The term ‘guerrilla marketing’ was first introduced by Jay Conrad Levinson when he wrote a book on this topic and named it ‘Guerrilla Marketing’. It went on to become an international bestseller, with sales of over 20 million copies worldwide. Since then, the term has become widely popular and has been used in many text books.
The main theory behind guerrilla marketing is that it employs a completely unconventional approach towards marketing and promotion, the foundation of which lies in the application of imagination, energy and time.
The motive behind this new technique is to generate unique ideas that do not require much finance. The campaigns involved in the guerrilla marketing theory are often interactive, unconventional, and mostly target consumers in totally unexpected places.
The main objective of guerrilla marketing is to come up with something that provokes people to think in a way that has a long-term effect on their memory, while, at the same time, creating a buzz that spreads like wildfire and goes ‘viral’.
In addition to such promotional stuff, guerrilla marketing also involves directly approaching customers on the streets, giving away products in malls or shopping centers in new and innovative ways, along with other PR stunts that grab the market’s attention without having to spend thousands of dollars, or being too over-the-top.
The trick and magic of guerrilla marketing is in innovation and creatively coming up with unique ideas. These days, the gurus of guerrilla marketing take advantage of digital and mobile technologies to gain the edge when engaging with customers and creating a brand experience for them that is truly memorable and long-lasting.
As the introducer of the ‘guerrilla marketing’ concept, Jay has written hundreds of books giving tips and ideas on how to perfectly implement promotional campaigns. However, it’s important to stress that each company should strive to be uniquely creative in its promotional ideas thereby standing apart from the crowd and making a lasting impression on their target market.
Marketers trying to adopt the theory of ‘guerrilla marketing’ must look deep inside their company, studying each and every little aspect of it and its line of products to find ideas for their creative promotional campaign.
They have to utilize all their personal and professional contacts to take full advantage of their capabilities while spending the least possible amount of money.
According to Jay, smaller companies have more advantages and can better implement the guerrilla marketing concept than larger companies.
Implementing guerilla marketing helps new entrepreneurs and small companies achieve widespread recognition without having to invest thousands of dollars.
Small companies also have the advantage of enjoying more personal contact with their customers, giving them more options to choose from when adopting the guerrilla marketing concept.
However, Jay always maintained that the most important factor in implementing the guerrilla marketing theory is that the company must “deliver the goods”.
Guerrilla Marketing Principles
The following principles form the foundation of the guerrilla marketing theory:
1. This theory is specially designed keeping in view the needs and resources of entrepreneurs and small businesses.
2. Instead of focusing on judgment and experience as in traditional marketing methods, this theory focuses more on human psychology.
3. Unlike traditional marketing methods which mainly focus on how much money is invested in the marketing campaign, this theory focuses on imagination, energy and time.
4. This theory is based on the profit that a company makes by adopting the guerrilla marketing instead of the number of sales.
5. Marketers adopting this theory need to focus on the number of new relationships they are able to make each month.
6. The companies adopting the guerrilla marketing concept are mainly those who have a very specified and focused set of products or services that they try to excel in, rather than offering a wide range of diversified products and services.
7. The main focus of companies adopting this concept is to secure larger transactions with their current customers, while increasing those transactions instead of trying to find new customers. Referrals are the main method through which they increase their customer base.
8. Companies adopting this approach do not bother about competition, trying instead to co-operate more with other companies in the same industry.
9. A great piece of advice from Jay was that companies should not only rely upon guerrilla marketing, but should adopt other strategies as well.
10. Jay also advised companies to use cutting-edge technology to build their business.
11. Finally, the last piece of advice by Jay was to avoid trying to push a sale on your customer, rather always try to get his/her consent before you send any further information.