Guerilla Marketing: Less is more


The lack of inactivity here is a result of  of post-exam relaxation and a bit of a pondering about the focus of this blog. My third year is finished so I’ve decided to use this as a platform to log potential dissertation topics and current industry issues.

The flaccid midweek friendly between England and Brazil was temporarily suspended in the “interests of public safety.” The Maracana Stadium didn’t depict an image of a frolicking carnival where the world’s footballing nations can safely descend next year, but an immature, poorly developed infrastructure synonymous with Brasilian favelas. The underlying political and cultural issues in Brasil, their consignment as an emerging market economy and the demands of a World Cup is a discussion for another day, however.

Unbeknown to the TV audience, the dynamic advertising surrounding the national stadium were superimposed, and Teletext Holiday’s cheeky play on Wayne Rooney’s delicate transfer situation generated particular media attention – as he’s snapped staring right at it.

Teletext felt the genesis of the Internet more than most, but the gesture made me consider how clever, strategically placed marketing communications can allow small businesses to compete with industry leaders. Unconventional, localised promotions – guerilla marketing – preserve budgets and in the age of social media create a real possibility of viral recognition. Consumers appreciate subtle indications of mutual understanding, and intelligent segmentation is essential for successful guerilla marketing.

Although there have been a variety of successful guerilla marketing tactics employed over the years: see 122 must-see campaigns, I think they’ll be more prominent in the future as organisations of all sizes begin to seek value for money and differentiation in their campaigns, as well as authentic connections that stimulate brand recall. Too many generic, samey campaigns waste money and fail to connect with customers or convey the appropriate messages.

The UK banking sector is still recovering  from PPI and CEO remuneration controversies, and the major players are engaging in repositioning. First Direct’s #unexpectedbank advert convey’s succinctly their mission, although admittedly not in a guerilla way, the fact that “beatboxing bird” trended on YouTube illustrates clearly the success of original thinking in a square and dreary consumer banking industry.A meticulously planned flashmob in a train station,  arguably creates more awareness than a big money endorsement in Rory McIlroy. With social media engrained in our daily lives, increasing coverage and spending big isn’t the only way to condition public response.

People often moan that it would have been easier to innovate, create fresh ideas and invent new products 50 years ago.  I see today’s quickly changing external environment as an opportunity to constantly analyse and build. Be tight and thorough with R&D and operations to redefine consumer perceptions and achieve sustained competitive advantage.

It’s a motivation, not a hindrance.


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