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Gorillas in the midst of your marketing

By Heather M. Hilliard

Guerilla_Escalator-597433-editedHow creative public relations that attacks the mainstream cacophony helps your business

Early in the 19th century during the Peninsular War, when Spain was resisting Napoleon, the term “guerra” (Spanish for war) evolved to “guerrilla” to describe the way the Spanish were fighting against Napoleon’s empire. The fighters against the mainstream were rebels, radicals and revolutionaries. This small independent group used irregular means to fight against larger regular forces.

In the 1980s, the phraseology “guerrilla marketing” evolved from the historical corps of special fighters who succeeded in going up against the establishment. Gearing the strategies that worked in the Pyrenees as well as the jungles of Latin America, businesses (using little cash or other resources) could attack the big companies in similar non-traditional ways, on non-traditional battlefields.

Today, when describing business maneuvers, guerrilla marketing applies to those small businesses using imagination in their marketing strategies. The goal of profit remains the same, but the methods to get there have changed.  

Key parallels to warriors

  • Focus on the public. The guerrilla takes high energy and attention-grabbing unique messaging to make the whole experience quite memorable – not spending lots of money to paste advertisements everywhere, making frequency the reason for remembrance.

  • Unique placement. The marketing blitz occurs in public spaces, such as malls, parks and streets, using high-traffic areas and taking the product advertisement to the people where they are – not mainstream mass marketing channels for advertising placement.

  • Atypical techniques. The advertisement mechanism delivered in the unique spaces ranges from flyers handed out (or flown behind a plane) to active engagement, such as skits or a walking billboard during an event – not stationary, sleek pieces that customers see in traditional locations.

Employ guerrilla tactics

Customers today are overwhelmed with high-cost, non-stop attacks by big business. Typical ad campaigns use high dollars to see what will stick with customers, and then, after market research, these companies just do more of what has incrementally increased their business.

Each customer is practically begging to be treated as an individual. He or she wants to be seen as valuable to a company. Consumers are waiting for something unique to stand out from the crowd. They want engagement, not bland advertisement. Individual, valuable, unique engagement – be a guerrilla.  

Take the customer by surprise, especially as this holiday season of gift-giving approaches. Use guerrilla marketing to bring positive results. By offering a very clear objective and very clear messaging that links to your product, you can be the new beloved gorilla in the midst of the marketing frenzy this season. In an upcoming post, we’ll delve into the five types of guerilla marketing with you.

At Axia PR, we can bring focus to your message and creativity to your mechanism of launch. We will help you create favorable social media that raises your bottom line, building buzz and maximizing your guerrilla efforts. Start by downloading your guide to maximizing media coverage.

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HHilliard_2014_Head_Shot-1Heather M. Hilliard is a marketing and strategic planning professional with expertise in crisis management communications. Earning two master’s degrees and her international Certified Emergency Manager credential, she has worked during disasters as well as “normal business” to offset impact in preparedness for large- and small-scale events in a variety of industries. She has been an adjunct professor for Tulane University for five years and currently focuses on strategic communications and improvements for clients.
Featured image credit: Creative Commons

Topics: public relations, media

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