Guerrilla marketing is a advertising strategy that focuses on unconventional and creative tactics to promote a brand. It aims to achieve immense awareness with a small budget by surprising consumers and hitting them unexpectedly. Especially with this form of advertising, you can use gamification and create interactive experiential marketing campaigns. In this blog, we’ll show you everything you need to know about guerrilla marketing and give you some tips on how gamification can take your guerrilla marketing to the next level.
In this blog:
- What exactly is guerilla marketing?
- What are the types of guerrilla marketing?
- What is the goal of guerrilla marketing?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of guerrilla marketing?
- FOCUS: How can you use gamification to promote your guerrilla marketing?
- How gamification benefits your guerrilla marketing
What exactly is guerrilla marketing?
The term guerrilla marketing refers to an advertising strategy in which companies use particularly creative and unconventional methods to draw attention to themselves and appeal to their target group. This can be achieved, for example, through exciting street art, pop-up events, flash mobs or social media campaigns. The advantage of guerrilla marketing is that it is often cost-effective and attracts increased attention due to the unexpectedness of the campaigns. Besides, the only limit is your creativity.
Fun Fact: The word guerrilla has its origin in the spanish language and means “little war”. So-called guerrilla warriors were mostly rebellious and aggressive groups of warriors who fought against their own regime. If you combine guerrilla warfare with classic marketing, you get this seemingly aggressive and defiant form of marketing.
Whereby it must be said that guerrilla marketing does not always have to be agressive and defiant. To be honest, most of the time it is not at all. The most important (and most effective) focus in guerrilla marketing campaigns is the element of surprise.
By the way, the term guerrilla marketing was defined in the 1980s by marketing expert Jay Conrad Levinson.
What are the types of guerrilla marketing?
Guerrilla marketing is roughly divided into 4 types:
This type of marketing focuses on placing advertising messages creatively and visibly in public spaces, where the target group is most likely to be reached. The aim is to create an association between the campaign itself and the location, thus generating word of mouth (also called buzz marketing).
This type of marketing is often referred to as “parasitic marketing” or “free-rider marketing.” It refers to the practice in which a company attempts to profit from a particular event or existing marketing campaign.
This type of marketing aims to achieve a big wow effect. Almost movie-like offline advertising is staged in an elaborate and spectacular way to attract the attention of the target group.
The goal of viral marketing is to increase the spread of the advertising message through social media by getting users to like and share the content and therefore get the people’s attention. Influencers can play a big role by sharing the message with their followers.
What is the goal of guerrilla marketing?
The main goal of creative guerrilla marketing is to increase brand awareness and to ensure a sustainable brand building. Since the costs of guerrilla marketing campaigns are usually very low, these marketing campaigns can be implemented by both large corporations as well as small businesses. Especially with the seemingly unlimited possibilities that the Internet provides us, the only limit is your imagination.
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What is the advantage of guerrilla marketing?
Nowadays, advertising is usually very similar. This means that you as a consumer know very early on how a campaign will develop. Be it on TV, radio, social media or digital billboards. With a well thought-out guerrilla marketing campaign, you can surprise your customers and make them remember you for a long time. Guerilla marketing always tries to pick up consumers in a surprising and untypical way. And it’s usually very cost-effective: you mostly pay for it with courage.
Other advantages of guerilla marketing are, among others:
- Sustainability: Guerrilla marketing campaigns are often more sustainable than traditional advertising because they are unique and stay in peoples minds.
- Creativity: Guerrilla marketing allows companies to find creative and unconventional ways to spread their message.
- Interaction: Guerrilla marketing campaigns can push people to actively participate in spreading the message.
Does guerrilla marketing also have disadvantages?
In fact, if a campaign is too controversial, it can lead to serious consequences. In the worst case, entire buying and brand boycotts can happen. One such example is the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas, which offers burgers with names like Bypass Burger or Flatliner Fries. After eating a Triple Bypass Burger, a customer allegedly suffered a heart attack. After the ambulance arrived, it turned out that the whole story was staged. The viral spread resulted in a huge shitstorm.
FOCUS: How can you use gamification to promote your guerrilla marketing?
Before we explain how you can combine gamification with guerrilla marketing and what benefits this offers to you, we’ll show the how you can use gamification to promote your upcoming guerrilla marketing campaign.
Guerrilla marketing usually takes place in the real world. Nevertheless, as we explain a bit below, you can not only combine gamification with successful guerrilla marketing, you can also promote it in advance through well thought-out and gamified campaigns. We’ll give you some examples of how to do this.
Use QR codes. Distribute QR codes in your newsletters, on (digital) billboards or on social media. To make the promotion a bit more cryptic, you can post them without any further explanation. If scanned, the output could lead to a location where your guerrilla campaign is taking place.
An example of a public QR code.
Create engaging quizzes. Create a quiz that asks various questions about a topic of your choice. Once a certain number of questions have been answered correctly, some coordinates could pop up. These coordinates then lead to the destination, where the campaign will happen.
Our quizzes can be designed according to your wishes.
Use a monthly calendar as a countdown. Every day, users have the opportunity to open a door. Thereby you can build up tension for your upcoming guerrilla marketing campaign. Under each door you could hide a little story or parts of coordinates that point to the location of the upcoming campaign.
A monthly calendar massively increases engagement.
How gamification benefits your guerrilla marketing
Gamification can boost your guerrilla campaign by integrating playful elements into it. This way, you playfully increase the attention of your target group and also raise the engagement with your brand enormously. Gamification in guerrilla marketing thus has many advantages. Some of them are:
- You get noticed: Games and challenges are usually engaging and capture the attention of your target audience in a way that traditional advertising just can’t.
- The interaction increases massively: By integrating playful elements into your advertising campaign, your audience is motivated to actively participate and interact with the brand.
- You’ll be remembered: Games and challenges are entertaining and easier to remember by your potential customers.
- You create a hype: When your target audience participates in an interactive and entertaining ad campaign, they are more likely to share it with friends and family, as well as on social media, which increases the virality of the campaign.
- Personalization instead of traditional marketing: By using gamification in your guerilla marketing strategy, the advertising campaign can be personalized to better match the interests and preferences of the target audience. A cool addition: you’ll get valuable zero party data.
- Increase engagement: Games and challenges increase the engagement of your target audience by motivating them to participate and interact with the brand.
- Low costs: Of course, guerrilla marketing campaigns can be expensive. However, it is usually the easy things, such as cleverly thought-out billboards and well-placed flash mobs, that generates great interest.
Don’t know where to start? We have summarized 5 examples of how you can incorporate gamification into your guerrilla marketing.
City game: A well-known example of gamification in guerrilla marketing is the so-called city game. Here, QR codes are placed at various locations and participants have to scan them with their smartphone to solve puzzles and collect points. The winner(s) receives a prize.
Augmented reality experience: Augmented reality technology can be used to create interactive experiences for the target audience. For example, you can embed a virtual game into the real world by putting up a billboard with a QR code that launches the game on the smartphone.
Escape Room: An Escape Room is an interactive game where participants have to solve puzzles to escape from a room. This idea can be applied to guerrilla marketing by setting up a pop-up escape room in a mall or other public places.
Contests: Contests can be an effective way to capture the attention of your audience. For example, you can hold a contest on social media platforms where participants have to submit photos or videos to win a prize.
Scavenger Hunt: Organize a scavenger hunt, where participants are asked to complete certain tasks or find locations to get to the next step to the game. This can be a fun and entertaining way to capture the attention and showcase the brand.
Guerrilla marketing as an advertising strategy is a fantastic way to promote your brand at a low cost. Combine it with gamification and you have an incredibly powerful and creative tool at your disposal. Since guerrilla marketing is usually not heavy on your marketing budget, you can let your creativity run wild.
Contact us. Together we transform your guerrilla marketing into an interactive sensation.