By Juby John
Edited by Anandita Malhotra
In a competitive and ever booming business world, “Marketing” is the ladder for a product’s success. No matter how valuable the product is, we need the charm of ‘Marketing’ to make it work. Recently, I came across a very nascent but crucial technique of marketing called “Guerrilla Marketing”. Believe me or not, but a successful Guerrilla Marketing way of promotion for a product can flip the coin on its side. So, what is guerrilla marketing? The answer to this question is the means by which you can create tremendous sales and marketing results by using creativity instead of large amount of money. Here, I quote the words of the founder of guerrilla marketing Jay Conrad Levinson:
“The soul and essence of guerrilla marketing remain as always achieving conventional goals, such as profits, with unconventional methods, such as investing in terms of energy instead of money.”
If you ever see a bus, car or mini bus painted in a very distinct manner, or a building painted in an unusual manner to promote a product or a service, for example a bus stop in US has been converted into an attractive furniture sitter, one may think that the designer has gone mad, or had ample time to waste upon non-sense things. Rather they were all using a well established strategy called guerrilla marketing.
This term was defined and coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his book ‘guerrilla marketing’ (1984). The term has since entered the popular vocabulary and marketing textbooks.
Let us have a quick look on the merits and demerits of guerrilla marketing.
Just one statement of Jay Conrad Levinson can describe all its merits which is ‘guerrilla marketing works because it is simple to understand, easy to implement and outrageously inexpensive.’
Demerits can be, in other marketing strategy you are investing a large amount of money but here you are investing a specific amount of time. So, if you want to flourish in just one night, it is not your cup of tea.
This strategy actually catches us off guard and causes an emotional response like laughter, shock or sadness which can become great sellers.
Dr. Mohammad Ali and Ravi Goriparthi conducted a research called ‘Guerrilla marketing- reaching the customer in an untraditional way’ published under Asia pacific journal of marketing and management review in which they claimed that ‘all individuals and organizations that are a part of marketing environment have experienced the guerrilla marketing as something positive and pioneering as it has changed their view on marketing, they have become more open minded to new creative ideas’. Guerrilla marketing is often ideal for small businesses that need to reach a large audience without breaking the bank. But now it is effectively used by big companies in grassroot campaigns to compliment on-going mass media campaigns. Individuals have also adopted this marketing style as a way to find a job or more work.
It has become pretty much popular in countries like Europe and US but in India, it is still in its infancy but yes, pacing well. Ultimately, in this ‘Jo dikhta hai woh bikta hai’ business world, companies need this new and creativity encouraging technique to build brand value.