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The New Secrets of Guerrilla Marketing

The most important things you need to know about marketing are in this column. In the few minutes it takes you to read this, you'll learn more basic truths about marketing than you'd pick up with a score of MBA degrees under one arm and all the marketing books ever written, including mine, under the other.

As marketing continues to change, the secrets of guerrilla marketing continue to change. Originally, there were three secrets, then seven, then twelve. Now, I'm going to clue you in on the 16 secrets that guarantee you will exceed your most optimistic projections, however dreamy they may be.

MEMORIZE THESE 16 WORDS THEN LIVE BY THEM

I'm giving you a memory crutch so that you'll never forget these words, each one representing a major guerrilla marketing secret. All 16 words end in the letters "ENT." Run your business by the guerrilla concepts they represent and your marketing dreams will come true.

1. COMMITMENT: You should know that a mediocre marketing program with commitment will always prove more profitable than a brilliant marketing program without commitment. Commitment makes it happen.

2. INVESTMENT: Marketing is not an expense, but an investment -- the best investment available in America today -- if you do it right. With the 15 secrets of guerrilla marketing to guide you, you'll be doing it right.

3. CONSISTENT: It takes a while for prospects to trust you and if you change your marketing, media, and identity, you're hard to trust. Restraint is a great ally of the guerrilla. Repetition is another.

4. CONFIDENT: In a nationwide test to determine why people buy, price came in fifth, selection fourth, service third, quality second, and, in first place -- people said they patronize businesses in which they are confident.

5. PATIENT: Unless the person running your marketing is patient, it will be difficult to practice commitment, view marketing as an investment, be consistent, and make prospects confident. Patience is a guerrilla virtue.

6. ASSORTMENT: Guerrillas know that individual marketing weapons rarely work on their own. But marketing combinations do work. A wide assortment of marketing tools is required to woo and win customers.

7. CONVENIENT: People now know that time is not money, but is far more valuable than money. Respect this by being easy to do business with and running your company for the convenience of your customers, not yourself.

8. SUBSEQUENT: The real profits come after you've made the sale, in the form of repeat and referral business. Non-guerrillas think marketing ends when they've made the sale. Guerrillas know that's when marketing begins.

9. AMAZEMENT: There are elements of your business that you take for granted, but prospects would be amazed if they knew the details. Be sure all of your marketing always reflects that amazement. It's always there.

10. MEASUREMENT: You can actually double your profits by measuring the results of your marketing. Some weapons hit bulls-eyes. Others miss the target. Unless you measure, you won't know which is which.

11. INVOLVEMENT: This describes the relationship between you and your customers -- and it is a relationship. You prove your involvement by following up; they prove theirs by patronizing and recommending you.

12. DEPENDENT: The guerrilla's job is not to compete but to cooperate with other businesses. Market them in return for them marketing you. Set up tie-ins with others. Become dependent to market more and invest less.

13. ARMAMENT: Armament is defined as "the equipment necessary to wage and win battles." The armament of guerrillas is technology: computers, current software, cellphones, pagers, fax machines. If you're technophobic, see a techno-shrink.

14. CONSENT: In an era of non-stop interruption marketing, the key to success is to first gain consent to receive your marketing materials, then market only to those who have given you that consent. Don't waste money on people who don't give it to you.

15. AUGMENT: To succeed online, augment your website with offline promotion, constant maintenance of your site, participation in newsgroups and forums, email, chatroom attendance, posting articles, hosting conferences and rapid follow-up.

16. CONTENT: Don't believe that old adage, "Sell the sizzle not the steak." Sophisticated consumers these days know the sizzle from the steak and prefer the steak every time. Your substance, not your style, will carry the day for you.

These 16 concepts are probably the reason that many start-up guerrillas now run highly successful companies. They are the cornerstone of guerrilla marketing, now the most popular marketing series in history, published in 39 languages, and required reading in many MBA programs worldwide. Just 16 words, but each one nuclear-powered and capable of propelling you into the land of your dreams.
. . .

Article by Jay Conrad Levinson - Copyright © 2003
Jay Conrad Levinson is the author of the "Guerrilla Marketing" series of books, the most popular marketing series in history with 14 million sold, now in 39 languages. At his GuerrillaMarketingAssociation.com website, you'll find a new source of profit-producing ideas plus a list of 100 guerrilla marketing weapons. Join up for telephone and online access to The Father of Guerrilla Marketing.




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