7 Low-Cost Guerrilla Marketing Principles You Should Know
Business coach, consultant, and author Mitch Meyerson has been a go-to for marketing advice for decades. In fact, he was one of the early creators and adopters of Guerrilla Marketing—an innovative, low-cost way for businesses (and individuals with their own products or LLCs) to get word out about their offerings.
Here is Meyerson’s Guerrilla Marketing summed up in 7 easy-to-understand principles:
1. Guerrilla Marketers Invest Time, Energy, Imagination, and Knowledge Instead of Just Money
Superior marketing provides all companies with their greatest leverage, or control, and should be viewed as an investment. Unlike traditional marketers, guerrillas invest more time, energy, imagination, and knowledge—or information—than money. This is probably the single most important guerrilla marketing principle. Additionally, they don’t waste their precious time making penny-wise and pound-foolish purchases or throwing good money after bad.
For example, guerrillas are keenly aware that poorly designed and written marketing materials are recipes for disaster, so they hire graphic designers and copywriters—even if it means they have to barter, lease, or pare down their wish list. Conversely, guerrillas are open to investing in new skills so they can do much of the marketing work themselves. This is much easier today than it was in years past due to affordable software and online courses. In the end, guerrillas believe in their hearts that money is not the key to achievement.
2. Guerrilla Intentionality: Marketing Includes Every Contact with The Public
Superior marketing doesn’t happen by mistake. It occurs when it is deliberately planned and executed. Because guerrillas are well-trained in all aspects of the marketing process, they know that consumer-facing business elements are critical to success, such as the way they greet their customers, their employees’ attire and demeanor, how easy their website is to navigate, and their business and domain names.
Guerrillas know that every company, regardless of the products and services they offer, is in the marketing business, and prospects and customers will judge them on every single aspect of their experience. This careful attention to detail gives guerrillas an edge over bigger businesses that often overlook the little things that have a big impact on their customers.
Guerrillas don’t “sell “ clothes; they sell comfort and good looks. Guerrillas don’t sell aspirin; they sell freedom from pain. Guerrillas don’t sell books; they sell knowledge. Guerrillas don’t sell lipstick; they sell beauty.
3. Guerrilla Commitment: Building Successful Businesses One Step at a Time
Commitment is a word that separates guerrilla marketers from traditional marketers—an intangible trait that allows them to surpass roadblocks that would stop others dead in their tracks. It is also a hallmark principle of this marketing approach because it’s based on the belief that superior marketing requires steadfast focus and a dedication to building and maintaining long-term relationships—not bean-counting.
Maintaining focus may sound easy, but it’s not—especially in today’s cluttered world. Current and evolving technologies make it easy for entrepreneurs to be wooed down the “diversification” path where distraction and trouble lurk. And while guerrillas welcome change, they are careful not to be lured into every “golden opportunity” that comes their way, because they know it’s a recipe for disaster.
Simply put, so-so marketers who possess a dogged commitment to their craft outperform superior marketers without this trait 100% of the time. Additionally, commitment means regularity. So, guerrillas don’t drop out of the public’s site for long. They don’t run an ad two times and then abandon it because “it didn’t work.” They don’t reinvent their identities whenever it suits them. Rather, guerrillas understand that familiarity creates trust and trust generates profitable sales and lifelong customers.
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4. Guerrilla Partnerships: Working Together to Make Things Happen
Unlike the “winner-takes-all” mentality of conventional businesspeople, guerrillas know that their livelihoods are dependent upon others. Therefore, they proactively seek out joint venture partnerships and strategic alliances, while continually looking for ways to expand their personal and professional networks. Guerrillas even look for innovative ways to work with their competitors. For instance, they might develop products that complement their competitors’ offerings, then join forces for a marketing campaign so both businesses can benefit.
5. Guerrilla Psychology: Tapping into Their Target Audiences’ Minds
What does psychology have to do with marketing? Everything. No matter who you are in the marketing world, you must understand human psychology. Traditional marketers often use guesswork, disguised as “experience” and “judgment,” as a basis for making decisions. Guerrillas cry, “Nonsense!” Instead, they use the principles of human psychology and behavior to tap into the public’s subconscious mind. This is why guerrillas are so confident in their abilities to tap into their prospects’ inner mind—where 90% of purchase decisions are made. Elements like repetition, memorable language, and emotion are central to this.
In other words, guerrillas know that potential buyers don’t want to be sold anything; rather, they want to improve their current situation. If that means they must purchase a product or service to fulfill their needs and desires, they’ll consider it. So, guerrillas don’t “sell “ clothes; they sell comfort and good looks. Guerrillas don’t sell aspirin; they sell freedom from pain. Guerrillas don’t sell books; they sell knowledge. Guerrillas don’t sell lipstick; they sell beauty.
6. Guerrillas’ Marketing Arsenal
For many years, marketers have traditionally used one “big gun” advertising vehicle to increase sales. Guerrillas, on the other hand, believe this to be risky, expensive, and ineffective. Instead, they use a variety of low-cost, high-impact marketing weapons to achieve their goals. So, they arm themselves with the tools, skills, and knowledge—including Internet technology—that are necessary to compete in today’s rough-and-tumble global economy.
7. Guerrilla Measurement: No Numbers Mean No Business
Marketing is becoming increasingly more of a science. This is true for two main reasons: We are constantly increasing our understanding of human behavior, and advances in technology allow us to gauge and evaluate results instantaneously. Guerrillas believe that the benchmark for success is profit, which comes subsequent to sales—unlike companies who measure success based on revenues, orders, transactions, and the like.
Guerrillas track and measure all of their marketing efforts to ensure that they receive a positive return on their investments. Nowadays, marketers can use affordable web-based automation software to put their marketing analytics on auto-pilot, so time-consuming manual tracking is a thing of the past.
Adapted from “Guerrilla Marketing On The Internet” by Mitch Meyerson, Jay Conrad Levinson, and Mary Eule Scarborough.
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