What is Guerrilla marketing? Derived from the term Guerrilla warfare, it is use of unconventional methods for marketing campaigns. In today’s competitive market, traditional marketing like newspaper, radio, hoardings etc.. have become expensive. Cost of customer acquisition with traditional marketing has skyrocketed. A full page ad in a leading newspaper would cost at least Rs. 50,000 and cost per customer acquisition would easily be Rs. 500. This does not make sense for lot of low margin businesses.

Through guerrilla marketing you can reach people at a lower cost. All that is needed is some innovation and a bit more effort. Below are a few campaigns that we have run and seen people run successfully.

Guerilla marketing for retail stores

Loyal customers as marketing vehicles

The most powerful and effective marketing is “Word of Mouth”. Your loyal customer base is the best vehicle for it. It can be as simple as giving good branded labels to kids coming to your ice cream or toyshop. The idea is that your loyal customers talk about you when someone enquires upon seeing these branded items. Make sure these branded items have good value so that they are not thrown away and it is attractive enough for people to ask questions about it.

Free press

Getting your store covered by press is a costly affair. Sending a mail to the media about the launch of a store or something new in the store does not work. These emails are ignored. Inviting a celebrity would attract the press, but again celebrities come at a cost. Recently I came across this example in a guerrilla marketing session. A toilet cleaning company when launched did not have the money for publicity. So they chose an apartment community with over 500 houses and offered to clean all the toilets in 24 hours. At the end of the campaign they got free press as it was a new effort, and around 20 percent of the houses became their client. They got into offices of most of the owners in the apartment. The total amount of money they spent was a mere Rs. 6000.

Social responsibility

People tend to believe in companies that showcase that they have value. Campaigns that are connected to social responsibility give you personal satisfaction. If this can be showcased to people, such that it does not look like promoting your business. It will get you a lot of brownie points. Recently I have seen campaigns like excess food and clothing collection center’s. Putting up regular updates on the number of people benefitting gives the customers a satisfaction that they to have contributed. This also makes sure your store is fresh in the minds of people.


A small change from how your competitors work can make the biggest difference. Food based businesses usually buy a lot of material for production. This involves material coming in small tins. These tins if converted to small pots for table plants and branded can be valuable giveaways to customers. It helps propagating your brand as well shows that you are not just dumping waste. Since these kind of activities need effort rather than money not many competitors might do it. Making you unique.

Adopting guerrilla marketing means you save money; in turn meaning your store can survive an extra month or two during hard times. This is crucial to sustenance of businesses in a highly competitive era. Happy selling.

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