How Do You Use Guerrilla Marketing?

There are two rules in guerrilla marketing.

1. There is no rule in guerrilla marketing.

And, two:

2. Refer to rule #1.

Of course we say this jokingly, in a Fight Club way.

But the power of Guerrilla Marketing, a term coined in the 80’s by Jay Conrad Levingson, is that it quickly interrupts the potential customer and catches them by surprise.

Thereby, hopefully catching the potential customer’s attention just long enough to draw them into your sales funnel.

How Do You Use Guerrilla Marketing?
Guerrilla marketing should be used as another strategy in your marketing plan alongside local marketing, digital marketing, email advertising and direct mail marketing.  Clever ideas, promotional tools and creative give-a-ways that match your brand are ideal for use in guerrilla marketing strategies.  Frequently used in local marketing strategies, guerrilla marketing is often best suited for higher traffic locations where people are prepared to make buying decisions, such as in strip malls, busy streets, trade shows or concert events.

How Is Guerilla Marketing Effective?

Guerilla marketing uses unconventional or surprise marketing tactics with personal interactions and a favorably smaller budget.

Unlike traditional marketing, guerilla marketing leverages small groups of promoters to get the word out.

Through word-of-mouth or viral marketing, this novel marketing method can effectively reach a wider audience at a small cost. In some cases, the target market may be accustomed to standard advertising methods and may even shut a lot of messaging out. But guerrilla marketing can go a long way to deliver a message to audiences like this.

How Is Guerilla Marketing Effective?
Guerilla marketing takes them by surprise. It uses surprise and emotions to attract their attention and hook them to the idea. Guerrilla marketing does not employ any rules, processes, structure, or even best practices. It is disruptive and moves away from the established norm, and this tactic makes it effective.

The primary focus of guerrilla marketing is to make the target consumer:

  1. Feel unique
  2. Valued
  3. Thrilled, and
  4. Positively intrigued.

Consumers become appreciative of the interaction with the brand, and that’s how they create a bond.

8 ways guerilla marketing is effective:

  1. It heightens the customer experience
  2. Use of emotions to connect to the consumers
  3. It’s an unexpected method, and that makes it memorable
  4. Focuses on making the target audience feel special and positively intrigued
  5. Takes consumers accustomed to conventional advertising by surprise
  6. Targets youthful consumers that most likely respond positively
  7. Marketing takes place in public places such as the streets, festivals, public parks, and markets to reach as many people as possible
  8. It can be repeated at different places without spending much money

Types of Guerrilla Marketing

Guerilla marketing makes the brand seem innovative and authentic to consumers.

There are 4 types of guerrilla marketing:

  • Ambient marketing
  • Undercover marketing
  • Ambush marketing
  • Experiential marketing

Let’s briefly review each:

  • In the case of Ambient marketing, the brand uses visual entertainment against the backdrop of unusual items. The placement is clever as it uses the object and those around it to reinforce the message—this indicates that using the products from the brand is beneficial.
  • Undercover marketing uses planted undercover agents who mingle with prospects to make them believe the brand is the best.
  • On the other hand, Ambush marketing utilizes stealth and publicity generated by a national or international event such as the Olympics to further the brand's interests. For example, Toyota sponsored the 1996 Olympics, but General Motors scored more points from the event when they promised the winner a Golden Holden car.
  • Experiential marketing focuses on creating a bond with consumers by immersing them in an altered reality to underscore the features and benefits of the product.

Disney used this concept when they set up "McStuffin Clinics," where kids could go and diagnose "Big Ted," an adorable teddy bear, play with merchandise and watch clips. The imaginary clinics were based on the television show Doc McStuffin.

Guerrilla Marketing Examples

Many companies have embraced guerrilla marketing to achieve their marketing objectives and have become popular based on the numerous resources available to businesses.

One popular form of guerilla marketing is stealth marketing. It is a creative way of penetrating a particular market. With stealth marketing, businesses hire top musicians or actors to manipulate specific features of the product. Companies are also using product placement in media such as movies or TV programs. The film fans do not know that it's undercover advertising when particular products from brands such as Apple appear.

Creative viral videos are entertaining and memorable. Companies are using this method to create buzz and, in the process, advertise their products. For example, Doritos used humor and simplified a complicated video about day-to-day activities, and it became viral.

Businesses are also turning to stencil and graffiti to introduce their products to the market. These pieces of art can be created in numerous areas and within a short period, and it’s a great way to create awareness.

Another fun option (but be careful in this approach) is to literally blast rolled up branded T-shirts in a crowd. No T-shirts? Any super soft, zero impact promotional item could work.

Another firm uses vehicle wraps to increase store traffic. In some cases, local jurisdictions may limit the use of signs, so businesses frequently use vehicle wraps to advertise their store, while parked in front of their storefront.

vehicle wraps as a form of guerrilla marketing

Similar to the vehicle wrap, any business can use stickers creatively and entertainingly to inform and remind the consumers. This method works when the stickers are strategically placed in particular areas that the target audience frequents.

Guerilla Marketing Strategy

The primary objective of guerilla marketing is to use creativity to promote the product or service and capture consumers.

But before you use any tactic, know your target market.

Pick the strategy that will work for you as a brand based on the resources available to you. Guerilla marketing should not cost you much and is also a great method for further market research and testing.

About Your Strategic Marketing Partner
Sam Hirschberg, MBA, is Your Strategic Marketing Partner in Arizona. Always professional and a delight to work with, Sam is not your typical “marketing consultant”. Unlike most consultants who tell you there is a problem and say, “See you later and good luck!” Your Strategic Marketing Partner knows how to find solutions, execute programs, test and measure campaigns, and how-and-when it’s time to roll-out big! You are invited to call (602) 892-0777 to learn more about Sam’s background on his FREE 9-minute recorded message.  For more information about Sam, please visit



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