Guerrilla marketing is a term used to describe unconventional marketing tactics, particularly those with low cost or no cost, which rely on time, energy and imagination rather than a big marketing budget, so they are ideal for the cash-strapped small business in the present economic climate.
The idea is to target customers in unexpected places, in unexpected ways, to get maximum results from minimum resources and create a unique, engaging and memorable brand experience.
Here are just 10 innovative marketing ideas to get you started:
1. Run a competition to win advertising space on your site. This is a no-cost prize you can use to market your website: free for you but valuable for others.
2. Leave your business card in unexpected places: for instance pop one inside every book in an appropriate section of the local library.
3. When you visit the doctor or dentist's surgery, leave a business card inside each magazine in the waiting room.
4. Add your website's URL to the signature of each email account you use, so it appears on every email you send (personal or business) with an additional comment if appropriate.
5. Give a free product/service to the stylists at your local hairdressers' or barbers' - they will tell their clients all about this crazy person who gives things away.
6. When you see a restaurant or bar collecting business cards in a bowl, to win a free meal or bottle of champagne - ask if you can have the losing cards. That will give you dozens of new contacts.
7. Run a fake publicity stunt - for instance, get a group of students or friends to hold a demo outside your premises with placards reading "This business (your name) is too nice!" or any crazy message you choose.
8. Offer to run free demonstrations related to your product or service at local events or venues - maybe your village hall, or library, or community centre could do with an interesting event to fill up their schedule.
9. Borrow a wall (get permission from a neighbouring business), and project an image of your business/advertisement on it overnight.
10. Carry a pad of brightly coloured post-it type notes advertising your business wherever you go. (They can be hand-written if you can't afford to get them printed.) Stick them up in unusual and unexpected places - inside the doors of lavatory cubicles or on the urinals; next to the lift buttons in shops or offices; if you write on the back of the notes you can stick them on car windscreens in car-parks, so the driver will see the message when they get in the car.
And if all these have whetted your appetite to start being creative yourself, try brainstorming ideas with your employees, family or friends 'the more off-the wall the better. These are just a few innovative marketing ideas to help you get started.