The word “Guerilla” sounds pretty intense, right? It conjures up images of war, blood and rebellion. 

Fortunately, “Guerilla Marketing” is nothing like that, although it’s definitely inspired by it. Just like guerilla fighters who use unorthodox tactics to surprise their opponents, guerilla marketing uses creative, unconventional and surprising strategies to shock their audiences and promote their products. In today’s day and age, it’s a must-do for every established and up-and-coming company. 

Because it’s such an extraordinary form of marketing, it is hard to put it into a box. It has no strict definition and several varieties and examples which can get difficult and exhausting to understand.

To make things easier for you, here are 5 types of guerilla marketing to look out for:

 

AMBIENT MARKETING:

Ambient marketing tends to interrupt the normal flow of life with some kind of promotion. These generally occur in natural environments like gardens or public surroundings like crosswalks or bus benches, and can be both outdoors and indoors. Rather than more explicit forms of marketing, which can get exceedingly boring after a point, ambient marketing is both strikingly subtle and startlingly noticeable. 

For example, KitKat turned ordinary shaped public benches into ones shaped like their chocolate bars. This surprised and pleased passers-by, which created a positive impression of KitKat in their minds.

 

AMBUSH MARKETING:

Ambush Marketing is the ultimate hijack. It is an ambitious marketing tactic where a company interrupts an already planned event and audience when their own message or promotional action. This is very popular with event sponsorships and has two brilliant effects: it forces another company – who may even be a competitor – to share its platform with you, and it drives attention to your brand because of the diversion you created. It’s a win all-around.

For example, remember the 1996 Cricket World-Cup? While Coke was the original sponsor, Pepsi released a spectacular ad, “Nothing About It”, which basically hijacked the entire event.

 

EXPERIENTAL GUERILLA MARKETING:

Experiential marketing provides its customers with experiences that they can engage and interact with. This means that companies invite their customers to be active participants in marketing campaigns rather than traditionally passive consumers of marketing messages. In order to accomplish this, their marketing strategies need to be creative, eye-catching and absolutely irresistible. If done right, they help increase the customers’ emotional attachment and investment to the company, securing brand loyalty.

For example, in response to a Facebook fan group called “I wanna have a sleepover in Ikea”, Ikea UK hosted an actual sleepover in its Essex store in 2011. 100,000 people joined the group, and Ikea gave 100 a chance to stay-over in their warehouse, with manicures, massages, and an expert-on-hand to help people choose new mattresses. 

 

GRASSROOTS MARKETING:

It’s like they say: slow and steady wins the race. Rather than appealing to the widest range of people you possibly can, grassroots marketing takes the opposite approach. It wins over a small block of target customers and hopes that their enthusiasm will spread to a much larger audience. This type of marketing may take the most time to produce results, but it’s also the cheapest and most spectacularly successful strategy in the long-term.

Grassroots marketing can be achieved by word-of-mouth communication, door-to-door marketing, emotional triggers, and offering some customers product samples, among others.

 

WILD POSTING:

As far as guerilla marketing techniques go, this one is fairly straightforward. It’s an outdoor marketing method where an extremely large number of posters are placed in urban areas. These areas can include buildings, store windows, lamp-posts, billboards, etc. These posters must be striking, visual and striking against the otherwise-dull background.

However, there’s a catch. Wild posting actually began as an illegal form of marketing and is still highly disapproved of by the authorities of several places. That’s exactly why it fits the bill as a type of guerilla marketing, though you must make sure that you understand the legalities of this method before going forward with it.

This type of guerilla marketing is usually used for concerts, movie releases and product launches.

 

Guerilla marketing can seem incredibly scary or stressful, especially if you’re used to the more traditional forms of marketing. However, don’t be afraid to give it a try, because it has the potential to work wonders for your company and your marketing strategies in the future.

Out with the old and in with the new, right.