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Use guerrilla marketing to increase your ROI

By Heather M. Hilliard

31285987_sMake your message stand out in the crowd

Successful guerrilla marketing puts the focus on the public using unique placement and atypical techniques. By employing one of the five types of guerrilla marketing to gain attention and visibility, your business can stand out from the crush of companies on the market. Selecting the right tactic for your campaign is an important step because there are good and bad outcomes tied to each.

Five types of guerrilla marketing:

1. Ambient – Ambient marketing is an indirect way of messaging a customer about a product. Think of it like ambient lighting – it surrounds the customer and creates an atmosphere.  

  • Pro: It uses multiple surfaces, can have multiple visual cues and is flexible for implementation while clean in the execution of brand representation.

  • Con: If not executed precisely, the message and actual product can be lost in the scene.

2. Ambush – Ambush marketing uses direct methods to push a message and usually occurs when/where a large crowd is gathered.  

  • Pro: It could tie a company or particular product to an event, though it may not be officially coordinated with the gathering. It capitalizes on the congregation and traffic flow to promote the message.

  • Con: It’s confrontational, direct and may juxtapose the competition at the same event causing head-to-head comparisons. It has a bit of risk, but used in the right manner, it is very effective.

3. Stealth – Stealth marketing gets an end-user to engage with the product without the user directly knowing it.  

  • Pro: Companies can get honest reactions from people using their products or interacting with them. If the user has a good experience, the campaign can yield positive word-of-mouth that others should try it too.

  • Con: People are unaware they are being watched while they try a product, and this may cause potential backlash. To overcome any negative takeaways, many times these campaigns have a “reveal,” acknowledging that the participants were recorded and getting a reaction to what they thought of the product (similar to the old show Candid Camera).

4. Street – Street marketing allows engagement with people out and about. These campaigns take the message to the public in unique ways, offering one-on-one opportunities for a company to discuss its product with potential consumers.

  • Pro: The intimate environment allows people an opportunity to use all of their senses, which draws the public closer – literally and figuratively – to the product. This may generate a strong desire in individuals to go buy their own item.

  • Con: If the company’s representative isn’t extremely well versed on the product, disengagement occurs rapidly and could lead to negative marketing; the representative is an extension of the brand, for good or bad.

5. ViralViral marketing techniques take the company message and blend it with entertainment or intrigue in order to motivate people to share it with their friends through a variety of mechanisms (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, et cetera).  

  • Pro: One example that brought great PR was when a physician posted his “How to Calm a Crying Baby” video on YouTube. This video was shared and viewed more than 14 million times. By providing needed information in a brief, engaging manner, free of charge, a company’s reputation and credibility can skyrocket.

  • Con: If the product or service isn’t clearly demonstrated in a positive light, the viral messaging turns into a PR nightmare and erodes the company brand.

By offering a very clear objective and very clear messaging that links to your product, you can reach the right customers in the right way, turning interest into conversion and purchase. There are different tactics that can help enhance your reputation. Start considering which strategy is right for your next PR campaign with Axia PR. Watch our webinar on managing your reputation and discover how you can maximize your public relations investment.

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HHHilliard_2014_Head_Shot_1-2eather 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: 123rf.com

Topics: public relations, shared media

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