WTF is Guerilla Marketing?

In the world of marketing, standing out from the crowd and staying top of mind is the key to success. With so many brands vying for attention, it can be difficult to make a lasting impact on consumers. That’s where guerilla marketing comes in. It is a tactic based on the element of surprise—think “guerilla warfare.” And while standard guerilla marketing efforts are not rooted in war—unless we’re talking about Call of Duty—this form of marketing and advertising benefits brands and has a great return on investment (ROI).

Guerilla Marketing Definition

Guerrilla marketing is a marketing strategy that uses unconventional, low-cost tactics to promote a brand, service or product. It often involves creating an unexpected spectacle that captures people's attention and generates buzz through word of mouth.

Guerrilla marketing can take many forms but usually leverages creativity and innovation to manufacture memorable consumer experiences. Common tactics include stunts, viral campaigns, product giveaways and street teams.

This type of marketing is especially great for adventurous startups and small businesses that may not have the budget for a traditional marketing or advertising campaign.

Guerilla Marketing Examples

Guerilla Marketing is effective because it is so memorable. One of our favorite campaigns was for the premiere of the Parker Finn movie Smile. In the film, a psychiatrist is haunted by a terrifying, smiling presence. So, in a genius move, Paramount Pictures sent actors from the movie to major sporting events to creepily smile in the crowd and it was a viral moment. In fact, on opening day, Smile saw an impressive $22,000,000 in box office sales and bested other big box office movie debuts.

Another great example of Guerilla Marketing is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It was started by co-founders Pete Frates and Pat Quinn after being diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the summer of 2014. 

The challenge was to pour a bucket of ice water over your head and nominate friends, family, or co-workers to do the same within 24 hours. If the nominator did not meet the deadline, they would make a donation to the ALS Foundation. It launched with the infamous ice bucket dump heard around the world and within two months, this viral guerilla marketing campaign raised over $115,000,000 and drummed up major awareness for ALS. 

This was a great example of how social influence, peer pressure and emotional storytelling—when done right—could amass huge results for a brand that would carry into other marketing efforts.

Guerilla Marketing ROI

When done correctly, guerilla marketing has a high ROI. To ensure success, you need solid attention to detail. While you cannot always directly measure the effectiveness of most guerilla campaigns, parameters need to be put in place to showcase the achievements. Surveying your internal team and discussing what is right for your brand is a crucial starting point to setting up your key performance indicators (KPIs). Sample guerilla marketing KPIs include email list signups, website visits, number of event participants, etc.

Another way to measure the ROI of guerrilla marketing is to track the increase in sales or leads generated by the campaign. Using a QR code or a Google Click ID to track online store traffic, or sharing a campaign-specific promo code, are great ways to track campaign engagement. While it may be difficult to measure your campaign in a traditional sense, these tactics' creative and unconventional nature can generate significant brand awareness and customer engagement, which can be invaluable in the long run.

Final Thoughts

Now is the time to break free from traditional marketing and create memorable experiences that revolutionize how your audience sees your brand. Are you ready to join the guerilla marketing movement and leave your mark on consumers? Contact our team and let's make waves for your brand today.

Sheria James, Account Manager

Elevate My Brand

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