Guerrilla marketing is a great strategy for startups on a low budget
One of the best things I love about guerrilla marketing is the creative freedom it gives marketing managers and advertisers to create amazing ways to engage with their target audience. It should not come to you as a surprise that startups find guerrilla marketing very popular nowadays, the majority of people in the western first world countries crave for something unique, and in order to grab their attention startups should be ready to jump through hoops.
As guerrilla marketing veers away from the usual and overused advertising strategies, people usually end up loving the fresh, out-of-the box ideas that stimulates people’s interest effectively, without leaving a hole in the business owner’s pocket. Guerrilla marketing ideas can range from mysterious, making people wonder and yearn to discover what it was all about, fun, which makes people want to try and experience a product or service, to sophisticated, which makes people feel privileged to be a part of something exclusive. Unlike the conventional marketing where there are a lot of rules to follow, guerrilla marketing maximizes people’s creativity and resourcefulness, through leaving a lot more room for new ideas. In return, marketers usually come up with inexpensive ideas that have a good chance to catch the interest of lots of prospective customers.
“Guerrilla” is not negative in marketing
While some may get a negative notion of such marketing tactics because of the world “guerrilla”, there is nothing to fear about it. It just means that it is an unconventional, improvised marketing strategy wherein existing resources are used. This is why it does not cost too much which makes it popular to small business owners. Without advertising and marketing budgets that can compete with corporations and international companies, a little money spent on guerrilla marketing can go a long way.
Guerrilla marketing for startups
One of my favorite examples of a startup that marketed themselves with creative guerrilla tactics is Unidesk. In the past companies would hire a PR firm, Unidesk decided to target key bloggers to talk to them about their products, they didn’t invest into the huge press releases with big name publishers. Even when they started looking to get their first customers, they didn’t purchase them through conventional customer acquisition strategies, instead they hosted webinars, and they gave the stage to existing customers to talk and create engagement for them. Here is a Youtube video of Unidesk’s CEO Michael Skok, in the video he talks about what they have done in order to launch their product successfully:
Not only for startups
You might be asking yourself if huge cooperates are using guerrilla marketing, the simple answer is yes, more and more big companies are starting to discover the benefits of guerrilla marketing. McDonald’s which already spends million in advertising and marketing had the pedestrian lane in a particular street painted to look like McDonald’s French Fries. It is a very affordable and eye-catching strategy which a lot of people appreciate, the ROI on such a strategy my not be tangible, but it get a lot of attention considering the small relative investment they made.
Corporate guerrilla marketing makes use of customized or tailor-made strategies, that tells people a lot about the company through its marketing efforts. A good example is what Coca-Cola has done with bus seats, and although they are not a startup, their methods where far from conventional. Coca-Cola created and installed advertisements that stick to people’s clothes. When it was time to remove their outerwear such as coats, jackets, or scarves, they were surprised to see the advertisements and it elicited admiring and amused reactions from people. In that way, they knew and remembered that Coca-Cola cans and bottles are now easy to grip.
My personal experience
One personal example of mine is when I used guerrilla marketing for an individual purpose, and not for my startup or any other company. When I was looking for a job in 2012, I created an AdWords campaign to target all the HR managers in my country. Every HR manager that searched their name on Google found an advertisement, those ads where personalized teasers with an invite to hire me and a link to my personal LinkedIn profile. If you are wondering how well that went for me, I am happy tell you that I learned a lot, and it benefited my professional branding.
A second example of my encounters with guerrilla marketing is actually happening right now at imonomy, where I work as a marketing manager. The imonomy Facebook page is running a Pet Photo Contest, this unique contest is creating a lot of popularity around imonomy’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. The co-founders at imonomy have made their marketing strategy clear to me from the start, the company will invest in unconventional creative marketing as much as possible, is this a good marketing plan? I think that the results speak for themselves.
Here is another video showing you how to guerrilla market like a pro. I really like this one, it is by KLM who inspired more than once.
As you can see from the examples I gave, guerrilla marketing is surely an effective way to tell people about your company or products in an unconventional, creative and surprising way.
Know your business
Some people may find it difficult to create from scratch guerrilla marketing ideas that would make people remember their products in a pleasant way. This is why it is very important that you as a business owner to conduct some research about your audience. You should also know your business from top to bottom, the first thing to do is to identify its characteristic that sets it apart from the competitors.
Keep in mind that if you do decide to choose guerrilla marketing for your startup, you must forget all the rules of conventional marketing lessons from school. There are no rules when it comes to guerrilla marketing for startups, and in order to really hit a marketing home run, you need to crank up your creativity levels to the max. Remember, mainstream marketing can only get you so far, go with your instincts and enjoy the journey that only guerrilla marketing can promise you.
Do you have any stories related you guerrilla marketing? Have thoughts about the article? Share with us in the comment section.