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MARKETING: Guerilla Marketing-Getting More Bang for Your Buck
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Guerilla warfare refers to smaller armed forces fighting small individual battles and employing "irregular" military tactics such as ambushes, sabotages and raids, in order to harass and demoralise a bigger and stronger opponent. Successful examples of so-called guerilla tactics in war could have been observed in China by Mao Zedong during the Chinese Civil War and by Ho Chi Minh during the Vietnam War. Similarly, guerilla marketing is all about using unconventional marketing techniques in order to outperform a bigger competitor. 
 
The term Guerrilla Marketing was first coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his popular 1984 book, Guerrilla Marketing. In his book, Levinson describes this method of marketing as a nontraditional, low-cost or no-cost method for marketing, promotion, advertising, etc. Guerilla marketing, also sometimes referred to as "unconventional marketing" or "stealth marketing," is focussed on stretching a company's marketing budget by using innovative and creative marketing and promotional strategies that create a big buzz and maximum exposure. Those organisations employing guerrilla marketing tactics generally have limited budgets and must fully utilise technology, information, knowledge, energy, and most importantly, imagination in order to generate ideas that will be noticed and talked about more than a traditional marketing campaign. This method of marketing is primarily designed and used by small businesses and independent professionals, but even non-profits and large corporations have been successfully adapting these marketing tactics. So no matter what the size, industry or structure of your firm is, guerrilla marketing is a tactic for your arsenal that if it is not already being used, should be implemented immediately.   
 
Guidelines for designing a guerrilla marketing campaign 
 
Maximize your resources. Even if your marketing budget is tiny, you can stretch your money by maximizing your other assets such as time, intelligence, creativity and energy. You can also utilise your physical assets such as your office space (both inside and outside), vehicles, etc. as a billboard or a canvas where you transmit your marketing message. 
  
Grab your customers' attention. The essence of all guerrilla marketing campaigns is to grab the attention of your customers. Using traditional marketing tactics to get noticed can cost millions of dollars. However, using innovative and eye-popping techniques, or simply just hitting the streets to give out free samples can get you noticed at a fraction of the cost. 
 
Utilise social media sites. Websites such as Twitter, Weibo, Youku and Facebook all have millions of users and are all free to join and use. Post your business profile on these sites, perhaps instructional videos or useful information, and any attention grabbing ideas you can imagine in order to generate a viral marketing message. Make sure you also include a link back to your business's official website.  
  
Play on the emotions of your target market. Most large corporations tend to try to keep their marketing messages on the conservative side in order to maintain a 'professional' image. The result can lead to a dull or bland message that is not so memorable and might not really touch their customers on an emotional level. As a guerrilla marketer, aggressively focusing on your customers' emotions can translate into big sales. First, find out what really matters to your target market and client base. Then, choose a marketing message that will truly resonate with your customers.
 
Partner up with local businesses. In today's competitive market, many firms operate with an "every man for himself" attitude. However, guerrilla marketing experts argue against this stance because it eliminates the possibility of building strong partnerships with local businesses that can lead to a synergistic relationship whereby both sides can receive added value. You want to try and partner up with firms whose aims and services are similar to your own so that you can swap referrals and recommendations, help create more exposure for each other and share information.  
 
Enlist member participation. Get your customers to share their experiences of using your product and implement their creativity and energy into your marketing campaign. If your business is selling hot dogs, have your customers take interesting pictures of themselves eating your hot dogs in a unique situation or place. These images can then be used to decorate the restaurant and can be posted on the firm's website and on different social media websites. Offer your customers rewards like free wearable merchandise so that they have an incentive to participate and they can wear gear that will help you to advertise the brand! 
 
Develop strategies to expand your network. The success of many businesses rests on the ability of being able to sell your product to a network of people. The larger that network is, the more likely you are to have a higher level of sales. From the start of your business operations, one of the focuses of your marketing campaign must explicitly include different methods to expand your potential customer base. This can be done in a number of ways from leveraging partnerships and using social media, to offering discounts, incentives and referrals. 
 
Examples of successful guerrilla marketing campaigns
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Now that we have the framework for designing and implementing a successful guerrilla marketing campaign, let's observe a few examples of firms that have truly embraced the guerrilla marketing revolution. 
 
Ikea’s beach, babes and books. In honour of the 30th anniversary of the company's most popular bookshelf, the Swedish furniture manufacturer setup the world's largest outdoor library on Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. Lined with over 6,000 books, people could either swap their old books for a new one or donate money to the Australian Literacy & Numeracy Foundation. The world's worst smelling breath. In an extremely entertaining video, Tic Tac demonstrated the awesome breath freshening power of their product. Set in Paris, the video shows a tourist asking an unsuspecting Persian for directions. After catching a whiff of his breath, the Parisian and subsequently everyone in the public square and in Paris faints from the smell. Finally, the confused tourist is handed a Tic Tac which restores order to the universe and has everyone happily clapping. View the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EekdQzxX18k§
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Hail to the King. Back in 2005, Burger King implemented a guerrilla marketing campaign in Asia which targeted their arch-nemesis, McDonald's. Burger King placed their branded merchandise such as t-shirts and hats on Ronald McDonald statues. Then, they planted large footprints from McDonald's to Burger King and put signs on benches along the way saying "Gone to BK - Ronald." Though this tactic is a bit cut-throat, it ultimately got the attention of many consumers and was extremely successful. 
 
Vodafone’s streaking success. During a pivotal moment in the 2002 Bledisloe Cup (rugby), two men ran onto the pitch wearing nothing but a Vodafone logo painted on their backs. While streaking may not be uncommon in sports, sponsored streakers are definitely something new. The event, which took place at Telstra Stadium (Telstra is Vodafone's competitor), created a storm of criticism directed at Vodafone. However, millions of viewers saw the event live on television and the stunt received attention from news outlets around the world, including CNN and the New York Times, giving the company plenty of free publicity.

 By Justin Toy
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