What is guerilla marketing?

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Guerilla marketing is a way of promoting products and services for companies that do not have a large budget. In return, however, it requires a huge amount of creativity and a tendency to take a marketing risk.

Will conventional forms of online advertising have to disappear one day? This is evidenced by many studies that say that as much as 95-98% of society is overloaded with information. In the crowd of advertising messages and banners, recipients begin to become resistant to the advertising message. The so-called Banner blindness, using AdBlock, switching commercials on TV and radio are the norm. In view of such difficulties, unconventional marketing methods arouse popularity and interest. Yet another approach requires B2B marketing carried out using the "guerrilla" method. In the following paragraphs you will learn what exactly guerilla marketing is and who can benefit from it.

What is guerilla marketing?

Guerilla marketing is literally guerrilla marketing. It means unconventional, unconventional, surprising, often controversial and memorable marketing. The name was inspired by the way of conducting guerrilla wars, where there is no regular army, long-term strategy or money for ultra-modern weapons.

Guerrilla marketing means the choice of unusual marketing activities that, in an ideal scenario, reach huge ranges with a relatively minimal budget. It is a set of activities that consciously deviate from the beaten paths and look for new, unconventional paths. Often it is just crossing boundaries that no one has ever dared to cross or had no idea how to do. Therefore, guerilla marketing, like a partisan unit, attacks by surprise and takes advantage of the shock induced.

Guerilla marketing - definition

Guerrilla marketing is a collection of unconventional ways to achieve conventional goals. It is a proven method of making profits with minimal financial outlays. (JC Levinson, "Guerilla Marketing", 2013)

Is it always worth using guerilla marketing?

Guerrilla marketing is a good solution when we don't have much time to promote or have a small budget. Guerilla marketing is a quick, unexpected action on a large scale that can bring phenomenal results. However, do they always hit the bull's eye? Unfortunately not.

The first exclusion is ignorance of your target audience. For guerilla marketing to be effective, it must perfectly match the preferences, expectations and interests of the recipients. The company should know the habits of its customers, the values they believe in, the things they like and the things they are interested in.

Thanks to this, the message created as part of guerrilla marketing will be authentic and natural. It will perfectly suit the tastes of the recipients. Knowing your target audience is decisive for the success or failure of a campaign. If the company has never tried to build strong relationships with its recipients, there is a risk that the advertisement will be received differently than expected. A mismatch between the message and the audience can cause a wave of indignation and criticism, which unfortunately is the easiest way to lose loyal customers.

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Guerrilla marketing is not a good solution for companies whose target groups prefer the classic approach to promoting a brand or its services / products. Conservative audiences will not be impressed by unconventional advertising and other unusual promotional practices. On the contrary, they can discourage customers from joining your business. In this case (as in the previous one), an excellent knowledge of the target group plays an important role.

Guerilla marketing is also not suitable for those businesses for which professional image is a fundamental value - companies that are burdened with high social responsibility. In this case, skilful planning of marketing campaigns counts. Advertising must not disturb corporate imagewhich was built meticulously over the years. Marketing should be based on a well-thought-out strategy assuming long-term development. Bold, unconventional steps can have negative consequences.

Guerilla marketing - types

Guerrilla marketing uses different forms of communication and employs a variety of tools. The popular branches of guerilla marketing include:

  • Ambient marketing. It is divided into two types: in the first, it is defined as a form of guerilla marketing, and in the second - as a completely separate area (the difference is a higher budget and display of the brand logo). Ambient marketing is one-time, non-standard campaigns with high potential for interaction with recipients. It is something fresh, surprising and out of the mainstream. Something that uses unusual message carriers - interactive bus shelters, interactive shop displays. In ambient marketing, advertising is evolving, it is a living organism.
  • Ambush marketing. It is otherwise known as deceptive marketing. It is included in the group of the most controversial forms of marketing, because it hovers on the verge of the law and raises ethical doubts. Ambush marketing is advertising a brand at events (usually sports) in which another company is the official sponsor. The advertisement does not present the brand directly. Using appropriate messages, it subtly activates the chain of associations that lead to the brand.
  • buzz marketing. It is indirect promotion tool based on a discreet presentation of the brand or its product/service. It can be compared to gossip, the purpose of which is to arouse the interest of the recipients. Buzz marketing fuels conversations about a topic between your audience.
  • Viral Marketing. Otherwise known as viral marketing. It is a fast dissemination of information on popular social media. The goal is to create hype around the brand or its product. Well-planned and properly conducted viral marketing can generate huge ranges. Viral Ads most often they take the form of funny content that subtly refers to the offer or brand. The message has a positive effect on emotions and people want to share it further.

Other guerilla marketing techniques include:

  • treaser release - a short advertising trailer,
  • flash-mob - action in a public place that engages passers-by,
  • early birds - special benefits for first customers,
  • city games - a game in which participants perform the assigned tasks in a designated place (e.g. the game board is a city),
  • lifestyle insert - advertisements that show the use of the product in everyday life.

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Guerilla marketing - challenges and advantages

Preparing an effective message is a real challenge. Creativity is what counts in guerilla marketing. Advertising must be unconventional and inventive. It should be something new, surprising, innovative, and unique in its own way. Something no one else has done yet.

Guerilla marketing gives you a chance to communicate with your audience in a bold, non-standard and engaging way. However, good timing is essential for this. You need to surprise your target group, and at the same time remember to maintain good taste and ethical principles. In guerilla marketing you can use trends and news. A well-prepared, inventive advertisement will be best received on time.

In order to create an effective message, in-depth knowledge of the target group is necessary - as we mentioned earlier. Without it, you can't do good guerrilla marketing. An advertisement prepared as part of guerilla marketing is a wink for attentive observers. This is something that shows them that the brand knows them very well and fosters relationships with them.

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When creating guerrilla marketing, one cannot forget about the naturalness, authenticity and lightness of the message. Modern consumers are sensitive to falsehood. They will quickly sense it in the advertisement, which may have a negative impact on the brand image.

Guerrilla advertising is an action with a message, in line with the values of the brand, matching its vision, identity, and perfectly matching the specificity of the message channel. You only have one chance in guerilla marketing. The message must be perfect the first time. Not fully thought out or poorly prepared advertisement will bring failure instead of success.

Well-conducted guerilla marketing can bring you many benefits. Its greatest advantages include:

  • a chance to surprise recipients, gain their trust, strengthen positive relations between the company and customers,
  • low campaign costs, and at the same time a chance to generate high profits,
  • increasing brand recognition on the market, building brand awareness, a chance to attract new customers,
  • possibility of construction and maintenance competitive advantage on the market - the company can gain a stable position in the industry, stand out from the competition.

Who is guerrilla marketing for?

By definition, guerrilla marketing is the best and often also a necessary marketing method for small and underfunded companies. This is also how it is written about it in Poland. are this is in reality? Not completely. In fact, guerrilla marketing is more often used by large brands that can afford to hire the most creative advertising campaign specialists. This form of advertising a company requires really brilliant ideas and their flawless implementation. The owner of a small family business is unlikely to have the will to think about a controversial marketing campaign that has not yet been seen in his industry. Therefore, the willingness to use very effective guerrilla marketing by its way often requires the employment of marketing specialists.

Why is it necessary to cooperate with a marketing company? Nowadays it's common in the area marketing communication there is a fierce battle between companies. Entities compete for customers not even with the product or price itself, but with the use of a marketing approach. Especially if they want to reach a young audience who functions in the virtual world as intensely as in the real world. Boring marketing, repetitive advertising with a predictable scenario and message are the opposite of guerilla marketing. Here you really need to show your idea and implement it well. Therefore, you need to have some money to start, although this budget may actually be small, and still sufficient. There are dozens of examples of such activities both on foreign and Polish markets.

Guerilla marketing - Polish examples

Guerrilla marketing itself has many implementations and branches. You can read on the Internet, for example, about ambient marketing, viral marketing or ambush marketing. However, they are all quite risky, which is why guerrilla marketing is not a method for amateurs. It is simply, as the saying goes, crisis-producing. In order to implement it effectively and achieve the expected results, it is necessary to carefully consider all the paths in which the campaign may go. Of course, you shouldn't lose sight of the real goal, too measuring the level of sales specific products or services.

For example, the Reserved campaign did not end well. The brand acquired thousands of Internet users by publishing a pseudo-amateur video of a beautiful girl who wanted to find a Pole, whom she fell in love with at a concert in Poland. When the truth came out, people felt deceived, and attempts to justify the campaign as effective, because it was loud, were useless.

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But there are also good examples to follow, especially social advertising. At one time, there was a lot of talk about the campaign with Bartłomiej Topa launched by the SYNAPSIS Foundation to help people with autism. On the Internet you can also find dozens, if not hundreds, of examples of guerilla marketing performed by foreign companies, but mainly corporations.


Guerrilla marketing is by definition a marketing method that uses unconventional messages and tools such as viral or ambush marketing. Its aim is to collect the greatest possible response among the recipients of the advertisement by being intrigued, surprised and even shocking. In fact, however, there are many implementations of guerilla marketing. All you need is a good idea and its efficient implementation. The most important thing is creativity and the ability to predict social moods. Therefore, it is best to entrust the implementation of this type of marketing to professionals.

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