Tuesday, June 06, 2000

The Marketing formerly known as Guerilla

Things settled down after Visibility 2000's stormy morning for the panel on Guerillla Marketing. Today, guerilla marketing doesn’t necessarily mean that edgy, in-your-face, aggressive, cheap alternative to glossy Madison avenue advertising. Today, there is so much advertising and marketing everywhere that guerilla marketing is thought of as another marketing approach. (Michael Diamante, CEO, iClips.com) In fact, companies like Coca-cola and McDonalds have been using "guerilla" marketing for years, before the term came to mean what it does. Consider the early "grass roots" efforts these companies made with getting the product in the hands of consumers. (Sam Ewan, president and former GM of Eisnor Interactive) The term obviously gets connotations from warfare and stealth mode attack where companies would attempt to get into the minds of people through stickers and word-of-mouth messages (Andrew Weinrich, founder of Sixdegrees). In our modern-world attempt to get noticed, it seems every company is utilizing some form of this marketing, so much so that the term can actually mean many things (Diamante). Of course, what really matters is effective vs. ineffective marketing. And how you do it should be determined by your business model (Ewan).
After each of the panelists spoke, it was apparent that the term "guerilla" was just short of antiquated! When asked if guerilla marketing was more effective than traditional marketing, Weinrich was quick to point out that email marketing isn't really guerilla in the sense of new, edgy marketing, since it's been done for over four years now. Despite its novelty, Mike Corso, CEO of Cool Site of the Day, recognized the value of email marketing and listed several sites where you could get lists and more information on this form of getting the word out (a program called Nitro, gmarketing.com). Corso also heralded the value of bartering and co-marketing with other appropriate sites. This brought out discussions on how this industry is one of the most incestuous industries ever, with the number of people marketing to each other all within a close circle of wired-elite.
Our brand of marketing, formerly known as Guerilla, was also being shaken from its post as being the cheap-and-easy solution too. Effective marketing plans, whether its guerrilla, TV, print or radio, can cost the same. The difference with G-marketing is that it usually has a better cost-per-acquisition for customers. The real question, however, is your business model. That will determine the best method for marketing (Weinrich). Ewan responded to a question by saying that possibly 25% of your marketing budget should be spent on G-marketing and the rest should be on "top level" marketing.
All four gentlemen, Corso, Diamant, Ewan and Weinrich agreed on the change in the marketplace with the industry and what worked in '95 wouldn't necessarily work today. While guerilla marketing isn't necessarily so new and hot anymore, and it seems that everything's been done ad nauseam, they insisted that there still are plenty of great ideas still to be had and developed. Good. We like new ideas. The first one should be a new name for our edgy-brand of marketing. After all, who wants to be known for doing something like an Ape?