Differences between Traditional Marketing and Guerrilla Marketing

Simply looking at the definition of Guerrilla Marketing, we can be sure that it has a lot to do with creativeness and a lot of innovations should be made to traditional way of thinking that has been applied to marketing. Differences from traditional marketing and Guerrilla Marketing are several-fold. Within the context of this article, however, only some remarkable differences are chosen for analysis and illustrated with simple examples for better comparison.

Let’s start analyzing the differences of traditional marketing from Guerrilla Marketing by a funny bookstores story, which is as following: A small bookstore was located on a beautiful street with quite a lot of pedestrians, commuters, and other people crossing the street every day. Unfortunately, that small big store, “Books For Every One” — that’s how it was named, was positioned right in the middle of the two other huge stores which were also selling books. Bad enough, the bookstore on the on the left hand side of “Books For Every One” hanged a huge banner saying that “Shocking sale off 50%”. And even worse, the bookstore on the right hand side also hanged a giant banner, which as almost bigger than the surface of “Books For Every One”, saying “Special sale, discount up to 70%”. In that case, every one might got freaked out and frustrated. However, the owner of “Books For Every One” did not give up that easily. The next day he hanged a board in front of the store with just two simple words: “Main Entrance”. Apparently, customers were easily trapped to enter “Books For Every One” at their first step. That cunning man has applied a very low-cost, surprising, and highly effective way to win the customers. And to some extend, he has practiced a Guerrilla Marketing approach.

So the first difference we may realize through the story above between traditional marketing and Guerrilla Marketing is the way of thinking, or in other words, the idea. If not for such idea, the man in the above story could hardly save the situation and he could do nothing but watching and waiting to loose the customers in despair. Guerrilla marketers do not, and somehow cannot, rely on huge budgets or financial capacity to develop their marketing plans. They rather base on their creative thinking and surprising, dynamic ways to reach their target customers.

In traditional marketing, product diversification is encouraged to satisfy several groups of customers. This is, however, more suitable for big firms than for small businesses and this may cause the business at risk for extending too much and not focusing to develop the most competitive product. Guerrilla Marketing advises people to expand the business only to a sustainable extend and focus on their key product since the key product contributes the most to the return of the business.

Traditional marketing uses mass media and several advertising channels to attract the attention of as many people as possible, whereas Guerrilla Marketing focuses on reaching the right group of customers. In other words, traditional marketing tries to broadcast while Guerrilla Marketing puts efforts to effectively narrowcast. Because it is very time-consuming and costly when trying to talk to every person about your product, yet it would be much more efficient if you talk to people who may care about the product. Let’s take a women’s shaping underwear brand for example. When an advertisement about the product is run on VTV3, it may be caught by many people yet might slip away easily from their mind for the first few times. Attention might be achieved when the advertisement is repeatedly broadcast and that would be so costly. There would be an alternative when a short introductory commercial about the shaping underwear is made on Shopping TV, which has become the favorite channels for several housewives. With this choice, the number of audience may declines yet the impact is more profound. However, such approach is still costly and unfocused. Guerrilla Marketers, in stead, would choose to reach even smaller group of customers by very a more concentrated and low-cost channel which is women magazine.

In terms of investment, traditional marketing often assimilated investment with money whereas Guerrilla Marketing suggests that when you do not have much money to invest, you may invest idea, time, imagination, creativeness, and information. And such investment should be made in a very smart manner. Let’s listen to another story: There was a young lady owning a small flower shop. Her budget for marketing and advertising was also small as her flower shop and she could not afford to advertise for her artistic flowers on expensive media. She decided to, on a beautiful Sunday morning where many people would love to hang out at the central park, place a very charming and beautiful basket of flowers in a very eye-catching corner where everyone can see as they walk into the park. People in the park began to wonder who made such beautiful flowers and they got close to the flower basket to find a small handmade tag attached to the basket introducing about the owner with her contact detail. Amazing enough, the next day the number of visitors to the flower shop rose suddenly and after a month, the quantity of orders almost doubled.

Sure enough, Guerrilla Marketing is not a matter of luck yet a matter of creativeness and timing.

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