Best Practices in HR
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Alyson Stone
  March 20, 2019

8 Ways to Nail Guerrilla Marketing

Every marketer nurtures healthy narcissism and the courage to take risks. Why? Only then is it possible to stand out in a crowd, and turn heads.

This, in a nutshell, is the driving force behind successful guerrilla marketing campaigns. If timed right and executed with precision, a guerrilla marketing campaign is a sure-fire way to capture attention, enable lead generation, and ensure a healthy ROI from branding and marketing campaigns.

It is risky, but the trick in finding the balance lies in taking calculated risks when the time is right. The phase of the company, the readiness of the product, the susceptibility of the market all play a role in decision making.

Guerrilla marketing takes pride in being unconventional.

At Freshworks, we’ve experimented with a few guerrilla campaigns that have worked well in our favour. Our tryst with guerrilla marketing and disruption campaigns started with the Knowledge 18’ takeover at the beginning of the year, in Las Vegas. Industry thought leader Stephen Mann referred to the takeover as ‘an indication of ambition’ – reflective of the ability of rightly-timed events and guerrilla marketing activities to drive in ROI and leads.

Further, we disrupted the skies above the Salesforce tower with a mammoth blimp gliding across the blue landscape, blithely sporting #failsforce on one side, and Freshworks – Hit Refresh, on the other. While the blimp covered the skies, the ground-team blazed its own trail with a marching band, a pop-up space, and other geo-fenced activities on the streets of San Francisco.

It caught the attention of many Dreamforce attendees and customers as well.

Such uncommon marketing tactics that use traditional methods updated for a new audience, will never fail to deliver the right kind of impact for your brand, product, and company.

If there’s one thing we learnt, it was that a successful campaign is dependant on a lot of factors coming together – but the most important is to plan and implement activities the right way.

  • Disrupt, not disturb

    Gate crashing an event requires massive coordination, yes, but it also requires a modicum of class. The aim is not to poach or to degrade – it is to engage in healthy challenges with your competitors without crossing the boundaries of respectful sparring.

  • Offer snippets

    Nobody cares for empty promises, and any event is incomplete without a tangible takeaway. Be it brochures, booklets, goodie bags, giveaways, product trials, free offerings of the product for an allocated time period – have something  that serves as a reminder of what they have experienced, create impact, and put a smile on customers faces.

  • Flit across every filter

    There is no insignificant employee in a prospective client company. If you cannot directly reach the VP, the CEO, or the key decision maker, it doesn’t mean an intern or a new joinee can be dismissed. The top level may not have the time to filter through everything in their mailbox, but word of mouth and strong advertising always catches attention. You never know who is listening, so assume that everyone is listening.

  • Food!

    Whoever said that the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach was right. Famished brains can’t really process what you are trying to show them, so keeping in mind the interest of your brand, warmly serve some good food and refreshing beverages. You can never go wrong, And sometimes, it’s good to have a free lunch.

  • A personal touch

    What differentiates a good experience from a great experience? That small gesture, or token of personalization, which touches and resonates with the customer. Dig deep and think of what you would like if you were the customer. And this little gem also works for almost every single marketing idea that you ever have.

  • Keep it clean

    Whatever your chosen form of guerrilla marketing – gate crashing, publicity stunts, viral videos – market clean. There is a fine line separating a revolt from a hit below the belt. Respect between competitors is what keeps the challenge healthy and worthy, and there is certainly no goodwill in delivering an unwarranted and uncalled for blow.

  • Influencer connections

    Who influences the target audience? What are the various channels influencing them? Who do these influencers work with? Who might invite a slew of referrals for you?
    Every question leads to a chain link, waiting to be discovered. Identify such influencers, and allow them to see for themselves why your product is something that they should talk about. If they are convinced, they will be on board to advocate your product.

  • Suit up your product

    No matter how splendid and gutsy the marketing move, if your product is not ready on its own merit, you will find yourself under the spotlight, with a poorly disguised magic trick and a disgruntled audience. Don’t take your customers’ time for granted. They might not always remember a good marketing move, but they will always remember a bad one.

At the end of the day, your target audience should benefit from it and enjoy what you present to them. The aim is not to go to war with your competitor, but to focus on what your customer wants. If your customer frowns and finds your campaign distasteful, well, that’s the line you shouldn’t cross.

Guerrilla marketing is unconventional, advantageous, risky, yet fun – if done right. It’s the full package, complete with surprises; and who doesn’t love a good surprise?