What is guerilla marketing & why you should be using it…

Low-cost innovative marketing tactic

Guerilla Marketing is a type of strategy used by businesses which focuses on the atypical side of marketing tactics in order to maximise exposure and results.

Interestingly, Guerilla Marketing originated from a 1984 book called ‘Guerilla Advertising’ written by Jay Conrad Levinson. The inspiration behind the topic of the book was Guerilla Warfare which was a term used to describe armed civillians using tactics like raids or ambushes as an element of surprise towards their enemies (Creative Guerilla Marketing). This is why when businesses use eccentric and shocking advertising it is described as a Guerilla Marketing tactic.


Ideal for small businesses

Nowadays there are so many businesses it’s hard to make yours stand out against the rest. This is why Guerilla Marketing is such an effective strategy and has the potential to reach large audiences without the need to break the bank.

Guerilla Marketing Tactics focus on grabbing people’s attention in a unique and memorable way, creating an experience that stays with them for a long period of time and one that people will want to talk about. Word of the mouth is one of the quickest and successful strategies out there.

Taking a consumer by surprise and making a permanent impression will create mass amount of social buzz, not only in person but online too. 

Remember these piano stairs?

Back in 2009, Volkswagen launched the Piano Staircase initiative. Their video went viral with almost 1.5 million views. Why you ask? They installed an interactive piano on a staircase next to an escalator. Their aim was to increase awareness of their environmentally friendly range, and to demonstrate that people can easily change habits given the right motivation. And of course lots of people did in fact choose to use the unusual staircase instead of the escalator.

Ok, so it’s not 100% obvious that this is what they are advertising, but Volkswagen showed the importance of “fun” and how an entertaining campaign can have a huge pop culture impact. It’s not always about instant recognition, but leaving a lasting impression on your audience.

Element of surprise

 A we previously mentioned, Guerilla Marketing is only effective if it is used as an element of suprise and challenges normality and how people perceive certain things on a day to day basis. It is the idea of combating the traditional forms of advertising and making a huge impact on a smaller budget.

Take advantage of trending events

 Many small businesses lack the recognition and exposure to easily be identified and remembered through ordinary marketing campaigns which is why you should take advantage of something that is already popular and trending and create a connection between the two.

You may have heard of Pop Culture Marketing or similar, and this is essentially what we mean. A company takes a popular reference and ties it in with their brand. Of course, this can be a balancing act as you need to ensure that you make the reference clear & obvious to understand, whilst maintaining your audiences interests. Take Stranger Things as an example. Big companies like H&M, Burger King & Nike all realised how popular the show was and started featuring Stranger Things products tailored to that audience.

Another great example of Snickers not only hopping on the Star Wars wagon when the new film was released but they also incorporated their famous ”You’re not you when you’re hungry” tagline (Moo Send, 2020).


Tips on starting a guerilla campaign 

 Guerilla Marketing isn’t a one off sponteanous event it needs to be carefully thoughtout and planned if it were to be a successful campaign.

We have come up with 3 top tips for planning and executing a successful Guerilla Marketing campaign:

1. Who is your target audience?

Knowing who your target audience is and their wants, needs and expectations is the key to your strategy. More importantly you need to know where you are most likely to come across your audience and at what time in order to make sure that your campaign and audience encounter each other.

2. Picking the perfect loaction

As we mentioned, the location that you decide to carry out your Guerilla Marketing campaign needs to be where your target audience is located and where they are most likely to come across your campaign. However, it also needs to fit the brief and the message that you are trying to send out.

3. Be original!

We like to see things that haven’t ever been done before which is what gives these campaigns uniqueness and the element of suprise. Copying someone elses idea may actually create huge backlash that will really affect your business. Do plenty of research and start planning your successful Guerilla Marketing campaign!


Looking for more? Check out this article from Don’t Panic for more about Guerilla Marketing…

Planning a Guerilla Marketing campaign?

We’d love to get involved and think of something creative for you. Lets talk creative and schedule a meeting!

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