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What is guerrilla marketing?

Guerrilla marketing is a great way to do the marketing for a laser tag club that has a small budget. For this reason, it is frequently called a ‘low budget marketing strategy’. At the same time, it is directed at a particular audience, meaning that it is exceptionally effective.

The concept was created by an American business writer Jay Levinson, who wrote a book Guerrilla Marketing in 1984. In his book, he described low budget marketing approaches that are as efficient as are traditional ones. Levinson mainly suggested using leaflets, business cards as well as reaching out to third party organizations. The book became so popular that very soon more books on the subject were published, and still more later. That is how the concept of guerrilla marketing attained a scientific notion.

By the way, Levinson borrowed the term from the military sphere. A guerrilla military group is a group of combatants that, although small in number, cause significant devastation to the enemy, due to being small and unnoticeable.

Nowadays many mistakenly place viral marketing, undercover marketing and publicity stunts in the same category as guerrilla marketing. Each of the types pursues different objectives and use fundamentally different means to achieve these objectives. Still, they all share some similarities and can be referred to as unconventional marketing.

Guerrilla marketing principles:

The first principle states that there should be no advertising through traditional means of mass media. This is the central principle for low budget businesses. Either cheap (leaflets, business cards) or free (partnerships with other companies) means of advertising are used. If a bottled water supplier together with each delivered bottle of water will leave a business card of a company that installs windows and the window company, in turn, will advertise the bottled water, then printing out business cards will be the only expense.

The second principle states that there should be no ‘arms race’, which happens when one company tries to overshadow another one. Guerrilla marketing ideas were specially designed for small budget. It means that there is no money for full-scale marketing battles. It is ads efficiency that is the point, not their amount. The main aim of guerrilla marketing is to get hold of consumers of particular goods, not consumers in general. Continuing to use military terms to put across the idea, we can say that traditional marketing is a cluster bomb, while guerrilla marketing is a lone sniper.

The third principle – count on immediate result. For small companies, where the financial situation is always unstable, time is vital – they cannot afford waiting for weeks or months till an ad reaches all the customers. In other words, on seeing an ad leaflet a person will either not notice it at once or will immediately throw it away and will not make an effort to remember what is written on it. Advertising on TV, on the other hand, facilitates memorisation, resulting in a long-term effect.

Principle number four – guerrilla marketing is inconspicuous. If it happens to come out on the surface and gets revealed by competitors, they will immediately adopt similar strategies. Therefore, the quality of being unnoticeable is your trump card. Same partnership is concluded between two companies only, no one else should know anything about that.

Principle number five – possibility to measure effectiveness. As there are limited budgets, it is essential to know which of the ideas have been effective and which have not. Therefore, research must be made to find out what made consumers go for the services offered by your company. The ideas that failed have to be given up. The effective ideas must be vigorously applied, but remember to stay inconspicuous.

The sixth principle states: partnership instead of competition. If each of two companies with small budgets starts marketing activities for the other, the profits of both will increase. At that, neither of them will have to spend a penny. This is one of the main principles of guerrilla marketing. It must be noted, though, that partnerships must be concluded between companies specializing in same business spheres. A partnership between a florist and bakery assistants may serve as an excellent example: ‘Are these flowers for a special occasion? How about a cake? Hold on, I’ll give you a phone number’.

Principle number seven: everyone can take advantage of guerrilla marketing. Both small companies and international corporations. As long as it is duly applied. On the other hand, the advantage large corporations will get from guerrilla marketing may be laughable. That is the reason why they do not consider adopting it. Still, large companies do frequently use guerrilla marketing to attract the audience not influenced by the main marketing campaign.

Internet. In the internet, guerrilla marketing has spread out to an incredible scale. To put it simple, it is a common partnership programme of links sharing. As a result, none of the companies get paid any money for advertising on own web pages, nor do they have to pay for having their product advertised on another resource.