Guerrilla MarketingNovember 15, 2018 0 By business_MHR
What is ‘Guerrilla Marketing’
Guerrilla marketing is a marketing tactic in which a company uses surprise and/or unconventional interactions in order to promote a product or service. Guerrilla marketing is different than traditional marketing in that it often relies on personal interaction, has a smaller budget, and focuses on smaller groups of promoters that are responsible for getting the word out in a particular location rather than through widespread media campaigns.
Breaking Down ‘Guerrilla Marketing’
Companies using guerrilla marketing rely on its in-your-face promotions to be spread through viral marketing or word-of-mouth, thus reaching a broader audience for free. Connection to the emotions of a consumer is key to guerrilla marketing. The use of this tactic is not designed for all types of goods and services, and it is often used for more “edgy” products and to target younger consumers who are more likely to respond positively. Guerrilla marketing takes place in public places that offer as big an audience as possible, such as streets, concerts, public parks, sporting events, festivals, beaches and shopping centers. One key element of guerrilla marketing is choosing the right time and place to conduct a campaign so as to avoid potential legal issues. Guerrilla marketing can be indoor, outdoor, an “event ambush,” or experiential, meant to get the public to interact with a brand.
Guerrilla Marketing History
Guerrilla marketing is a product of the shift to electronic media from traditional print, radio and television marketing. It was coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book Guerrilla Marketing. Its goal is to create buzz about a product or brand so that it increases the likelihood that a consumer will purchase the product or service, or talk about it with others potential buyers. Guerrilla marketing can be very cost-effective for small businesses, especially so if they manage to create a viral marketing phenomenon.
Guerrilla Marketing Types
There are several kinds of guerrilla marketing. Some examples include:
- Viral or buzz
- Projection advertising
- Wild posting
Viral marketing describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message’s exposure and influence. Like viruses, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands, to millions. Off the Internet, viral marketing has been referred to as “word-of-mouth”, “creating a buzz”, “leveraging the media”, “network marketing”, But on the Internet, for better or worse, it’s called “viral marketing”.
Similarly, buzz marketing uses high-profile media to encourage the public to discuss the brand or product. Buzz marketing works best when consumer’s responses to a product or service and subsequent endorsements are genuine, without the company paying them. Buzz generated from buzz marketing campaigns is referred to as “amplified WOM” (word-of-mouth), and “organic WOM” is when buzz occurs naturally by the consumer.
Stealth marketing is a deliberate act of entering, operating in, or exiting a market in a furtive, secretive or imperceptible manner, or an attempt to do so. People get involved with the product without them actually knowing that they are the part of advertisement campaign. This needs to be implemented with uttermost covertness because if the participants become aware of the campaign, it will have a negative effect on the brand resulting in ethical doubts about its use.
Ambient communication is a complex form of corporate communication that uses elements of the environment, including nearly every available physical surface, to convey messages that elicit customer engagement. It is a compilation of intelligence, flexibility, and effective use of the atmosphere.
Ambient marketing, which can be referred to as presence marketing can be defined as:
“The placement of advertising in unusual and unexpected places (location) often with unconventional methods (execution) and being first or only ad execution to do so (temporal)”
Ambient marketing can be found anywhere and everywhere from hand dryers in public bathrooms and petrol pumps through to bus hand straps and golf-hole cups and can often interact with consumers.
Ambush marketing is a form of associative marketing, used by an organization to capitalize upon the awareness, attention, goodwill, and other benefits, generated by having an association with an event or property, without that organization having an official or direct connection to that event or property.
It is typically seen at major events where rivals of official sponsors use creative and sometimes covert tactics to build an association with the event and increase awareness for their brands. For example, Nike during the 2012 London Olympics, Nike created ‘find your Greatness’ spots where they featured athletes from several locations called London (but without showing the real London or referring to the Olympic games) which helped in building a strong association between London Olympics and Nike.
Guerrilla projection advertising
Guerrilla projection advertising is effectively a digital billboard that is projected at night onto the side of a building without permission of the governing bodies (i.e. council permits), or the permission from owner of the building. The displays are projected on buildings in high traffic locations (i.e. people on foot and in vehicles). Guerrilla projection advertising is an effective addition to campaigns of a considerable size, for example a product launch, the release of a new film, retail promotions etc. As with several guerrilla marketing techniques, guerrilla projection advertising may incur fines or penalties for advertising without the consent of the building owner. This comes at a risk to the company and/or brand. The advantages and disadvantages of this form of guerrilla marketing must be carefully considered before proceeding to avoid unwanted expenses.
Of all the guerrilla marketing strategies, Astroturfing is among the most controversial and has a high risk factor for the company marketing the product or service. Astroturfing derives from artificial “turf”, often used in stadiums or tennis courts – also known as fake grass. Hence, fake endorsements, testimonials and recommendations are all products of Astroturfing in the public relations sector. Astroturfing involves generating an artificial hype around a particular product or company through a review or discussion on online blogs or forums by an individual who is paid to convey a positive view. This can have a negative and detrimental effect on a company, should the consumer suspect that the review or opinion is not authentic, damaging the company’s reputation or even worse, resulting in litigation.
Grassroots campaigns aim to win customers over on an individual basis. A successful grassroots campaign is not about the dissemination of the marketing message in the hope that possible consumers are paying attention, but rather highlights a personal connection between the consumer and the brand and builds a lasting relationship with the brand.
Wild posting is a form of advertising where posters are placed in multiple locations and mostly on the urban areas to attract maximum exposure. Wild posting is an inexpensive way of advertising that offers a huge exposure for marketers, especially in the film industry (concerts) to drive awareness. Wild posting is one of the effective ways to reach people and enhance your brand popularity. Wild posting marketing can encompass different varieties including paper posters, tear-away posters, guerrilla cling posters (statically charged plastic posters which can stick to most smooth surfaces), magnets, stickers and vinyl labels. There may be legal issues around wild posting, however, if the display is not posted on a paid advertising space as it is illegal to advertise on private property without prior consent.
Street marketing uses unconventional means of advertising or promoting products and brands in public areas with the main goal to encourage consumers to remember and recall the brand or product marketed. As a division of guerrilla marketing, street marketing is specific to all marketing activities carried out in streets and public areas such as parks, streets, events etc. Street marketing is not limited to areas as it also encompasses advertising outdoors such as on shopping trolleys, public toilets, sides of cars or public transport, manhole covers, footpaths, rubbish bins etc.
Street marketing isn’t confined to fixed advertisements. It is common practice for organisations to use brand ambassadors who can distribute product samples and discount vouchers and answer queries about the product while emphasizing the brand. The brand ambassadors may be accompanied by a bicycle kiosk which contains the product samples or demonstration materials, or they may be wearing a “walking billboard”. The physical interaction with consumers has a greater influencing power than traditional passive advertising.