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For businesses looking to enter the world of marketing but without an idea of where to start (or how to fund its expense) guerilla marketing can appear to be an excellent idea.
Using a combination of clever tactics, placement and new ideas, guerilla marketing can help your business reach a greater audience, while saving you money on traditional marketing and associated collateral.
If your business is ready to take the leap, it might be handy to first read up on some basics of guerilla marketing. Below are some handy tips and reminders aimed at getting your business primed for a new and exciting adventure.
What Is Guerilla Marketing?
Guerilla marketing is a type of marketing which utilises ‘new’ or novel ideas and leverages tactics such as unorthodox message placement, and unexpected or seemingly ‘unplanned’ messages to reinforce an idea or product. A hallmark of guerilla advertising (and its main initial benefit to businesses) is in its low cost factor – a successful guerilla marketing campaign shouldn’t require a large monetary investment (poster-based campaigns are particularly affordable, simply find large format and flyer printers in Melbourne).
Companies/businesses which have successfully utilised guerilla marketing campaigns include: Coca Cola, Levi’s and the film The Blair Witch Project; a film which grossed 250 million dollars (USD) worldwide from a budget of only $50,000 – an excellent result from a film marketed with shaky home-video camera footage and not much else.
Marketing On The Fly
Another hallmark of guerilla marketing is the re-purposing of old techniques to juxtapose new or radical ideas (for example, the ‘culture jamming’ and Adbusters movement which took off in the late 80’s, through until the early 00’s).
If you’re looking for a great way to introduce your business to a guerilla marketing campaign without too high a risk/benefit factor, consider ‘flyposting’.
Flyposting (also referred to as bill posting) uses static poster campaigns where posters are adhered to highly visible, busy areas (think railway sidings, buildings, public transport hubs, building sites, and other visible-but-undecorated structures).
Flypost marketing doesn’t always have to be done using posters – some companies invest in stickers, magnets or other collateral in order to perform the same task. Contrary to the position of Marshall McLuhan, the message is more important than the medium in this case.
It may be a good idea to research the possible legal and ethical ramifications of your guerilla campaign. Using flyposting as an example, some council areas are more strict on illegal or unlicensed advertising than others. If you’re unsure, check the website of your intended campaign’s council area to make sure.
Other risks which may be important to consider are related to the ethical side of guerilla marketing. If you’re creating an artificial hype or buzz about your product, expect some pushback or dissent from members of public, and find a communication strategy so that you can best respond to these criticisms without a negative effect.
When planning your campaign, think about how your product or business positively affects its intended audience. Utilise positive imagery and messages, and refrain from negative statements or any slander directed at competitors. Provoking a negative reaction in potential customers or a new audience will not help you in the long or short term.
It’s also a good idea to avoid copying the marketing or tactics of competitors and instead find a voice which is uniquely your own, without being contrived or cliched. Use language which is understood widely, and refrain from using zeitgeist terms or jargon.
Using guerilla marketing ideas or tactics can be a fun way to mix up your marketing mojo, while also allowing your business to create a fun new strategy without a huge outpouring of dollars. The golden rule of guerilla marketing is simple: the more time, thought, and energy you put into your campaign, the better the outcome is likely to be.