What Are the Real Rules Behind Guerrilla Marketing?

By August 7, 2016General

In a world defined by people who are almost completely de-sensitised to traditional advertising formats, marketers are being faced with an increasingly impossible task in earning engagement, and interaction.

In an effort to break past the boundaries of boredom that have infiltrated the current market, many advertisers have recognised that the best way to combat apathy is to deliver a message in a way that people wouldn’t expect. In other words, we’ve embraced the world of guerrilla marketing.

Guerrilla marketing is all about surprising people – forcing them to take notice by breaking their concentration and making them have an emotional, and unexpected reaction to something.

While there’s something of a “shock” factor to this, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t rules to follow. After all, there’s a difference between a surprise that promotes positive action, and one that leads to an offended, or angry audience.

Rule 1: Define Your Goals
While guerrilla marketing is fundamentally about the element of surprise, and creativity, it still needs to be carefully planned. You need to know exactly what you’re trying to achieve, so that you can measure each step it might take to reach your goal.

Rule 2: Know your Audience
This rule might be obvious, but remember that Guerrilla marketing bypasses the constraints of traditional advertising by being provocative. If you’re not careful to consider your audience’s emotional reactions and sense of humour in advance, you could ensure that your brand becomes memorable for all of the wrong reasons.

Rule 3: Be Brief
The best Guerrilla campaigns are those that appear suddenly, and disappear just as quickly. The temporary and mysterious nature of these campaigns add to their effectiveness. In other words, be surprising – but don’t let the surprise get old.

Rule 4: Do Your Research
Finally, the nature of Guerrilla marketing can make it a risky endeavour for companies if done improperly. Doing your research can help you to avoid unforeseen issues. For instance, remember to:

  • Get Permission: Contact the relevant authorities and make sure you’re not breaking any rules.
  • Check the law: Know and obey the laws, and remember that there are some strange rules out there that you need to be aware of. For instance, in Switzerland, it’s illegal to dance on bank holidays.
  • Protests: Be sure to check the eco-friendliness of your campaign, and look for ways to avoid protests wherever possible. You want to generate a response- but not a negative one.

Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442 or email us on info@hotcow.co.uk.