Guerilla marketing techniques for start-ups

graffittiYou have what you are sure are great products or services. But you are just starting. People have to know what you can do and offer and how to find you.

When you don’t have the resources to promote your business and disseminate your messages, you may consider guerrilla marketing.

What is guerrilla marketing? Guerilla marketing is defined as achieving conventional business goals (e.g. increased sales, more revenues, more visibility) through unconventional methods (investing creative energy rather than money).

Guerilla methods are easy, usually simple and inexpensive, and always  innovative. With your limited budget, you need to find ways to go out of the box to appeal to your target market and reach customers.

The key is to be creative. Find a mix that will deliver the message and fit into your overall business strategy. suggests 100 ways to do guerrilla marketing. Here are some of them:

Public Relations and Publicity

The oldest guerrilla trick is old fashion PR so keep at it. Pick up the phone and give local journalists what they need most; great news content – its all about spinning your activity to make it a human interest story. The Guerrilla marketing tactics below are your means to this end.  Put up a Facebook page that is not only informative but fun.

Treat Your Premises like A Billboard

Give a Graffiti artist some free drawing space by letting him use his artistry on your shutters or paint a mural on the side of your building. Create in-house exhibitions in vacant display space on your premises to make it more trendy, appealing and noticeable.  You can also do the same on your delivery vans — voila, you have a moving billboard!

Edgy Window Displays

Your Window Display is your Billboard. Get their attention with a head turning window display even if it comprises stuff you may not eventually sell and chances are, passers-by can be turned into passing trade. You may be mentioned by word of mouth and profiled in the media.

Some ideas: Get a live display real human beings like your staff work in your windows. Put up a controversial political slogan to get noticed.

Occupy & Pop-up

If you need to test-market a regional market or neighbourhood or need to sell on a seasonal basis, use vacant or slack premises that are unused and help regenerate the city in the process. Approach the landlord of a vacant block by offering to spruce up their neighbourhood and entice long term tenants through your pop-up activity. There are agencies that help you find them or start a pop up space too.

Get Inked

Body art as advertising: using temporary body art / tattoos on your staff as they man events, exhibitions or hand-out flyers in the street. Brand them with your suppliers logo, your logo barcodes or QR code even.

Hack your Product

Use your products in a way you never did before If you are in electronics, hardware or engineering set up a hacker group workshop or offer your products to a hackerspace in your premises and challenge people e.g. engineering students to find new ways to use your products as part of their thesis.

(To be continued)

Photo: “Graffitti SOMA” by Max Kiesler, c/o Flickr. Some Rights Reserved

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