The concept of guerrilla marketing was invented as an unconventional system of promotions that relies on time, energy and imagination rather than a big marketing budget. Typically, guerrilla marketing campaigns are unexpected and unconventional, potentially interactive, and consumers are targeted in unexpected places. The objective of guerrilla marketing is to create a unique, engaging and thought-provoking concept to generate buzz, and consequently turn viral. The term was coined and defined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his book Guerrilla Marketing. The term has since entered the popular vocabulary and marketing textbooks.
Guerrilla marketing involves unusual approaches such as intercept encounters in public places, street giveaways of products, PR stunts, or any unconventional marketing intended to get maximum results from minimal resources. More innovative approaches to Guerrilla marketing now utilize cutting edge mobile digital technologies to engage the consumer and create a memorable brand experience.
Levinson's books include hundreds of "guerrilla marketing weapons," but also encourages guerrilla marketers to be creative in devising unconventional methods of promotion. Guerrilla marketers use all of their contacts, both professional and personal, and examine their company and its products, looking for sources of publicity. Many forms of publicity can be very inexpensive, or even free.
Levinson says that when implementing guerrilla marketing tactics, small size is actually an advantage. Small organizations and entrepreneurs are able to obtain publicity more easily than large companies, as they are closer to their customers and considerably more agile.
Yet ultimately, according to Levinson, the guerrilla marketer must "deliver the goods". In The Guerrilla Marketing Handbook, he states: "In order to sell a product or a service, a company must establish a relationship with the customer. It must build trust and support. It must understand the customer's needs, and it must provide a product that delivers the promised benefits."
Levinson identifies the following principles as the foundation of guerrilla marketing:
• Guerrilla Marketing is specifically geared for the small business and entrepreneur.
• It should be based on human psychology rather than experience, judgment, and guesswork.
• Instead of money, the primary investments of marketing should be time, energy, and imagination.
• The primary statistic to measure your business is the amount of profits, not sales.
• The marketer should also concentrate on how many new relationships are made each month.
• Create a standard of excellence with an acute focus instead of trying to diversify by offering too many diverse products and services.
• Instead of concentrating on getting new customers, aim for more referrals, more transactions with existing customers, and larger transactions.
• Forget about the competition and concentrate more on cooperating with other businesses.
• Guerrilla marketers should use a combination of marketing methods for a campaign.
• Use current technology as a tool to build your business.
• Messages are aimed at individuals or small groups, the smaller the better.
• Focuses on gaining the consent of the individual to send them more information rather than trying to make the sale.
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