Going Ape for Guerrilla Marketing

This blog entry is also posted on theinternview.com under my weekly column on gaining the most valuable skills from your internship.

Guerrilla marketing by definition is an unconventional, engaging, interactive or memorable method of marketing communications, but it isn’t always a bunch of monkey business. Understanding its use can help open doors you never thought existed by bringing forth your innermost creativity and drive to succeed.

Why is marketing an invaluable skill, especially to someone who’s not in marketing? Plain and simple – it can impact anyone, anywhere, and you can learn a lot from it. You can use it as part of personal branding, in a start-up or corporate environment to really make a name for yourself. What better way to ignite that creative spark than under the guidance of your manager, supervisor, or mentor while interning?

Here are some tips I can share on getting guerrilla:

During your next project, ask some questions to assess where guerrilla tactics may be needed.

  • Identify the objectives and goals. What is the end result you’re looking for?
  • Who are your key stakeholders? Who does this project directly impact?
  • Ask your team to recall successful/unsuccessful project.
  • Can you uncover why or what triggered the success/failure?
  • Do you have a set budget or deadline? Write down what you would do with an unlimited budget and timeline.

Think about a company that may have exhibited on your college campus in the past.

  • What were they giving away? Gift bags, tchotchkes, sample products, literature, etc.
  • What was their overall presence like? A large booth/station, brand ambassadors, music/entertainment, look and feel, etc.
  • Can you remember the occasion? Campus fair, homecoming week, holidays, etc.
  • Can you remember other guerrilla campaigns now that you can identify this one? How did they differ?

I can also share a few things to consider on guerrilla in my line of work. As a corporate communications intern, I need to help discover creative ways to communicate with internal stakeholders. Because our audience shifts daily, it’s important to think of how to communicate and convey our brand internally – in a creative but professional fashion – tailored to suit our corporate culture. When I interned at a social networking start-up, we promoted our company at events in branded T-shirts, cycling between cocktail napkins, Livestrong-style rubber bracelets, and glossy business cards as giveaway premiums – but was it enough to get people to transition from offline to online? On a limited budget, is your return on investment (ROI) more critical?

Learning first-hand with your team and thinking back on your own experiences, your fresh perspective, ambition and ability to problem-solve could be an invaluable asset for your firm. In a time where everyone is facing information overload, there are ways to break through the clutter that may just begin with a lofty idea. I encourage you all to take a moment to step back, reflect, and give guerrilla a chance. Your can-do attitude will be appreciated and will definitely prove as interesting learning experiences to discuss in future job interviews.


About Chelsea Pearl

Community manager by day, style blogger by night. http://chelseapearl.com
This entry was posted in Internships, Marketing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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