“Guerrilla marketing is unconventional, non-traditional, not by-the-book, and extremely flexible.”
By Justine P. Castellon
REPOST from Entrepreneur Philippines Magazine, October 2007
Highly acclaimed author of the biggest selling series of marketing books in history, Jay Conrad Levinson spoke about what he calls the 100 different weapons of guerrilla marketing and the 20 ways that this type of marketing differs from traditional marketing at “The Guerrilla Marketing Conference 2007-Jay Conrad Levinson Live!” in Makati City. The “Guerrilla Marketing” conference was produced and organized by Salt & Light Ventures Inc.
Levinson also shared with his participants the various ways of acquiring the personality of a successful guerrilla marketer.
According to Levinson, guerrilla marketing is unconventional, non-traditional, not by-the-book, and extremely flexible. He said that guerilla marketers focus on profits as a yardstick for marketing success rather than giving too much attention to foot traffic, consumer responses, or gross sales. They don’t ignore customers after selling to them; instead, they are fervently devoted to customer follow-up.
And they practice what he calls the art of ”fusion marketing,” which means cooperating with fellow entrepreneurs and helping one another. “Instead of believing that single marketing weapons like advertising work, guerrillas know that only combinations of marketing weapons really work,” he said.
How guerrillas launch their attack
In a one-on-one pre-conference interview with Entrepreneur Philippines, Levinson emphasized that when marketing guerrillas launch their attack, they should never take anything for granted lest they fall into the pit of self-satisfaction. “You spend a relatively brief time developing the attack and inaugurating it, but you have to spend the life of your business maintaining, monitoring, and improving your attack,” he said. “Never forget that other very smart and motivated competitors are studying you and doing their utmost to surpass you in the marketing arena.”
He explained that marketing guerrillas thrive and prosper because they understand the deeper meanings of the phrases “customer base” and “long term commitment,” and they know that “relationship marketing” is more than just a buzz phrase.
“So no matter how successful your attack, never lose contact with your customers,” he said during the interview. “If you do, you lose your competitive advantage over huge companies that just have too many layers of bureaucracy to maintain effective personal contact. Guerrilla marketing is always authentic marketing and it never feels like selling, and to do it right you never should act or feel impersonal.”
The ways of the guerrilla entrepreneurs
During the conference proper, Levinson summed up the goals of the 21st century guerrilla entrepreneur as follows: “Work that is satisfying, enough money to enjoy freedom from worrying about it, health good enough to take for granted, a bonding with others where you give and receive love and support, fun that is not pursued but is in the essence of daily living, and longevity to appreciate with wisdom that which you have achieved.”
He also reminded the conference participants that marketing is a never-ending process. “You can’t stop,” he said. “Otherwise, people would easily forget about you since there are plenty of new players coming in the market. Marketing has a beginning and a middle but never an end, for it is a process. You may improve it, perfect it, change it, even pause in it, but you should never stop it completely.”
10 Steps to Succeed with a Guerrilla Marketing Attack
1. Research market, product, media, competition, industry, prospects, customers, technology, benefits, and the Internet.
2. Write benefits list and select or invent competitive advantages.
3. Select weapons: priorities, date, person.
4. Create a marketing plan—force-focus with seven sentences:
- First tells purpose of your marketing
- Second tells how to achieve purpose, stressing benchmarks
- Third tells target audience or audiences
- Fourth tells marketing weapons you’ll use
- Fifth tells your niche in the marketplace
- Sixth tells your identity
- Seventh tells your marketing budget as percent of projected gross sales
5. Make “Guerrilla Marketing” calendar: 12 rows, 5 columns:
6. Find fusion-marketing partners (co-marketing) with the same prospects
7. Launch in slow motion: comfort financially and emotionally
8. Maintain attack. Most money is lost in this one area
9. Keep track: know bull’s-eyes from misses
10. Improve using new knowledge in all areas: message, media, budget, results
The 17 MONUMENTAL SECRETS OF GUERRILLA MARKETING
1. COMMITMENT. You should know that a mediocre marketing program with commitment would always prove more profitable than a brilliant marketing program without commitment. Commitment makes things happen.
2. INVESTMENT. Marketing is not an expense, but an investment—the best investment available today if you do it right. With the 17 secrets of guerrilla marketing to guide you, you’ll be able to do it right.
3. CONSISTENT. It takes a while for prospects to trust you. If you change your marketing approach, your media, and your identity indiscriminately, you’d be hard to trust. Restraint is a great ally of the guerrilla. Repetition is another.
4. CONFIDENT. In a nationwide test to determine why people buy, price came in fifth; selection, fourth; service, third; quality, second, and, first, confidence. People said they patronize businesses in which they are confident.
5. PATIENT. Unless the person running your marketing is patient, it would be difficult to practice commitment, to view marketing as an investment, to be consistent, and to make prospects confident. Patience is a guerrilla virtue.
6. ASSORTMENT. Guerrillas know that individual marketing weapons rarely work on their own. But marketing combinations do work. A wide assortment of marketing tools is thus required to woo and win customers.
7. CONVENIENT. People now know that time is not money; it is far more valuable than money. Respect this by being easy to do business with, and by running your company for the convenience of your customers, not for yourself.
8. SUBSEQUENT. The real profits come after you’ve made the sale, and they come in the form of repeat and referral business. Non-guerrillas think marketing ends when they’ve made the sale. Guerrillas know that’s when marketing begins.
9. AMAZEMENT. There are elements of your business that you take for granted, but prospects would be amazed if they knew the details. Be sure all of your marketing always reflects that amazement. It should always be there.
10. MEASUREMENT. You can actually double your profits by measuring the results of your marketing. Some weapons hit the bull’s-eye. Others miss the target. Unless you measure, you won’t know which is which.
11. INVOLVEMENT. This describes the relationship between you and your customers—and it is a relationship. You prove your involvement by following up; they prove theirs by patronizing and recommending you.
12. DEPENDENT. The guerrilla’s job is not to compete but to cooperate with other businesses. Market them in return for them marketing you. Set up tie-ins with others. Become dependent to market more and invest less.
13. ARMAMENT. Armament is defined as “the equipment necessary to wage and win battles.” The armament of guerrillas is technology: computers, current software, cellular phones, pagers, and fax machines. If you’re technophobic, see a techno-shrink.
14. CONSENT. In an era of nonstop marketing, the key to success is to first gain consent to receive your marketing materials, then to market only to those who have given you that consent. Don’t waste money on people who don’t give it to you.
15. CONTENT. It used to be said, “Sell the sizzle and not the steak.” That means that you should sell the sound of the steak, not the steak itself. This isn’t true anymore because consumers have become more sophisticated and smarter than before. So don’t talk about the style; instead, talk about the content because that’s what people want to see. Show them real things they actually can use.
16. AUGMENT. To succeed online, augment your website with offline promotion, constant site maintenance, participation in newsgroups and forums, e-mail, chatroom attendance, article postings, conference hostings, and rapid follow-ups.
17. IMPLEMENT. Act on all the things you have just learned. Nothing will happen if you don’t take action on them.