Tag Archives: guerrilla marketing

signs 101

People and many businesses don’t know how to put a sign by the road.

This seems like a very basic skill to me. But now as more temporary event signage for summer events is put up and the political sign season beginning, I’m seeing many dumb placement of these signs. And it’s not just cheap banners and yard signs, there’s lots of permanent signage that is incorrectly oriented.

The basic problem is that some people feel the need to place the sign where they can see it from inside the business. This is a derivative of the major marketing sin many people commit which is “if I can’t see my marketing, then it doesn’t exist”. In signage, you need to appeal to the “traveling down the street” demographic, not the “inside the building” demographic.

These people place their signs parallel to the road so that someone travelling down the road would have to turn their head 90 degrees at the exact correct moment in order to read the sign.

The correct placement of most signage is perpendicular to the road so that people can read it for a longer time.

I have created an infographic below to help you see the error of your ways. Which placement is more readable?

how to put a sign by the road

guerrillas peeing in the ocean

Normally, I’m a cynic when it comes to the concept of guerrilla marketing. There are several reasons:
–As with most marketing platforms, it’s misunderstood. People call some things guerrilla marketing that really aren’t.
–Some guerrilla marketing tactics should be part of a core marketing strategy anyway.
–Many businesses performing guerrilla marketing are thinking too much about the low-budget part rather than how it could be effective
–Too many times in addition to low/no budget :: there’s low/no creativity
–There’s typically no objective at the start :: or tracking at the end
–But the big reason that I’ve always been mistrustful of guerillas is that is seems like you’re urinating in the ocean. Sure, you’re doing something. But is it enough to make a difference?

So as I’m walking around a college campus today putting up flyers, two things keep ringing through my head:
1) Is this really going to be enough to make an impact?
2) People look at you weird when you’re packing an old school Swingline stapler around on a college campus.

Guerilla Stupidity

So many things to say about the marketing campaign/terror scare in Boston.

First off, I’m a huge fan of unconventional low cost marketing, but I hate “guerrilla marketing” with a passion.

The original concept of guerrilla marketing was a good idea. And that original idea is still good. But today, guerrilla marketing has degraded into dumping trash with a logo on it around an area or doing things that look like they’re gathering attention, but have no impact on sales/awareness/etc.

Jaffe has the best quote:

“Bottom line is that we’ve become so desperate to “break through the clutter” that words like “viral”, “buzz” and “guerilla” are quickly turning into the equivalent of shooting gerbils through cannons…and I think we know how that story ends.”

This Cartoon Network campaign reminds me of one they did about a year ago with inside jokes /catchphrases from some of its original programs and/or characters. I didn’t like that campaign at all. It had the same basic problem as this one. If you’re not already a viewer of these programs, you have no idea what you’re looking at. Only the present “customers” of these shows know that you’re marketing to them. There’s no way to increase your market share. It’s like advertising food to people on Thanksgiving afternoon.

Need proof? These lighted characters had been in place for nearly TWO WEEKS across Boston before someone noticed them. That’s really grabbing the attention of the consumer.

If the national news scare hadn’t focused the attention on the show, it would have been a useless campaign like the other one. But I would say that even though there’s an outward contrite attitude being projected by Turner Broadcasting, they’re elated. It’s more buzz than they could have ever expected.

You might say that’s proof that the guerrilla marketing worked. Sure, it did this time, But I really don’t think raising the terror level of a major U.S. metro should be a part of your marketing plan.

Problems and Solutions

I recently returned a call from a gentleman who was inquiring about hiring me to consult on his company’s marketing strategy. Within a minute of the beginning of our conversation, he popped out “Do you do guerilla marketing? I want to do guerilla marketing. I read a book at Borders about Guerilla marketing last week and it was great”

My response was that unique and non-traditional methods were extremely effective, but it would be best to take a look at his marketing objectives before we determined what strategies would work best. I don’t think he liked that I said that, but we continued to talk…

Through our entire conversation, I got the message that “marketing” was one more thing on his big checklist to get taken care of today. He had already developed the business model…already had the website online…and now was “adding the marketing” to his business. I told him that I probably wasn’t a good fit for his company.

Too many people already have “the solution” figured out before they know what the problem is. And the answer to your marketing problem is not in the marketing book you picked up at Borders last night. It starts by looking at your company from your customer’s POV and working from there.