What Is Guerrilla Marketing? How to Apply Guerrilla Marketing to Business?

There are so many marketing strategies that you can use to increase sales. Starting from social media marketing, content marketing email marketing, to guerrilla marketing.

What is guerrilla marketing?

In this article, we will explain about this unique marketing strategy along with some examples. Let’s start the discussion!

What is Guerrilla Marketing?

Guerrilla marketing is a modern marketing strategy that uses the element of surprise in practice. The goal is to better attract the attention of the audience.

To run a guerrilla campaign, high creativity is needed in every promotional effort made. It’s quite challenging. However, the results often make the audience entertained by seeing the product offer advertisements displayed.

Currently, there are many businesses that use guerrilla marketing techniques. The reason is, besides being effective, this marketing strategy is also minimal in budget.

Why is that so? This is because the efforts made are more focused on related creativity, ideas, time, and energy. So, not prioritize the budget.

In addition, guerrilla marketing also tends to target campaigns to existing customers, rather than new customers. That’s because this campaign aims to increase customer bonding with the product and/or brand.

Also Read: Customer Retention: 11 Strategies to Increase Profit

Promotional efforts using Guerrilla marketing often go viral. The creative messages conveyed are often disseminated by word of mouth to the audience. This is a testament to the power of this marketing strategy.

Then, what are the advantages of Guerrilla Marketing?

3+ Guerrilla Marketing Advantages

Here are some of the advantages of guerrilla marketing that you need to know:

1. More Savings

Other marketing strategies may be costly in their efforts. Starting from making physical advertisements (billboards, flyers, brochures) and digital advertisements (social media ads).

It’s different with the guerrilla campaign. Even without a big budget promotion, you can still attract the attention of your audience better.

Colgate Guerrilla Marketing

One example is the strategy used by Colgate by cooperating with an ice cream company to make a stick in the shape of a toothbrush. Apart from sharing the cost of producing the sticks, the message conveyed was even more striking: “After eating ice cream, don’t forget to brush your teeth.”

2. Easier to go viral

Guerrilla Marketing campaigns are made with high creativity and sometimes humor in mind. So, it is more likely that the campaign will attract the attention of the audience and go viral than the ordinary one.

Red Bull Guerrilla Marketing

Take this Red Bull ad for example. Red Bull teamed up with Felix Baumgartner, an Austrian parachutist, to carry out a controversial stunt with the aim of promotion. Felix’s figure is considered to match the character of the Red Bull product, which emphasizes strength, courage and adrenaline.

3. More Memorable and Closer

A guerrilla marketing strategy can build strong feelings with the audience. So it is more effective to convey product promotional messages. Not infrequently the closeness of these emotions will encourage the establishment of good engagement.


Take the Bounty drink guerrilla campaign, for example . The Bounty promotion campaign was carried out in the middle of a bustling New York City street. The ad is enough to attract the attention of many people. Every now and then pedestrians who pass by stop to take photos with the promotional media used.

4. Suitable for Building Partnerships

Guerrilla marketing usually involves other businesses/organizations for collaboration. Besides the campaign can be run with a smaller budget, the audience reach can also be wider.

For example, Guerrilla marketing Microsoft Surface in collaboration with this local car wash business.

Microsoft x Car Wash campaign

Microsoft uses the wall of the car wash business as a means of guerrilla marketing. On the one hand, Microsoft gets the best location to show ads. On the other hand, the car wash business also benefits from getting exposure (more attention) from passers-by.

Weaknesses of Guerrilla Marketing

Despite the many advantages, guerrilla marketing also has some disadvantages, including:

    • The ideas presented may not be suitable for certain people.
  • The resulting advertising creativity can lead to misinterpretation (misunderstanding).
  • The manufacturing process takes time even though the implementation must be fast.

What is Marketing? What are the Best Marketing Strategies for Business?

5 Principles of Guerrilla Marketing

To be able to apply guerrilla marketing to your business, you must know and understand the principles first. Well, here are some guerrilla marketing principles that you can later use. Let’s see one by one!

1. Full of Surprises

Guerrilla marketing is run by giving a surprise effect to the audience. The trick is to use unusual ways and places. Thus, it will be easier to get the full attention of the audience.

2. Creative and innovative

The guerrilla marketing strategy emphasizes imagination, creative ideas, and innovative designs. By displaying new and unique promotional advertisements, many audiences will be interested in the message conveyed.

The end goal is to impress the audience and be interested in buying the product or doing what they want. For example, as shown below:

Nike Guerrilla Marketing

3. Low Budget

You don’t need a big budget to run a guerrilla campaign. Armed with creativity, you can reduce promotional costs. So, promotion efforts are more efficient either using digital or physical media as in the following example.

4. Temporary

A guerrilla marketing effort is meant to run for a certain period of time. Why? Because, if you use an idea that has already been used, the surprise effect will not appear.

The Jurassic Park movie promotion below is a good example. No one has ever transported this T-Rex replica on the River Thames in London. So, this promotion can be effective for the next promo of the same movie.

Jurassic Park

5. Give a positive effect

Guerrilla marketing comes with creative ideas that can entertain the target audience. Besides being a fun new experience, it can also provide value to the audience. For example, by giving a giveaway as part of a campaign. Or, create an educational campaign.

How to Apply Guerrilla Marketing to Your Business?

In the previous section, you learned the principles of guerrilla marketing and some examples. So, now is the time to learn these tips for implementing guerrilla marketing in your business!

1. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is a key step in Guerrilla Marketing. You know what content is right for them and the best way to deliver it. This will make it easier to create content as well.

Well, to be able to recognize the audience and their psychology, you can do research or surveys first.

Also read: What is a Buyer Persona? Why is it Important for Business Success?

2. Customize Your Business

Do you want to make a viral marketing video? Or do you want to use a clandestine marketing strategy? Ultimately, the type of guerrilla marketing strategy you choose should be tailored to your type of business, resources, needs, and campaign idea.

If your business is still growing, use guerrilla marketing with a budget that is not too big. This ballet course advertisement can be a reference. Using promotional media such as ballet skirts, promotional efforts are carried out by distributing telephone numbers on the tassels.

Ballet Marketing Course

3. Determine the Budget

Using a Guerrilla campaign does tend to be cheaper. Origin, the strategy you use is right. Besides being able to save expenses, you will get multiple benefits.

We take the example of Guerrilla marketing from Samsung. Samsung By giving away the free Galaxy S9 to the villagers of Apple in the Netherlands, Samsung has launched an international promotional campaign regarding its rivalry with Apple. However, it is done at minimal cost.

So, if you have a limited budget for promotion but expect extraordinary effects, Guerrilla marketing is suitable for you.

4. Create Creative Ideas

Your guerrilla marketing efforts must be able to attract the attention of the audience with a surprise effect. Therefore, come up with fresh ideas that have never been used before. Because, if the same campaign occurs repeatedly, then the campaign is no longer effective.

Therefore, you must make a fresh marketing plan. Plus, don’t forget to arrange any promotional actions that will be taken. Of course so that the attraction of the audience can be directed to conversions.

The Sopranos HBO Campaign

For example, guerrilla marketing from the series The Sopranos. People will not think that the hand sticking out of the trunk of this taxi is a marketing campaign. If you look closely, only then will people realize that this is a promotion for a film on HBO about a mafia boss.

5. Set up Call-to-Action

If you want maximum results, the guerrilla marketing that you run must have Call-to-Action. There are various ways. You can do a giveaway, give a discount coupon. Or by providing a link containing a form containing information that they can fill out.

That way, you can do follow-ups to boost sales .

This guerrilla campaign can be an example. Using a QR code dummy, they invite people to participate. Of course, in exchange for attractive prizes. In the end, this effort is effective enough to get potential customers to join your promotional program.

Also read: Increase Your Conversion Rate with these 5+ CTA Tips!


6. Focus on Small Groups

Targeting a business campaign to a smaller group can be an effective marketing strategy. Because, you can build a closer relationship with them. Thus, it can build stronger bonds with customers.


For example? Promotions carried out by M&Ms in this cinema room. In addition to building awareness, the placement of this promotion is appropriate. Because not infrequently the audience also enjoys snacks while the film is playing.

7. Create Clear and Short Messages

One of the keys to a successful guerrilla marketing campaign lies in the message you want to convey. So make sure the message you want to convey to your audience is clear and concise. Also use the right communication method so that the audience can be more easily invited to take action.

For example: The Sarova Hotel advert in Kenya, Africa which raises awareness about the importance of preserving this forest. Enough with the sentence Save The Trees and the presence of a leopard image above the city lights. The message is delivered right away, right?

Also read: Digital Marketing Definition, Advantages, Types and Strategies of Digital Marketing

Types and Examples of Guerrilla Marketing

In general, guerrilla marketing is divided into several types, according to the target, namely:

1. Ambient Marketing

Guerrilla marketing is a type of guerrilla marketing with messages placed close to the audience. It can be on sidewalks, train stations, malls, campuses, tourist attractions, and others. This strategy utilizes open space to attract the attention of many passers-by, or who use public facilities.

Ambient marketing usually uses media in the form of graffiti on building walls, stickers on electricity poles, or installations in public places. Like the example below:

KitKat deliberately painted a bench in one of the public spaces according to the shape and appearance of the product. This method will certainly quickly attract the attention of passers-by. It is not impossible that they will take photos and upload them on social media. That is, the message is able to build engagement well according to its purpose.

2. Ambush Marketing

As the name implies, ambush marketing is done by entering an event that is attended by a large audience. Thus, this marketing campaign can immediately attract attention and more easily convey product promotional messages. For example, like at a music concert or a sports match.

Ambush Marketing PSP

The photo above is an example of ambush marketing. By creating a field like their product, the PSP, Sony wants to remind the audience of the product.

Of course, with this guerrilla marketing technique, the audience will inevitably continue to pay attention to the PSP image throughout the event.

3. Stealth Marketing

Stealth marketing techniques are stealth marketing techniques. In this technique, usually the marketing of a product/advertisement is made less obvious. So that only an observant audience can understand that it is an advertisement for a product.

Now, consider the following example:

Stealth Marketing AX

As a product targeting an adult male audience, Ax wants to build the impression that their product can attract the attention of women. With stealth marketing, they apply this Guerrilla marketing technique to the toilet signboard. Quite unexpected, right?

5. Viral Marketing

As you know, an information can go viral because many people spread it. Likewise,viral marketing can quickly spread and get the attention of the audience.

This guerrilla marketing strategy leverages the power of social media to invite consumers and influencers to spread their product messages.

Viennetta Viral Marketing

For example, some time ago, Viennetta ice cream went viral on social media because it was reproduced. In fact, the original ad from its producer, Walls, is not visible because it is drowned out by so many memes from Netizens that keep popping up. It didn’t stop there, some people also continued to show off their Vienetta ice cream hunts on Instagram Stories.

So, it can be said that Vienneta’s viral marketing strategy was quite successful because it was able to get a large enough public attention.

Also read: Complete Guide to Social Media Marketing (2020)

It’s Time to Implement Guerrilla Marketing for Your Business

Guerrilla marketing can be more challenging to implement than other marketing strategies. That’s because this strategy requires a lot of innovation and creative ideas.

However, there is no need to worry. As long as you have a mature marketing plan , plus sufficient knowledge about the target audience, you will definitely be able to achieve success with this promotional strategy.

Guerrilla marketing can also be used by all types of businesses. Of course, by applying the steps and principles of guerrilla marketing that we have explained. Anyway, you can use the guerrilla marketing examples above as a source of inspiration.

What do you think? Are you ready to implement guerrilla marketing for your business? Also get a digital marketing ebook that discusses online marketing strategies in full. Free!

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