Guerilla marketing: tips from the Detroit-born marketer who invented the term.

Author:Raphael, Steve

Guerilla marketing--also known as convergent marketing--is considered by industry experts to be the perfect tool for companies with small budgets but big imaginations.

In effect, it provides an element of surprise by using unconventional marketing tactics. Guerilla marketing has taken on a greater role in marketing campaigns in recent years thanks to the Internet with its reliance on speed, precision and cost effectiveness.

Guerilla marketers often employ clever and imaginative programs to target a smaller group of consumers within a larger mass audience. To be effective, guerilla marketing must complement traditional advertising/marketing campaigns including media placement.

The term entered the advertising lexicon in 1984 when Detroit native Jay Conrad Levinson wrote his book on guerilla marketing. Levinson says he chose the word "guerilla" because guerrilla fighters seek "conventional goals, but must use unconventional means. I figured that is also true of start-up and small business marketers."

In essence, guerrilla marketing differs from traditional marketing in the following ways:

* It is oriented to giving (especially information), not taking.

* It is geared to small businesses.

* It promotes marketing combinations--single weapons don't work.

* It uses profits as the main yardstick because sales, traffic and high response rates aren't a true measure of performance.

* It values relationships over sales and individuals over groups.

8 tips for a successful guerrilla marketing attack

  1. Research the market, product, media, competition, industry, prospects, customers and technology.

  2. Create a marketing plan.

  3. Find marketing partners with the same prospects.

  4. Launch in slow motion, taking months to launch your whole attack so that you can feel financial and emotional comfort.

  5. Once you start, maintain your attack. More money is lost by companies abandoning campaigns than by any other cause.

  6. Keep track of your campaign: know hits from misses. Ask each customer where they heard of you, Eliminate the losers.

  7. Always improve in all areas, such as your message, media and budgets.

  8. Understand your powers and limitations. Marketing gives you new power but it also has inherent limitations.

Source: Jay Levinson, author of "Guerilla Marketing."

Guide to marketing


Adcraft Club of Detroit

Phone: (313) 872-7850



American Marketing Association--Detroit

Phone: (248) 593-6540


To continue reading