Unconventional Marketing on a Budget

As a new brand, thinking outside of the box to develop a marketing plan can be critical to success. Being a startup, you may not have all of the resources (think multiple agency partners or in-house marketing teams) or funds (deep pockets full of marketing and advertising dollars) that your larger, more established competitors possess. That is okay!

Think of your multi-channel marketing strategy as spokes on a wheel. Each spoke represents a different channel for reaching your target market. Your spokes could include social media, a weekly e-newsletter, in-person events, paid advertising, press, and so forth. The spokes for your brand are unique to your goals.

With a smaller marketing budget, you may want to consider creating an experiential marketing spoke as a part of your plan. This could be a lower cost way to reach your target market and have them ‘experience’ your product. Guerrilla tactics are a way to execute this style of marketing. Guerrilla marketing is defined as: innovative, unconventional, and low-cost marketing techniques aimed to obtain maximum exposure for a product.


Guerrilla marketing can range from elaborate flash mobs to simple promotional handouts at high traffic events. You can cater you strategy to your budget, but ultimately strive to: build brand awareness, create an amazing experience around your products. and drive sales!  

Ready to plan your guerrilla campaign? Here are some tips.

Identify High Traffic Locations

  • » Find a physical location where your target market will congregate in large numbers.
  • » Think: music festivals, commuter hubs, sporting events, high traffic tourist sites, etc.
  • » Through hyper-focus on your target market, pick the right locations and plan to visit them at the busiest times.  


Think Outside the Box

  • » Now that you know where to find your customers, it’s time to get creative!
  • » What will make your brand stand out? Is there something related to your brand that could serve as an inexpensive giveaway?
  • » Here are a few examples of creative guerrilla tactics:
    • › Travel Products: Leave postcards inside skymall magazines tucked in the airline seat pockets. Or befriend the flight attendants by giving them a small item in your line.
    • › Large Clothing Line: Launch a pop up fashion show. What you need is a portable speaker and lightweight rope and stanchions in a high traffic area – as well as some model (or friends) to work the runway.
    • › Activewear Collection: Consider outfitting runners at a large race – for example, with a branded t-shirt or sweat band to wear during the race. Launch a hashtag campaign for the chance to win a larger post-race prize.


Execute Strategically

  • » Remember that guerrilla marketing can involve circumventing official permission, so if you are asked to leave, do so as soon as possible.
  • » Be nice! If you are willing to be charming and friendly, you are more likely to gain access to locations on your list.
  • » Have a backup plan! If you are asked to leave one location, where are you going next? If it is rains, is there an indoor alternative?
  • » Get your team on board! As a startup you may not have many employees, but guerrilla marketing can be fun! So reach out to your network to put together your marketing dream team.

Measure the Impact

  • » Prior to hitting the streets, plan to track and measure results.
  • » If you are handing out promotional items – count how many were given out at each location and use that to calculate your total brand impressions.
  • » If you are executing a pop up idea – tie in a social media component and measure online activity related to the event. Or even better, offer products for sale on site!


Guerrilla marketing boils down to running with your wildest ideas – in a strategic way. Remember to stay true to your brand as you develop your plan! If you need help brainstorming, we at Stitch Method offer complimentary discovery sessions to review your project and generate marketing strategies.


Related Reading:  6 Stages to Making Your Sample Production Ready


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