No… that’s not it…. Guerilla Marketing! Making someone want to buy your product before they know they were marketed to.
I guess to define Guerilla marketing we should go back in history to look at guerrilla warfare. Guerrilla warfare (in colonial North America at least) was a method of warfare where a small number of highly mobile soldiers would attack small parties at ‘apparent’ random times. Picking apart an army a group at a time. This method was especially effective because at this time French and British militaries saw warfare as standing across from each other in lines and firing in a very structured manner. There wasn’t a lot of surprise in this method. You line up, they line up, both fire, then maybe charge. Guerrilla warfare was full of surprises, and because of that it was incredibly effective. Some armies were defeated before they knew they were at war. Guerrilla warfare did have its risk though. If the intended target is prepared there isn’t much chance for a small Guerilla party versus a prepared army.
Sticking with the American Revolution esc analogy, Traditional advertising and marketing is like the French and British. Standing in a line and firing at each other. Consumers know they’re being marketed to. Most accept this as a part of life. There are changes in tactics of course but the large army on a field doesn’t change. Then there is guerilla marketing. Marketing to consumers without them even realizing and convincing them they need a product that was never actually “advertised”. This is done by plugging a product all over the web. A blog post here, a few comments here, a well-timed non-suspect tweet, a post on Reddit even that has very little to do with a product. All these methods and many more are utilized to market to consumers before users even realize. (Did you know if you have enough Karma companies will buy your account and use your online credibility to their advantage?). Like Guerrilla Warfare, Guerrilla Marketing can be dangerous. If a consumer realizes what is happening you’re entire campaign will be crushed when it is out’ed to the internet. In the early 2000s there was a street racing blog that was gaining a lot of traffic (you can that The Fast and The Furious), this blog was doing very well. That is until someone realized the vast majority of cars featured were Mazda’s, after some digging it was discovered that the blog was in fact was a campaign by Mazda. The blog died over night because users felt lied to and betrayed.
– Low cost compared to the cost of traditional advertising
– Able to reach a vast variety of markets by tailoring content to individual segments
– By making content that appears to be organic it will drive actual organic content
– Time! Guerilla Marketing may be low cost financially but it takes a lot of time. You need to be willing to hustle to get the most out of an ‘covert’ marketing campaign
– If you get caught as being insincere with staged ‘organic’ content you’ll lose a lot of online cred
– Balance! There is a tricky line to walk across with this. To obvious and it won’t look organic, not obvious enough and it will have no effect and you are just wasting time.
Thanks for reading,