Way back in 1984, an American Advertising Executive, Jay Conrad Levinson, published a book called Guerrilla Marketing: Secrets for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business. Levinson, who as Senior Vice President of J Walter Thompson was responsible for many major campaigns including the Marlborough Man, the Pillsbury Doughboy, Tony the Tiger, and the Jolly Green Giant, was the first person to use the term “Guerrilla Marketing” describing “unconventional marketing tools” used in cases when financial or other resources were limited or non-existent.
Guerrilla Marketing is the best known marketing brand in history, named one of the 100 best business books ever written, with over 21 million sold. His guerrilla concepts have influenced marketing so much that his books appear in 62 languages and are required reading in MBA programs worldwide.
Levinson went on to write many other great Guerrilla Marketing books (there is a link to them at the end of this article) and the world of marketing was forever changed. So, exactly what was the buzz about then, and why is it still so relevant today?
The essence of Guerrilla Marketing is that instead of spending loads of money, the savvy business owner and marketer will use time, energy an imagination. Guerrillas favour the unexpected; they delight their customers and clients with things that are unconventional and memorable. They are nimble and flexible and can adapt rapidly to changing conditions. Guerrillas understand the value of connecting and they cultivate great relationships with their customers and are not afraid to ask their customers and friends to recommend their business. They don’t hesitate to ask for testimonials.
While “big company” marketing budgets measure effectiveness by brand awareness or top-line sales; guerrillas know that the only way to measure their marketing is through bottom line profits. It doesn’t much matter if everyone knows your name; it matters if they are buying from you.
There are a few things you need to do to get started on your own Guerrilla Marketing Plan:
- Identify the specific goals you want to reach with your marketing (make sure you can measure it!)
- Determine your Target Audience (no, you can’t market to everyone!)
- Identify your Features and Benefits (what is it, and what is in it for your customer)
- Clarify your Identity (what do your stand for, what is your brand?)
- Pick your Weapons (what guerrilla tools will you use?)
- Plan your attack! (your marketing calendar and budget)
Oh, and don’t forget to have fun!
If you want to get your hands on the original Guerrilla Marketing book or one of the later ones which deal with specific trades or marketing streams – such as the internet, Twitter, Facebook etc., then just clink on this link.
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