Use Guerrilla Marketing Tactics to Make Your Small Business Perform Like a Giant
Guerrilla market concentrates on relationships. When small businesses devise creative ways to initiate and expand their networks of customer relationships, they often use guerrilla marketing tactics that can help even the playing field when it comes to competing with large, big budget companies that might seem far removed from the consumer and use traditional marketing techniques to promote their brands and products.
Guerrilla marketing strategies and tactics have evolved since Jay Conrad Levinson first introduced the concept in his 1984 book, Guerrilla Marketing. Small businesses have drawn inspiration and courage to break with the rules of tradition and take their companies to levels of success that they’d never before expected.
How can you spot a guerrilla tactic in action? Here are some characteristics to look for:
• A small financial investment requirement; but a substantial output of time and effort
• It contains the element of surprise
• It is designed to generate a high profit
• It focuses exclusively on ONE particular product or service
• It often results from the collaboration of two or more businesses with similar objectives.
• It takes smart advantage of technological advances to reach an audience and increase profits.
Basically, any marketing tactic that breaks traditional marketing rules or combines them in a nontraditional way can be considered guerrilla. Here are a few general tactics that you might consider when planning a guerrilla marketing strategy for your small business:
Alternative Marketing tactics – distribute flyers publicizing your business or special event in strategic places such as parking lots of places where people gather, ask grocers to stuff them into patron’s bags, place them in community newspapers or newsletters, all company mailings and place them in places with waiting areas such as beauty salons and professional offices.
Grassroots Marketing tactics expand your sales force and create a roster of brand ambassadors that help spread the word about your products and services. One way to do this is to create a free event that provides a benefit (free samples, promo gifts, introductory services) that inspires the ‘ambassadors’ who attend to pass on the good word about your brand.
Viral Marketing tactics –require intelligent use of technology that has already been created. A low investment product such as an e-book, computer game, or innovative ad that delivers your company message or features your products can spread the news about your business as quickly as the name suggests, especially when you take advantage of the power of social networking. Once again, investment is low, but effort may be intensive as you identify your target market and prepare the perfect medium for launch. The results can be intense, but don’t expect them to last for very long.
Experiential Marketing tactics seek to create and emotional connection with your target group of consumers. Perhaps the most common use of this guerilla tactic is to give out product samples at a gathering of a large group that represents your target audience. Companies that give free samples or demonstrations of cosmetics at teen oriented concerts, or offer free technique lessons at craft fairs, are some of the most common examples. Consumers meet your ambassadors, try your products and discuss them with other attendees, forming an emotional relationship with staying (and purchasing) power.
Of course, the types of tactics that you choose and implement will depend on the type of products or services that you sell, where and how you sell them, your budget and your level of technological expertise. But virtually every business can find a creative way to use guerrilla marketing tactics to generate positive results.