If you were to ask preeminent business experts what the most obvious advantage that new businesses have over bigger, established companies, they would almost invariably tell you that it is agility.
New businesses are agile in a way established companies cannot be. This is something that can be observed in almost every aspect of business, but nowhere is it more noticeable than in marketing.
Somewhat ironically, the fact new businesses cannot afford massive marketing budgets enables (or pushes) them to afford risk-taking and innovative marketing tactics that we commonly refer to as guerrilla marketing.
Guerrilla marketing takes on almost innumerable forms and here are a few examples to get your creative juices flowing.
Street art is probably not the most precise term, but it can be used to encapsulate graffiti, pavement art and other art forms that can be turned into brand promotion. Companies create fake facades for their offices or they use the pavement to guide people to their premises. Others scatter clues to their business around the neighborhood, letting people know that there is just the right company for them in the area.
Of course, you need to make sure that everything you do is legal and that you are not about to cause car accidents because you covered up a street sign or made a crossing invisible to drivers.
Posters, signs, and stickers are usually considered to be one of the oldest marketing techniques in the world. It is a well-known fact that business in Ancient Rome advertised this way.
The difference between guerrilla marketing posters and other printed material is that you really go creative, inventive and eye-catching with it. You need to think of something that no one saw yet. You can even go risky or edgy.
The important thing is to cause a reaction. Even a negative reaction will work.
Flash mobs have gone out of style a bit, but they can still work very well as a guerrilla marketing tactic. In essence, flash mobs are an impromptu song and dance performances that involve a large number of performers. The important thing is that these performances seem spontaneous and that they happen in a public space of some kind.
If you are not exactly confident in the singing and dancing abilities of your employees, you can always reach out to a local dance troupe or art college students. They will be happy to make a few bob and you will get the closest thing to professionals you can afford.
Gamification as a marketing concept works on a whole number of levels – from purely biological ones to the tech-obsessed cultural ones. Usually, when gamification is talked about in a business-related conversation, we talk about online gamification.
However, it is something you can also do offline, or as part of an offline-online combo. For example, you can leave clues on your Twitter account, telling people in your area where they can find parts of a simple puzzle, for example. Once they find all of the parts, they can turn in the puzzle at your business and claim their prize.
The prizes are almost irrelevant. What matters is that people get engaged and that it gets them talking about your brand.
There is something almost romantic about video projections – the huge ones where you use an entire side of a building to show a video of some kind. You will need to have some video content of your own because anything else gets you too close to the murky waters of copyright and you do not want to open that bag of worms.
It goes without saying that this kind of guerrilla marketing works only at night, so you will need to make sure that you have found the right wall to do it, i.e. the one that has plenty of foot traffic around it at night.
Yarn bombing initially started as works of art by knitting auteurs around the world. Basically, they started knitting covers for various objects or as fillings for pavement cracks, for example. The idea is actually very simple – yarn is colorful, it is unobtrusive and it can be removed easily if someone demands its removal.
You might say, perfect for guerrilla marketing.
And it really is. It is affordable (provided you know someone who knits) and it can be extremely effective if done right. Of course, you will remember to feature your brand somewhere on the knitting.
Anyone can organize an event, but as a practitioner of guerrilla marketing, you really need to go creative with your events. For example, if you are a publisher, you can invite your published writers, editors and the general public to come in for an impromptu crowd-writing session. Or you can let your local artists exhibit at your premises for one night only. You can even organize a theatre night by inviting your local theatre troupe to perform.
It is essential that you think outside the box and come up with something people will talk about for days to come.
There is a whole scene for business cards that are truly spectacular and it takes a lot of thinking and designing to come up with something people have never seen, that fits the business and that makes people laugh or gaze in awe.
A great business card can easily be considered a work of art which also features a whole lot of humor and perhaps the best thing to do would be to check out this gallery from Bored Panda with some truly mind-blowing business card designs.
This particular tactic works best for businesses in the hospitality industry, but other kinds of businesses can probably come up with interesting collaborations of their own.
For instance, let's say you run a small restaurant; you can partner up with a local bed and breakfast or small hotel and have them bring their customers for a dinner. Afterwards, you can all go to the local pub where they can down a few pints. The important thing is that you work together and that everyone gets a bit more exposure through this collaboration.
Leslie runs Cube SEO a digital marketing company in Dublin Ireland.