“Guerrilla marketing” as a term and technique has been around for a long time, but typically it is associated with B2C endeavors. However, guerrilla marketing can also be used in the B2B world. As competition is always fierce, and as everyone’s attention span gets shorter and more jaded, perhaps more AEC firms should implement some guerrilla tactics.
First, what exactly is guerrilla marketing?
One thing it is not, is GORILLA marketing. That is a very specific niche of marketing not super relevant to the AEC field.
“Guerrilla” marketing is often low-cost and UNCONVENTIONAL, and it aims to be out-of-the-box while often surprising its viewers/readers. In some ways it can be seen as less dignified (??) than normal marketing schemes. A firm does not need a large marketing/advertising budget to partake in guerrilla marketing- but one does need to be creative and also willing to take some risks.
In the B2B arena, there are several tactics that could be implemented. Several are noted below, per a recent blog post on Stratabeat:
- Crash The Party / “steal” attention from your competitors
- Deploy Temporary/ Pop-Up Shops
- Revamp Your 404 Pages (Webpage error message landing page)
- Utilize Billboards
- Create Exclusive Events
A few points on the above article and partial listing.
- Your firm is not “above” doing guerrilla techniques. Salesforce was very successful in crashing the party of a competitor’s event- and Salesforce is now a $13 billion / year company- and the leader in its field.
- I don’t see a lot of relevance or ROI on altering your company’s various 404 web error messages. If people are already on your website, that kind of gimmick shouldn’t be needed.
- My old employer, a medium-sized real estate developer, utilized “mobile billboards” for a while to advertise his newer townhouse development. He paid a banner/ A-frame truck to drive around in a few towns, and when it was done it parked all night/ after hours at a very busy intersection on the main road in town. Many eyes were on that large sign every day. It certainly brought some brand recognition- if nothing else.
- For the AEC industry specifically, I would say #5 is maybe most relevant and is the most used. As we all know, there are TONS of events and offerings. Maybe we do need to be more creative with these events though. Topics, locations, attendees, environments, etc.
As we roll into 2021 and the unknowns of the market and commercial activity, it may be even more needed to market and set yourself apart from competing outfits. Guerrilla marketing is not a bad word, and may be worth looking at closer.
(NOTE: this article, by Ken Lambert, was originally published on the website of Society of Marketing Professional Services in January 2020.)