For the release of their album “Year Zero” in 2007, hard rock band Nine Inch Nails wanted to prove to their record label that a huge marketing budget was not necessary.
So, what they did was leave flash drives – the kind you can get for a couple of pounds these days – in the bathroom stalls of the concert venues they played in. The drives contained a song from the then-unreleased “Year Zero” album as well as an image detailing the album’s release details.
The song was well received, the strategy was great, and they leaked onto the internet and spread like wildfire. Hype for the new record was built, with a marketing budget of less than one hundred pounds.
This is guerrilla marketing; a highly effective, highly creative, incredibly low cost strategy that can get your product or service in front of your customers.
Regardless of what you are selling, there is something to be done to raise brand awareness.
When Japanese videogame titan Nintendo wanted to promote their new console, they made pixel art of their characters…with post it notes in public places. Can you imagine how much mileage they got out of this little stunt? It’s all about being creative and catching people’s attention.
Traditional advertisement can even be detrimental at times. If you go on Youtube and see the same ad for 4 videos in a row there is a good chance that you as a member of the audience are going to end up hating the product being advertised. It won’t let you get to content you actually want.
A good guerrilla marketing campaign doesn’t only raise brand awareness, but also entertains potential customers. Sure, you can buy an ad on a bus stop that has the name of your shop and advertises winter coats at 20% percent off, but the return on investment is going to be very low.
Ads like these are incredibly common place and easy to ignore. Most people just see them as a part of the urban landscape, and ignore the message. But if you do something that’s new, innovative and eye catching then the people passing by will not be able to ignore it. A customer that chuckles or thinks to him or herself “oh that’s nice” is an engaged customer who is likely to remember that ad and associate it with the brand.
If you want to do something that causes a more long lasting impression, then you can consider simply handing promotional products; not traditional ones like fliers and business cards that can easily end up in a rubbish bin. You have to try something new and creative.
Added entertainment value is at the core of guerrilla marketing. People talk about something entertaining for days, maybe even months and that is what you are looking for.
That is why demos work so well if you are selling software; you are promoting your product and giving people a taste of something that’s fun, relevant or useful to them, not just telling them that it exists.
The key to guerrilla marketing is simple: think outside of the box. The greatest marketing strategies are those that have innovated the business of publicity and advertisement.
Not even huge established brands stick to the tried and true all the time. What you can do for your brand that has the potential to blow people’s minds? Once you have an idea you will be on your way to a successful guerrilla marketing campaign