Guerilla Marketing: Explained

Guerilla marketing is a type of advertising that focuses on unconventional marketing tactics that are low-cost marketing but yield maximum results. Guerilla marketing trends are used to drive publicity and brand awareness by using unconventional methods. A good guerilla marketing strategy is designed to evoke surprise, wonder, or shock.

Coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book ‘Guerrilla Advertising’, the term guerilla marketing was inspired by guerilla warfare – a form of irregular warfare and relates to the small tactic strategies used by armed civilians. Similarly, guerilla marketing used highly imaginative tactics in the marketing industry. It is all about aiming at consumers at a more personal and memorable level and taking them by surprise to create a huge social media buzz. It is said that guerrilla marketing makes a valuable impression among customers as compared to more traditional forms of marketing.

Guerilla advertising is usually done by small businesses that need to reach a large audience without breaking the bank. It is also sometimes adopted by big companies in grassroots campaigns to support ongoing mass media campaigns. Even individuals have been adopting different types of guerrilla marketing as a way to find a job or more work.

The History of Guerrilla Marketing

The History of Guerrilla Marketing

In the early days, the main goal of advertisements was to educate consumers on the product or service rather than entertain and engage them.

Advertising can be dated back to 4000 BC when the early Egyptians used papyrus to make sales messages and wall posters. What we consider traditional advertising and marketing slowly developed over the centuries but never really boomed until the early 1900s.

It was at this time that the main goal of advertisements was to educate the consumer on the product or service rather than to entertain and engage them. It later developed into heavy advertising in different mass media channels such as radio and print. Advertisements soon became so common that consumers started being tired of being marketed to. It was around this time that Jay Conrad Levinson introduced the term “Guerrilla Marketing” in his book. He proposes unique ways of approaching and tackling traditional forms of advertising in such a way that consumers are excited by it. 

The biggest perk of guerilla advertising is that it is fairly low-cost in nature. They are usually an investment of time, sometimes marketing the same context and repurposing the existing content. For example, you can take certain segments of a report and expand them into other forms of advertising like blogging etc. If you have a marketing campaign in hand, you can take the help of a digital marketing agency to repurpose it to your audience’s current environment. 

Types of Guerrilla Marketing

Types of Guerrilla Marketing

Even though it looks simple, guerilla marketing is of different types:

Outdoor Guerrilla Marketing adds a surprising element to preexisting urban environments. It may be something like putting something removable onto a statue or putting temporary artwork on sidewalks and streets.

Indoor Guerilla Marketing, although similar to outdoor guerrilla marketing, only takes place in indoor locations like train stations, shops, and university campus buildings.

Event Ambush Guerilla Marketing leverages the audience of an event that is ongoing to promote its product or service in a noticeable way. These guerilla marketing types are used in concerts and sports games. And usually done without permission from the event sponsors.

Experiential Guerilla Marketing includes any guerilla marketing that is executed in a way that requires the public to interact with the brand. It makes use of all other types of guerilla marketing.

In order to understand the concept a little better, here are some well-known guerilla marketing in India

  1. Coca-Cola Small World vending machines that used 3D technology to live stream people standing in front of two vending machines in Lahore and New Delhi.
  2. Amazon’s Chai carts in Bengaluru were placed to raise brand awareness of the e-commerce website
  3. Anando Milk’s Strong Child campaign where the ad was placed made outlook like a kid is moving a part of a real building
  4. Snapdeal’s tactic of placing banners under Flipkart’s #AchaKiya campaigns. They were so popular that other brands started photoshopping their brands on to these banners on social media

Guerilla marketing requires out-of-the-box thinking. A good digital marketing agency can help you come up with unique and creative guerilla marketing strategies.

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