What is guerilla marketing?

Guerilla marketing is an unconventional marketing strategy or technique that involves using non-traditional approaches to reach the target market. While television, radio, and print advertising are more conventional approaches, guerilla marketing is a more personal, one-on-one approach to connecting with potential customers.

How guerilla marketing works

  1. Face-to-face

    While traditional marketing involves purchasing advertising over the television, radio, or Internet airwaves, guerilla marketing involves an individual or a team working in populated spaces to spread the word about a company or its products in a more "in your face" way.

  2. Product giveaways

    A typical guerilla marketing strategy is to give away product samples to passersby at train stations and other spaces where there is heavy foot traffic. People tend to like free stuff, and sample giveaways are a an effective way to get the public to try a new product.

  3. Beware the astroturf

    The evolution of online networks has led to one guerilla marketing tactic referred to as astroturfing. Company reps pose as authentic consumers and post or comment in online forums or social networks about the company's products. Astroturfing is generally frowned upon in the marketing world.

Why guerilla marketing matters

  1. Too many channels

    The explosion of the Internet and the wide-array of online channels companies have at their disposal to market their products presents challenges for company marketing operations and budgets. Guerilla marketing offers more direct access to a potential market and also a way to test new products with consumers.

  2. It's cheap

    A few bodies, some sample products, and a car are all you need to launch a guerilla marketing operation. While advertising, especially on television, can be prohibitively expensive, putting guerillas on the streets is not.

  3. It's good for small business

    Guerilla marketing can associate a small business and its products with its local market. Putting a guerilla marketing team out on the streets can be a strategic and cost-effective way for small business to build their brands.