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What is Guerilla Marketing?

Also known as 'Gorilla Marketing or
Gorilla Marketing Strategy'

What is guerilla marketing? Many consider it a high impact, lower cost marketing tactic. If you decide to use this approach, then make sure you integrate it into your strategy planning. (This tactical marketing approach is also known by some as gorilla marketing strategy.)

Marketing your business effectively, and strategically, is a key element of your success: make sure you do it right.

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What is guerilla marketing? Why is it important, and relevant, to small business owners?

Today's definition of guerilla tactics are to strike the market hard, strike fast, get in, and get out. And do not let your competition see you coming.

(The phrase comes from 'guerilla warfare'; the type of in and out tactic used in hostile situations.)

The original term came from marketing author, Jay Conrad Levinson.

It was the title and subject of a book he wrote in 1984.

To summarize his concepts, this approach or marketing tactic focuses on low cost, and fast-to-market, promotions. These marketing campaigns are often highly successful when very specifically targeted.

These marketing mix promotions require marketers with creativity and energy to break down the fairly large and comprehensive task of marketing, and building the right marketing mix, into smaller, more do-able pieces.

Some Call It, Mistakenly, Gorilla Marketing.

guerilla marketing

And while marketing of any type or style can seem and feel like a monkey on your back (particularly to non-marketers), guerrilla tactics are really a creative and fast marketing style that is well suited to small businesses - if the organization can mobilize and stay focused on one (rather than many) objectives for the campaign (the very nature of fast, in/out approaches requires a narrow focus for success).

The agility of small business and the ability of small business owners to use decision making tips and problem solving techniques to take quick action, allow this marketing tactic to work well.

Additionally, small businesses are typically much closer to their customers and therefore are more likely to be able to read and translate customer needs into a fast-action, high impact marketing plan.

The very nature of marketing from a tactical guerrilla approach has resulted in a good fit with small business marketing plans.

Small business owners can not afford the big marketing and advertising budgets of big business, but the very entrepreneurial nature of small business owners lends itself very well to guerrilla marketing techniques.

Some Key Marketing Tactics that are
'Guerilla' in Approach:

  • To build a marketing plan and marketing mix program using psychographics;

  • To be low cost and/or low budget in the marketing application;

  • To focus not only on sales, but primarily on increasing profit;

  • To focus the majority of attention on existing customers first: grow sales with them;

  • Once existing customers are grown to the maximum, to find new customers through referrals;

  • Do not focus on your competitors: focus on building alliances, business networks and partnerships with businesses that can help you grow and profit;

  • Tactically, to use a variety of marketing tools; such as a direct marketing campaign; public relations program; website content development; social media campaigns (which are often low-cost and quick implementations); and more;

  • and finally, to be both unconventional and creative in creating your marketing plan.

Guerilla Marketing is one approach to small business marketing; there are many approaches. It is a marketing strategy that can be very effective, low cost and focus your efforts on quick, creative tactics that help you build a strong marketing mix promotional campaign. However to use this tactic successfully, you need to be very aware of your market, your competitors (and their actions), and your customers (or prospective customers).

This type of marketing is all about being agile and quick and knowledgeable enough to make changes as necessary (because your competitors may be following in your footsteps and you need to be able to stay ahead of them.)

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Additional Reading:

Understand Competition Analysis and how to manage your competitive tactics.

You need to use an effective market research process to segment and target your market.

Use a Marketing Plan Outline to develop an effective strategic direction.

Find out the Importance and Definition of Marketing.

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Marketing and Life–Cycle

Marketing is a requirement for all businesses: without marketing strategies and tactics your business will struggle to survive.

Not all marketing activities are planned: you might be building your brand recognition through a social media campaign (that's marketing); you might be conducting market research to analyze your competitors and/or segment and target your potential market or to develop the most desirable features, advantages and benefits of your products or services (that's all marketing).

Marketing is pretty all–encompassing; and a challenge for many business owners. The additional challenge is recognizing that the different stages of your business life–cycle: start–up, mid–cycle, mature or late–in–life.

During start–up you need to develop your marketing strategies to grow sales; for example, you might want to use a market penetration pricing strategy to build sales quickly.

During mid–cycle, you need to grow your customer base (often through lead generation) and that need requires different marketing strategies, such as cold calling on prospective clients, email marketing, newsletter and blog sign ups and distribution (all to grow your list of prospects).

During the mature cycle, you need to build your marketing efforts around your brand; your competitive advantage can be in your reputation, history, and identity and on what differentiates your business from your competitors.

Marketing your products and services is not something that you do once (such as a marketing plan) and then never change or do again. You need to be continually researching and building your strategies and tactics to be ahead of the market, and ahead of your competition.

The market is constantly evolving; ever more rapidly with the impacts of globalization and technology. You need to invest resources into marketing to ensure that you build and sustain your business.

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If you need support in your marketing efforts, or if you'd like a review of your marketing plan, contact us for more information on our marketing services.

If marketing is not your core strength, or if you don't have enough staff to commit to developing your marketing efforts (and acting on the plan), outsourcing your marketing strategy and implementation will allow you to concentrate on developing your business.

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