Top 10 Guerrilla Marketing Tips
1. Be Relevant
Your audience is fickle. They are bombarded all the time - advertisements, billboards, radio, newspaper. Make your contact with them relevant to them, and you will win their heart. Flyer Distribution, Postering, Spokesmodels, Events, these are all great ways to communicate to your target audience, but YOU MUST BE RELEVANT. Promoting Coach Handbags at a Biker Convention is NOT RELEVANT. Promoting Retirement Accounts to teenagers is NOT RELEVANT. Think about your audience, get inside their heads. Think about what they like, and then you’ve got them.
2. Be Where Your Audience Is
An event may be a high-traffic location, but the traffic may be all wrong. Sometimes the location looks good on paper, but when your street team arrives they realize it’s the wrong crowd. Your target audience has predictable behaviors, predictable patterns. If you understand your audience, understand their buying habits, understand where they like to be, you will have confidence that you guerrilla efforts will get in your audience’s hands.
3. Call to Action
Street Marketing, Guerrilla Marketing, it is difficult to measure CPM on a campaign that involves these elements. How do you know you are winning the good fight? Present your target audience with a hook, involve them in the game, and then you can track how they respond. Whether flyers, posters, bar promotions, sampling programs, even guerrilla wall projections, make your audience move, and you will be able to track the success or failure of the initiative. Websites, Scratch & Wins, Photo Ops that drive your target to a Branded Photo Page, Prize Giveaways, Call in & Win programs - All of these approaches make your audience move, and that movement can be measured.
4. Results – Show Your Work!
Everyone has a boss they want to impress! When it comes to non-traditional marketing campaigns, results can be tricky to measure, so get as much evidence of your work as possible. If you were buying advertising, you would show your boss/client the great ad that you purchase in LUCKY magazine. With non-traditional, or street, or guerrilla marketing, you can still show them how cool you are. Get photos! Get event reports! Hire a videographer or a professional photographer. Do what it takes to make sure that your initiatives are very well documented. If you take this step, you will be covered, even if the program isn’t as effective as initially planned.
(Important note: When it comes to reporting, make sure that what you have in mind regarding reporting is well communicated to your team. A photo from a cellphone is technically an event photo, but it is not going to show well in a presentation to the board of directors. Be clear in what you are expecting and you have a much higher likelihood of not being disappointed by the results you are provided).
5. Package – Make it Creative
How do you break through to your target demographic? Packaging has a lot to do with things. Whether your teams are dressed in leotards instead of khaki, or you are giving them branded fruit instead of flyers, think about what will shake your target from the rigors of their daily pattern enough to see what you are showing them. Singing telegrams, or flyer distribution on roller-skates, Segway Marketing, or BASE Jumping from buildings – make a stir and the window of impression will open long enough for your point to hit home.
6. Leave it to the Professionals
Don’t try to do it alone. Leave it to the professionals. We all see those commercials where there is a warning that says “These Are Trained Professionals. Do Not Attempt to Try This on your Own.” The same is true with street marketing, guerrilla marketing and non-traditional marketing. The professionals know what they are doing. (Full disclosure – I work for Attack! Marketing, www.attackmarketing.net. We are a nation-wide promotion staffing firm. We believe we are the best in promo staffing, but there are many options to choose from). Pick a company that you can work with, that provides solutions to the things that are important to you, and that makes your life easier, in the short and long term.
Not all programs go 100% perfectly. In fact, it is the wise man that anticipates issues and makes plans to counter-act the issues, rather than believing everything will go perfectly, only to be disappointed because they have no back-up plans.
By using a professional street marketing agency, you can get all the resources you need, and if anything is not as you intended, they will fix it for you. A good promotional agency will have contingency plans to account for the ‘what ifs’ of a campaign, they will have back-ups, and a 24-hour support line. Plus, even though you may think you can do it alone, with the help of a source like craigslist, do you really want to add Hiring Personnel or Firing Personnel to your list tasks and responsibilities. Stick to what you do best, and let the professionals make your life easy, instead of letting a marketing and promotional campaign make your life hell.
7. Have a Great Team
The difference between an excellent promotional campaign and a rotten one can be determined by the street team you have on the ground. This is not an area where you want to skimp. You can have the very best materials, the very best call to action, and you could have anticipated your target demographic so well that you are at the perfect event, but without a A+ Team (of Managers, Staffers, Samplers, Spokesmodels, Emcees or Costumed Characters) to attack at will, you are at risk. Look for Enthusiasm, Professionalism, Ingenuity, Self-Starters, and Experience. Attractiveness is always a plus, and with some programs a major necessity, but that should not replace any of the above qualities and remember you will always get more and better results from someone who is truly excited that they were picked to be on the project rather than someone who felt it was your privilege to have them there.
8. Hit em @ all Levels
The best defense is a good offense, and the best offense is one that attacks from all sides. Do not put all your street marketing eggs in one basket. Hit em @ all levels. This means diversify how your consumer is targeted, and where. Be at as many of the places your consumer is, and interact with them in as many different & compelling ways as your budget allows. Marketing 101 tells you that it takes 7-10 times of a consumer to see your product/name before the messaging is effective.
A good street-level marketing campaign should include at least 3-5 of the following street components: flyer distribution, product sampling, strategic retail store drops, wild postings, permission-based postering, sidewalk stencils, guerrilla projections, Segway marketing, roach baiting, branded pizza boxes/coffee sleeves, publicity stunts.
9. Good Timing
Understanding the question of WHEN is very important. If you are promoting a nightclub, flyer distribution during the day is not going to be as effective as hitting your target at night. If you are doing a coffee promotion, cruising the entertainment district in the evening may not be as effective as hitting commuters on their way to work in the morning.
Think about your product. Think about your target audience. Knowing their behavior will allow you to know the WHEN that makes your campaign a WOW.
10. Twist the Norm
Be unexpected! Be shocking! Make the public look. If you have a great to-market approach, your audience will have no choice but to look, listen and absorb. Shake it up. If you are promoting a movie, pass out popcorn. If you are doing a tradeshow for dental professionals, give the public floss. For every great promotion that hits the mark on timing, relevance, call to action, etc., taking a moment to anticipate what the public will expect and twisting it ever so slightly will catch their eye, make them remember it and compel them to share the experience with others. That is true viral marketing, true guerrilla marketing – major impact from minor cost due to creativity and solid execution.