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Unleash the Guerrilla (Marketing)

When we start the media planning process, we begin by asking: Who are our targets? What media are they interacting with? When and how?
While the conversation usually centers on TV, print and digital, the media landscape is so noisy—we are now increasingly talking more and more about tactics that can really stand out from the pack and get noticed: Unconventional tactics that are not measured by media rating books or audits. The industry calls this “guerrilla marketing,” a name inspired by such guerrilla warfare tactics like ambushes or other elements of surprise. Sounds scary, but these strategies are fun, imaginative and impactful!

The biggest challenge is convincing the client to take the risk. This is not their usual media buy.

Guerrilla marketing tactics could be on the smaller scale, like using street teams to distribute materials/promotional items around your location(s) or using wrapped vans or buses traveling from location to location to give out unexpected prizes. One idea we love is the “get caught doing something good” scenario, i.e., paying randomly for gas or car washes, courtesy of your company. These things get people talking and they need to be unexpected!

There are really no limits to guerrilla marketing—from events like flash mobs that are spontaneous by nature and usually go viral quickly and large outdoor placements people can touch and interact with to full-blown concerts in unexpected places. If you can think of it, most likely it can be done.

So why has guerrilla marketing seen so much growth? Eric Davis, COO and director of marketing at National Media Services, a leading guerrilla marketing company, says, “The growth of guerrilla and experiential marketing and advertising can be attributed to the need to be ‘cool.’ The guerrilla campaigns, if executed properly, create an ‘intangible cool’ that cannot be measured in rating points or time spent listening or viewing.”

Considering a guerrilla marketing promotion? Here are things you need to consider:

  1. Purpose. What do we want people to do or take away from this promotion? For example, do we want people to take videos and photos and post them on their social media pages? Do we want people to interact with the brand through sampling or a game? Do we want people to sign up on the spot?
  2. Location. Where would reach the most relevant people?
  3. Budget. How much do you want to invest?
  4. Timing. This is usually a short-lived promotion—one day, one week or one month.

Let us bring the “cool” factor into your media plans; challenge us to find the right guerrilla marketing tactic for you. Check out what Coca-Cola did at one local college campus.