Why Guerrilla Marketing Is Sweet!

So sweets and guerrilla marketing?..

I’m sure that there are many people that might question the logic in a creative design and communication agency in deciding to run a tuck shop. Also, it would be incorrect to say that when we first thought of the idea, it was for any other reason other than having a selection of sweets in stock (so that we could design little stickers for the paper bags). After a little reflection though, we realised that this could actually be an effective piece of guerrilla marketing.

But hang on a moment; what is guerrrilla marketing anyway? Well, this is what Wikipedia has to say about guerrilla marketing..

“The concept of guerrilla marketing was invented as an unconventional system of promotions that relies on time, energy and imagination rather than a big marketing budget. Typically, guerrilla marketing campaigns are unexpected and unconventional, potentially interactive, and consumers are targeted in unexpected places.”

This I fully agree with. However, it goes on:

“Unfortunately the tactics often rely on methods that are of poor taste or include littering/graffiti and businesses or causes using guerrilla marketing should consider whether or not this is the way they want their cause viewed.”

I think this is a little unfair as although there have been some unsuccessful and badly planned guerrilla marketing campaigns, I don’t think that they generally offend or cause upset.

Guerrilla marketing involves unusual approaches such as intercept encounters in public places, street giveaways of products, PR stunts, or any unconventional marketing intended to get maximum results from minimal resources. More innovative approaches to Guerrilla marketing now utilize cutting edge mobile digital technologies to engage the consumer and create a memorable brand experience.”

The key words for me in the last quote are; maximum results from minimal resources with an unusual, unconventional and innovative approach. Which, I think, sums things up pretty nicely.

So how is selling sweets guerrilla marketing? Well, if all we were doing was selling sweets as a sideline to our normal activities of graphic design, web development etcetera, it just wouldn’t be marketing. However, with a little bit of thought you can take selling sweets while having a bit of fun in the office on a Friday and turn it into a marketing activity. These are the things that we considered:

  • making sure that we were talking about it online via social media (both personally and through work accounts)
  • branding our paper bags with the company logo
  • planning a follow up blog post – that you’re reading right now
  • photo opportunities – by dressing the part, making sure we had cameras charged and had thought about location
  • getting quotes and sound bytes from anyone we were interacting with
  • using the above content to send as a press release
  • thinking about follow up activities – in this case we decided to plan a social event for the businesses in our building and use the tuck shop money to get the first round in

We planned the tuck shop guerrilla marketing activity as we would any other marketing activity: by setting objectives, targets and measurement. In short what we wanted to do with this activity was strengthen our relationship with the other businesses in our building, demonstrate that we understand innovative marketing techniques and create some localised buzz.

It is still early days to evaluate how successful this activity has been, as we only began a week ago. At this point however, our return on investment is looking excellent: roughly £ 25 spent on sweets, stickers and aprons with about two hours committed.

“The objective of guerrilla marketing is to create a unique, engaging and thought-provoking concept to generate buzz, and consequently turn viral.”

Jay Conrad Levinson Guerrilla Marketing

I hope that this article has convinced you that guerrilla marketing can work and has hopefully inspired you to look into trying some activities of your own. If you need some more inspiration have a look at:

I would love to hear how you get on.

guerrilla marketing

Article by Nathaniel Cassidy

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