• DeJuan Wright

You'll Regret Not Using These 3 Guerrilla Marketing Weapons

Updated: 6 days ago


I believe that if you were to ask any truly great musician what inspired them to become an artist—they’ll probably refer back to a particular album they heard when they were younger that had such an impact on them the very first time they heard it—there was no doubt about what they wanted to do with their life by the time they were done listening to it.


As a marketing professional, I’ve also had a similar experience—except that it wasn’t an album that inspired me to pursue marketing as a career—it was a book. That book was Jay and Jeannie Levinson’s Startup Guide To Guerrilla Marketing.


After already having a strong interest in the art of marketing (seriously, it is an art), by the time I was done reading that book (released in 2008)—there was no longer any doubt about the path that I wanted to take as it pertained to my professional career.


With all the noise distracting consumers, guerrilla marketing is more necessary now than it's ever been. Which is why as an entrepreneur, you’ll deeply regret it if you don’t use the following three guerrilla marketing weapons that are at your disposal.



1. Incentivizing permission


If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of guerrilla marketing, it’s all about attaining conventional goals (primarily profits) by using unconventional means. The Levinson's best described the main tools of the guerrilla marketer when they said, “Guerrilla marketing advises that your primary investment in marketing should not be money, but rather time, energy, imagination, and information.”


When it comes to incentivizing your audience to give your company the next best thing besides their cash—which is their email address—it definitely will take time, energy, and imagination in order to attain that information.


Sure, you could do what many other businesses do, which is spend thousands of dollars to acquire lists of potential prospect’s email addresses—so they could contact them when they want to offer information about their products or services. But the reason why that is such a waste of money, is due to the fact that their brand interrupts those that receive their unsolicited emails; and no one enjoys being interrupted.


Instead, it would be far more cost-efficient (and considerate) to incentivize prospects to willingly give your company permission to email them—by signing up to receive emails from your business.


The way to do that is by identifying what your audience would find beneficial. Whether it’s offering useful information for free by way of a blog, short videos, newsletters, white papers, heck, you could even provide coupons. The goal is to give away a good enough slice for free—people will happily sign up to receive more.


In his book, Permission Marketing, author and marketing guru Seth Godin said that, “Permission Marketing is the tool that unlocks the power of the Internet.” By incentivizing your audience to give you permission to present your offerings to them via email—you’ll not only unlock the power of the internet—you’ll also build trust, which is the key to unlocking your prospect’s hesitation to purchase your products or services.



2. Fusion marketing


Before we go any further, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention why Startup Guide To Guerrilla Marketing resonated with me so much. The reason I found the book so compelling, is because after reading other marketing and business books prior to coming across it—Startup Guide To Guerrilla Marketing was the first book that confirmed what I believed professional marketing is truly all about—which had nothing to with which brand had the biggest budget; but simply, creating concepts to connect with consumers.


A big part of creating concepts that’ll connect with consumers often consists of thinking outside of the box. And fusion marketing is a great example of that.


Business is hard, if it wasn’t—far less companies would go out of business every year. So, since business isn’t like a video game that you can turn on easy mode—it’s your job as a marketing professional to create the marketing version of a cheat code in order to attract customers to your business as easily as possible. Which is what fusion marketing is all about.


Fusion marketing involves one brand loosely partnering with another in a way that would be beneficial to both brands. “The whole concept of fusion marketing is based upon the ‘I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine’ theory of social interaction.” Says the Levinson’s.


For example:


Let's say Brian is the founder of “Swap’d,” a platform that helps sports fans exchange their sports memorabilia with one another through its app.


To create awareness for his app, Brian reaches out to the owners of the top sports apparel stores in his home state of California; and offers to post display ads promoting their stores on his website for six months—in exchange for the owners allowing Brian to post fliers detailing the benefits of his app in their stores for the entirety of the NFL season.

In this exchange, both Brian and the store owners gain something of value. Brian creates more awareness for his app; and the store owners get free promotion for their stores on a website that their potential customers would likely frequent. With this fusion partnership—all parties win. And all it cost Brian was time, energy, imagination, and information.



3. You media (marketing yourself)


Whether they know it or not, everyone is a marketer. Obviously, everyone doesn’t possess the knowledge and skill set that a marketing professional does. But nonetheless—everyone is a marketer. From the moment that you realized how loud to scream to get what you wanted as a kid—you became a marketer.


As the owner of a startup, it’s imperative that you utilize the marketing capabilities that you did as a kid (except for the screaming part) to get something that your brand desperately needs from your audience—which is trust. In order to do that—you must market yourself.


“People don’t do business with a logo. They do business with a person.” Says author and branding expert Tonya Eberhart in her book, Brandface For Entrepreneurs co-authored by Michael Carr. Years ago, if a new business appealed to an audience without the public knowing who its owners were—it wouldn’t have been an anomaly.


But in a society where social media is as prevalent as it is today—brands without a public representative—preferably the owner; are at a huge trust disadvantage to those that are represented by a public figure that humanizes their brand.


According to a 2022 consumer survey by AutoPacific, 32% of drivers in the U.S. trust Tesla more than any other brand to develop safe and reliable fully-autonomous vehicles. Which ranked the highest for any vehicle manufacturer. I’m sure if you were to ask those surveyed why they trusted Tesla more than any other brand in its category—they’d probably refer to the face of the company—Elon Musk.


The key to marketing yourself is to simply focus on being intentional and utilizing the best advertising tool in the world—which is publicity. Regardless of how you may feel about Elon Musk personally—I’m sure you’ll agree that he’s done a great job at positioning himself as an authoritative figure in every industry that he’s entered. Which was all by design on his part.


By being cognizant of how you want to be perceived by your audience—you can intentionally ensure that everything you say, wear, and do—will be congruent with the image that you want to project to those that your brand aims to appeal to.


Use social media, speaking engagements, and interviews as vehicles to market yourself. This would gradually establish your credibility in your industry; while also breaking down the trust barriers that cause most people to be hesitant of supporting a new business.