You may have heard of the term guerrilla marketing and wondered if it’s something you should, or could, be doing.
First of all, what is guerrilla marketing? Wikipedia says “Guerrilla marketing was originally a marketing strategy in which low-cost, unconventional means (including the use of graffiti, sticker bombing, flyer posting, etc.) were used in a (generally) localised fashion to draw attention to an idea, product, or service.”
There are several things here that you might say “I can’t do that, it’s either illegal or wrong” and I’d agree that using graffiti or fly posting isn’t the best way to market your service or product, in fact it’s more likely to get you into trouble with the law, as would “sticker bombing” (where you basically put stickers out on walls, seats or any other surface).
One adaption of this is something that you might see in your local car park – that’s putting flyers under car windscreen wipers. This guarantees that the driver will see your advert, however it also runs the risk that you upset the driver, either because you damage their wipers (or are perceived to have done so) or possibly because you have left a flyer and it’s rained meaning that it’s either turned into a sticky mess or the driver has to get back out of the car in the rain. It’s almost certain that your flyer will end up screwed up, thrown on the floor and not remembered with the driver thinking “what the heck do xxx think they are doing touching my car”. This is certainly what happened recently in my local car park. I got back to my car at the end of a working day and saw lots of leaflets on the floor advertising a local zumba class, there was still a leaflet on my car that got taken home and burnt on the fire (a benefit of having an open fire for heating is that there is always a way to get rid of leaflets like this or junk mail – but that’s another story).
If it were your zumba class that you were advertising, would you run the risk of upsetting prospective clients, accused of littering the local area (if your leaflets are found with your name on them do you think it would be an unknown driver or you that gets the blame) and paying someone to distribute your leaflets?
So, if you are going to use guerrilla marketing, stop first and think about the possible consequences – don’t break the law (including planning regulations if you are thinking about putting banners up for example), think about the feelings you may cause in the people you are marketing to and the possible benefits (and lack of benefits) that your marketing will have.
And, as a final note, take a look at this article about the difference between marketing and advertising, and marketing your new business. Hopefully this article will help you avoid the pitfalls if you are thinking about using any form of marketing, especially guerrilla marketing.