What is guerrilla marketing? Imagine being at your friends’ party. At such an event there will always be a person who doubles and triples to become the star of the evening. He tells one joke after another, mentions conquering Mount Everest and willingly shares his opinion on every possible topic. In this way he also indicates that his company is a guarantee of good fun. This attitude represents classic marketing activities in which the sender is aware of his value, presents the characteristics of his products or services and addresses the recipients using the language of benefits.
On the other side of the room in the corner sits a mysterious person. Nobody exchanged a word with her and has no idea where she came from. The mysterious guest holds the cards in his hands and performs magic tricks. After a few minutes, someone finally pays attention to him and begins to comment loudly on the show. Gradually, more interested parties appear, and finally half of the participants gather. Many viewers eagerly cheer on the magician and assist him in performing tricks. Guerrilla marketing works in a similar way.
In the described situation, both people finally draw the attention of other participants to the event. The difference is how much they have invested and how they have communicated to achieve the goal. The main assumption of guerrilla marketing is to achieve the best effect, bearing absolutely minimal costs. How to do it?
You can’t enter through the door? Try out the window! Insane guerrilla marketing.
Consumers have become accustomed to being bombarded with advertising messages at every turn. No one is able to process all these stimuli, and above all, they do not have the slightest desire. Defense mechanisms allow the separation of grain from chaff. Recipients only pay attention to messages consistent with their interests, meeting the needs or being so interesting and unconventional that you can not pass by indifferently.
Advertisers using guerrilla techniques strive to surprise the recipient and evoke emotions. The safest option is to create a playful creation. After all, laughter is a positive reaction that will consolidate positive associations with the brand. Many daredevils are also trying to use elements of the environment to form brilliant conclusions. The finished composition makes the audience reflect and stays in their consciousness, even if they are not aware of it. Bolder marketers go all the way and try to shock the recipients by breaking taboos. Sometimes such attempts end in a media scandal, but this does not necessarily mean failure. The seed has been sown, and soaring sales results prove that it’s worth taking the risk.
Guerrilla marketing rules
In guerrilla marketing, you do not need to present in detail the distinguishing features of your offer. It would be inadvisable, because it soothes the message, which must be simple and volatile. The campaign is to generate the widest reach and expand brand awareness. This is the first stage of the sales funnel. Importantly, if you skillfully formulate a message, the recipients will do the rest of the work for you. After all, if you managed to arouse their curiosity and do not know much about you, then they will want to get to know you better. Then you can also gradually reveal more cards. Remember, however, to increase the tension and not to reveal everything you have to offer too quickly. As a result, the interest will be self-driving, and with it you will get the involvement of users.
Mental shortcuts have sprouted around the described phenomenon that would be worth correcting. The articles state that guerrilla marketing is a great solution for companies that have a limited budget but want to generate a large reach and stand out on the market. We are not going to undermine this, but this is not the only solution. It is worth slightly broadening the perspective. Guerrilla activities are also great as a diversification of marketing strategy in wealthier enterprises. Then they will complement the conventional methods and allow paving new routes to reach customers.
It also happens that guerrilla marketing is often seen in the context of offline campaigns. In fact, many outdoor creations have been created because urban space is great in this role. This does not mean, however, that you cannot operate suddenly on the network. Social media, mobile applications and websites are also a great environment to surprise users.
Guerrilla marketing in practice
Netflix has been setting trends in a diverse approach to marketing for years. The American company uses the image of actors, but also does not shun unconventional actions. An example is the installation that stood on the main market in Cracow (Poland). Next to “Erosa bendato”, i.e. the head carved by Igor Mitoraj, a second head was placed, in this case depicting the image of Salvador Dali, who promoted the series “Money Heist / La casa de papel”. According to accounts, the creators only paid $ 69 for 2 weeks of exposure.
In the age of the coronavirus pandemic, everyone repeats like a mantra so as not to leave the house unnecessarily. Streaming platforms turned out to be a blessing at a time when sitting in front of a computer or TV is one of the few forms of entertainment available. What if an almost unlimited database of movies and series is not enough to keep people in check? Netflix has placed posters depicting spoilers from his most popular productions in cities. If you can’t adapt to the rules, you’ll learn what will happen in the next episode.
Noteworthy is the series “The Walking Dead” presents the story of people who are fighting for survival in a world dominated by bloodthirsty zombies. During the promotion of the next season, the creators did not change their clothes and decided to shake the recipients. The promotional campaign used a truck that was splashed with blood and cut off human limbs protruding from the open shed. The whole composition was complemented by the visual identity of the series and information about the release date of new episodes.
Guerrilla marketing in online channels often comes down to responding quickly to user statements. This was the case with the British Virgin Trains line, where Dante’s stages took place. One of the passengers used the toilet but was out of toilet paper. In a gesture of despair he called for help on Twitter. The carrier fished his appeal out of the jungle of fasts and sent a rescue mission. This inconspicuous situation captivated other users who eagerly distributed the publication. As a result, the company could significantly expand its brand awareness while creating a positive image.
When should you use guerrilla marketing?
Guerrilla advertising seems to be interesting and effective. Under the influence of emotions, one can get the illusory impression that this is the only right approach to marketing, and more conventional methods are a melody of the past. However, this is only an illusion resulting from the specifics of the target group. The goal of guerrilla marketing is to create a message that will spread virally. Thus, the most valuable recipients will be active users of social media, eager to flood the internet with an avalanche of comments about original creations. It should be borne in mind, however, that this group includes mainly younger users who love new products and unconventional practices.
On the other hand, there are more conservative consumers who prefer the classic approach to presenting the offer. They want to have black and white what you can offer them and what they will have from it. Fireworks and weirdness don’t matter to them. Therefore, you can not get carried away. The analysis of the target group plays a significant role and will determine the success or failure of the entire campaign. You must have at least a pre-emptive feeling that your concept will appeal to someone besides you, your friends and colleagues.
The characteristics of guerrilla marketing mean that it will not always suit brands for which a professional image is a fundamental value. In this case, you need to design the campaign very skillfully so as not to shoot yourself in the knee. After all, we expect from doctors and lawyers that everything will go smoothly and painlessly. As long as the creation does not contradict these assets, it will be successful.
Representatives of professions with significantly lower social responsibility have much more room to show off. Restaurant and club owners, artists, clothing manufacturers – they can indulge. The success of products and services in these categories depends on whether they are fashionable or not. As a consequence, guerrilla activities are a great way to create a unique brand image.
Guerrilla marketing is an attractive and effective formula for brands planning to enter the market firmly and create a lot of noise around them. It can also be used by companies that have become slaves of mediocrity and want to finally break through the glass ceiling. Established enterprises may also be tempted to unconventional actions. In this way, they will make standard communication more attractive and remind the world of their existence. In other words, you can take partisan actions at any stage of the company’s operation. However, you have to understand your recipients perfectly and meet them.