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Marketing 101 – The Ultimate Guide to Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing is a marketing technique in which a company uses low-cost, innovative strategies to promote their product. It typically starts with a small budget and relies on significant, dramatic events that cut through the clutter of the marketplace.


Guerrilla marketing definition

According to Wikipedia, the definition is

“Guerrilla marketing is an advertisement strategy in which a company uses surprise and/or unconventional interactions in order to promote a product or service. It is a type of publicity. The term was popularized by Jay Conrad Levinson’s 1984 book Guerrilla Marketing.”


What is guerrilla marketing?

Guerrilla marketing involves low-cost unconventional marketing methods used to reach a target market. It is an inventive way of marketing. Guerrilla marketing is not easy, but it can be done well with good results with the right sense of creativity and spontaneity. Some guerrilla tactics might include:

  • Giving out freebies – Products or services that are given for free in order to build goodwill. One of the most popular practices is giving away samples of a company’s products to the public, but the practice can also be applied to services, such as tour guides giving tours for free in order to get publicity.
  • Opening up events or store locations to the public is a great way to provide a unique experience for those who may not be privy to the products and services you offer. Giving them a chance to learn more about what they can buy from you is a great way to build relationships and create new customers.
  • Giving away prizes to your customers in order to establish a connection with them. This will allow the company to give something back to their customers. One way to do this is by giving away something like concert tickets, sporting event tickets, giveaways like T-shirts or coffee mugs.

For example, the company may create a memorable and sometimes outlandish event to publicize their product. This can be as simple as sending employees to hand out flyers on a busy street corner or as complex as creating a film and distributing it on the web. Guerrilla marketers rely on tactics such as happenings (a spontaneous event such as a flashmob), street teams (groups of people promoting a product), and illegal marketing (actions such as graffiti) to attract attention to the product.


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Is guerrilla marketing illegal?

Some campaigns in the past have been illegal. For example, in the mid-2000s, at the Olympics in Greece, a man dived off the diving board wearing a pink tutu and the name of a website on his chest. He was then arrested and later released with a fine believed to be a few hundred pounds. While this type of guerrilla marketing works, it can also make some people dislike your brand and, if not done correctly, could make more people dislike your brand than like it.


Guerrilla marketing example

Coca-Cola is nothing like a small company, but it still knows how to use guerilla marketing to win the hearts of consumers. For Coca-Cola’s share a coke campaign, the company began printing personalized coke bottles with people’s names on them.

Coca-Cola encouraged people buying a bottle of the beverage to buy an extra one and give it to their family or friends since their name was on it. This campaign also encouraged people to share photos on social media, giving the brand more people who wanted a drink with their name on it.


Guerrilla marketing tactics

In this paragraph, I’m going to discuss a few tactics used in this marketing strategy. Guerrilla marketing tactics are those that are cheap and creative. They invite people to take a different perspective on marketing campaigns. 

In this way, guerrilla marketing is an effective form of advertising because it is unconventional and unexpected, making it more memorable. Examples of guerrilla marketing include:

  • Hanging banners from a crane without getting caught.
  • Dressing up as a mascot and going door to door.
  • Setting up a makeshift store in the middle of a busy street.
  • Ambush marketing (where an advertiser “ambushes” an event to compete for exposure)
  • Viral videos
  • Flash mob
  • Graffiti
  • Reverse Graffiti
  • Publicity Stunt
  • Stickers

Types of Guerrilla marketing

Advantages of guerrilla marketing

The advantages of guerrilla marketing are that it creates buzz for the company and is very cost-effective. It can be used in niche markets where traditional methods do not work because the audience prefers something more personal. Guerrilla marketers also need to know how to select the best media channels for their target audience, which benefits them in the long run because they can create content with high impact.


One of the disadvantages is that it might not always be the most effective marketing strategy. As its name suggests, guerrilla marketing is a form of unconventional advertising that relies on creativity and spontaneity. The main goal of guerrilla marketing is to create an emotional connection with consumers or users.

How to create guerrilla marketing strategies

Below are steps to take to make a guerrilla marketing campaign:

  • Know your audience

By knowing your audience, you leave less room to have a failed campaign.

  • Choose the strategy that will work for you

Create a strategy that would link with your business. For example, you wouldn’t want to make a campaign with a flash mob when you are a paint company. You would rather have some graffiti or painting that links with your business.

  • Calculate the ROI

Considering the possibility of campaign failure and the cost is very important when planning a guerrilla campaign. Would it hurt current conversions about your business?

  • Know what to do after the campaign is done

Let’s say the campaign is done; it worked! You have 5000 new eyes on your business. What now? Make sure that those new people are buying your product as people forget stuff within minutes or even seconds of it happening.


This technique has been employed for years and continues to be used in our digital age. It’s more important than ever for companies to implement unconventional strategies because people are starting to get immune to traditional advertising methods like TV and radio advertisements.

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