The term “guerrilla” strikes fear into the minds of people because it is related to unconventional warfare. A guerrilla is a member of an armed force that attacks a mightier regular army using sabotage and harassment in rural communities. A guerrilla force uses ambush, raids, and sabotage through the element of surprise to achieve a political or economic end with the government.
Guerrilla marketing borrows or adopts the unconventional strategies of a guerrilla force for business promotion purposes. A marketing initiative that uses guerrilla tactics seeks to drive brand awareness and publicity in a streetwise manner that evokes shock, wonder, and surprise in people. The marketing strategy catches people in their tracks and arrests their attention long enough to acknowledge the need for a new product.
The term “guerrilla marketing” was coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in 1984 to describe a cost-effective and non-traditional method of pushing products into people’s consciousness on the streets. According to Levinson, “guerrilla marketing has been proven in action to work for small businesses around the world. It works because it’s simple to understand, easy to implement, and outrageously inexpensive.”
Guerrilla Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses
Here are some business marketing ideas that can utilize guerrilla tactics for greater product awareness, higher sales revenue, sustained business expansion, and budget-friendly advertising campaigns:
Give Away Free Products
People get caught off-guard when they are handed free products on the streets. People are usually enraptured with free gifts, and they study the gift to learn more about the giver. If you want people to interact with your brand and inquire into your business, give them free samples of your products and they will be the ones to seek you out for paid patronage.
Stage A Live Street Concert
Staging a live performance on a busy street stops people in their tracks to listen to your message. It is a cheap and effective way to showcase your products and even get people to try them out first-hand on the streets. You can set up a wooden stage or use the open back of a truck to perform live music using a DJ and MC who talks about your products and what people stand to benefit from having them. You may also get local drama students or a reputable movie artist to be on the stage, and you must display your products on banners around the venue.
Disruptive Street Graffiti
Ordinarily speaking, graffiti is a spray paint or rude decoration made to a public building or street walls to pass a message. It can also be imposed on rocks and any public space not officially sanctioned by the owner. Graffiti is a creative and disruptive marketing tactic that advertises products and services to people frequenting the public space. It is also often used at subways and metro stations to advertise products and pass political messages.
Disrupt and Ambush On-Progress Event
Imagine the idea of hijacking people’s attention at a public event to promote your products and services without necessarily disrupting the on-progress event. It is leveraging the audience of an event to announce your products without prior permission from the organizers of the event. It’s like putting up a mini-stage performance close to a venue where a wedding reception or sporting game is in progress – with the idea of getting the attendees or participants to acknowledge your products.
Get Pedestrians To Participate In Your Campaign
Imagine getting on the streets and giving out your products to passersby, and then getting them to test the product and provide immediate feedback. Take this scenario: you give out free bottles of your newest beverage on the streets and get people to provide feedback after tasting it; the feedback is recorded and serves as positive testimonials for people watching on TV or social media videos. Audience participation is always a veritable tool to advertise products for free.
Distribute Product Flyers To People
Distributing product flyers to people on the streets is a cheap and disruptive way of getting people to know about your merchandise and services. You can also spray flyers from a moving car or a helicopter flying overhead; and you can simply hire a team of young roller-skaters to distribute product flyers to people in shops, moving cars, and all across town.
For your guerrilla marketing ideas for small businesses to be effective, they must be taken to where people are on the streets, subways, beaches, stadia, cinemas, and other public places. You would do well to invite the gathering spectators to participate in your gimmicks and even give them small rewards for outstanding performance. While not all guerrilla marketing tactics will be suitable for your kind of business, the one that works for you must align with your brand and project your company identity with moderate force.