Guerrilla Marketing: What It is and How to Use It for Ecommerce

guerrilla marketing

There are many different marketing tactics available to small businesses. You can try content marketing or social media marketing. We’ve got your covered on those two topics. You can try traditional advertising as well. However, there is another marketing technique called guerrilla marketing available to you. What is guerrilla marketing? Well, it’s a budget-friendly option to generate a lot of buzz around your company. Let me tell you a little bit more about it.

What is guerrilla marketing?

Guerrilla marketing is a strategy to promote products or services in an unconventional way with a limited budget. The term was coined by Jay Conard Levinson in 1984. Guerrilla marketing is grabbing the public’s attention in a memorable way. It’s often very creative. More often than not, it’s simple. It works best that way. Overthinking does not make for a better guerrilla marketing campaign. Guerrilla marketing is usually an offline method as well. You’d be targeting a specific location that gets a lot of foot traffic. The people who pass by are going to spread the word about what is happening. This will generate the buzz and get people to talk about you.

Pros of guerrilla marketing

There are plenty of good reason to use this type of marketing for small businesses. It’s cheap. You can get away with a significantly low budget to conventional marketing and advertising methods. Being cheap to execute is a big part of why so many companies love guerrilla marketing. It also allows for creative expression. Being creative is important in order to make the campaign memorable. Again, you don’t need to be overly complicated, just impressive enough to grab the attention of the passersby.


Guerrilla marketing relies heavily on word of mouth. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful awareness methods. People trust other people albeit it a friend or an influencer. Successful guerrilla marketing gets people to talk about you all on their own. Lastly, a big appeal of guerrilla marketing is its spread. Although not all guerrilla marketing campaigns become news overnight many do. Some get picked up by local or even national media. Often times, campaigns get talked about on blogs and social media as well.

Cons of guerrilla marketing

Misunderstood messages. Sometimes guerrilla marketing can backfire. If your message isn’t clear enough it might get interpreted as something else. It can not be recognized as yours. And, if people don’t get it, it will go unnoticed. That’s why it’s good to keep the campaign creative but simple. Don’t overcomplicate things. Don’t try to be mysterious or overly clever either. It backfires almost always.

Make sure your campaigns are in check with the law. Illegal graffiti or littering will cause you trouble. In 2007, a guerrilla marketing campaign for Aqua Teen Hunger Force installed LED circuit board around Boston. Many people thought they were bombs and the bomb squad got involved.

Small things like bad weather or poor timing can also lead a campaign to fail.

Creating a successful guerrilla marketing campaign

There are a few thing that will help ensure your campaign is off to a good start. You need a goal. Like with most marketing campaigns, start with a goal. What do you want to achieve? Next, make sure the campaign is easy to understand. If people don’t get it they won’t indulge. The campaign also should be social. That’s the big part of getting people to engage or participate after all. And, at last, the campaign needs to be entertaining. People will spread the word like wildfire if they see something fun.


Three ideas to get you started

Open a popup store. We’ve all seen them and some of us even bought products from them. They are these tiny little shops that are easy to set up and take down. The idea here is to bring a point of sale to your potential customers. Accept all sorts of payments. Again, make the purchase easier for your customer. Pay close attention to the way your popup store looks. The presentation is everything. You want to be noticed, not ignored. This is where you use your creativity. You can set up a popup store anywhere like a street corner or even inside another store. Often time you can negotiate to set it up for free. Especially if you’re also driving traffic to another business.


Use stickers to do your marketing. This is such a common practice in the tech world including software. There are some tech companies who sell products that have stickers too, like Ugmonk. It can work well for an apparel retailer as well. If you have a great logo, flaunt it! Stickers are cheap. And people love them. You can give them away on the street or industry events. You can make some type of temporary artwork with them too. Use your stickers to spread your message at a specific location. Just make sure you won’t be violating any laws. Stickers are really easy to remove at the end of the day, though.


Use graffiti or posters. Again, I’m going to caution you about breaking laws. You don’t need to rent space in order to make use of a wall for either one of these. You could, but it will be expensive. If you have your own office, use that. That’s free. Ask to rent some property for a little bit of time. You can place posters in public board spaces. Doing so in a heavy traffic area could do wonders if your poster is clever and attention-grabbing.


What is guerrilla marketing? It’s an easy way to get noticed. Be creative and bold. Guerrilla marketing can be a fantastic tool to generate word of mouth spread of your business. It should be inexpensive too. When done well, people will flock to your business. When done well, people will know your business and want to buy your products.

Want to learn more?

Is there anything else you’d like to know more about and wish was included in this article? Let us know in the comments below!

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