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Article Teaser: "Guerrilla Marketing" is a term coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book: Guerrilla Marketing: Secrets for Making Big Profits for Your Small Business. The term is a spin on "Guerrilla Warfare," war tactics used by small, often indigenous armies fighting larger, better equipped invaders.

Keep reading below...

Guerrilla Marketing: About Love Not War

Copyright (c) 2010-2017

About four times a year I fly to Chicago and visit with my extended family which includes catching up with my "Uncle Lou."

Uncle Lou has sold just about everything under the sun at least once during his 50-odd years in sales. He's funny and street smart and has great stories.

Uncle Lou has a big heart and I love him but he and I just don't see eye-to-eye on our definition of "effective" when it comes to sales and marketing.

This became evident during a recent visit when my uncle asked me about "Guerrilla Marketing."

Uncle Lou was as excited as I'd ever seen him about anything I'd ever done work-wise. He had finally visited my website and was intrigued by "this guerrilla marketing stuff you're doing."

My uncle's latest enterprise was brokering used construction equipment and thought I'd have some ideas about how he could rapidly expand and make lots of money fast.

"You've always been a bright kid," he told me.

===========================================
Quick Detour: What is Guerrilla Marketing?
===========================================

"Guerrilla Marketing" is a term coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book: Guerrilla Marketing: Secrets for Making Big Profits for Your Small Business.

The term is a spin on "Guerrilla Warfare," war tactics used by small, often indigenous armies fighting larger, better equipped invaders.

Guerrilla fighters depend on their knowledge of local terrain, ties with local communities, stealth, and cunning to outsmart and outlast their enemies.

Similarly, guerrilla marketing is about using creativity, networks, and close customer contacts to market more effectively and less expensively than big corporate competitors.

Small businesses can't afford marketing in which the end goal is "awareness" or "share of mind"; small business marketing goals are results and profit.

===========================================
Yes, Guerrilla Marketing is About the Bottom Line
===========================================

It's easy to understand why my uncle was excited about guerrilla marketing. Uncle Lou is a "send me qualified leads and I'll close the sale" kind of guy.

Now if I hadn't know my uncle for so many years I would have immediately gotten pissed off at him for perpetuating the "hard-sell used-car salesman" reputation.

But I knew my uncle wasn't trying to scam anyone or push them into buying something they didn't want. He honestly feels he's helping his customers by pushing them to make a decision which was in their best interest. And my uncle counts a lot of customers as friends.

So when Uncle Lou asked me for my ideas around using guerrilla marketing tactics to get more qualified leads, I knew I wasn't going to tell him what he expected but felt my explanation might still be helpful.

===========================================
My Take on Guerrilla Marketing, Don't Forget Your Heart
===========================================

I agree, absolutely, with the idea that guerrilla marketing is about choosing marketing activities that produce measurable results. And, yes, for sure, it's got to be about profitability.

Where Uncle Lou and I part ways is about the role of the business owner's heart and passion in marketing.

The reason guerrilla marketing is so powerful as a small business tactic is because we small business owners have the unique advantage of one-on-one connection with our customers and clients.

When's the last time you had a heart-to-heart with the CEO of Wal-Mart or 3M? While I see some large companies finding ways to connect and help their customers feel seen, they simply cannot duplicate what small business owners can do.

Part of the connection is sharing what we, as small business owners, care deeply about. We provide solutions to our customers, yes. But we also give our customers opportunities to feel seen and to express what they care about.

Now let's look at another business owner who is also selling used construction equipment. Let's call this business owner, Dave.

Like Uncle Lou, Dave is interested in the bottom line. When he spends money on marketing, it's with the desire that his market leads to new customers and more sales.

Unlike Uncle Lou, Dave got into his business because he wanted to support sustainability in the construction industry. Dave saw a lot of waste and it bothered him. He decided to contribute to solving the problem.

Dave likes the fact that he helps his customers get a good deal and he really likes the fact that in addition to helping customers get the equipment they need, the success of his business means:

- he can give back to his local community

- he can donate what he can't sell to a non-profit organization that reuses or recycles components

- in a small way he's helping the earth by renewing what might otherwise end up in a landfill

In addition to running ads, Dave's marketing includes;

- presenting at trade schools and engineering schools

- producing short videos he runs on youtube

- a leadership role in the U.S. Green Building Council

- sponsoring a local high school team to participate in an annual "Low Impact Development" national contest

I used Dave as a concrete example to illustrate to my uncle how substituting some creativity and sweat equity enabled Dave to get the word out about his company, services, and attract customers who not only needed a good deal...they wanted to contribute to something they truly care about.

"Well," said my uncle, "that's interesting and all but that's just not my style. I'm not against helping my community or saving the earth. I just don't have the time."

"That's cool," I said, "It's your business and you call the shots. Mostly I wanted to clarify that the guerrilla marketing I help clients with is for sure about getting results but part of the reason my clients get results is because they consciously choose marketing activities that reflect what they care about."

===========================================
Bottom Line
===========================================

The conversation I had with my uncle was not about convincing him that my way of marketing was better than his. It was to clarify a common idea that guerrilla marketing is about strong-arm, no-holds barred marketing tactics.

Yes there's a common focus on getting results but I see the more subtle values-centered, relationship building activities as ultimately more powerful than simply telling people you have the best solution for the money.

By all means, tell them you offer a great solution and tell them-- better yet--show them why you cared enough to offer the solution to begin with.


About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
Judy Murdoch helps small business owners create low-cost, effective marketing campaigns using word-of-mouth referrals, guerrilla marketing activities, and selected strategic alliances. To download a free copy of the workbook, "Where Does it Hurt? Marketing Solutions to the problems that Drive Your Customers Crazy!" go to http://www.judymurdoch.com/workbook.htm
You can contact Judy at 303-475-2015 or judy@judymurdoch.com

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