Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Guerrilla Marketing

We discussed the evolution of strategy through from history in the last lecture. In continuation to that, I would like to shed some light on one more tactic called the Guerrilla warfare, which has eventually led to Guerrilla Marketing in the corporate world. Guerrilla warfare essentially had a hit-and-run technique used for fighting war. It usually involved fighting men who were not dressed in uniform and who tended to ambush and take on enemies by surprise. This was the tactic used by Shivaji Maharaj, a Maratha aristocrat who founded the Maratha Empire. He had a small army as compared to the Adilshah of Bijapur and Mughal Empire but he wanted to establish his Maratha Kingdom. So, he came up with the strategy of attacking his enemies using the Guerrilla warfare. His men would hide in the dense forests and attack the small bunch of armies. Also, he used to attack the enemy in night when it was unexpected. Hence, though his army was small, he took the advantage of the surprise element in the attack and was able to deplete the army of the enemy after a long battle.
This is considered to be one of the most successful war tactic used in the history. From here we come to the concept of Guerrilla marketing.

Guerrilla marketing is an unconventional system of promotions that relies on time, energy and imagination rather than big marketing budget.

This is a creative ad by Mini Cooper placed at the Zurich, Switzerland train station. It gives the perception that the Mini Cooper has a large space. Note the door being opened to give a feeling of extra space and the innovative positioning of the product to synchronize with the perception of being colossus.

This marketing style involves unusual approaches like creative advertisements, PR stunts etc that would utilize minimum resources and produce maximum outputs. It is mainly based on human psychology rather than experience and judgment. Here, companies use creativity and imagination to attract the customers.

Some more elements of this marketing strategy are:

·       The company is small. It does not have a big capital to invest in advertising.
·       The primary investment that company has to make is time, energy and imagination. It is not money.
·       The company is focusing on conveying the message rather than on the sales.
·       It is very helpful for the non-profitable firms who want to convey the messages relating to hazardous stuff like tobacco consumption.
·       Messages are short and are aimed to small audience.
·       It highly relies on making referrals and word-of-mouth marketing. So, it helps the company in its initial stages.

Like guerrilla warfare, which is among of the best and most effective tactics developed, guerrilla marketing is also very effective and budget friendly and is being used till date. The boundaries on how both can be applied, used and effectuated are virtually infinite.


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