How to use guerrilla marketing to get your business noticed

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Time to get creative

If you are an entrepreneur wondering how to promote your company without spending heavily, consider guerrilla marketing. Many guerrilla marketing strategies have gone viral in a short span of time, even when most companies weren’t expecting such overwhelming responses. The results were welcomed with open arms.

Guerrilla marketing makes an impact through creative thought. It surprises people by delivering the unexpected.

You could also compare it to a delicious twist in a story that made you immediately sit up and take notice.

Let’s look at two good reasons to look beyond traditional forms of marketing.

A less expensive option

Maintaining a tight grip over cost can be a game-changer for start-ups, simply because most don’t have enough budgets in their early days. Traditional marketing methods like billboards, television and newspaper advertisements require big budgets.

Earning profits in such a scenario would be an unachievable dream for a new business. Questions that loom large would be, is advertising on television or radio worth the cost? Is there another option?

Where is the excitement?

Consumers are bored with traditional broadcast advertising, no matter how colourful or content-rich it is. Nothing can set aside decades of boredom with the same tried-and-tested approaches.

In today’s world of virtual reality and high competition, it’s too impersonal to make a lasting impression and far too exploited as a marketing method.

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How to bring attention to your business in 4 steps

Follow these steps to stage a guerrilla marketing event for your business:

  1. Marketing plan – have one!
  2. Keep it innovative.
  3. Know your desired target.
  4. Create a ‘fun’ or ‘useful’ experience.

Looking for guerrilla marketing examples? Scroll to the bottom of the post.

An alternative approach

Guerrilla Marketing Vijay Sales BBQ ad

Guerrilla marketing is a fresh option to traditional marketing. At the core of it lies evocative storytelling about your product. This technique aims to create a connection in the hearts of the consumers who are most likely to buy your product or service.

Guerrilla marketing can be inexpensive and unconventional in its approach.

Leading brands too have indulged in it. Its budget-friendliness assures greater profit alongside wider visibility. Once the idea is a hit, word of mouth works as your ally to promote your product. Sometimes the idea even goes viral.

The catch: your idea has to be truly unusual or exciting to be well-received.

For example, consider a live karaoke event as a guerrilla marketing strategy for a company that launches a new range of speakers into the market. Planned to perfection, the event could be a great success with the public and they get to know your brand. That’s a win-win for you!

Tips to ensure success

Not all guerrilla marketing campaigns are successful. Remember that it has to be an idea that raises the pulse of the people watching and it has to be executed to perfection. Many ideas fail due to improper implementation.

The great thing about this tactic is that if it fails, you’re not out a lot of money.

 

Here are the steps you should take to launch such an effort.

1. Marketing plan – have one!

A common mistake small businesses make is in thinking that their very opening of a store will draw customers to them like bees to honey.

But what if people have never heard of your product? As deceptively simple as it sounds, guerrilla marketing also requires a detailed plan similar to traditional marketing.

2. Keep it innovative

Whatever you do, your marketing effort must command attention. This ensures that the campaign or idea stays in public memory for a long time and they associate your company with being cool and top notch. The more unusual it is, the greater the business value for you.

3. Know your desired target

You must also know who your audience is. Designing a guerrilla marketing effort that will appeal to everyone will only force your resources to spread thin, thereby losing public attention. You might end up doing the opposite and create an opposite opinion.

You must identify during the planning stage the type of people you wish to target. Build around this information.

4. Create a ‘fun’ or ‘useful’ experience

This is key to the success of your promotional effort. It remains fun if you are not being pushy about your brand but creatively inviting people to engage with your product firsthand. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

Set up a stall in the corner of a store to introduce a new health drink, offering free samples.

If they hesitate, readily inform them that this does not compel them to buy. Keep it cool and easy for a happy experience. You’ll find that many are willing to enjoy a free sip, and taste something new.

You have already established the brand and if you’re lucky, you may even make a few sales. Inform product benefits if they are receptive.

Guerrilla marketing examples

Within guerrilla marketing there are different types such as:

This list provides thinking avenues to brainstorm and arrive at an idea best suited for your product. Explore any that appeal to you in greater detail.

It is no secret that India is a favourite hub for start-ups. The dense population is attractive for entrepreneurs to set up shop, experiment with, and eventually establish their products. Numerous companies have successfully used guerrilla marketing to draw attention to their products and services.

Here are two notable guerrilla marketing examples:

Cupshup

In Hindi, Gupshup is a term used for bonding over idle chat. Cupshup could not be more apt, the cup being the primary area of focus in this start-up.

Cupshup began by offering cups of tea in college and office cafeterias, with the cups bearing attractive designs and logos belonging to Cupshup’s client companies. These low-cost campaigns were an instant hit. People began recognizing the brands printed on the cups, often also discussing them as part of their tea conversations.

A long list of clients include giants like Google, ViaComm, YRF, ZEE, Uber, Ola, Coke, Zomato, Snapdeal etc. Data analysis has proven its success.

CASHurDRIVE

Guerrilla Marketing CASHurDRIVE Ad on Side of Car
These ads make good use of the hours Indians spend in traffic jams.

With a bootstrapping finance of a mere 20,000 rupees, Raghu Khanna was looking at creating low-cost, high-impact marketing campaigns. This is a story of a personal experience leading to the formation of a profitable venture.

Traffic congestion is rampant in India. Vehicles are stuck at a bumper-to-bumper distance or drive at a snail’s pace for most part of the journey. The result is that the occupants of a car stare at the car ahead unendingly, often absorbing anything stuck on the back windshield.

This company pastes stickers with brands printed onto the body of rental cars.

 

This is one of the most effective and inexpensive forms of advertising one can afford. The brands in turn pay CASHurDRIVE to do the job. Today CASHurDrive boasts of clients such as Uber, Ola, Easy, Tab and Meru.

Guerrilla marketing works

If you would like to gain attention for your start-up or new venture, there’s no need to spend a bomb. High on innovation and strategy, guerrilla marketing is a strong result-oriented option from which an entrepreneur can expect to profit.

Start small and see where it takes you!

Mallika Krishnamoorthy
Mallika is a freelance content writer in Mumbai, India. Formerly a software engineer, she has successfully combined her IT experience with her creative writing skills. She has authored articles on a wide range of topics and looks forward to exploring newer vistas through her research and writings. She is also passionate about music, theatre and nature. As a playwright, her play was recently performed at an annual arts festival in Mumbai.