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What is Unconventional Public Relations and how I can use it?
Once again, I have recently seen guerilla auction. And I thought to myself, that action was using such simple tools and looked as something not expensive in implementation. Can everyone do it? Can we resort to it as well?
So, I wondered and really wanted to know what guerilla marketing is, and what it has to do with unconventional PR and PR-stunts. How does it actually work, what tricks does it have, and how entrepreneurs all around the world are benefiting from it?
PR stunts are carefully planned auctions and events, designed to present something absolutely unusual for the observers; they are often inexpensive in implementation, and are meant to create an attention splash in the media. Unconventional PR events can be organized by both amateurs, spontaneously and adjusted to some specific dates, and professional event-agencies.
Why do such guerilla marketing tricks make sense? With relatively lightweight engagement of finance and other tools it does offer high effectiveness of the media coverage and attention of your target group.
Unconventional PR is all about it
The idea of presenting unconventional marketing actions by analogy with guerilla tactics in the military actions can be traced back to a marketing guru Jay Conrad Levinson, who developed this groundbreaking technique in 1980s and laid it out in his book Guerrilla Marketing.
An image instead of a dozen words, because a proper one can say so much more, here is a hot example by Daily Quenchers
Guerilla Marketing facts and figures
- According to the results of a survey by Statista more than ¼ of the interviewed marketing decision-makers in the German economy unconventional marketing to profile their brands.
- Unconventional PR allows saving the initial marketing budget funds by 90% (Source: Workzone).
- In another survey the specialists from Statista have found out that the decision makers in marketing resort to guerilla actions when their purpose is to boost the media coverage.
4 pitfalls you should avoid when dealing with guerilla marketing
You don’t give word choice enough scrutiny
When preparing your guerilla action make sure you dedicate time and care to the words you pick to be used, and involve someone externally to take a look at your wording to make an objective gauge. Otherwise your message is going to get off focus and left misunderstood.
Your action is so sophisticated that no one understands it
If people don’t like something it is boring, unimaginative or completely odd marketing campaigns. Exactly the latter is to be steered clear of when you are arranging a guerilla marketing campaign. Will an independent observer, a potential client or just a bystander understand the depth of your wit or your message behind?
Actions without a strategy
So, this is like when you carry out PR stunts, without any logical or thematic connection and not being inbuilt into a solid strategy. It will create couple flashes in the pan but they would go out really fast without a sign of having any effect.
Pure self-promotion with no message behind it
A masterful example of a guerilla marketing campaign is the one that transfers their message onto their audience, involving people, making them a part of a product story, amusing them, making them talk about this PR stunt. You don’t achieve this effect with a mere self-important advertising slogan.
Placement of Unconventional PR in terms of marketing
Unconventional PR in the entire Marketing Funnel
The unconventional PR actions that you undertake are found between the top of the funnel and its middle.
Here the focus is placed on the measures that first of all attract the attention of the potential customers to your products and solutions, encouraging them to learn more about your company.
Immediate effect vs long-term effect
Unconventional Public Relations effect takes time to show and, unlike sales, does not generate strong impetus to purchase.
The proper effect is achieved exactly when your PR stunts are imbedded in your entire strategy and are recognized as its part.
Categorization in Channel Portfolio
When you draw up your portfolio with all the channels and activities, it becomes clear that Guerilla marketing actions function as seeds in the heads of potential customers.
In conjunction with the nets thrown and spears aimed with precision this channel works at its best.
4 often underrated tips and hacks when working with Unconventional PR
Make sure you have a Call to Action
The call to action in the guerilla marketing campaign is your first step towards your customer’s heart. It can be a give-away, a coupon or a link with some special information that would entice people to search and find something for themselves.
Focus on smaller groups
It is easier to establish relationships with smaller active and enthusiastic groups and gradually go up winning more customer segments than to attempt to drop on people’s heads right out of nowhere trying to conquer the place among their favorites. Such an approach gives you the chance to leave a more lasting imprint of yourself and develop a team of advocates of your product and brand among consumers.
Entertain, startle and surprise
A successful guerilla marketing campaign creates a wow effect, for it is designed to entertain, jolt you and surprise you. An awesome example here is the now famous Dollar Shave Club Video commercial by Michael Dubin that has become an alternative to the threadbare razor commercials: it makes you smile while offering some cool and unusually simple offer of cheap and cheerful razor set boxes mail delivery.
Do not concentrate on going viral
Virality is sure not something you have to concentrate most, though if you do, that may turn out to lead to an anticipated disenchantment, like a deflated balloon after a loud party. Your key direction is to bring in some value into the lives of your customers, and you are using PR stunts to make this value entrance colorful and memorable.
Guerilla Marketing key indicators
The same as with the conventional marketing, the net response rate can be measured. Your Call to Action enables you to more accurately track the impact of your guerilla marketing campaign on the target group.
Yes, exactly guerilla actions can trigger your increased cross-selling potential with cross sales of more expensive products of yours, so that your customers buy more.
Whether it is private or published feedback, quick feedbacks from your buyers indeed helps you to sharpen your guerilla tactics and the entire marketing campaign. So, stay responsive and take action.
Find out exactly where your customers come from and what encourages them to take action. For instance, a smartly positioned Call to Action can really make a difference.
Unconventional Public Relations indeed gain a long-term effect when it is all in one package with the entire marketing strategy and can be perceived in a bigger context. Publicity sits in the top of the Marketing funnel, i.e. in the very beginning of the whole journey.
If you chose not to start with virality expectations but, instead, start working towards a smaller, clearly defined target group you will create a wonderful opportunity to deploy PR stunts and win new customers, and become their favorite PR Stunts.
And now: Get inspired by the already executed PR stunts, but just make sure you do not blindly copy them.
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