Guerrilla Marketing

So you're writing your business plan, you get to the marketing strategy section, and you find yourself stumped. How should your business plan say that you'll market your business? There are scores of different methods—from traditional to experimental, reliable to risky—but none has garnered so much attention in the past few years as the concept of guerrilla marketing, a marketing strategy for small businesses that holds, above all, that what you should invest to promote your company is time, energy, and imagination—not capital. Conceived by renowned entrepreneurial consultant and free-thinker Jay Conrad Levinson, guerrilla marketing maintains that the laws of human behavior are central to any effective marketing plan. Measuring profits instead of sales, cooperating with would-be competitors, building relationships in the community, focusing on core efficiencies, and using several marketing techniques at once are the "guerrilla marketing keys" to effectively selling your business in the marketplace.

If you are interested in including guerrilla marketing in your business plan, it is important to ensure that you understand how it differs from conventional marketing, and—more to the point—how it will better suit your business model. The website Guerrilla Marketing Online, which promotes Mr. Levinson's products and lectures, includes some information about his theories and their application, but you will find more detailed accounts of guerrilla marketing elsewhere on the Internet, or in his bestselling book, Guerrilla Marketing: Secrets for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business. It is noteworthy that the website does not specifically discuss the practice of including guerrilla concepts in your business plan, however, so it would be best to research proven examples of how to explain the application of guerrilla techniques in your actual business plan.

Guerrilla marketing is not, perhaps, the groundbreaking new set of theories its proponents claim. It is, however, a different approach which may better serve your business model, particularly if you operate a small business and/or are entering an industry where traditional advertising methods are proving less successful. Ignoring and even trying to collaborate with your competition, for example, may not be the right approach for your company; moreover, diversifying could be a better strategy, in some instances, than focusing exclusively on the central function of your business. Because marketing strategies are necessarily industry- and company-specific, be sure that you are choosing a model for your business plan which is likely to serve you well. Guerrilla marketing isn't a sure bet, but it's surely worth investigating.