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Guerilla marketing is an unconventional advertising strategy that allows businesses to promote their products or services, spending a small budget.

The term was coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book ‘Guerrilla Marketing’ and it is inspired by guerrilla warfare, whose main characteristic is trying to take the enemies by surprise (with ambushes, sabotage, raids…). Similarly, Guerrilla marketing campaigns are shocking, unexpected and they aim to create surprise and buzz, using unconventional advertising tactics.

Guerrilla marketing requires the company to invest time, energy, creativity and imagination rather than money. Its activities are done in public places such as streets, shopping centres, parks and beaches, and we can also find many examples of it on the Web. They involve the application of different techniques and methods in order to establish a direct contact with customers and catch their attention in personal and memorable ways. Its aim is to make people remember the brand, attract new customers, increase sales and differentiate the brand from competitors. They are able to make a more powerful impression on the public in comparison to traditional forms of advertising.

There are different types of Guerrilla marketing. The main ones are: Ambient marketing, which consists in using elements of the environment to convey a message, in particular placing advertisements of items in unusual places; Ambush marketing, a marketing technique in which the product is associated with a particular event without having paid for the sponsor right; Stealth marketing, which consists in advertising a product involving people without them realizing they are part of an advertisement campaign; Viral marketing, a marketing strategy that induces individuals to spread a marketing message to other people, aiming at the exponential multiplication of the message;Experiential marketing, which aims to make the costumer live an experience and interact with the product rather than send a one-way message; Astroturfing, which consists in creating a buzz about a product or a company that seems spontaneous but actually is not, such as hiring someone to post in online blogs or forums enhancing a certain product; Wild posting, which consists in putting up a big quantity of billboards in different places in order to attract the maximum attention from the audience.

Finally, we can consider the pros and cons of Guerrilla marketing.On one hand, it has many advantages compared to traditional forms of advertising. As we have already seen, it is inexpensive and it can be tailored to whatever budget the company has and also to almost any kind of business or brand. These characteristics are perfect for small companies that have to reach a large target group with little resources. Moreover, nowadays we are overwhelmed by advertising, so these traditional forms of marketing are losing their power to catch our attention. As a result Guerrilla marketing and its creative way to present ads facilitates the contact to customers because it arouses their interest.

On the other hand, this unconventional form of advertising might not be appropriate for certain businesses, such as financial services and insurances. Therefore it involves certain risks, indeed it may not produce the desired results and certain forms of Guerrilla marketing, such as Stealth marketing and Astroturfing, can be considered slimy by the consumer.

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