Marketers use different techniques to get the word out about their products. While some of the popular marketing methods cost a substantial amount of money, guerrilla marketing is a cost-effective way of marketing.

It is an unconventional type of marketing that heavily utilizes surprise as a factor of promotion.

Unlike most marketing strategies, guerrilla marketing tends to use a few promoters and focus on interactions at a personal level. A small group is tasked with the responsibility of spreading the word out there.

Usually, these promoters will choose a specific location at a time instead of trying to cover a whole region.

The history of guerrilla marketing

The term “Guerrilla Marketing “, was introduced in 1984 by Jay Conrad Levinson in one of his books under the same title. It borrows from a war strategy that was known as guerrilla warfare. This war tactic relied on the element of surprise through raids and ambushes.

How is guerrilla marketing used?

The objective of guerrilla marketing is to create actions that surprise the target audience. More so, it capitalizes on approaching unsuspecting consumers in a way that they are not used to. This creates an impression that a consumer cannot easily forget.

Guerrilla marketing makes its mark on a customer in a more memorable way than traditional marketing. Small businesses who are struggling for recognition use it because it is not only affordable but also effective.

Well-established companies are no exception. They use guerrilla marketing together with the mass media advertisement in order to strengthen their positions in the market. Usually, big companies prefer to apply this technique in the grassroots areas. In some circumstances, daring people take it to the streets with a placard displaying their professional qualifications in a bid to get hired. As much as this seems like an odd way to get a job, it is a perfect example of guerrilla marketing. Here are some types of guerrilla marketing:

Viral/buzz marketing

This is a popular type of guerrilla marketing that is done electronically. It all starts with a unique message that is shared between millions of people through social media. The message itself is captivating in such a way that people decide to share it without anyone coercing them into it. Furthermore, no one pays people to share information. The content itself inspires people.

Ambush marketing

This can be described as an associative form of marketing. For instance, a big concert may be happening in your town and a particular brand leverages the moment by associating itself with the concert. Though it may look like the concert has some sort of association with the brand, it normally doesn’t.

Street marketing

This is simply a form of outdoor marketing where a team of promoters is unconventionally released into the market. They may either dress in a unique, attractive way that communicates the brand's message. Alternatively, they may perform some actions that draw people’s attention. The ultimate goal is to leave an indelible impression on the consumer.

When not using a group of promoters, then specific messages are displayed in different locations that the public has access to. You can easily come across this information staring back at you in a public toilet, while strolling in the park, or just walking in the streets.


Astroturfing is a risky type of guerrilla marketing. The name Astroturfing borrows from the word artificial “turf.” It is also referred to as fake grass in stadiums. So it translates to sham endorsements, recommendations as well as testimonials of certain products. In short, the hype that is created around a particular product or service is usually insincere.

In most cases, the people who write the reviews, or contribute in forums and blogs on a product are paid to give positive information. This makes Astroturfing one of the most controversial forms of guerrilla marketing. Should a customer find out that they have been deceived through Astroturfing, it could turn out to be catastrophic for the company that manufactures the product involved.

Though guerrilla marketing can go wrong when poorly executed, it is a method of marketing that leaves a strong impression on the consumers when done right. Besides that, with a little bit of creativity both small and large businesses can successfully tap into guerrilla marketing to create massive brand awareness.