Guerrilla Marketing : An Affordable Advertising Tool for Small Business
Guerrilla Marketing is one of the best alternative options for those with smaller to almost non-existent advertising budgets.
Now the obvious questions arise – What is guerrilla marketing and how it can it be used to promote a small business? The term basically refers to a range of unconventional marketing tactics in which some surprising activities are performed. The rationale being to excite your prospects with curiosity or beauty while still conveying an influential message.
Guerrilla marketing is really nothing new having been around and relied on heavily for decades. It incorporates a different marketing strategy focusing solely on low-cost, unconventional ad campaigns that yield maximum output. Commonplace with the startup crowd, a company would brainstorm to invest their ideas, energy, imagination and time instead of cold hard cash. So do they work? Yes they do!
Affordable advertising is often the only option for launching new products or expanding a fledgling business. Guerrilla marketing focuses on ‘you’ marketing instead of ‘me’ marketing, that’s why its impact can be huge. It speaks directly to the heart and mind of the consumer.
So can investing time and energy into this type of marketing really convert for a small business? The answer is yes as many small businesses see tangible results from these campaigns daily. Let’s look at some examples:
GoldToe is a US based company that has used guerilla marketing tactics in promoting their undergarments. Throughout their campaigns in New York, the company placed their undergarments on public statues and this marketing strategy has worked well for them. Pretty cheeky right? As a result, the company grew to become the 3rd largest in their industry nationally. We’d call that a solid win for them! The big takeaway from GoldToe is don’t take yourself too seriously! Just hope you don’t get a ticket in the process!
- Tyskie Beer
Tyskie beer is a Polish beer company that also started their campaigns via guerrilla marketing. Their strategy was super simple – advertise the brand right on the main entrance handles of different bars, pubs and clubs. The strategy worked and now this brand is famous all over the world. The Tyskie approach could easily be duplicated by getting a small-run batch of labels made up, gaining permission from the barkeeper and going for it. It just doesn’t get any simpler than that!
- Kit Kat
World renowned Kit Kat started advertising their chocolate bars using the same marketing approach. The company began making creative candy chocolate bar public benches in different countries. The idea worked seamlessly with their original catch phrase of “Have a break, have a Kit Kat” ( and here’s a nice bench to sit on while you do it! ). Their customers loved the idea with Kitkat becoming more famous among people of different age groups, especially teenagers. The big takeaway was a neat and clean campaign along with their logo.
ESB is an Irish electricity board. This firm wanted something simple and eye-catching so they used a side wall and created beautiful artwork murals. The ESB Electricity theme has been depicted many times in these urban artworks for attracting the greatest number of customers. Many businesses dress up their windows for the holidays but how many make use of the walls of their buildings year round? Simple.
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Guerrilla Marketing – the Pro’s:
This marketing strategy has many pros but here’s just a few.
- Great for low / smaller budgets
- Build partnerships
- Encourages Creative thinking
- Engage with Social Media
- It’s possible to donate your products / items as gifts
- Enhances brand recognition
- Facilitate collaboration
Is Guerrilla Marketing deal for Small Business ?
Every new business has a budget and that budget is often never smaller than with startups. Without an effective ad spend, your options will be limited from the outset making it tough to gain recognition.
If you’re venturing down this road for the first time here’s some pointers. Forget all other strategies like conventional marketing, just focus on one strategy at a time. Perfect it to at least see positive returns from your efforts before expanding. 30 days makes for an ideal litmus test. If you’re not seeing results or lower results than anticipated during this time, shut it down and try a different concept.
Even big budget campaigns get shut down in a matter of days for various reasons, so don’t feel too bad. Many seasoned marketers will run A B testing (running two concepts simultaneously to gauge the response). The chosen markets will be different in location but should be identical in demographics. After 30 days the winner will be clear and that’s how you proceed.
Guerilla marketing is ideal for small business entrepreneurs because it’s a low-cost marketing strategy.
You know your business and you know your products. You practically live it at the outset right? So how would you sell that product or service to a prospect that looks, acts and responds just like you? What makes you take a second look at something from the car or train? What is it that caught your eye?
Guerrilla Marketing in the Everyday
I swear I must have a marketing antenna hard-wired into my brain, it just comes naturally to me and has served me very well over the years. When wandering around town if something catches my eye, I’ll quickly take a snapshot with my phone. Over the course of an average month, I’ll often compile a treasure trove of ideas and more than enough fodder to fill a blog each month.
Why not follow my example when you’re out & about? If you see something, take a note of it. Snap a pic. Think whether a similar approach might work for you. Then take it a step further and encourage your staff (if you have them) to follow suit. The old saying of two heads is better than one rings true here. Our team all lead different lives away from the office and are engaged in a number of leisure pursuits and style. This crowdsourced content becomes gold dust for our clients. If you’re a solo-preneur, just crowdsource your friends and family for input. Sometimes all you really need do is ask!
Guerilla marketing works, now it’s time to put on those thinking caps …
Also published on Medium.