Guerrilla Marketing Tactics for Small Businesses

guerrilla marketing calgary farmers market apples1

What are guerrilla marketing tactics? Guerrilla marketing tactics are forms of promotions that rely more on time, energy, and imagination rather than using a big marketing budget to attract brand awareness and the attention of customers.

There are many examples of guerrilla marketing tactics, but it’s important to remember that all these tactics should be used as a part of a marketing strategy. Creating unconventional marketing methods for the sake of shocking isn’t necessarily the best way to market any business.

Here are Five Great Guerrilla Marketing Tactics for Small Business

1) Guerrilla Marketing Tactic #1: Reverse Graffiti

Have you ever walked around a sidewalk and noticed that one area of the sidewalk was particular clean to form a logo? Well this isn’t a coincidence. Since many city walking blocks and large walls are covered in grime, these places are ideal for reverse graffiti. These places, depending on how high traffic is, are quite easy to do reverse graffiti with to promote a marketing message.

To see how this form of green graffiti works, you can take a look at how Domino’s Pizza used this marketing tactic in front of their building to get people’s attention. This type of “graffiti” is considered a grey area for most of the law since technically in most cities it’s not illegal to clean streets. If you’re looking to market your local business around your town, this is a great green way to market.

The other form of green graffiti that’s become more popular is using moss murals. Moss murals can form pictures and letters with moss being stuck to the side of walls. It’s becoming quite common and is a very eco-friendly way of advertising.

2) Guerrilla Marketing Tactic #2: Start a Protest or Mini Parade

You’ve got to love freedom of speech, but a great way to get some attention is to hold a fake protest outside of your business and around the block, or to have a small group of people with a single megaphone calling for the end of bad pizza, or the end of terrible customer service.

In order for this tactic to be successful you need to choose a cause that people can be emotionally interested in, but also make sense.

Imagine that you own a flower shop. You may start a protest about the end of women receiving terrible, generic, and boring flowers, and gather 15 of your female friends to protest about it. The cause may be to have women receive nothing but beautifully handmade custom bouquets on dates. Then you start handing out flyers to state that every women deserves only the best bouquets on their dates. Say “No” to boring flowers.

Choose a cause that your business can really rally behind, and get your friends and family to parade around in the neighborhood to bring attention to the “cause” and attract local customers who are most likely to use your service or product.

3) Guerrilla Marketing Tactic #3: Be the Poster Child

kia2Postering can still work wonders around your neighborhood or around town. Let’s say you run a marketing company. You can go around town and create posters that say , FOUND: Great marketing company. Company has marketed for the Vancouver Christmas Market, Bluebat Games, Dajin Resources and Novo Pizzeria and Wine Bar. If you have lost your marketing edge, please call 604 782 0801 or e-mail [email protected]. We want to return your marketing edge ASAP. These posters would be put around areas where executives and owners of small businesses live, since this would be MCNG’s target market.

This type of postering can do wonders for any type of business.

4) Guerrilla Marketing Tactic #4: Start a Fight with a Business

In order to drum up business for two restaurants that we were working with simultaneously, MCNG decided to start a public fight among both restaurants by announcing that they each had better food than the other. At the time, this wasn’t being done by any restaurants in Vancouver on social media.

We were creating buzz through Twitter and stated that we were eventually going to have a showdown to see whose executive chef was a better chef. This definitely got people to pay attention to both businesses, as MCNG wasn’t just creating something different, we were actually engaging tweeters into the battle as well to try to pick sides.

People love friendly conflict , and being able to choose sides to see which business will come out on top.


Start a fight, and then get a competition going, and start announcing it to the world. Remember. The goal is to be friendly, not viscous. Kind of like the whole BMW versus Audi billboards.

5) Guerrilla Marketing Tactic #5: Hang Coupons (or Apples) on a Tree

In the very first picture you can see that the Calgary Farmer’s Market did a brilliant job in getting people to stop in their tracks during their cold weather to pay attention to their “apple trees.” Chances are that many local small businesses are struggling due to the lack of awareness of business.

Instead of trying to push your brochures through mail order, go around and hang notes that read like fortune cookies around trees in your neighborhood and around the city. Hang them in high traffic areas. Ensure that the type of material that you are using is also bio degradable or recyclable.

My favourite brand of cereal is the Granola King from North Vancouver. At the bottom of every package is a little slip that reminds me of how wonderful life is. And every time I see it, I can’t help but smile. It’s their ability to surprise and delight every time is what will make this an interesting guerilla marketing tactic.

Along with each quote that’s written, attach a coupon for your business and encourage a call to action.

Guerilla marketing takes time, energy and a lot of creativity. But when done right it will increase brand awareness, and attract the right customers. Follow us on MCNG’s Facebook Page to keep up to date on great marketing tips.

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Written by Vincent NG

I’m a social media marketer, particularly for Pinterest, It all started back in 2010 when Pinterest was in beta. It was the fastest independent website to get 10 million unique visitors in the U.S. This really struck a chord with me, and it was then that I knew that Pinterest was going to be a powerhouse in the world of digital and social media marketing.