Jay Levinson’s Guerrilla Marketing revolutionized marketing strategies for the small-business owner with his take-no-prisoners approach to finding clients. Marketing is a long-term commitment, in which every bit of contact your company has with potential customers matters, from first impressions to sale through to service.
In the modern world (whether that be in 1984 or the twenty-first century), traditional marketing has been partially displaced by ‘guerrilla marketing’, in which small companies can make a huge impact using low-cost, creative methods.
Measure your marketing in concrete terms, for instance by the sales and profits it generates, not how much attention it gets.
Focus half your marketing on existing customers, because marketing is not just about getting people to change their minds, it is also about persuading them to maintain their mindset if they are already inclined to do business with you.
You can outsource many of the specific tasks involved in marketing, but in the end, you are the person who truly understands your products, so the creative spark in your guerrilla marketing must always come from you.
You may still be wondering if you should read the book. This book summary will tell you everything about this book so you can decide if it is worth your time.
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Guerrilla Marketing Book Summary
Lesson 1: Guerrilla marketing is perfect for startups and small businesses because it is both creative and cost-effective.
Guerrilla marketing is a type of advertising that uses unconventional methods to promote products or services. Unlike traditional marketing, which relies on expensive television and magazine ads, guerrilla marketing uses the Internet or other non-traditional channels to reach consumers in creative ways. This approach is particularly helpful for small businesses that don’t have the resources for costly ad campaigns.
One key difference between guerrilla marketing and traditional marketing is the focus on increasing a company’s profits. In traditional marketing, it’s common for companies to see a boost in sales as a result of a campaign, but still lose money. Guerrilla marketers, on the other hand, are more concerned with achieving a tangible return on their investment.
Another key difference is the type of interaction between marketers and consumers. Traditional marketing tends to be a one-way conversation, with marketers delivering a single message and consumers simply receiving it.
Guerrilla marketing, on the other hand, often involves a two-way dialogue, with marketers engaging with consumers and soliciting feedback or input. This interactive approach allows small businesses to better tailor their marketing efforts to the specific needs and interests of their customers.
Lesson 2: It is important to consider campaign positioning before moving on to tactical planning.
Positioning refers to the way a company presents itself and its products or services to potential customers. It involves identifying the problem your offering solves, the target audience, and the benefits they will receive by purchasing it. Positioning is the central focus of a marketing strategy, influencing every aspect of the campaign.
It’s crucial to carefully consider positioning because it can impact the success of a marketing campaign. According to advertising expert David Ogilvy, positioning is more important than the design or wording of ads.
An example of effective positioning is JetBlue, an airline that markets itself as a premium carrier with low fares and a focus on comfort and amenities. The airline industry faced challenges after the events of September 11, 2001, but JetBlue has been successful due to its clear positioning as a high-quality, budget-friendly option.
Demographics, or the characteristics of a population, are an important factor to consider when determining your target audience. For example, research has shown that older consumers are particularly receptive to advertising and may be particularly interested in products or services that promote independence and freedom. When targeting this demographic, it’s important to use a font size that is easy to read for those with declining eyesight.
Lesson 3: If you want your marketing campaign to be a success, you need to choose the right channel.
Advertisers have many options for reaching their target audience, including online banner ads, billboards, and print and television ads. Choosing the right medium for an advertisement is crucial to its effectiveness.
Printed magazines are a good option because they tend to encourage readers to engage with the content, making them more receptive to information in ads. It’s important to tailor the ad to the tone and aesthetic of the magazine to ensure a smooth transition from article to ad.
Television is another effective advertising platform, as the combination of visual and audio stimuli can make ads more memorable to viewers. However, the cost of television advertising can be prohibitive for some marketers.
Online marketing is a more cost-effective option that allows advertisers to reach their audience through channels such as email, chat rooms, blogs, and websites. It’s important to create engaging and informative content for a company’s website that will encourage visitors to explore and ask questions, encouraging them to return.
Ultimately, a marketing strategy should be based on the chosen medium for reaching the target audience.
Lesson 4: The use of the Internet and other media in advertising is becoming increasingly important for companies of all sizes.
E-media marketing, of which Internet marketing is a subset, has become the dominant form of advertising. Even if your business does not sell digital products, it’s important to invest in online advertising because consumers frequently research products online before making purchases. This means that even if your business doesn’t have an online store, the Internet can still be a valuable marketing tool.
When investing in Internet advertising, it’s important to follow the “rule of thirds” by dividing your budget into three parts. First, invest a third of your funds in making your website interesting and useful for visitors. Then, use another third of your budget to promote the site. Finally, invest the remaining third in maintaining and updating the website.
Emails are also an important part of an Internet marketing strategy because they allow you to interact directly with your target audience. Customized messages are more likely to be read by customers, so it’s important to maintain a list of email addresses and offer opt-in options, such as a free newsletter, for customers to join your mailing list.
Guerrilla Marketing Book Review
When Guerrilla Marketing was first published in 1984, it defined a radical new way of approaching business. The fact that the marketing techniques it describes have since become mainstream does not mean that this book is outdated
On the contrary, it remains a valuable introduction to marketing, especially for those who want to achieve extraordinary results on a limited budget.
From the outset, Jay Conrad Levinson makes many valuable points in a concise and memorable manner. For example, he defines marketing as ‘every bit of contact your company has with anyone in the outside world. Every bit of contact.’
He also insists that you should think of marketing as a long-term commitment, a marathon rather than a sprint. He repeatedly stresses the importance of gaining consumer trust, pointing out that it may be the fifth, tenth or twentieth time that contact with a prospect actually leads to a sale.
Levinson had the foresight to recognise how the Internet and new media would change marketing, and he added useful material on the subject in later editions. But unlike many early adopters, he did not make the mistake of confusing Internet traffic with a successful business
Sometimes he bombs in the book, and sometimes he gets it wrong (for example, when he casually dismisses the importance of Internet sales of print books). In the 2007 edition of the book, he smugly notes that his book, once radical, is now used as a standard text in so many business courses that it has become mainstream
Treat him like a chatty friend who occasionally gets odd things wrong but usually speaks with common sense and is therefore always worth talking to.
Later editions can also be annoying because they refer readers to the many other titles in the Guerrilla Marketing series: Levinson has been an advocate of cross-selling, but the extent to which he resorts to it in his own books shows how counterproductive and annoying this approach can be
But for all its faults, this remains a book that can inspire any businessperson to think about imaginative, budget-conscious ways to improve their marketing skills.
About The Author
Jay Conrad Levinson (February 10, 1933 – October 10, 2013) was an American business writer, known as the author of the 1984 book Guerrilla marketing.
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