The Forgotten Art of Guerrilla Marketing

As we focus more on electronic media for communications, we have tossed aside some tried and true tactics that should be part of our “go-to” tools. Let’s talk about the value of Guerrilla Marketing – getting publicity through local unconventional marketing activities to make people sit up and take notice. Jay Conrad Levinson, author of the 1984 book Guerrilla Marketing and creator of term, describes the soul and essence of guerrilla marketing as “achieving conventional goals, such as profits and joy, with unconventional methods, such as investing energy instead of money.”  Guerrilla marketing can make a far more valuable impression than traditional forms of advertising and marketing. This is because most guerrilla marketing campaigns aim to strike the audience at a more personal and memorable level.

Here’s ten easy to execute guerrilla marketing ideas to try right now:

1. Of course old fashion PR always works! If it didn’t, we’d all be unemployed.  But times have changed from just picking up the phone and pitching to every journalist. It’s about developing mutually respectful relationships so that when you do need them to pick up the phone, they will. So do your research. Follow them on Twitter. Read their stories and blogs. Learn the types of stories each journalists covers so you are pitching the right angle to the right person.

2. Create an event. It can be a high-end launch party where you invite local media to mix and mingle. It can be a public BBQ. It can be a flash mob. It can be a street team. Just do something!

3. Find a champion to promote your message. Charities, which are usually challenged with low budgets, use this tactic all the time.  Find an important influencer in your sector or local celebrity and leverage their fame, endorsement and connections to get noticed.

4. Network. This one is terrifying to some people. But trust me, people still do it because it works. So leave your desk, grab a wing man and start going to local events.

5. Contests! And you can blend old and new by using social media to run it.

6. Write your website in chalk on streets and parkades outside major related events.

7. Brand your vehicle with a decal or removable magnet.

8. Do posters on street poles still work? Yes! Yes they do. Modernize by adding QR codes.

9. Be your own billboard with temporary tattoos or t-shirts. One of my fav’s was a wedding photographer’s shirt that said ‘I Shoot Brides’.

10. Swag. Chachkas. Tchotchkes. Promo items. Whatever you all them, people love them.

We’ve just dipped our toe into the ocean of ideas. The limit is really our imagination. Guerrilla marketing is more about hard work and creativity than dollars spent.

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