While the concept of guerrilla marketing sounds like it should involve corporate types in flak jackets infiltrating a competitor’s product launch or idea, when applied correctly, it can have a revolutionary affect on the image and positioning of a business.
The guru of guerrilla marketing and the first man to coin the term, Jay Conrad Levinson, defined guerrilla marketing as being “more about matching wits than matching budgets” in his seminal 1984 publication Guerilla Marketing.
In this time, Levinson outlined how a marketing strategy that is high on imagination and innovation can be effective for smaller organisations with a limited promotional and advertising budget.
“Guerrilla marketing can be as different from traditional marketing as guerrilla warfare is from traditional warfare,” Levinson wrote. “Rather than marching their marketing dollars forth like infantry divisions, guerrilla marketers swipe away with their marketing resources for maximum impact.”
A famous example of guerrilla marketing was when the internet company BestOffer.Com ran the promotion “Painfree Commuting Day” to coincide with their launch in Los Angeles. As part of this, the company gave away more than 90,000 litres (20,000 gallons) of petrol.
This promotion gained the fledgling company widespread media coverage and commentary in the USA, immediately giving it a profile that it couldn’t have achieved or financed via traditional marketing channels.
Successful examples of guerrilla marketing also abound closer to home in Australia.
The multinational food company Taco Bell stationed a 12 x 12 metre target just off the Australian coastline in 2001 as the Mir Space Station was falling apart overhead in space. The company promised a free taco to American customers if any stray bits of the space station managed to hit the bullseye. With the odds of this happening being more than one in a billion, Taco Bell reaped the benefits of the free media coverage and publicity the stunt generated.
“We captured the imagination and interests of millions of people around the globe and put a smile on their faces,” the vice-president of the company’s brand communications, Chris Becker, commented at the time.
While the Taco Bell example illustrates how a large company can successfully implement a guerrilla marketing campaign, Associate Professor Lawrence Ang from Macquarie University says guerrilla marketing campaigns have traditionally been the preserve of smaller companies looking to gauge market share from larger competitors.
“Guerilla marketing is marketing without money, and is often based on human psychology,” Ang says. “It should be a vital part of any competitive strategy for small and medium-sized enterprises looking to gain increased exposure in the marketplace.”
Although the concept of guerrilla marketing is a fairly recent phenomenon, the impact it has had on the competitive marketplace of western economies has been massive.
It has allowed corporations of all sizes to gain product exposure without having to spend the large amounts of cash that more traditional marketing methods, such as sponsorships or advertising campaigns, demand.
Guerrilla marketing has also spawned a multitude of spin-off marketing campaigns, such as viral, social and ambient marketing, which use everyday objects and surrounds as communication platforms.
If you are seeking to use a guerrilla marketing campaign to re-position your business or image, Kwik Kopy are in the best position to provide the right finishing touches to complement your new look, image and attitude.
For more handy design and printing tips, head to your nearest Kwik Kopy Centre.