The term Guerrilla marketing emanates from wartime fighting tactics. Guerrilla fighters often use minimal resources to create devastating results. For example, in wartime, they may use one stick of dynamite to derail a train, causing all sorts of havoc out in the middle of nowhere. Alternatively, Guerrillas may burn out a complete Munitions factory and bring it to a close by strategically placing small incendiary devices in vulnerable blind spots.
Often startup entrepreneurs, much like guerrilla fighters, lack adequate resources for a comprehensive campaign. So, they have to do what they can with the little resources at their disposal. To become a guerrilla marketer, in particular, you must mix limited resources with an unlimited amount of imagination and energy to create overwhelming results.
Smart Guerrilla Marketing Tactics
Guerrilla marketing is about getting your name out there — cost effectively — at every opportunity. One smart way to deploy guerrilla marketing tactics is to use classified advertisements. I have used this technique on many occasions and after tweaking various adverts, sales started to flood in. For example, I ran the Venture Capital Alternative for years and built a corporate finance business on the back of an advert.
I have seen adverts like this one: “Britain’s leading speech writer, get no laughs – pay no fee” run for approximately fifteen years. Meanwhile, “I solve immigration problems” classified advertisements have been running now for over twenty years. You get the idea! Create your advertisement, tweak it for the best results, and (if it works) run it forever.
Place adverts in shop windows and ask for business or clients. Don’t be shy. Do whatever it takes to gain momentum. Also, ask for referrals! After forty years in business I still ask for referrals. I’d be crazy not to, because that’s where I gain fifty percent of my business. Meanwhile, ask for written (and video) testimonials from customers. It takes no time or effort and I find that clients are happy to do so — especially if you have just helped them succeed. Also, the impact of customer testimonials is cumulative and you can use them for years to come.
You can also invest in highly targeted letters (i.e., direct mail), neatly typed out and addressed to the person you seek to do business with. Sometimes I use 100g (or even 160g) premium paper so the letter really stands out. Meanwhile, I have been able to generate revenue simply by carrying out diligent research on one individual, company, institution or government entity and sending just one letter.
My best advice is to invest in business cards, sign write your car, and use ‘bird dogs’ (i.e. individual business hunters) to go out and get you business. Just like the Bird dogs that farmers or hunters use to fetch back prey, your ‘bird dogs’ will carry your business cards, talk up your business and loyally bring clients back to your doorstep, and all you have to do is pay them a handsome commission. The more ‘bird dogs’ you have, the money you’ll make. Like most business, it’s not rocket science!
Guerrilla Tactics with the Right Message
Over the years I have heard much talk of USPs (i.e., Unique Selling Point). I personally don’t believe in it too much. One: it is dated. And two, if your selling point is “unique” it means you’re the guinea pig that’s trying something new when you should be using something proven and tested.
Instead I get my clients to use CSPs . . . and they always fly! A CSP is a compelling sales proposition and I find that in this tough economic climate that is exactly what is needed (and what works). Brainstorm all of the compelling reasons why potential customers should buy from you. I find that asking at least three people to complete this exercise is not only beneficial but crucial.
When testing your new Guerrilla marketing campaign and CSP message, get creative and mix it up. Keep thinking “small resource and big results”. In fact, it’s fun pitting your wits against the outside world and making creativity deliver cash flow and profit for minimal expenditure.
The Secret of Effective Guerrilla Marketing
I am often asked, “What should you do in guerrilla marketing to really get the money flowing into your business?” The truth is this: you have to do it all. And if you look at my brand presence on the Internet, you’ll see I have it all there: videos, blogs, adverts, articles, e-zines, book sales etc. And it’s relentless; freshening things up, writing new blogs, creating new online videos, constant email marketing campaigns and replying to queries. But here’s the thing: All it costs is a little energy, effort and time – Oh! and lots of imagination. It’s true guerrilla marketing in every sense.
Sadly the situation of being able to find people and businesses that can perform and deliver is getting from bad to worse. A lot of people can talk a good talk but can’t walk the walk. I am a great believer in under-promising and over-delivering and if you do this one marketing strategy well you’ll be in high demand for a very long time. This is one of the most neglected marketing strategies of all time, so remember where you heard it first!
This article has been edited and condensed.
Ron G Holland is a seasoned entrepreneur with over 40 years experience in business mentoring, personal development and the self-help industry. Holland is the Chairman of Eureka Financial and has created wealth and growth strategies for small business owners to organizations with up to £50m turnover. Holland is an acclaimed author with more than 20 books published to-date. Connect with Ron on Twitter.
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