The Beast Behind Guerrilla Marketing
Guerrilla marketing is a form of marketing that is low cost, usually creative and has the potential to yield big results. Often unconventional, guerrilla marketing avoids all conventional methods of advertising (radio, print, TV, etc.) and instead opts for campaigns that surprise, shock, or confuse its intended audience. Guerrilla marketing is a good option for businesses with a small marketing budget, but can also be used by large, well-known brands to deviate from expectations and provide a new, fun experience for their customers. Just be careful not to go too far with guerrilla marketing tactics, as it can be seen as disingenuous if you already have a solid ad campaign.
Here are some of the most commonly used forms of guerrilla marketing.
Secret Marketing – Have you ever seen an advertisement or billboard that sent you to a website or asked an interesting and thoughtful question? This is a form of guerrilla marketing in which the brand gains your interest and then relies on you to do more digging. The name of the brand is often missing or very minimal. One notable example of this is the Lung Cancer Alliance’s viral “Hipsters Deserve to Die” campaign in which signs and posters popped up in several U.S. cities proclaiming that cat lovers, hipsters, and crazy old aunts deserve to die. There was no trace of the LCA on the posters, but there was a website to learn more. Once arriving at the site, customers were greeted with a countdown clock to the date the killer would be revealed. (The killer was lung cancer, and the message was that nobody deserves to die and that the stigma around lung cancer needs to be eliminated.)
Presence Marketing – You know the phrase “Out of sight, out of mind”? Presence marketers take that very seriously. This form of guerrilla marketing is reliant on keeping the brand name and logo visible and present all the time. People who employ presence marketing are counting on the consumer to remember their name before they remember any others of the same product. Presence marketing is achieved through regular Twitter updates, product placement in TV shows and movies, event sponsorships, and more. This form of advertising can be very effective for fast food and fast casual restaurants, as people are likely to go to the first place that comes to mind when they’re hungry.
Tissue Pack Advertising – Made popular in Japan, tissue pack advertising largely does what it implies: it provides customers with free packs of tissues covered in the brand’s ads. Japanese marketers realized that customers were likely to throw away a flier, but they will keep something useful, like a pack of tissues. Tissue pack advertising is not limited to tissues. You can also see this form of advertising on matches, water bottles, pens, etc. In 2016, a young man surprised Silicon Valley execs when he used a version of tissue pack advertising to spread his resume far and wide. He sent boxes of donuts with his resume printed on the inside lid to the CEOs of tech start-ups.
Undercover Marketing – For brands that are just getting started or those that have almost zero marketing budget, undercover marketing may be a good place to start. This form of guerrilla marketing, also known as word-of-mouth advertising, relies heavily on people talking about the brand and spreading the word organically. If you can get thought leaders to advocate for your product, this can be very effective. If you’re relying on a small group of unconnected customers to spread the word, it can be close to useless. The good news is that there is little to no risk with undercover marketing. Ask your customers to talk you up to their friends and families and know that if they are unable to make a dent in sales, it didn’t cost you anything.
Experiential Marketing – Experiential Marketing brings customers and brands together through activities, experiences, and demonstrations. Think of the times you’ve walked into a store and noticed a product demo or received delicious food samples. Or think of a big event where you and hundreds or thousands of others got together to participate in an activity sponsored by a brand (like Red Bull’s Flugtag). At Modern Promos, we are experts in experiential marketing with the help of our brand ambassadors.
If you’re a brand looking to make an impact, you may want to consider Guerrilla Marketing tactics. Contact Modern Promos to learn more about how you can use guerrilla marketing tactics to spread your brand message, build a brand connection, and increase your visibility and sales.