Guerrilla Marketing for Businesses

Guerrilla Marketing

Unlike large corporations, small businesses have a tight marketing budget. But, does that mean that the average small business cannot flourish? Absolutely not. When you have a limited budget, you find creative ways to market yourself. In fact, as a marketer, our task is to look for innovative solutions for complex problems. And, this is the belief that lies at the core of guerrilla marketing. Guerrilla marketing incorporates unorthodox, but effective strategies to push your brand to the forefront.

What is Guerrilla Marketing?

The term, guerrilla marketing was coined in 1984 by Jay Conrad Levinson. He used this term to describe non-traditional, cost-effective marketing strategies for small businesses. Simply put, it is a method of promoting your brand offline in creative ways. The concept of guerrilla marketing revolves around using non-traditional methods to grab people’s attention. For example, you can choose specific locations with high footfall, to ensure increased foot traffic for your brand. Or you can set a trend with your online campaign and set the word of mouth rolling.

Guerrilla marketing is thinking out-of-the-box and more often than not has the potential to go viral. Do keep in mind that the success of your guerrilla marketing campaign will always depend on creativity, execution, and luck.

What To Keep In Mind When Taking This Road?

Location: Exposure is your ultimate aim. Hence, you will have to select a location that gets maximum exposure. But, do keep in mind that this will work only if you expose your brand to the right people.

One good example of a location-based campaign is Amnesty International’s Freedom Is For Everyone campaign. They used manholes as prison bars to showcase the distress of people who are not free. It’s hard-hitting, and everyone will be able to spot it.

Hit or Flop: Your idea needs to be creative. But, it also needs to resonate with your audience. It should give people a reason to pause and watch. But there is no in-between. Either your idea is a big hit, or it fails to garner attention.

When it comes to garnering attention, how can I not talk about this? In 2011, HBO decided to promote their hit TV series The Sopranos. They used a human hand hanging out of the boot of taxi cabs. The concept perfectly aligned itself with the themes that the show dealt with.

On top of that, the image was so shocking that people would keep staring at it. It was an alarming sight, to say the least! But, HBO certainly got their point across. And, that’s what you need.

Goal Alignment: It is okay to think out-of-the-box. But don’t go overboard. The challenge is not to create the wackiest campaign. It’s about creating something unique while aligning with your brand’s goals.

For example, take a look at this Alteco Super Glue campaign. By positioning the glue on the bridge, they make a great point about the strength of the superglue. In fact, that is what the goal of the brand was, to make a point about the strength of their glue. They could have done simple advertisements based on this goal. But, no. This makes more impact and makes the advertisement even more intense.

Unforeseen Events: Since most of these strategies revolve outdoors, make sure that nothing gets in your way.

Complement Online Marketing: As a modern marketer, you need to make sure that your offline campaign complements your online presence. You should allow people to connect the dots. This will help boost your online traffic as well.

Timing: Again, since you are targeting offline locations, keep the timing in mind. Day or night? Summer or winter? You have to figure out what works best for your campaign. A festive season or an event might help you attract more audience, maybe.

The Pros & Cons of Guerrilla Marketing

Before I proceed, I feel like pointing something out. Every business has its own set of goals. And, no business has the same set of goals. Is your brand suited for guerrilla marketing? This is something that only you can answer. If you are a startup with a low budget, then yes. If you are a prestigious law firm? Then probably no.

The Pros:

You Stand Out

Guerrilla marketing is not everyone’s cup of tea. So, chances are, if you employ such a tactic, you are going to stand out. As a new brand, this is a great way to promote yourself. It sets you apart from your competition. This makes you appear more appealing to your audience.

Unconventional Advertising At Its Best

Nowadays people are wary of ads. It’s understandable. No one wants to be manipulated to buy something. However, this form of marketing gives you an opportunity to soften your way. It lets you sell without letting people know that you are actually selling. Now, how about that, huh?

Lets You Think Outside The Box

When it comes to guerrilla marketing, you can take creative liberties. There are no rules, no limits. You can create anything as long as it is unique and convincing.

Potential To Go Viral

These strategies have a habit of going viral due to their unique nature. It is a huge thing, especially for new businesses. Think about it. The amount of exposure that your brand will receive is beyond your wildest dreams. And, when you go viral, it spreads like wildfire. However, it is not easy to achieve, but this might be your best shot.

The Cons:

Insignificant ROI

There’s only one way to measure your success in these campaigns. You have to take a look at how much you have invested. And, then see how much you have benefited from it. If you are not benefiting, then you are wasting time, money and energy. Don’t be disheartened. This is how guerrilla marketing is.

You either go viral or you don’t make any impact at all.


You cannot predict whether or not your guerrilla marketing campaign will be successful. Nothing is guaranteed and you have to take a risk here. It all depends on your luck and the tactics that you employ. Since you cannot control your luck, your best bet is to control your tactics. But you will never know what the outcome might be.


As you might have concluded, it is impossible to measure a guerrilla marketing campaign. Since the entire concept revolves around visibility and random interactions, it is difficult to measure.


A guerrilla marketing tactic might be misinterpreted by people. It is not your fault, but that is why luck is such a big determining factor in guerrilla marketing. This might jeopardize your business and cast your brand in a negative light. Nobody wants that, trust me.

Just DO It

It’s best if you try out your ideas on a local scale. In fact, guerrilla marketing is best suited for that. Once you get the hang of it, you can expand it further. If you have a lot of ideas, but a limited budget, this is the way to go. It might be hard to track the results, but trust me, if you do it right, the sky is the limit.

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