Guerrilla, Viral and Ambush Marketing
Dr Bian Monger
Guerrilla marketing is unconventional marketing activities intended to get maximum results from minimal resources. It is more about matching creative idea and wits than matching budgets. Rather than marching their marketing dollars, guerrilla marketers snipe away with their marketing resources for maximum impact.
Undercover marketing is a subset of guerrilla marketing where the buyer doesn’t realise they’re being marketed to. For example, a marketing company might pay an actor or socially adept person to use a certain product visibly and convincingly in locations where target segments congregate. The actor will talk up the product to people they befriend in that location, even handing out samples if it is economically feasible.
Undercover marketing is also know as buzz marketing or stealth marketing.
The goal of any undercover campaign is to generate buzz. Spontaneous word of mouth, or buzz, is free, can reach consumers isolated from all other media, and unlike conventional media, consumers tend to trust it. Marketers find it very hard to predict buzz let alone generate it on demand. However when it works, undercover marketing does exactly that: an ideal consumer from the example above will not only begin using that product themselves, but will also tell their friends about it, inciting a planned viral marketing campaign that looks spontaneous.
Viral marketing refers to marketing techniques that seek to exploit pre-existing social networks to produce exponential increases in brand awareness, through viral processes similar to the spread of an epidemic. The term “viral advertising” refers to the idea that people will pass on and share cool and entertaining content; this is often sponsored by a brand, which is looking to build awareness of a product or service. These viral commercials often take the form of funny video clips, or interactive Flash games, images, and even text.
Ambush Marketing refers to the strategic placement of marketing material and promotions at events that will attract consumer and media attention. It has been defined as “the practice whereby another firm, seeks association with the sponsored activity without payment to the activity owner”. This company attempts to deflect some of the audience attention away from the sponsor to itself.
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