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Guerrilla marketing is a concept that many small business owners can get on board with: it’s a marketing system that relies on a very low budget by using time, energy and imagination to create a successful marketing campaign. It was created by Jay Conrad Levinson, who introduced the concept in his 1984 book Guerrilla Marketing. Since then, the term has also picked up the meaning of an aggressive, unconventional marketing method.

Guerrilla marketing is meant for the small business owner. Levinson had the small business owner in mind when he wrote his book and came up with guerrilla marketing techniques or “weapons,” which are outlined in his book. But Levinson also encourages small business owners to come up with their own guerrilla weapons and gives the following seven-step process for achieving success with guerrilla marketing.

1. Research. Don’t just research your market. Research your target audience, your product or service, your industry, your competitors and even your media options. What’s the best way to communicate with your target audience? How does your product differ from others on the market? The first place to start is on the Internet, by Googling your specific product or service to see what comes up.

2. Next, you should write a benefits list. Round up the best minds in your company along with a few customers and list benefits you give your customers. It’s best to include a few customers so you can get an outside view. What you consider a key benefit, your customers might not even know about! From your list of benefits, pick the one that’s your competitive advantage. That’s the one you should talk about in your marketing materials.

3. Select your weapons. You can find the 100 weapons (marketing tactics) listed on Levinson’s Web site ( or you can pick up his book, Guerrilla Marketing Weapons: 100 Affordable Marketing Methods for a more in-depth look. Half of the weapons listed are free to implement. After you’ve decided on your weapons, you prioritize them and assign them to people to head them up. You also give yourself a launch date for each one. Levinson states in an article that his “average client takes 18 months to launch an attack.” Don’t feel like you need to rush or that you’ll be behind if it takes you longer than a year.

4. Maintain the attack. You have to stick with your weapons and your launch plans even if you aren’t getting immediate results.

5. Keep track of your attack. Some of your weapons will work wonderfully and others will bomb. You need to note which ones worked for you and which ones didn’t. Ask customers where they saw your marketing. Why they did they come in?

6. Make a marketing calendar. Levinson goes into more detail, but basically you chart your marketing efforts for a year and you grade the results of each marketing effort. The good ones get As or Bs and the ones that failed miserably get Fs. Your letterhead printing gained some notice but your Post-It note printing didn’t? Assign an A and an F, respectively. Once the year is over, you keep the tactics that got As or Bs and do those again the next year.

7. Next you create a marketing plan, based on steps one through six. And that’s all there is to it!

Of course, it isn’t as simple as it sounds, but now you know the basics, you can start your research!


About the Author: Colleen Davis – For more information, you can visit this page on letterhead printing