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GUERRILLA WARFARE IS, by definition, unconventional. It’s where a small group of combatants use less structured, mobile tactics — like ambushes and raids — to combat a larger, more formal, less mobile army. Think rag-tag Americans shooting from trees at spit-polished British soldiers.

In the marketing world, guerrilla marketing has come to mean unconventional, less-structured marketing techniques that are often more easily deployed by small firms. It allows small companies to compete with the big dogs because small businesses are more agile and flexible. Even better, guerrilla marketing relies more heavily on ingenuity than a big financial investment. It’s the great equalizer for small and mid-sized business owners.

The term “guerrilla marketing” was coined years ago by Jay Conrad Levinson in his book by the same name, and given recent economic realities, guerrilla marketing has never been more relevant.

Guerrilla tactics cut through all the messaging clutter competing for prospective customers’ attention, and in a sea of advertising where true creativity is hard to come by, guerrilla marketing can help your brand stand out.

Some forms of guerrilla marketing tap into many of the five senses — getting people to see, touch, taste, hear or even smell a brand. Most importantly, guerrilla marketing is effective because it can create organic, word-of-mouth buzz that outlasts your campaign.

For example, in 2007, Nissan unleashed a relatively quiet but effective guerrilla marketing campaign that could have just as easily been launched on a smaller scale by a small-business owner.

To promote Nissan’s new, at the time, technology that allowed an Altima owner to start the car by pressing a button on the dash rather than inserting a key, the company “lost” 20,000 sets of keys in concert halls, sports arenas and a variety of other public places in targeted cities.

Each key had a tag attached that read, “If found, please do not return. My Next Generation Nissan Altima has Intelligent Key with push-button ignition, and I no longer need these.” The tag also encouraged readers to visit the Nissan website to learn more about this new technology.

The message was simple, and the campaign had a very modest cost for a company Nissan’s size — but the buzz was extraordinary, and it lasted well past the expiration of the promotion.

So if your marketing needs a boost, you should think outside traditional advertising. What is your version of the “lost keys” campaign?

How can you sneak up on prospective customers and pleasantly surprise them?


This blog was written by RedRover’s CEO & Founder, Lori Turner-Wilson. 

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RedRover Sales & Marketing

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