Best practices

Marketing Strategy: Best practices for guerrilla marketing

Discover the most effective guerrilla marketing tactics to boost your brand's visibility and engagement.

Are you looking for unique ways to get your brand noticed without breaking the bank? Look no further than guerrilla marketing. This unconventional marketing approach is often low-cost but high-impact, making it an attractive option for businesses of all sizes. In this article, I will dive into the world of guerrilla marketing, exploring its key principles, benefits, successful campaign examples, and how you can develop your own successful strategy.

Understanding Guerrilla Marketing

Definition and Origins

Guerrilla marketing first emerged in the 1980s as a response to the increasing saturation of traditional advertising channels. The term was popularized by Jay Conrad Levinson's 1984 book "Guerrilla Marketing". The idea behind guerrilla marketing is to use unconventional tactics to grab attention in unexpected ways. It's all about thinking outside the box and finding ways to cut through the clutter.

One of the most famous examples of guerrilla marketing is the "Got Milk?" campaign. In 1993, the California Milk Processor Board wanted to increase milk consumption in the state. Instead of using traditional advertising methods, they created a memorable TV commercial featuring a man desperately trying to answer a radio contest question while eating a peanut butter sandwich without milk. The ad ended with the tagline "Got Milk?" and soon became a cultural phenomenon. The campaign was so successful that it was eventually adopted by other states and even other countries.

Key Principles of Guerrilla Marketing

So, what are the key principles behind a successful guerrilla marketing campaign? First, it needs to be impactful. It should make people stop, look, and engage with your brand. This can be achieved through eye-catching visuals, unusual locations, or unexpected interactions.

Second, it should be creative and unique. The idea is to come up with something that will generate buzz and get people talking. This can involve using humor, creating a memorable mascot, or staging a public event.

Third, it needs to have a viral potential. You want people to share your campaign and create a snowball effect. This can be achieved through social media, word-of-mouth, or even traditional media coverage.

Finally, it should be targeted. Your campaign should resonate with your target audience, otherwise, it's just a waste of resources. This means understanding your audience's interests, values, and behaviors, and creating a campaign that speaks directly to them.

Overall, guerrilla marketing can be a highly effective way to promote your brand, especially if you have a limited budget or are trying to stand out in a crowded market. By being creative, impactful, and targeted, you can capture people's attention and create a lasting impression.

Benefits of Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing is a unique and unconventional approach to marketing that relies on creativity, imagination, and a willingness to take risks. It's often associated with small businesses and startups, but it can be a powerful tool for any business looking to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Here are some of the benefits of guerrilla marketing:


One of the biggest benefits of guerrilla marketing is that it's often low-cost. With a bit of creativity and ingenuity, you can create a campaign that generates a big impact without a big budget. This makes it a great option for small businesses and startups looking to get noticed.

For example, instead of spending thousands of dollars on a traditional advertising campaign, a small business might create a series of eye-catching street art installations or a flash mob that draws attention to their brand. These tactics can be highly effective at generating buzz and getting people talking about your business.

Creativity and Innovation

Guerrilla marketing is all about doing things differently. It forces you to think outside the box and come up with innovative ideas that will capture people's attention. This can be a great way to differentiate your brand from the competition and build brand awareness.

For instance, a company might create a pop-up shop in an unexpected location, like a park or a subway station, to showcase their products and engage with potential customers. Or they might use augmented reality technology to create an interactive experience that brings their brand to life in a new and exciting way.

Viral Potential

Because guerrilla marketing campaigns are often surprising or unexpected, they have a higher likelihood of being shared on social media or going viral. This can help you reach a wider audience and generate buzz around your brand.

For example, a company might create a flash mob dance routine that's so entertaining and well-executed that it gets shared on social media by thousands of people. Or they might create a series of humorous videos that poke fun at their industry and go viral on YouTube.

Targeted Impact

By creating campaigns that resonate with your target audience, you can create a more meaningful and impactful experience. This can help build brand loyalty and drive customer engagement.

For instance, a company that sells eco-friendly products might create a guerrilla marketing campaign that highlights the environmental impact of traditional products and encourages people to make more sustainable choices. By targeting environmentally conscious consumers, they can create a powerful message that resonates with their audience and drives sales.

Overall, guerrilla marketing can be a highly effective way to build brand awareness, engage with customers, and stand out in a crowded marketplace. By leveraging creativity, innovation, and a willingness to take risks, businesses can create campaigns that generate buzz and drive results.

Successful Guerrilla Marketing Campaign Examples

Guerrilla marketing is a creative and unconventional approach to marketing that relies on surprise and creativity to grab people's attention. It is a low-cost, high-impact way of promoting a brand or product. Here are some successful guerrilla marketing campaigns that have made a big impact.

UNICEF Dirty Water Campaign

In 2014, UNICEF created a guerrilla marketing campaign to raise awareness about the lack of clean water in developing countries. They set up a water vending machine in New York City that dispensed dirty water in bottles with labels that read "Dirty Water". The campaign generated a big impact and got people talking about the issue.

The campaign was not only creative but also effective in raising awareness about the issue of clean water. According to UNICEF, 2.5 billion people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water. The campaign helped to bring attention to this important issue and encouraged people to take action.

Coca-Cola Happiness Machine

In 2010, Coca-Cola created a vending machine that dispensed more than just soda. The machine surprised customers by delivering everything from pizza to flowers, and even a giant sandwich. The video of the machine in action went viral, generating millions of views and creating a buzz around the Coca-Cola brand.

The campaign not only generated a lot of buzz but also helped to reinforce the brand's message of happiness. Coca-Cola has long been associated with happiness and the "Happiness Machine" campaign was a perfect way to reinforce that message. The campaign was also a great example of how a brand can use social media to create a viral campaign.

IKEA Subway Makeover

In 2014, IKEA transformed a Parisian subway station to look like one of their showrooms. They recreated living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms right on the platform. The campaign encouraged people to interact with the displays and generated a lot of interest both online and offline.

The campaign was a great example of how a brand can use guerrilla marketing to create an immersive experience for customers. By transforming a subway station into a showroom, IKEA was able to showcase their products in a unique and creative way. The campaign was also successful in generating a lot of buzz both online and offline, with many people sharing photos and videos of the displays on social media.

In conclusion, guerrilla marketing can be a powerful way to promote a brand or product. By using creativity and surprise, brands can generate a lot of buzz and create memorable experiences for customers. The UNICEF Dirty Water Campaign, Coca-Cola Happiness Machine, and IKEA Subway Makeover are just a few examples of successful guerrilla marketing campaigns that have made a big impact.

Developing Your Guerrilla Marketing Strategy

Guerilla marketing is a powerful way to get your brand noticed and generate buzz. It's a creative and unconventional approach that can help you stand out from the crowd and make a lasting impression on your target audience. However, developing a successful guerrilla marketing campaign requires careful planning and execution. Here are some key steps to consider:

Setting Clear Goals and Objectives

Before you start creating your guerrilla marketing campaign, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. Are you looking to build brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, or generate sales? Setting clear goals and objectives will help guide your strategy and ensure that you're getting the most out of your campaign.

For example, if your goal is to build brand awareness, you might focus on creating a memorable and eye-catching campaign that gets people talking. On the other hand, if your goal is to generate sales, you might focus on creating a campaign that drives people to your website or physical store.

Identifying Your Target Audience

Understanding your target audience is key to developing a successful guerrilla marketing campaign. You need to know what motivates them, what their pain points are, and what will resonate with them. This will help you create a campaign that speaks directly to your audience and generates a meaningful impact.

For example, if your target audience is young and tech-savvy, you might focus on creating a campaign that leverages social media and digital channels. On the other hand, if your target audience is older and more traditional, you might focus on creating a campaign that leverages print or outdoor advertising.

Selecting the Right Guerrilla Marketing Tactics

There are countless guerrilla marketing tactics you can use to get your brand noticed. Some popular examples include stunts, flash mobs, and pop-up events. However, it's important to choose tactics that align with your brand and your goals. You don't want to do something that feels gimmicky or out of place.

For example, if your brand is known for its sense of humor, you might consider creating a humorous campaign that gets people laughing. On the other hand, if your brand is known for its sophistication and elegance, you might consider creating a campaign that is more understated and refined.

Integrating Guerrilla Marketing with Your Overall Marketing Plan

Guerrilla marketing shouldn't be a stand-alone tactic. Instead, it should be integrated with your overall marketing plan. This means coordinating your message and branding across all channels - both online and offline. This will ensure that your guerrilla marketing efforts are aligned with your brand and driving the right outcomes.

For example, if you're running a social media campaign as part of your guerrilla marketing strategy, you should ensure that your messaging and branding are consistent across all your social media channels. Similarly, if you're running a print ad campaign, you should ensure that your messaging and branding are consistent across all your print ads.

By following these steps, you can develop a powerful and effective guerrilla marketing strategy that helps you achieve your goals and stand out from the competition.


Guerrilla marketing can be an effective way to get your brand noticed and generate buzz. By understanding the key principles, benefits, and tactics of guerrilla marketing, you can create your own successful campaigns that resonate with your target audience and achieve your marketing goals.