You would be forgiven for thinking that guerrilla tactics are something used when fighting the enemy, but today you are just as likely to see them being used by marketers and PRO’s as you are by soldiers.
Much like the military equivalent guerrilla marketing is usually a low cost and unconventional means of marketing. Some of the tactics used can include street art, graffiti, flash mobs and sticker bombing. The term was created by Jay Conrad Levinson in his book ‘Guerrilla Marketing’ published in 2007, where he outlines easy and inexpensive strategies for making profits for your business. The essence of guerrilla marketing is that you don’t need to shell out thousands of pounds/dollars to create an effective marketing campaign, sometimes the most effective campaigns are ones that use uniqueness over expense.
Guerrilla marketing can take all types of forms, as long as its spontaneous, inexpensive and seen by the public it’s a guerrilla tactic. They can range from QR codes being stickered on lamp posts to large scale flash mobs where hundreds of people descended on a public place. Guerrilla marketing can also be used by anybody, from small businesses to large companies like T-mobile and charities. These tactics started out by being used by smaller businesses as a cheap alternative to expensive marketing campaigns, but as their effectiveness became apparent they were adopted by large agency’s including Saatchi and Saatchi in the famous T Mobile flash mob television adverts.
So guerrilla tactics are nothing new, but why are they becoming so popular? Well as with everything, the internet has blown it out of the water. Now that internet enabled phones are as common as bank cards, when people see these guerrilla tactics out on the street they can film or photograph them, instantly upload them to YouTube, Facebook or any other social networking site and within minutes it has gone global. This has now became half of the appeal of using guerrilla marketing, most of the promotion is done free of charge by the public.
It’s not just sharing the tactics that digital technology has done for guerrilla marketing, it has also enabled new types of tactics. Augmented reality is the use of computer technology to enhance or change a real world environment. Thought to be more suited to computer game developers, the technology has now been adopted by public relations and marketing in promotional campaigns. Adidas used the technology to launch their new Scottish football shirt in a shopping center (click the picture below for the video)
Although an undoubtedly more expensive stunt, this use augmented reality technology is another form of guerrilla marketing. It spontaneously interacted with the public in a public place whilst promoting a new product, and it worked, the stunt went viral and Adidas uploaded their own footage of the stunt via YouTube.
Guerrilla marketing is a great way to break through the advertisement white noise that has been created. It’s very difficult to truly get the attention of your audience today, with so many adverts being forced upon us every minute of every day, we begin to block them out, but guerrilla marketing finds a way to penetrate this. A good guerrilla marketing campaign will catch your attention and promote an organisation without you realising it is essentially just another advert. It is truly refreshing to know that there are still traditional methods of promoting a business (even if it is helped along by digital media) that are cheap and effective.