Q&A: What are Some Unorthodox, but Effective, Marketing Strategies?
Guerrilla marketing strategies are, by definition, unconventional and innovative techniques aimed at attracting maximum exposure for minimum cost. It’s a broad category, but, even still, it’s seen as unusual and uncommon. Because these strategies often take a lot of creativity to pull off effectively, many business shy away from guerrilla marketing tactics.
It’s a shame because guerrilla marketing provides some of the best examples of advertisements that make people stop and pay attention.
Large recognizable brands often produce some of the most visible guerrilla marketing campaigns. While these advertising strategies are cheap compared to television and online advertising, these companies have a great deal of resources and access to great creative minds.
However, small businesses and start-ups can also take advantage of guerrilla marketing due to its low-cost nature. Many have embraced the strategy because, since it relies on creative stunts and organic word-of-mouth, it can produce a good bang for their buck.
In 1993, an indie movie with a paltry $60,000 budget embarked on one such ambitious viral marketing campaign. The filmmakers had a low cost, high potential idea to promote this horror movie: create ambiguity surrounding the movie’s events and their authenticity. With that idea in mind, they created a simple website with some additional lore and “found footage.” One of their best ideas, however, was a missing poster for the movie’s protagonists who, presumably, go missing after the events of the movie.
The Blair Witch Project grossed $428 million at the box office, and it has the third highest ROI in film history. The film stands as a classic and a trailblazer, and the website is still up today (albeit with updated graphics).
Although I do not recommend telling your customers to call the sheriff’s department (I will not bail you out of jail), it’s an inspiring example of what can be done with a creative idea and a shoestring budget.
Because it is such a broad term, there are so many more examples of successful guerrilla marketing, but I wanted to touch on some examples that show the power of creativity in marketing. For lots of small business owners, it’s discouraging to see how expensive advertising through more conventional channels can be.
I, however, am a proponent of finding a marketing strategy that works for any budget. After all, sometimes you just have get creative.