use of items associated with deaths caused by road accidents. These associated items include roses and a poster depicting a phone with a written message on it. The strong message will be remembered by anyone who reads it. The next one outdoor terrain advertisement addresses the concern of driving after drinking too much to be able to drive.
- Guerilla marketing to promote sales- The brand Windex uses guerilla marketing to promote their sale and with the incorporation of “product demonstration” marketing. This entails demonstrating the purpose and usefulness of the product or give instruction on how to use the product. In this advertisement, the usefulness of the product is demonstrated.
Guerilla Marketing is strange and unconventional but highly effective. This advertising strategy is creative, captivating and appealing. The extent of the guerrilla marketing largely depends on resources available to the company. The types depend on the objectives and purpose of the marketing message. Whether to promote sales, increase conversion rate, create awareness or address a social concern or ethical issue. It’s one of the most inexpensive types of marketing that reaches the masses. The right types of people have to be hired for the job and execution of guerilla marketing. The right amount of logical thinking and the right amount of creative thinking is needed. Guerilla marketing might sound drastic and too much effort to execute but it is definitely proven many times to be very powerful and worthwhile the effort.