Billboards, flyers, and telemarketing are traditional outbound marketing strategies. Companies use these methods to send out a message about their products and await consumer interest.
Traditional has become boring. And to stand out, small businesses are adopting a new method of outbound marketing.
It’s called guerrilla marketing.
What is guerrilla marketing?
It’s unconventional marketing using cost-effective methods. The point is to get recognition by having customers stop, stare, and discuss the company. The more attention the company can get, the better.
Small companies with tight budgets are the ones who use this type of marketing. The point is to be straightforward and easy to understand, allowing for visibility and to potentially go viral. Considering small businesses have small budgets, sometimes the only option is to think outside the box.
After all, they can’t throw funds at marketing managers or advertisements like big name companies can.
3 examples of guerrilla marketing strategies
The implementation should be simple but creative enough to catch someone’s eye. Graffiti is a known method — it’s artistic but cheap, needing only cans of spray paint. The problem is, no matter how gorgeous the picture, it’s still illegal.
Of course, businesses want to catch the eye of the people, but not the police.
Some methods companies have used:
- Pressure hose: Spraying down a dirty slab of concrete with a pressure hose. Then stenciling a design and power-washing it away — leaving a message or a logo. This isn’t a permanent solution — it will eventually wash away. But that’s the point; it’s not defacing property, and the cleanup is easier than spray paint.
- Projected video: Think of it as a responsive mini advertisement, more interesting than billboards. A company projects their message (as a video) onto a surface. The bigger the projection, the more people will look. But it has to be a visual message people will stop for.
- Audience participation: Ever seen a flash mob? Ordinary people doing ordinary things…and then bam! Suddenly it turns into a synchronized dance performance. It can be successful since ignoring a real-life musical is hard. The company might not be musically talented, but they can hire a group who is.
Instead of a flash mob, companies may create a small event and invite regular people to join in. This type of strategy encourages people to participate and take photos. Some will even live stream the event. And if posted on social media, the campaign visibility will spread online.
It’s simple but not without risks
Guerrilla marketing is a creative outlet. It provides freedom and endless opportunities. But like any type of marketing, it can fail.
Also, traditional methods of marketing can be tested and studied; guerrilla marketing strategies are often left up to chance.
If guerrilla marketing strategies flop, the company pays the price. People will have a negative impression of the brand and it’s difficult to come back from that.
But if it works? The recognition can lead to big exposure and a surge in sales.
Remember guerrilla marketing strategies rely on a hands-on approach. Automation doesn’t apply here. If you’re considering it, realize that a strong campaign requires plenty of time, planning and a perfect execution. If it doesn’t work, the company will feel the heat.
Still, it’s a fun way to stand out against corporate marketing. If that fits your brand, and you believe the risks are worth the reward, go out and create something big.
Image: Yury Zap/Shutterstock.com