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The Principles of Guerrilla Marketing

Guerilla marketing is a low-cost and innovative method to attract attention and consumers to your business without paying an arm and a leg. It became popular and widely used in 2007 and continues to be relevant today, especially for small businesses that are looking to build brand awareness on a budget. That is why I decided to dedicate this post to talking about the principles of guerrilla marketing.

According to Alexander Riedl, former marketing director of Volvo Cars Middle East and one of the world’s most-known guerrilla-marketing gurus, “There is a set of six characteristics that every guerrilla campaign has to fulfill.” Here they are:

Completely Unexpected: Guerrilla campaign must include a surprise situation. That situation can be created by using usual objects in an unusual place and vice versa or by staging an event that people were not prepared to take part in. Either way, the surprise factor will help raise participants’ attentiveness to the campaign and its messages.

Drastic: Guerrilla-marketing campaigns are radical in nature. Extremeness intensifies the surprise and is helpful when trying to reach a large audience without spending a lot (by creating a word-of-mouth effect). However, alongside the potential of achieving a high degree of interest and exposure, drastic behavior can also lead to rejection and outrage.

Humorous: Using humor is crucial to the success of guerrilla campaigns, especially if they involve online activity. Humor can help break the barriers between the company and the consumer, just as it often does in regular human interaction. Humor also plays a role in turning campaigns viral, which means reaching a larger audience. Mixing surprise with humor is a key strategy to a successful guerrilla campaign.

One-Shot Game: Due to the importance of the surprise factor in it, a certain guerrilla-marketing concept can only be executed during a limited period of time and should not be used twice on the same target market.

Cheap: One of the biggest benefits of guerrilla marketing, especially for SMEs, is that it requires a small budget in comparison to other marketing methods. Sticking to a minimal budget is just as important as creativity and innovation to the design of the campaign. With that said, the budget should realistically match the size of the target market.

Goodwill and Customer Benefit: Guerrilla marketing campaign should always include an act of goodwill on the part of the company in order to make consumers feel satisfied and valued. The benefit can be tangible—for example, giving away something for free as part of the campaign—or intangible, such as something that makes customers laugh, feel smarter, or feel more valued.

I hope these principles provide you with some guidance on what you should keep in mind when designing your business’s next guerrilla campaign.

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