Guerrilla Marketing for B2B
Benefits of branding in steel market cannot be ignored. Various success stories have proved the advantage of branding of steel. But we cannot turn a deaf ear to the fact that most of the success stories of steel branding are from big industry players, who carry a strong history and heritage, whose name is renowned in the market and even having their logo as prefix gives a head start to any product. Moreover, these biggies have a huge marketing budget to support and grow a product into a brand through broader coverage nationally or globally. Then, how can a new product be developed to a brand with low marketing budget in a minimal time frame?
Conventional modes of advertising are expensive and have broader untargeted approach which is more appropriate for B2C brands. B2B brand managers should plan their media strategy very aptly to hit the target bang on. One of the preferred marketing strategies for cost-conscious marketers in the business markets is guerilla marketing. It may be a good solution for small businesses because when executed well, it will often be low cost, yet reach a highly targeted audience. It can also be a great way to get noticed, be distinguished from the competition and earn a reputation for being different.
What is Guerrilla Marketing?
Consumers are loaded with a lot of junk emails, spam emails, SMS and unwanted phone calls and are so used to these traditional tactics that businesses sometimes have to think of other ways to get their attention. Guerrilla marketing is an advertisement strategy & concept designed for businesses to promote their products or services in an unconventional way with little budget to spend. This involves high energy and imagination focusing on grasping the attention of the target group at a more personal and memorable level. Guerilla technique involves everything from flyer distribution, creative wall paintings to creating an operation at major event or festival mostly without directly connecting to the event but using the opportunity.
Guerrilla marketing originally was conceptualized for small businesses with a small budget, unlike typical public marketing campaigns that utilize TV, radio, print & billboards. It involves the application of multiple techniques and practices in order to establish direct contact with the customers. The term itself is inspired from guerrilla warfare, which was an unconventional war technique using different hit and run techniques from usual and small strategies used by armed civilians. It involves high imagination and energy to execute a guerrilla marketing campaign.
This kind of marketing is purely focused on taking the consumer by surprise, creating a greater impression and eventually leading to buzz through word-of-mouth or social media platforms. Guerrilla marketing can be much effective for any small or medium size business to bring a product or service to its consumers without investing more money on advertisements. This technique has also been used by large companies to get a competitive edge over peers.
Types of Guerrilla Marketing
The strategy is majorly divided into five categories – Ambient, Ambush, Stealth, Viral and Street Marketing. Wall paintings, rickshaw branding are perfect examples of ambient communication. It is a complex form of corporate communication that uses elements of the environment including nearly every available physical surface to convey messages that elicit customer engagement. It is a compilation of intelligence, flexibility and effective use of the atmosphere. Moving ahead, we will study wall paintings in depth as an example of ambient guerrilla marketing technique.
Wall painting is a typical way of promotion in steel industry. It is the oldest medium of advertisement and effective for rural reach; it is especially a common practice for TMT and sheets. No doubt, wall paintings is an effective medium for increasing the visibility of a product, but before choosing wall paintings as the medium of communication for a product, these points should be considered:
- An effective medium complies with the product’s attributes, like ruggedness or softness of the product. Wall painting is always a first choice for rugged products like steel, for food products or moisturizers or any product, which is positioned or differentiated on any soft attribute, wall painting is a bad idea. Steel is a rugged and sturdy product, free from wear and tear, low maintenance, and long life, very similar to wall paintings.
- Though wall paintings are cost effective and effective for steel industry, this should not be the first medium to introduce your product, it may create an image of sub standard, poor quality, low budget, less priced product. This marketing option should be kept for the later stages of product life cycle. Using viral guerrilla marketing for introduction and during the growth of the product is a better way to go. Viral guerrilla marketing involves identifying potential places where targeted buyers can be approached, planning an effective campaign with high involvement of target groups; for example, arranging a technical quiz in exhibition stall at industry conferences.
- One of the major issues with wall paintings is creativity. Finding good painters to make 3D conceptual painting is a bit difficult but not impossible. Creativity makes your approach distinct from other wall paintings. Make one painting, but make it effective and different. I have seen many players get advertisements painted frantically anywhere and everywhere in a particular area. This may force commuters for brand recognition but ultimately develops an image of heavily promoted brand and creates nuisance in customer’s perception of a brand. Communication through traditional wall paintings should be well planned and effective to achieve the objective of communication. Merging it with guerrilla campaigns may result in double or triple benefits.
- The issue of fading of wall paintings cannot be disregarded. I notice marketers are least bothered to remove or renew their wall paintings until they reach worst conditions. Faded wall paintings create an image of obsolete or outmoded products. It develops a perception of lazy servicing and sales team. In fact, sometimes it gives an impression of withdrawal or unavailability of a product, which in turn affects the purchase decision. It generates a negative mindset for your brand. Therefore, if you chose wall paintings, keep tracking its freshness. If the place is secure, use wall wrap.
Cracked and un-cemented walls give a shabby appearance and mostly create clutter making the advertisement ineffective in grabbing the attention of the passersby. When choosing walls for paintings, try to have big plain cemented walls with proper visibility and lighting. Make use of windows and cracks creatively.
With guerrilla marketing, you can get the media to talk about your product. It can create a buzz that has more credibility than advertising. When you pay for an ad in a newspaper or magazine, consumers know you control the message. But when the media talks about your product, readers, viewers or listeners feel they are getting more-objective information.