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Guerilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; 4 Upd Exp edition (May 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618785914
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618785919
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Jay Conrad Levinson is the author of more than a dozen books in the Guerrilla Marketing series. A former vice president and creative director at J. Walter Thompson Advertising and Leo Burnett Advertising, he is the chairman of Guerrilla Marketing International, a consulting firm serving large and small businesses worldwide.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

What Is Guerrilla Marketing Today?

Marketing is every bit of contact your company has with anyone in the outside world. Every bit of contact. That means a lot of marketing opportunities. It does not mean investing a lot of money.
The meaning is clear: Marketing includes the name of your business; the determination of whether you will be selling a product or a service; the method of manufacture or servicing; the color, size, and shape of your product; the packaging; the location of your business; the advertising, public relations, Web site, branding, e-mail signature, voicemail message on your machine, and sales presentation; the telephone inquiries; the sales training; the problem solving; the growth plan and the referral plan; and the people who represent you, you, and your follow-up. Marketing includes your idea for your brand, your service, your attitude, and the passion you bring to your business. If you gather from this that marketing is a complex process, you’re right.
Marketing is the art of getting people to change their minds — or to maintain their mindsets if they’re already inclined to do business with you. People must either switch brands or purchase a type of product or service that has never existed before. That’s asking a lot of them. Every little thing you do and show and say — not only your advertising or your Web site — is going to affect people’s perceptions of you.
That’s probably not going to happen in a flash. Or a month. Or even a year. And that’s why it’s crucial for you to know that marketing is a process, not an event. Marketing may be a series of events, but if you’re a guerrilla marketer, marketing has a beginning and a middle but not an ending.
By the way, when I write the word marketing, I’m thinking of your prospects and your current customers. Nothing personal, but when you read the word marketing, you’re probably thinking of prospects only. Don’t make that mistake. More than half your marketing time should be devoted to your existing customers. A cornerstone of guerrilla marketing is customer follow- up. Without it, all that you’ve invested into getting those customers is like dust in the wind.
Marketing is also the truth made fascinating.
When you view marketing from the vantage point of the guerrilla, you realize that it’s your opportunity to help your prospects and customers succeed. They want to succeed at earning more money, building their company, losing weight, attracting a mate, becoming more fit, or quitting smoking. You can help them. You can show them how to achieve their goal. Marketing is not about you. It’s about them. I hope you never forget that.
Marketing, if you go about things in the right way, is also a circle. The circle begins with your idea for bringing revenue into your life. Marketing becomes a circle when you have the blessed patronage of repeat and referral customers. The better able you are to view marketing as a circle, the more you’ll concentrate on those repeat and referral people. A pleasant side effect of that perspective is that you’ll invest less money in marketing, but your profits will consistently climb.
Marketing is more of a science every day as we learn new ways to measure and predict behavior, influence people, and test and quantify marketing It’s more of a science as psychologists tell us more and more about human behavior.
Marketing is also unquestionably an art form because writing is an art, drawing is an art, photography is an art, dancing is an art, music is an art, editing is an art, and acting is an art. Put them all together, and they spell marketing — probably the most eclectic art form the world has ever known.
But for now, brush aside those notions that marketing is a science and an art form. Drill into your mind the idea that at its core, marketing is a business. And the purpose of a business is to earn profits. If science and art help a business earn those profits, they’re probably being masterminded by a guerrilla marketer — the kind of business owner who seeks conventional goals, such as profits and joy, but achieves them using unconventional means.
A bookstore owner had the misfortune of being located between two enormous bookselling competitors. One day, this bookstore owner came to work to see that the competitor on his right had unfurled a huge banner: “Monster Anniversary Sale! Prices slashed 50%!” The banner was larger than his entire storefront. Worse yet, the competitor to the left of his store had unveiled an even larger banner: “Gigantic Clearance Sale! Prices reduced by 60%!” Again, the banner dwarfed his storefront. What was the owner of the little bookstore in the middle to do? Being a guerrilla marketer, he created his oown banner and hung it out front, simply saying “Main Entrance.” Guerrilla marketers do not rely on the brute force of an outsized marketinnnnng budget. Instead, they rely on the brute force of a vivid imagination. Today, they are different from traditional marketers in twenty ways. I used to compare guerrilla marketing with textbook marketing, but now that this book is a textbook in so many universities, I must compare it with traditional marketing.
If you were to analyze the ways that marketing has changed in the twenty-first century, you’d discover that it has changed in the same twenty ways that guerrilla marketing differs from the old-fashioned brand of marketing.

1. Traditional marketing has always maintained that to market properly, you must invest money. Guerrilla marketing maintains that if you want to invest money, you can — but you don’t have to if you are willing to invest time, energy, imagination, and information.
2. Traditional marketing is so enshrouded by mystique that it intimidates many business owners, who aren’t sure whether marketing includes sales or a Web site or PR. Because they are so intimidated and worried about making mistakes, they simply don’t do it. Guerrilla marketing completely removes the mystique and exposes marketing for exactly what it really is — a process that you control — rather than the other way around.
3. Traditional marketing is geared toward big business. Before I wrote the original Guerrilla Marketing in 1984, I couldn’t find any books on marketing for companies that invested less than $300,000 monthly. Although it is now true that many Fortune 500 companies buy Guerrilla Marketing by the caseload to distribute to their sales and marketing people, the essence of guerrilla marketing — the soul and the spirit of guerrilla marketing — is small business: companies with big dreams but tiny budgets.
4. Traditional marketing measures its performance by sales or responses to an offer, hits on a Web site, or store traffic. Those are the wrong numbers to focus on. Guerrilla marketing reminds you that the main number that merits your attention is the size of your profits. I’ve seen many companies break their sales records while losing money in the process. Profits are the only numbers that tell you the truth you should be seeking and striving for. If it doesn’t earn a profit for you, it’s probably not guerrilla marketing.
5. Traditional marketing is based on experience and judgment, which is a fancy way of saying “guesswork.” But guerrilla marketers cannot afford wrong guesses, so it is based as much as possible on psychology — laws of human behavior. For example, 90 percent of all purchase decisions are made in the unconscious mind, that inner deeper part of your brain. We now know a slam-dunk manner of accessing that unconscious mind: repetition. Think it over a moment, and you’ll begin to have an inkling of how the process of guerrilla marketing works. Repetition is paramount.
6. Traditional marketing suggests that you grow your business and then diversify. That kind of thinking gets many companies into hot water because it leads them away from their core competency. Guerrilla marketing suggests that you grow your business, if growth is what you want, but be sure to maintain your focus — for it’s that focus that got you to where you are in the first place.
7. Traditional marketing says that you should grow your business linearly by adding new customers one at a time. But that’s a slow and expensive way to grow. So guerrilla marketing says that the way to grow a business is geometrically — by enlarging the size of each transaction, engaging in more transactions per sales cycle with each customer, tapping the enormous referral power of each customer, and growing the old-fashioned way at the same time. If you’re growing your business in four different directions at once, it’s tough not to show a tidy profit.
8. Traditional marketing puts all its effort on making the sale, under the false notion that marketing ends once that sale is made. Guerrilla marketing reminds you that 68 percent of all business lost is lost owing to apathy after the sale — ignoring customers after they’ve made the purchase. For this reason, guerrilla marketing preaches fervent follow- up — continually staying in touch with customers — and listening to them. Guerrillas never lose customers because of inattention to them.
9. Traditional marketing advises you to scan the horizon to determine which competitors you ought to obliterate. Guerrilla marketing advises you to scan that same horizon to determine which businesses have the same kind of prospects and standards as you do — so that you can cooperate with them in joint marketing efforts. By doing so, you’re expanding your marketing reach, but you’re reducing the cost of your marketing because you’re sharing it with others. The term that guerrillas use for this outlook is fusion marketing. “...

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Customer Reviews

This is a good book for a small business owner.
Audrey Williams
At least a dozen strategies you can start using right now, and a few more that you will really need to plan carefully to use effectively.
Stephen A. Rhodes
This book is easy to understand and packed full of USEFEUL information.
Steve Jacek

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

166 of 184 people found the following review helpful By James D. Nichol VINE VOICE on September 15, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
On page five, bullet point three: Mr. Levinson states, "Traditional marketing is geared toward big business.... The soul and spirit of guerrilla marketing - is small business: companies with big dreams and tiny budgets." However that was not my experience reading this book. Instead he seemed to promote laborious and expensive marketing tactics. I thought I was going to be reading a book about low / no-cost, surprise attacks, launched in the dead of night with no warning. Instead what I read was kind of stale, old school stuff.

For example; Chapter 3, The Sixteen Monumental Secrets of Guerrilla Marketing, starts with the sentence, "If you're a guerrilla, these sixteen secrets are not secret to you at all." OK, then why am I reading this book? Then the secrets end up being more general philosophy rather than tactics, such as commitment, investment, consistent, confident, patient, assortment, subsequent, etc., etc. In my opinion, he spent too much time making things rhyme and not enough into research into successful low / no-cost product launches or common themes and marketing techniques that sky-rocketed the success of the Zero to Two-Hundred-Mile-an-Hour companies. That's what I call a 600 pound Marketing GUERRILLA.

The chapter on MiniMedia Marketing was mildly interesting but nothing new as of the fall of 2007.

Then you have MaxiMedia and everything here costs some big bucks, sorry Jay I'll pass..

I'm not going to say that this book is without merit; it has good stuff in it if you haven't been in the sales and marketing business very long. It's a book that the novice can learn a good deal from, but more and more the younger aggressive person learns most of these things on the go and has picked up 90% of this stuff in a year or two in the business.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Anastasia Beaverhausen VINE VOICE on November 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
This 4th edition of the small business marketing classic is completely updated and revised as of 2007. The new edition is as relevant today as its original edition was over 20 years ago. The added e-marketing tips (advertising, blogs, podcasts, etc.) are accurate and useful. If you're a small business owner and have not read this book, you need to order it today. I just finished an MBA marketing class, and the theories that we studied are covered in Levinson's book in plain English--I wish I had read it before the semester began!
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Eddy on November 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
Although most of the information in this book has been around for a long time, it will probably be helpful if this is your fist marketing book -- & you have a fairly large budget for your marketing campaign.

I was hoping for more internet marketing advice, but found only a small section dedicated to this venue. This was surprising considering the internet is fast becoming THE marketing tool of today and the future.

Plenty of help in this book on all other forms of media advertising, but all require sizable budgets.

As for book quality... The text is a bit small and crowded, and is printed on newsprint quality paper. The addition of some subheadings here and there just to break up the pages a bit would ease a rather monotonous flow.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By GSX1390R on April 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Guerrilla Marketing is not written for small startups as the name suggests. This book promotes high investment, long term marketing that is not suitable for small business. The processes are so intricate that most people will have a hard time following. Not recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Rhodes on May 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
An easy and friendly read, packed full of information... Many ideas you may already know, but have never taken full advantage of. At least a dozen strategies you can start using right now, and a few more that you will really need to plan carefully to use effectively. Levinson explains the importance of focussed and consistent advertising, referrals, testimonials and so much more. You'll learn about how and why you need to get it right BEFORE you advertise, then a multitude of simple ways to get your message out there. I've been in the design and advertising business for 30 years. I have always had some cool ideas for the graphic design... now I'm getting the MESSAGE right, too! This book has given me new insight into how we can get the best return on a small budget. I'm using these ideas at my full-time job for a commercial printer, as well as with a new business my wife and I started in October, 2007. So far, even in this dismal economy, we're seeing 10 to 20% growth each month. Thank you Jay. Almost every page of this book is covered in yellow highlighter!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Joel Melendez on June 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
I don't like the book. Jay Conrad use the book to promote his other books. There's no helpful examples or specific tips to use. You will achieve more results and gain more knowledge from the book Scientific Advertising of Claude C. Hopkins.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Running Chick on June 30, 2013
Format: Paperback
Read this for my business bookclub, and perhaps since I've been doing sales and marketing for a small firm for the past 19 years, so much of this was old hat. I picked up a few tidbits, but in general, the book was poorly organized, and really poorly written. Paragraphs had sentences in them that didn't have anything to do with each other, so I'm wondering, what's the point he's trying to make? He's missing words in other sentences where he tries to make a point, and I'm not sure what he's trying to explain. I read and re-read, and remain confused. He repeats ideas throughout, from chapter to chapter, making the same point over and over which is tedious. And now in 2013, SO MUCH of the suggestions seem outdated. I laughed when he suggested brick-and-mortar stores are crucial for booksellers, and we shouldn't believe the hype about the power of the internet.
I only recommend this book if you're very new to marketing and sales, say a year or two into it, and you want to get the basics down pat. Otherwise, you'll be bored and frustrated, and find it a waste of time.
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