Jay Conrad Levinson
is not an event, but a process. How long does the process last?
An insight for you to embrace is that a guerrilla marketing attack is
never-ending. It has a beginning, a middle but never an end, for it is a
process. You improve it, perfect it, change it, even pause in it. But you
never stop it completely.
Of all the steps in succeeding with a guerrilla marketing attack,
maintaining it takes the most time. You spend a relatively brief time
developing the attack and inaugurating it, but you spend the life of your
business maintaining, monitoring and improving your attack. At no point
should you ever take anything for granted. At no point should you fall
into the pit of self-satisfaction because your attack is working. Never
forget that others, very smart and motivated competitors, are studying you
and doing their utmost to surpass you in the marketing arena.
Guerrillas thrive and prosper because they understand the deeper meanings
of the phrases "customer base" and "long term
commitment." This enables them to reinvent their marketing -- just as
long as they are firm in their commitment to their existing customers and
prospects. An attack without flexibility is in danger of failing. But that
flexibility does not allow you to take your eyes off the needs of your
Keep alert for new niches at which you can aim your attack. Large
companies don’t have the luxury of profiting from a narrow niche. No
matter how successful your attack, never lose contact with your customers.
If you do, you lose your competitive advantage over huge companies that
have too many layers of bureaucracy for personal contact. Guerrilla
marketing is always authentic marketing and never acts or feels to be
impersonal, by-the-number marketing. It never feels like selling.
"Marketing Management" author Philip Kotler, says
is not the art of selling what you make but knowing what to make. It is
the art of identifying and understanding customer needs and creating
solutions that deliver satisfaction to the customers, profits to the
producers and benefits for the stakeholders. Market innovation is gained
by creating customer satisfaction through product innovation, product
quality and customer service. It these are absent, no amount of
advertising, sales promotion or salesmanship can compensate."
Your attack must be characterized by a very strong tie with your own
target audience. You know them. You serve them. They know it. Guerrilla
attacks do not suffer from your lack of resources, but instead prosper
because lack of capital makes them more willing to try new and innovative
ideas, concepts ripe for guerrillas but not for huge companies.
Your attack will succeed in direct relationship to how narrow-minded you
can be. Guerrillas have the insight that precision strengthens an attack.
They know the enormous difference between their prospects and their prime
prospects. They are aware of the gigantic chasm separating their customers
from their best customers. This perspective enables them to narrow their
aim only to the best prospects that marketing money can buy and the finest
customers ever to grace their customer list.
They are fully cognizant that it doesn’t take much more work to sell a
subscription to a magazine than to sell a single issue. That’s why their
marketing attack is devoted to motivating people to subscribe to their
Once they have a customer, they do all they can to intensify the
relationship, and they do not treat all customers and prospects equally.
Consider the menswear chain with a database of 47,000 names. Mailings are
never more than 3,000 at a time. Who receives the mail? Says the owner,
"Only the people appropriate to mail to." When he received
trousers of a specific style, he mailed only to those customers to whom he
was certain they’d appeal -- and enjoyed a 30% response rate.
The cost of his mailing was a tiny fraction of the size of his profits.
There’s not a chance of reveling in a healthy response like that unless
you’re targeting your mailing with absolute precision. It’s something
you’re going to have to do in a world where postal charges and paper
prices are both slated to increase. Unless you’re hitting the bulls eye,
you’re wasting your marketing investment. And unless you’re treating
your marketing as a continuing process, you’re wasting everybody’s
time, including your own.
Conrad Levinson is called "The Father of Guerrilla
and is author of the Guerilla Marketing series of books
with over 14 million sold, now in 42 languages.
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