Inspired by the adaptive out-of-the-box thinking associated with guerrilla warfare, the concept of guerrilla marketing
briefly caught fire right before social media
hit it big. Although social media can and sometimes does employ original strategies, nothing was quite as original and creative as guerrilla strategies.
A lot of what made guerrilla marketing attractive was that it was simple and effective. Consider this application: When sending out event invites, use multiple stamps that add up to the amount needed for postage rather than just one stamp with the exact postage amount. The tip is simple, easily incorporated and affordable; it costs nothing more than a few extra minutes to purchase and apply various stamps.
This is the guerrilla approach. You tried a unique strategy, a different way of doing the same thing that resulted in increased attention to your marketing piece and invitation. This simple idea will guarantee more guests notice your invite since it now stands out from the rest of their mail by drawing them to irregular use of stamps normally associated with foreign post.
It’s that simple. And the fact of the matter is that social media overuse is bringing about a resurgence of guerrilla strategies. As great as social media is, it’s intangible and impersonal. Guerrilla not only relies primarily on exactly the opposite, but it also demands more forethought. Not only will your audience be captivated on various levels, but your marketing department will thank you for pumping some life back into their work.
Taking a Cue from Fashion Week
Top designers were seen as untouchable royalty. Yet recently you see more top designers teaming up with bloggers. Cream of the crop fashion and beauty bloggers with keen sartorial eyes are routinely getting invited to exclusive sit downs, meet ups, launches and now even the coveted New York Fashion Week.
Why? Because the best bloggers (and there’s about a dozen of them) have an incredible reach and followings that start at about 10,000 followers. Designers know that while ads in magazines get glossed over and other conventional methods may be approached, little rivals a direct plug from your target buyer’s favorite blogger.
Take a cue from this strategy by inviting the right type of people to your next event. Do this by inviting people who have reach, community influence and an interest in your issue or industry. Of course, you may want to invite local journalists, but you cannot guarantee their attendance or their interest in covering your event. However, your special guests may blog about it and at the very least will give you a social blast.
Defining the “Event” in Event Marketing
doesn’t just mean marketing for your event. It can also mean creating an event to market your business. Take Volkswagen for example. The company installed a vivid red slide over part of a stairwell and encouraged people to use the “fast lane,” thus creating a PR event promoting the Polo GTI and complementing its own tagline “driven by fun.” What could be more fun than breaking up your usual weekday pedestrian commute with a big red slide? You can be sure VW got some major buzz with that one little tweak to an otherwise concrete environment.
The key to making this type of event successful is focusing on switching around something that’s mundane. VW did it with a slide, and you might have already seen IKEA move to do this with parts of a city street where random portions will be converted into an IKEA showroom floor. Not only does this capture our attention and ensure we talk, tweet and status update about IKEA, but it inspires us to reimagine our landscape. And right now, there’s nothing people love more than being amazed.