Guerrilla Marketing 101 - Why Pervasive Marketing Matters Now More Than Ever
In a world where the market is becoming more crowded and expensive, guerrilla marketing uses unconventional techniques to create original and memorable campaigns in a way that’s pervasive and budget-friendly.
In a sense, it’s all about positive disruption and harnessing awareness.
Guerrilla techniques work for both small and big businesses alike, as it allows for companies of all budgets to stand out from the crowd. Bold actions, visuals and appearing in unexpected places are great ways to reach your audiences.
Guerrilla marketing isn’t about the hard sell. The goal of guerrilla communications is to grow a fanbase to make people aware of your brand. Use it alongside other marketing techniques such as SEO and PPC for maximum impact.
So, what does a good guerrilla marketing campaign look like? It must have the ability to start a discussion about your brand. Here are a few of my favourites:
- Salesforce has become one of the biggest customer relationship management (CRM) platforms in the world, but during the company’s earlier years, they needed to distinguish themselves from their competition. Their campaign, ‘End of Software’ saw the company host a demonstration with protesters holding placards with anti-software messages. The result? It received media coverage and created interest from onlookers passing by.
- Moo.com, a printer of luxury business cards, opened a pop-up location in Shoreditch, London. The shop featured installations that mirrored their online website allowing customers to engage with the company in a more personal way.
- Back in 2009, Colgate delivered a campaign where they made wooden ice cream sticks into toothbrushes to promote oral hygiene. Each stick revealed the Colgate logo with the statement “Don’t forget”.
So how does guerrilla marketing work?
By now you’re starting to understand the role of guerrilla marketing and how it can promote your brand. If you want to start your own disruptive campaigns, here are five things you will need to consider:
Be a planner
Before you start your guerrilla marketing efforts, you first need to ask, “why should my customers care about my brand and what am I aiming to achieve?” You need an understanding of what interests your audience as this is key to the success of your campaigns.
Speak with your audience via your social media channels, set up a survey or look at the behaviour of your customers on programs like Google Analytics. Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to think outside of the box.
Consider how you can establish yourself from the competition. There should be no limit to your creative boundaries, so choose a strategy that highly benefits your business and your customers.
It’s about having a fully realised concept that takes people by surprise, and this is what will help you to stand out from the endless stream of billboards, television and paid adverts. Be experimental and creative as that’s when you will start to see results.
In communications, it’s essential to stay consistent throughout your messaging. Jay Conrad Levinson, who coined the term guerrilla marketing, said, “Change your offers and headlines and even your prices, but do not change your identity.”
Think about your USP and how you’re different from your competitors, and make sure you stick to this messaging.
We want to associate ourselves with brands we deem to be authentic. If you appear transparent, people will want to be seen as an advocate of your brand.
Be a storyteller
Every brand has a story to tell, and it’s all about how you tell it. You’ll need to find that engaging message and hook to grab the attention of your target audience. Tales, speeches and vivid descriptions allow us to understand businesses beyond the surface.
Clever branding should resonate with your audience. Tap into what your customers want to know about your brand and think about how you can create impact. Once you have made a human connection, they’ll want to know more about your brand and what you can offer.
And last, but certainly not least, you will need to focus on getting your brand out there.
The marketing rule of seven suggests that customers must interact with your brand seven times before they commit to a purchase. Make sure your brand can be found in places your target audience would never expect it to be. Great marketing is about building a community between yourself and your customers.
As I’ve said above, guerrilla communications needn’t be heavy on the wallet, but it can take time. Build momentum from the initial moment your audience hears about your brand to the moment of purchase. Engage with your target market even when you’re not ‘selling’ as this is when brand loyalty and relationships start to develop.
My main tip to success is understanding your audience - what they like, where they are, how they engage, what influences them.
There’s no point in doing something if your target market isn’t going to see it or be there. The importance of research should never be underestimated, so go out there and connect with your target audience on a personal level.
What does your business do that engages your customers in a pervasive way?