The art of Guerrilla marketing

Regardless of your business, marketing is of the most important activities you have to do. However, traditional classes like MBA and other trainings have focused on teaching marketers from a perspective of spending a lot of money to generate sales. Unfortunately, businesses do not have a lot of money. It is a constraint.

Entrepreneurs have very good ideas but their biggest challenge is shortage of capital and cash flows. You need to find ways of overcoming capital challenges. This is why the concept of Guerrilla marketing comes in.  How  do you increase revenue with a minimal budget?

Guerrilla marketing is about using unconventional means to achieve convectional goals. Guerrilla marketers take their time and energy to create a market base without spending a lot of money. An average marketer in a big company has a big budget and can spend regardless whether there is value for money. This is because technically the business is on a strong foundation to grow whether marketing is intelligent or just spending.

For a small firm, that is different. Sales people must be creative. That is where sales people involved in insurance, personal loans must be creative. Guerrilla marketing relies on little money to attain significant results. Their objective is clear; spend less to attain high sales. For example, for a football team their objective is one; “score as many goals, concede as few goals as possible.” To win, you must have clear targets. You may be spending much money and unable to recover it. You may think you are growing yet your expenditure is big compared to what you are getting. That is why traditional big companies are not able to carefully evaluate how much they spend in marketing. If you go deep into telecom companies, you realize they spend a lot in creating interests other than customer retention. Marketing is not about creating swag but attracting customers and retaining them.  It takes simple steps to achieving exceptional results. Guerrilla marketing is about using low budget strategies to achieve and keep customers.

Guerrilla marketing thrives on the following principles.

1. Presence

As an entrepreneur or a sales person, you must create presence in the minds of your customers, such that every time they think about a product, they think about you. Ensure that you are present in conferences, magazines, yellow pages and on radios. Remember we are using less expensive methods to achieve great results. While big companies will focus on running a full page advert in the newspaper, a Guerrilla marketer will look at running a classified advert not costing above Ugx. 50,000 but consistently. He is also interested in the next steps. He puts a website. When one can visits the site, he will find all the benefits listed as why they should use the products. He goes further to indicate clearly contacts of the person you can call. The presence is created. Even better, a Guerrilla marketer will include their photo to project sincerity.

2. Activity

Having small series of activities is very important. Who is going to be doing which activity? What is the result of the activity done? It is one thing to get a customer, another thing to sell to them and get satisfied. I have accounts with telecom, banks and insurance companies but getting statements at the end of the month becomes a tar of war. If I cannot get my statements quickly, then I will begin doubting your processes. You are not doing activities which make me comfortable as a customer.

3. Energy

Many people when they market, they stop. They don’t keep the marketing effort consistent. We need to know what the difference between marketing and selling is. Marketing are those activities you so that the market is aware of your products. In other words ways of making somebody squat. A sale is the process of pushing them to fall. Just like the saying, “you have pushed someone who is squatting”. According to Guerrilla marketing principles, you must have energy to continuous market to these people. Don’t make the mistake of stopping to market. Keep doing it.

4. Networks

A Guerrilla marketer must always make contacts and develop them by nurturing them into strong relationships. People buy from people they know. In Uganda we call it sofa factor risk. It is unlikely for you to sell to me if we do not know each other. It is very important for any business especially people in marketing to ensure they create relationships with their customers. According to the 80/20 rule, it is very important to nurture the 20 per cent of your clients since 80 per cent of revenue comes from them.

5. Smart

This means that you are savvy. You can take decisions quickly without going through bureaucracy at the company. Take time to understand your customers and provide customer responsive needs.

To be continued.

Copyright Mustapha B. Mugisa, 2015. All rights reserved.

About M. B. Mugisa

Mustapha Barnabas Mugisa is one of those rare people who provides business consulting and advisory to professionals and corporate entities who demand the very best. He is a prolific speaker and governance (strategy and risk) expert. His speaking involves making key notes at major conferences and business events on both technical subjects and leadership skills. A change agent and motivational speaker. Mustapha provides tools and proven methodologies to remarkable results through making people appreciate change. Visit Mustapha's LinkedIn profile to know more. Mustapha is the architect of #WinningMindset Leadership and #WinningTheGame strategy approach that combines Harvard Business strategy Playing To Win, with the Blue Ocean Strategy and Balanced Score Card to deliver a strategy that is easy to execute and monitor. Visit for special insights to improve your condition. Are you too good to be great?

Entries by M. B. Mugisa