It was dubbed "Pyromarketing," because as Stielstra said in a speech, "1. Gather driest tinder (or: the most impassioned consumers). 2. Touch with match (or: marketing plan). 3. Fan flames. 4. Save coals."
He added that this would never have worked without the "oxygen" of a great product.
Takeaway Points to Consider
- It's extremely dangerous to pin all marketing effort on guerrilla tactics. For example, if you are hoping for a one-page review of a new book in The New York Times Sunday Book Review so that you do not have to buy an ad, you are in competition with 194,999 other titles. If you hope for vast media coverage based on a press release, you have to pray for a slow news day and hope that some lazy editors are on duty who will use your stuff rather than going to the trouble of creating their own.
- More probably, guerrilla marketing should be used in conjunction as an add-on to traditional marketing and advertising.
- Guerrilla marketing cannot work for a lousy product or service.
- The traditional five steps to creating a good customer are: (1) Find a suspect; (2) Turn your suspect into a prospect; (3) Turn the prospect into a buying customer; (4) Turn the customer into a repeat buyer; (5) Turn the repeat buyer into an advocate who loves to tell others about you. Guerrilla marketing is the business of creating immediate advocates--impossible to do when the product or service is mediocre.
- Rance Crain points out in AdAge.com that, "the basic problem with all these new ways to move the merchandise is that they don't have the capacity to actually sell anybody, and as the old ad agency Benton & Bowles used to say, 'It's not creative unless it sells.'"
- E-commerce consultant Dr. Ralph F. Wilson, proprietor of Web Marketing Today (www.wilsonweb.com), lists six elements and suggests that viral marketing strategy need not contain ALL these elements. But the more elements it embraces, the more powerful the results are likely to be. An effective viral marketing strategy: (1) Gives away products or services; (2) Provides for effortless transfer to others; (3) Scales easily from small to very large; (4) Exploits common motivations and behaviors; (5) Utilizes existing communication networks; (6) Takes advantage of others' resources.