marketing is one of the most controversial forms of marketing.
Let’s be honest – it can make being on the public relations side
of that ball pretty difficult.
But the great part about guerilla
marketing is that it really shows the personality of a brand.
It’s difficult to get a feel for what a company is all about,
but with guerilla marketing, you get that personality. This is
especially true for small businesses.
It’s also a little more accessible
than traditional forms of marketing. Rather than having to watch
commercials to get to your favorite TV shows, most forms of
guerilla marketing are right in front of you in a non-intrusive
way. Consumers get to choose what to do with them.
In this article, we’ll look at a few guerilla techniques and how
PR works for these techniques.
And don’t forget – guerilla
marketing works when imagination meets creativity without a
1. Buzz Campaign
Buzz campaigns work by sending a
message into the public in hopes that it spreads through the
community and creates “buzz” for your brand.
This is where PR comes in handy. You
get to craft that message, and by making sure the message is
“seeded” (the act of putting the message out there yourself, or
paying someone else to do it for you) several times (not just
once… you don’t want a game of Telephone), you ensure that the
message is favorable and will create sales opportunities.
By getting your small business’
message into the local community, you create a bond – albeit a
bond they don’t yet know about – between you and the potential
customers out there. They are receiving information, and they
get to choose what to do with that information. But, again, this
information is not forced on them, if done correctly.
A good example of this type of
marketing is Spotify, the free(ish) music player. They included
only select people for their private beta program. Those people
then had invites they could send to their friends. The word
spread about this new music player, and now it is one of the
world’s most popular music players. They had the product – all
the PR people needed to do was make sure the correct message was
2. Combination (Wild Posting/Presence)
This one is a marketing campaign
that utilizes two different forms of guerilla marketing.
We’ve all seen the flurry of posters
or stickers on that one corner. This is called Wild Posting.
Most of these posters direct consumers to a particular place.
But, with the combination of wild posting and presence
marketing, you can direct consumers to a place that you’ve set
up a booth or some type of mobile selling point.
The presence marketing part of this
campaign is that you have set up somewhere that is visible,
where people are going to see your product. Let’s say you own a
hat store. You could set up a booth at the entrance to a busy
park and have a human statue wear one of the hats. Your booth
will be close by, and people will see the booth and the hat.
On the PR side of this, if you can
bring the customers to something they’ll enjoy and also bring
them a product they’ll want, you’ve successfully brought good PR
to your company. Interaction with the public will almost always
Here’s a little sales lesson,
though. To successfully sell the hats, you need a mobile payment
system. With a program like Intuit’s mobile payments (GoPayment)
you can accept credit and debit cards, rather than having to
turn away customers that don’t have cash. This is the key to
running a successful combo marketing effort.
The shelf life for something like
this isn’t long, mostly because the novelty of a human statue or
anything you are trying to get the consumers to see will
eventually wear off.
Crash and Burn
With guerilla marketing tactics,
there can be a definite downside. If you’re not controlling the
message, things can get out of hand quickly.
Dr. Pepper launched a treasure hunt
for gold coins that had been spread across the United States.
The problem with treasure hunts, though, is where you bury the
One of the gold coins had been
buried in a 347-year-old cemetery where a few of the Founding
Fathers were buried. People were outraged. The company was
forced to end the campaign. I’m sure the PR department had fun
with that one.
Genevieve Coates is a freelance technology
writer and graduate marketing student at University of Florida.
She lives with her husband in Gainesville, where she loves to
tend to her massive “app garden."
More Articles |
Submit Your Article |
About Public Relations Homepage