Guerrilla Marketing: A Cheaper Alternative
So you've spent an enormous amount on advertising in the media
and got very little response -- or maybe you were scared enough
by the prices that you never put the ads there to begin with.
You're annoyed at how expensive it is to get even the simplest
and smallest ad in front of anyone, and how useless the whole
thing seems to be.
That's because media advertising, in the main, isn't designed
to cater to home businesses. No, if you want to get ahead as a
home business, you're going to have to do the advertising
What is Guerrilla Marketing?
Guerrilla marketing is a way of advertising when you have an
almost non-existent budget. Instead of thinking of your
business as a smaller version of a big one, you have to realise
the situation you're in, and behave accordingly to maximise your
profits while minimising your marketing costs. Essentially,
you're going to try to do anything to get publicity.
Don't worry, I'm not talking about telemarketing of the nasty
call centre variety here. It's B2B (business-to-business)
telemarketing you want to be doing -- basically, phoning up
local businesses and making yourself known. You'll be surprised
at just how effective this can be, since businesses tend to
appreciate the effort you've made to contact them and offer
your services far more than a customer does if a business
phones them at home.
It shouldn't be too difficult to get hold of a mailing list
that covers your whole area -- ask your local post office if
you're unsure, as they'll often be able to help with bulk mail
campaigns. Alternatively, if you don't even want to pay for
delivery, you could hire a few local teenagers to go round
putting your letters in people's mailboxes. This will work best
if you keep your message to one small page or even just a
business card, so that people will keep it if they're
interested and call you in their own time.
Another effective guerrilla marketing technique, at least for
some kinds of business, is to hang around outside giving out
leaflets to passers-by. This gives you an opportunity to 'meet
and greet' people, and lets you do some free targeted
advertising by choosing your location carefully. If you do odd
jobs in people's houses, for example, you could stand outside
the DIY store, handing out leaflets that say 'Why Do It
Yourself? I'll assemble and install everything you buy today
for only $50!' If you custom build and sell your own computers,
you could stand outside a big-box computer store with this
leaflet: 'Get your computer tailor-made, for half the price of
[big store]'. You get the idea.
You'd be surprised just how effective it can be to stand around
handing out free gifts. If you do something that relates to
children, then hand out balloons to them in the mall. You'll
make some kids' days, and your name and perhaps website address
will be written there on the balloon for all to see. Free pens
are a very effective thing to give away if you provide a more
serious business service -- people are always short of pens, so
they'll keep your pen in their bag and be reminded of your
business each time they use it. Even better, the cost of
getting thousands of balloons or pens printed with whatever you
want is almost nil.
Attack the Competitor.
Nasty as it might sound, hardcore guerrilla marketers regard
their competitor as their sworn enemy, and will do anything to
bring them down so that they can replace them in the
marketplace. A little disturbingly, this can be quite simple to
do -- fake a few letters complaining about a business to a local
newspaper, and you might find that they follow through and do a
feature on it without even checking the story out.
In the end, with guerrilla marketing, there are endless ideas
-- it's all about being inventive, and having the guts (and the
patience) to try them out. When you get your first customer
without buying a single media ad, it'll all be worth it.
About The Author: Mark Dodd is an internationally recognized
marketing expert. His blog can be found at