Guerrilla marketing has no specific definition per se. A combination of non-traditional, unexpected, memorable, unique and unconventional stunts describes guerrilla marketing. Consumers are bombarded with thousands of ads every second and they are getting more and more immune to conventional advertisements. Need to make your product or company stand out? Guerrilla marketing is a strategy adopted to create hype around a company or a specific product by employing the use of highly creative stunts, catching people off guard in the most unexpected places all in a bid to create a buzz.

There has to be a high degree of creativity, thinking outside the box and risk taking. Pulling off a successful campaign requires these three recipes. To have a truly effective campaign, the element of risk has to be there. Companies should be willing to push the envelope but also analyze what would potentially go wrong, and address it. Having a balance between the expected rewards and the potential risk is essential. In addition, having a highly original and creative campaign is a great plus. Asking why would the consumer stand and watch or participate is a great way to start.

Features of a Guerrilla Campaigns

Complete surprise

These campaigns must catch the participants totally off guard. There has to be an element of not expecting an act. This way, participants have not been forewarned and their reactions are as raw as possible. This way, the marketers are expected to attract attention.

Far Reaching Effect

The aim of a guerrilla campaign is to have a far reaching effect to a maximum possible audience with the lowest budget possible.

Humor

Research has it that campaigns that are perceived to be humorous tend to create more interest and reach more people. Humor as an entertainment used in these campaigns breaks down the barrier between the company and the consumer. This said,

Not repetitive

As much as these campaigns tickle the consumers and are memorable, under no circumstance should a company pull of the same stunt. They have only one shot at it. Otherwise consumers will get disinterested and it will have a negative effect to the company.

Having discussed the characteristics of a guerrilla campaign, what are the steps that companies should employ in order to ensure a successful one? Walk with me.

1. Identify the Core Message To Be Delivered

Businesses that intend to pull a guerrilla campaign should be very specific on what message they intend to pass across. Note the objectives of the campaign.

2. Research

Having laid down the specific objectives of the campaign, it is vital to do some research on the consumer. Get to know what is appealing to them. To have a successful guerrilla campaign, companies have to be willing to risk right. Doing a research on every detail of the campaign goes a long way to ensure that you get it right.

3. Pull it Off and Spread the word

Ensure that the campaign has been properly amplified. Share it on social media platform create a buzz around it. There has to be a measurable gauge on the effectiveness of the campaign. Did the campaign have a long term effect on the consumer?

Following these steps will definitely ensure a successful campaign. What are some of the things to avoid?

1. Having the Intention to Provoke People in a Negatively

Campaigns should be made in such a way that it brings happiness that people will want to share with friends and family. Those that have been aimed at provoking especially competitors have been found to have had negative effects. This beats the whole purpose of a guerrilla campaign.

2. When coming up with ideas to implement, do not try too hard to be what you are not. The campaign should circle around the company’s values. Else the campaign will confuse the target audience.

Analyzing these guerrilla campaigns that shows the two sides of the coin; the successful and the flop emphasizes the points outlaid above.

The Blair Witch Project

By causing a buzz over the internet out of thin air, the creators of this movie, having shot a low budget documentary-style thriller employed guerrilla strategies that saw them pocketing around $250,000 whereas the production and marketing cost of the movie was $50,000. Having people all over the internet questioning whether the documentary was real or not made it a ‘must watch’.

Medicins du Monde Homeless Structures

With the aim of bringing to light the state of homelessness in Paris, Medcines du Monde distributed temporary tents to the homeless in the city. Instead of publishing articles on newspapers and producing book sized journals elaborating the extent of homelessness, this brilliant act did not go without notice. The government did not take long to establish homeless shelters within the city.

Vodafone

This guerrilla campaign was a great flop. By having two streakers run when a major Australian rugby match was going on with nothing but the Vodafone logo on their back annoyed the spectators. More so, the main sponsor of the event was Telstra, Vodafone’s major competitor.

Ensure to have a campaign that is interactive, catchy and one that catches the consumers off guard but is not aimed at negatively provoking the audience and you can be rest assured that it will have a positive impact to your brand.

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