Today I came across an article highlighting Microsoft’s recent guerrilla marketing campaigns, which got me thinking. Besides a short guerrilla marketing campaign I wrote in a Michigan State Junior year copy writing class, I really don’t know much about guerrilla marketing. What makes it good? What makes it bad? Is it really effective? How are advertisers using this technique to promote their brand? And a few more questions came to mind. So of course I pulled up the ever so trusty Google and got to work looking into this off the wall, creative form of advertising.
So what is guerrilla marketing? And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with the furry jungle giant here…
In a nut shell, guerrilla marketing is using unconventional and aggressive tactics to yield maximum results from minimal resources. With today’s strong social media presence as a powerful measuring tool and the decline of traditional forms of advertising, huge opportunities have opened up for guerrilla marketing as it is starting to pop up in the advertising mainstream. Today’s most successful guerrilla campaigns come in the form of viral, out of the ordinary billboards, over the top product promotions, marketers are even taking guerrilla tactics to bus stops. The possibilities are endless…it just depends on how far the advertiser is willing to push the limits for maximal creativity.
But like every advertising effort, there’s the good and the bad
The Good: Guerrilla marketing is authentic, relevant, creative, attention grabbing, and strategic. Guerrilla marketing creates instant buzz, and whether it be good or bad, it still gets people talking about the brand and with today’s strong social media presence people will be doing more than just talking. People will be tweeting, facebooking, snapping photos, telling their friends about the awesome ad they saw while running errands. Although guerrilla marketing can’t be measured like traditional marketing, it can be measured through social media. All social media conversation about the brand can be easily tracked in real time, making ROI easily measurable, and networking for the brand highly successful.
Guerrilla marketing can also be cheap. A good campaign can strategically, and successfully be carried out with a budget of even a few hundred dollars, and on the viral end it’s free! Doesn’t get much better then free advertising! Guerrilla advertising is also great for small businesses, in fact in was initially developed for just that. It can be tailored to meet specific needs, whereas traditional advertising can get complicated and expensive to achieve exactly what the brand wants. Finally, guerrilla marketing is, in my opinion, the most creative form of advertising. Like I said earlier, the possibilities are endless.
The Bad (dun dun dunnnn…) Guerrilla techniques, like any form of advertising, can be perceived negatively. Something over the top may not be easily accepted by consumers, or worse case scenario legal action could be taken against the campaign. Keeping that in mind, its important to check city laws before carrying out the campaign. Yes, guerrilla marketing can be inexpensive for small businesses, but if you really want to out-do your competition it could require a pretty big budget and the willingness to dedicate time and energy. Another disadvantage to this technique is that unlike online advertising, for example, where you can measure the effectiveness of the ad based of CPP and other measurements, you won’t see the success or failure of your guerrilla campaign overnight…it requires time, and lots of it!
If you want an ad that takes creativity to the extreme and aren’t afraid of pushing your brand’s limits then guerrilla marketing is a technique to consider squeezing into your advertising budget…like i said above, you can spend as little or as much as you want it just depends on how far you’re willing to push the ad. You’ll receive maximum exposure for your brand, create instant buzz, and get people talking about the awesome ad they just saw. Guerrilla marketing is making its way to the forefront of streamline advertising and for that reason it’s worth tapping into.