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What are the different types of guerilla marketing?

Not all guerilla marketing is the same. Here are the different types and what they are used for.

A few years back, Aldi supermarkets changed the layout of their stores. They didn’t actually change the design of the stores; just where the produce was kept. It caused a storm and for about a week, social media blew up.

Some people were confused and asked why Aldi would do such a thing. Others loved it, saying the new layout was more intuitive and made products easier to find.

The point is the smallest change to the expected can really get people talking. And that’s what guerilla marketing is all about.

Yet, not all guerilla marketing is the same. Tactics can range from shocking to mildly startling; it can happen indoors and out; you may not even immediately identify some as guerilla marketing.

Here are the different types of guerilla marketing and what they are used for.

What is guerilla marketing?

Routine and consistency are a part of our everyday life, and when even a slight detail is changed, it really makes us sit up and pay attention. That’s the foundation of guerilla marketing.

Guerilla marketing is based on a strategy that disrupts potential customers, forcing them to pay attention to your brand and offering. It may be because the marketing activity is over the top, but guerilla marketing can also be gentle interruptions to our day.

What are the different types of guerilla marketing?

There are different types of guerilla marketing, used by marketers according to their audience and desired outcomes.

Indoor and outdoor marketing

Outdoor guerilla marketing can include a temporary art installation, such as pavement art, a temporary statue, a mural on a wall, or an impromptu concert in the street. You often see outdoor guerilla marketing around special days, such as when you see Santa walking around a shopping precinct during the Christmas season.

Indoor guerilla marketing is similar but typically takes place in enclosed areas such as train stations, university campuses, or shopping centres. Pop-up shops and stalls in large shopping centres are other examples.

Event ambush / street marketing

Street guerilla marketing involves taking your brand to where people are at in their communities and can include mascots handing out flyers or free samples.

More memorably, some successful street marketing campaigns have used flash mobs, games, or roving musicians and other entertainers.

At the Australian Open this year, actors dressed as giant tennis balls roved around the precinct, handing out Bondi Sands sunscreen.

Ambush marketing pushes the button a little harder. It often uses loud, imposing methods, or interrupts another company’s marketing efforts. For example, Nike has been known to increase its ad spend so much during world sporting championships that viewers often mistake them for being the official sponsor.

What are the different types of guerilla marketing?

Times Square in New York City is a renowned spot for outdoor and experiential marketing.

Experiential marketing

Experiential marketing focuses on engagement by interacting directly and personally with potential customers.

Think of those make-up artists offering free make-up tutorials at the beauty counter; or the cafe handing out free cupcakes with every coffee purchased at a train station – these are experiential marketing activities.

Viral marketing

Viral marketing is when businesses turn customers into marketers by getting them to spread information about their products online.

It can be done by creating posts, videos, infographics, or a host of other marketing assets that people will want to share on their platforms, perhaps because they are funny or maybe because they think the information will be useful to others.

Metro Trains Melbourne released its very successful Dumb Ways to Die video, which featured clips of people behaving recklessly and dangerously around trains, and it took off, well, like a bullet train.

Ambient marketing

Subtlety is the cornerstone of ambient marketing, which essentially involves placing an ad in a place people would normally not expect to see it. In doing so, the ad startles them, making it more memorable.

One New York cafe chain recently caught everyone’s attention when it placed an image of a coffee cup next to subway grates, making it look like steam was rising from the coffee cup.

Astroturfing marketing

Politicians love astroturfing marketing, which they call grassroots marketing.

Astroturfing marketing involves planting marketing materials online and in real life, that look like they are natural, but are really part of a strategic campaign.

It could be creating fake social media accounts that leave great reviews for your business, or fake callers to radio stations that rave about your business.

Astroturfing is an extremely risky form of guerilla marketing because if it’s exposed it can cause huge reputational damage to your brand.

Speak to the marketing experts

Unlike guerilla marketing, there are no shocks when you call Assemblo for a chat about your marketing needs.

Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne, with a reputation for delivering marketing strategies that deliver tangible increases in bottom line results.

To find out how we can help your business, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or send us a note via the contact form below.

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