March 9, 2010
— Posted By John Williams
The phrase “guerilla marketing,” commonly misspelled "gorilla" marketing or sometimes referred to as Gmarketing, conjures up highly trained operatives sneaking into a high-traffic area, launching an avant-garde promotion, then melting back into the background leaving bystanders dazed and amused. While unconventional tactics that get your company noticed may catch your attention, focus your overall strategy on maximizing profit margins through building loyal repeat business rather than running a splashy campaign to capture market share. Popularized by Jay Levinson’s book in 1984, even Fortune companies embrace the concept as part of their overall strategy. So while squeezing the most out of your shoestring budget, get in the trenches and learn basic terms you’ll encounter when navigating the sites.
Viral, or word-of-mouth, marketing could be considered a sub-genre of guerilla marketing; the main difference is that the consumer drives the publicity entirely. The term accurately describes people passing the word around, well, like a virus, rather than the company actively working to promote its product.
Buzz marketing or buzzmarketing
You want to generate buzz, or good word-of-mouth, publicity, where early adopters start encouraging friends to try a product or service based on their own positive experience. You can accomplish this with professionals who conduct buzz marketing to generate positive word of mouth and get the buzz started.
Another term for these professional virus spreaders, brand ambassadors can-and ideally should-be internal employees or even extremely loyal customers who talk up your company, acting as intermediaries between the public and your brand. Think of turning your customers into loyal fans, ready and willing to sing your praises, and you get the picture.
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Grassroots marketing can be considered a particular campaign, or an aspect of viral or guerilla marketing, in that it delivers a picture of your advertising taking on a populist feel. Keep in mind that grassroots marketing, like all of guerilla marketing, emphasizes winning over customers one-by-one rather than as a group, connecting with individuals rather than broadcasting at a crowd.
Ambient marketing differs from using traditional broadcast media to get the message out, and doesn't actively push product. One example would be using buses as billboards, or even more effectively, your delivery trucks to promote a new product or service rather than just the company name. It's ambient in that it's part of the general environment consumers are walking through or operating in, rather than dedicated media one must be concentrating on to receive the message.
This is perhaps the indie granddaddy of guerilla marketing-think Andy Warhol on a rampage, plastering poster after poster of his favorite band all over a fence or construction site. While the intent is to develop a significant sense of momentum about an event, some may wonder if it's been done to death.