Guerilla Marketing Lessons for Startups

Guerilla Marketing Lessons for Startups

You will probably find a lot of instructions online on how to devise a productive guerilla marketing strategy and plan. Certainly, all marketing tactics are well studied, implied and examined, and you should probably consult an actual analyst to get a professional opinion about your own guerilla marketing venture. Or you can actually succeed by creating something innovative and astonishing.

The beautiful thing about guerilla marketing is that you can actually express your confidence and pride, your belief in your product, and actually feel good about it. So the key thing you have to do is forget all the rules and think outside the box.

Of course, there are some more specific things you may want to pay attention to.

Set the budget

Setting the budget is one of the essential steps simply because it prevents you from getting carried away later. For example: pushing a brand new Lamborghini Gallardo off the cliff is a bold statement and, with you in the front, it may well help delivering the message that you “care about people and not material things.” Now, that’s certainly a great way to cause some commotion and get the attention of the press. Yet, at the same time, this is a $250, 000 machine we are talking about, and if you have that sort of money to waste you should probably look for a better investment or a cause.

So before you decide to get wild out there, take a look at those numbers and consult your financial adviser, just to make sure that you’re not stepping over your limit. Once you have the exact figure in front of you, stick to it. A good idea doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money, it needs to be creative, and that’s the whole point. Of course, it also needs to bring some measurable benefits, which is why you may also want to set key performance indicators that will help you assess the efficiency of your campaign.

Coming up with the idea

Don’t be too proud to ask for help, gather all your employees in a creative meeting and try to brainstorm with them. Listen to every idea, no matter how crazy it may sound.

In fact, crazy ideas and recognizable motives are exactly what you’re looking for. Something like FedEx did with Tom Hanks in that movie Castaway, which is a perfect analogy of the Lamborghini over the cliff story I mentioned earlier. With Tom Hanks being the expensive product in a predicament, and FedEx not caring about Tom Hanks as long as the package gets delivered and everybody’s happy.

If you need some inspiration, here is a thorough list of some of the world’s most imaginative projects in guerilla marketing. But do remember that you need to insist on originality because the last thing you want to is to get labeled as a plagiarizer. That’s a no-no, and your audience will certainly not appreciate it. While we are on the subject…

Stick to your guns

More than any other form of marketing, guerilla marketing requires originality, meaning that your message has to remain unique. After all, the ability to evoke a specific feeling or emotion in your audience is a key feature of a successful brand.

Therefore, if you are building a brand, you can’t expect that any message you send will get through to your audience. Instead, you need to nurture our relationships with them, respect their opinion and feedback, and inspire them to relate to your image more easily. This means that all your guerilla marketing messages need to share a single idea that encourages your audience to find ways to identify with your service or product. In simple words, don’t just concentrate on drawing attention, concentrate on the positive information. We are way past those times when any commercial was a good commercial, just to get you out there, in this modern day and age you have to be responsive and respectable if you want to sustain a business from falling apart.

With that mentioned, always promote your colors, your logo, or something that resembles it. You have to mimic your brand in general, so when people do notice your successfully executed mission, they immediately recognize your work and connect it to your product. Otherwise, why bother doing it.

The Element of Surprise

If you own a soda company, you literally want to pop out of the refrigerators boxes wherever your potential consumers might be. In fact, that’s a good suggestion, just go to the nearest Home Depot and stick your cold soda cans in refrigerators exhibited. You will probably get sued, but you will most probably get some media coverage as well. When the press comes, simply tell them that you couldn’t stand watching a fridge without a cold and refreshing beverage in it.

No matter what you do, always keep in mind that people have to be surprised and amazed by your project. Inspire them to identify with you, let them know that you are a bold entrepreneur, driven by action and that you believe in yourself and in your product. People relate to that.


At the end of the day, you should let everyone know what you did and how proud you actually are. No matter if you have a personal brand, a company, or any form of business, you need to get online and make sure that you get the story covered for your audience. Offer discounts for those who tag the photos of your project, connect them to your Facebook and Twitter profiles and, of course, your brand’s website. As the only domain extension that is actually about you and your brand, .ME is an excellent way to personalize your brand and all the subsequent marketing strategies.

Link all the press that you get, and while we are on the subject, let them know what to expect before your event actually starts. One final piece of advice is, of course, to always rely on professional help, no matter if it’s building a project, taking photos of it, or getting it online.

So suit up in your camouflage colors and get out there! Happy marketing, entrepreneurs.


Sarah Green

Sarah Green explores the latest web trends and covers stories related to technology, startups and digital life in general. Writing professionally since 2012, she has developed a sixth sense for trending topics in these fields.

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