What is Guerrilla Marketing?

Guerrilla marketing is a way of advertising when you have an almost non-existent budget. Instead of thinking of your business as a smaller version of a big one, you have to realise the situation you're in, and behave accordingly to maximise your profits while minimising your marketing costs. Essentially, you're going to try to do anything to get publicity.


Don't worry, I'm not talking about telemarketing of the nasty call centre variety here. It's B2B (business-to-business) telemarketing you want to be doing -- basically, phoning up local businesses and making yourself known. You'll be surprised at just how effective this can be, since businesses tend to appreciate the effort you've made to contact them and offer your services far more than a customer does if a business phones them at home.

Direct Mail.

It shouldn't be too difficult to get hold of a mailing list that covers your whole area -- ask your local post office if you're unsure, as they'll often be able to help with bulk mail campaigns. Alternatively, if you don't even want to pay for delivery, you could hire a few local teenagers to go round putting your letters in people's mailboxes. This will work best if you keep your message to one small page or even just a business card, so that people will keep it if they're interested and call you in their own time.

Outdoor Leafleting.

Another effective guerrilla marketing technique, at least for some kinds of business, is to hang around outside giving out leaflets to passers-by. This gives you an opportunity to 'meet and greet' people, and lets you do some free targeted advertising by choosing your location carefully. If you do odd jobs in people's houses, for example, you could stand outside the DIY store, handing out leaflets that say 'Why Do It Yourself? I'll assemble and install everything you buy today for only $50!' If you custom build and sell your own computers, you could stand outside a big-box computer store with this leaflet: 'Get your computer tailor-made, for half the price of [big store]'. You get the idea.

Free Gifts.

You'd be surprised just how effective it can be to stand around handing out free gifts. If you do something that relates to children, then hand out balloons to them in the mall. You'll make some kids' days, and your name and perhaps website address will be written there on the balloon for all to see. Free pens are a very effective thing to give away if you provide a more serious business service -- people are always short of pens, so they'll keep your pen in their bag and be reminded of your business each time they use it. Even better, the cost of getting thousands of balloons or pens printed with whatever you want is almost nil.

Attack the Competitor.

Nasty as it might sound, hardcore guerrilla marketers regard their competitor as their sworn enemy, and will do anything to bring them down so that they can replace them in the marketplace. A little disturbingly, this can be quite simple to do -- fake a few letters complaining about a business to a local newspaper, and you might find that they follow through and do a feature on it without even checking the story out.

In the end, with guerrilla marketing, there are endless ideas -- it's all about being inventive, and having the guts (and the patience) to try them out. When you get your first customer without buying a single media ad, it'll all be worth it.
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Marketing is absolutely every bit of contact any part of your business has with any segment of the public. Guerrillas view marketing as a circle that begins with your ideas for generating revenue and continues on with the goal of amassing a large number of repeat and referral customers. The three keys words in that paragraph are EVERY, REPEAT, and REFERRAL. If your marketing is not a circle, it's a straight line that leads directly into Chapters 7, 11, or 13 in the bankruptcy courts.
Top 10 Advertising Mistakes
The goal of advertising is to cost-effectively reach a large audience and attract customers. If done correctly, advertising can enhance the success of your business. Here are 10 advertising mistakes to watch out for.
Not going after your target audience.
An advertising campaign should be geared to your niche market. It is a common mistake to create generic ads that do not speak the language or grab the attention of your potential customers
.Not accentuating your competitive advantage

One of the keys to all advertising is accentuating what gives you the competitive edge. Too many ads are clever but do not sell the benefits of the product or service.

 Not establishing an image

You can recognize the McDonald's arches while whizzing by on the highway. Likewise, there are plenty of products you recognize from the packaging or logo. Image counts when it comes to advertising and promoting your business. Too many advertisers do not build a consistent image.

Being too thrifty

There are ways to save money, but typically advertising is not the place to cut corners. It will affect sales, and that affects the bottom line. Successful advertising may cost some money, but that is because it works.

  Advertising in the wrong place(s)

Your favorite magazine, radio station, or even television program might not be a favorite of your audience. Know what they read, watch, and listen to and advertise in media that reaches your target market.
Letting your budget run your advertising campaign

If you budget $5,000 per month for advertising, that makes it very easy from a bookkeeping perspective. However, if like most businesses you have seasonal highs and lows, you are spending too much money advertising at the wrong times and not enough when you want to attract customers. Too many entrepreneurs do not budget based on their seasonal advertising needs.


It is common for business owners to choose the best place to advertise based on pricing and potential rate of returns and then not to look elsewhere. As is the case with investing, you do not want to put all of your eggs in one basket. Spread your advertising dollars around.

  Trying to be everything to everyone

No product or service will appeal to everyone. Many business owners, including corporate executives try to come up with ways to reach every market. Typically, this does not work. It can spell disaster for small businesses, who cannot afford to spread themselves too thin. Therefore, find your market and be everything you can be for that audience.

  Not testing your ads in advance.

If you have the time or money to invest in focus groups, you should test your ads on other people. See if they get the message that you are trying to convey. There are other less-expensive ways to test your ads as well. Try questionnaires. 

 Monitoring your ads

It is very easy to ask new customers or clients where they heard about you. As simple as this is, many entrepreneurs do not bother to do so. It is advantageous to know which ads are generating business.


Marketing is absolutely every bit of contact any part of your business has with any segment of the public. Guerrillas view marketing as a circle that begins with your ideas for generating revenue and continues on with the goal of amassing a large number of repeat and referral customers. The three keys words in that paragraph are EVERY, REPEAT, and REFERRAL. If your marketing is not a circle, it's a straight line that leads directly into Chapters 7, 11, or 13 in the bankruptcy courts.


Guerrilla marketing means marketing that is unconventional, non- traditional, not by-the-book, and extremely flexible. Ten factors make it different from old-fashioned marketing:

1. Instead of investing money in the marketing process, you invest time, energy, and imagination.

2. Instead of using guesswork in your marketing, you use the science of psychology, laws of human behavior.

3. Instead of concentrating on traffic, responses, or gross sales, profits are the only yardstick by which you measure your marketing.

4. Instead of being oriented to companies with limitless bank accounts, guerrilla marketing is geared to small business.

5. Instead of ignoring customers once they've purchased, you have a fervent devotion to customer follow-up.

6. Instead of intimidating small business owners, guerrilla marketing removes the mystique from the entire marketing process, clarifies it.

7. Instead of competing with other businesses, guerrilla marketing preaches the gospel of cooperation, urging you to help others and let them help you.

8. Instead of trying to make sales, guerrillas are dedicated to making relationships, for long-term relationships are paramount in the nineties.

9. Instead of believing that single marketing weapons such as advertising work, guerrillas know that only marketing combinations work.

10. Instead of encouraging you to advertise, guerrilla marketing provides you with 100 different marketing weapons; advertising is only one of them.

These are ten very critical differences and are probably the reasons that the concept of guerrilla marketing has filled a void in the world's economy, explaining why the guerrilla books (GUERRILLA MARKETING, GUERRILLA MARKETING ATTACK, GUERRILLA MARKETING WEAPONS, GUERRILLA MARKETING EXCELLENCE, GUERRILLA FINANCING, GUERRILLA SELLING, GUERRILLA ADVERTISING (June, l994) and GUERRILLA MARKETING HANDBOOK (November l994)) have been translated into 33 languages, sold over one million copies, are required reading in most MBA programs, are available in audiotape and videotape versions, as computer software, as a nationally-syndicated column, as a newsletter, and are the most popular and widely-read marketing books in the world.


Marketing Plan Pro