Starting Your Guerrilla Marketing Plan


Guerrilla marketing is a strategy used by businesses, ranging from large corporations to stay at home moms. The term was coined by marketing guru and author Jay Conrad Levinson, who wrote "Guerrilla Marketing" as the first in a 35-volume series. The book is now required reading in a lot of MBA programs.

Why Use Guerrilla Marketing?

Guerrilla marketing uses a lot of free or low-cost solutions for businesses. If you have a small budget for marketing, it can be a great way to get your business off and running. The strategy involves using your time, energy, and imagination in place of the money you would normally spend on marketing your services.  Levinson characterizes it as, "Achieving conventional goals, using unconventional means."  With patience and hard work, he says, you can market your business at a fraction of the cost of regular marketing and advertising campaigns

10 Steps to Starting Your Guerrilla Marketing Plan

Here's how Levinson's system to launch your own guerrilla marketing plan works:

  • Research your market.
  • Write a benefits list, and put a star next to what you offer that your competitor doesn't.
  • Write a brief 7 sentence marketing plan (see below).
  • Select the "weapons" you'll use from the guerilla marketing list on Levinson's websites, and write who will be responsible for it.
  • Write a calendar listing what you were doing and talking about that month, how much you invested, and grade yourself.
  • Find other businesses that have the same prospects and standards as you, and do marketing campaigns with them.
  • Launch your plan in slow motion. It can take more than six months to make a profit and 18 months to launch a full-scale plan.
  • Maintain your plan over the long haul because it will take a while.
  • Keep track of what is working. Ask every person who contacts you, "Where did you hear about me?"
  • Review the steps above and improve what you've been doing.

7 Sentence Marketing Plan

Another key element of Levinson's guerrilla marketing strategy is a very short marketing plan in 7 sentences. Write one sentence on each of the following for your marketing plan:

  • Write the physical action you want your customers to take as a result of your plan (call you, sign up, or buy).
  • Write the competitive advantage you will stress to get them to take that step.
  • List your target audience.
  • List the guerrilla marketing methods you'll use.
  • Summarize your niche.
  • Write your identity.
  • Explain who you really are, and let that shine through in your marketing.
  • Write the percentage of your projected gross sales that you will allocate to marketing. Use 7-8% as a guide.

Personality Traits

Levinson identifies a number of personality traits that are required to be a successful guerrilla marketer.

  • They are patient.
  • They are imaginative.
  • They love people.
  • They are confident.
  • They maintain their focus.
  • They are always improving.
  • They are generous.  They give away lots of things for free, especially information.
  • They are energetic.
  • They are lifelong learners.

The key to success when using guerrilla marketing as a strategy is commitment and persistence.  As Levinson once said, "Mediocre marketing with commitment works better than brilliant marketing without commitment."  He believes that with this marketing strategy, you should start to see results in three months, profits in six months, and increased profits every month after that.


Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.

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