How Guerilla Marketing Works for Small Businesses

Guerilla Marketing, at its core, is advertising that utilises cheap and creative tactics to generate hype and draw attention to a product or service. It often allows you to take “the consumer by surprise, make an indelible impression and create copious amounts of social buzz,” which means that, in a time where “meaningfully different brands capture five times more volume”, guerilla marketing tactics can be very effective indeed.

So how can guerilla marketing work for your small business?

Budget friendly with great ROI

The inherent affordability of guerilla marketing is the first advantage for small business. Especially for new or smaller companies, allocating a large marketing budget is often necessary but a concerning one. But if utilised effectively, guerrilla marketing can generate a massive return on investment.

Take ‘The Blair Witch Project’ for example. The 1999 film was produced on a budget of just $50,000 (chump change as far as the film industry is concerned), and with little to no funds available for marketing the movie, the filmmakers decided to get creative. Not only did they present the film as real ‘found footage’, but they also fabricated an urban legend centred around ‘The Blair Witch’ online. By using this technique, one that has been repeated for numerous films since then, the website gained a following, and there were eventually even true believers in the Blair Witch. Soon enough, the website had generated hype that encouraged movie-goers and allowed the film to gross $250 million worldwide.

While this is an extreme best case scenario, it just goes show just how effective guerilla marketing can be when it’s utilized to it’s fullest potential; even on a low budget.

Stronger Brand Identity & Insight

Face-to-face marketing “builds confidence and trust between you and your potential customer,” and creative guerilla marketing has the potential to make a lasting positive impression on consumers. While social media and online marketing tactics have their benefits, connecting with a “real” audience can help your small business make a longer lasting impression.

Pop up events, giveaways at popular places; like train stations or shopping centres, experiential moments like flash mobs, all use guerilla marketing in very physical ways to engage customers. Remember, “the basic tenet of guerrilla marketing is to surprise the customers”.

Take for example the recent street art installation by Kopparberg. In an effort to promote their major new product, Kopparberg Fruit Lager, they hired a street artist to create for them “an anamorphic art instillation” in the middle of Shoreditch; an area of London renowned for it’s murals and street art.

This marketing tactic was born from the company’s desire to reflect how their new product will be “challenging the familiar and doing something different.” By coming up with a creative and unique way to communicate the company’s own feelings towards their new product, Kopparberg was offering an insight into their brand personality while giving potential customers something genuinely beautiful to look at.

Instantly Memorable (and Shareable on Social)

If a marketing strategy isn’t memorable, then it hasn’t been executed effectively. Fortunately this is an area in which guerrilla marketing excels. Guerilla marketing is by its very nature memorable. The successful guerilla marketing campaign seeks to be unique and creative; to stand out from the crowd and cut through the white noise of it’s competition. That is part of why so many guerilla marketing stunts attract the attention of the media.

In the age of the digital, even instantaneous events can become viral online, as well as connecting your brand with those people on the day. Social media posts and creating entries on your small business website about your marketing campaigns can help bolster your brand identity and create a ripple effect of awareness for your guerilla marketing.

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