September 16, 2009

Marketing In A Recession... Go Guerilla!

In recessionary times, even the biggest companies need to take a leaf from the efforts of smaller enterprises and market more effectively and in new venues. They MUST be more creative in their use of time, energy, and imagination.
That has led to the rise of guerilla marketing.
I have always been a big fan of Guerilla Marketing because of it's ability to directly touch target consumers. In my current role directing the marketing strategies of a large corporation which employs hundreds of independent contractors I have stepped up Guerilla Marketing education, particularly at targeted public events.
In your case you are speaking of the same. I feel experiential marketing is the most effective Guerilla Marketing tactic because of its ability to engage consumers with your brand immediately and, when done correctly, reaches them at a time when they are in a positive frame of mind which drastically increases recall and retention rates. ( offers the following Guerilla Marketing ideas that anyone can quickly put into practice:
Consumers are more likely to listen to a marketing message about a particular business if it comes from another company, asserts Tom Richard, author of Smart Sales People Don't Advertise: 10 Ways to Outsmart Your Competition with Guerilla Marketing. "If you have a marketing budget of $2,000, go find nine other people who have a marketing budget of $2,000, and together spend $20,000 on the best promotion ever done in your town," he says. "You get the benefits of a $20,000 marketing campaign."
Stunt Marketing
Done right, the appeal of this guerilla marketing strategy is that it leaves a lasting impression. For example, Gary's Uptown Restaurant and Bar in Lodi, Calif., once ran a special on Wednesdays where bald men ate for free; other hair-challenged patrons were given discounts. It generated worldwide media attention. "That goes to show that you really can do something fantastic if you have the creativity behind it," says Colleen Wells, coauthor of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Guerilla Marketing.
Experiential/Event Marketing
A few years ago after a 40+ year career in sports journalism with a focus on horseracing, my Father became Executive Editor of the new website (  While this site quickly gained equine enthusiasts it is also designed for the weekend fan and the site needed to reach this core. During one of the most popular meets in the Country, horseracing at Saratoga Racecourse during the peak of summer, I suggested my Father invest in thousandsof branded hand-held fans. Street teamers canvased each entrance of the racetrack and distributed these fans to people embarking on a day at the races. Not only was this potential new audience for HRI extremely greatful for a tool to keep them cool in 95+ degree weather, but the fans proved walking billboards throughout the racetrack and sparked conversation among those who didn't have one... "WOW, where did you get that, I'm so hot!" Finally, the tangible aspect of this piece remained in the hands of these potential new consumers. And all for less than $.05 each!
A Smile and A Handshake
That might not sound like guerilla marketing, but author Mitch Meyerson believes it's the first step in building a tighter bond with customers. "You could spend a few thousand dollars buying a classified ad and direct people to call you, but if someone in your business is having a bad day and they pick up the phone and have a crabby tone of voice, the prospect will not be interested [in your product or service," he says. "The first rule in successful guerilla marketing is to be upbeat and helpful every single time you have contact with the public. People fall short in this area quite consistently."
In the states, ( is an excellent resource to search over 150,000 events and attractions with select criteria. Best part... it's FREE!
What are you doing to save on Marketing dime?

By Jennifer Pricci