Let Your Imagination Take Off

A successful guerrilla marketing campaign takes effort, not cash.

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By Al Lautenslager • Jan 24, 2005

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Guerrilla marketing is often described as marketing using time,energy, imagination and information vs. your hard-earned profits.One of the key words in this definition is the word"imagination." I run across many people that hear themany stories about guerrilla tactics, and they always say"What a great imagination...That must be guerrillamarketing." To guerrilla marketers, that's music to theirears.

Using your imagination doesn't cost anything. True, it costsyou a lot of time, blood, sweat and tears to get you to the pointof being able to use your imagination based on your education andexperiences, but no money is taken out of your checking account topay for an imaginative idea.

Webster defines imagination as: "The ability to confrontand deal with reality by using the creative power of the mind;resourcefulness; an unrealistic idea or notion; a fancy; a plan orscheme." Let's look at some unrealistic ideas or schemesthat were hatched by a little bit of imagination:

  • I passed a realtor's sign the other day, and theagent's name was Lester. His website was www.lesterthelister.com. Sounds kind of corny, but itwill get noticed, and people will remember it.
  • Henderson's Appliance Store in St. Louis was in businessfor more than 40 years and needed some revitalization. They hadnever had a tag line. Since they sold refrigerators, grills,washers and dryers, they dug deep on how they could convey to themarketplace what they really do. The resulting tag line now used inall their marketing is: "We cook it, we chill it, we cleanit."
  • Here's one any company can use. Imagine (there's thatword again) passing out fliers for your local high school footballteam's game with "Go Wildcats" (or whatever theirmascot is) on one side. Can you imagine every fan standing upcheering and waving their free flier? On the reverse side, yourlogo and phone number appears. Every time the flier is displayed,the fan stares right at your company information. Sure, you have topay to get the fliers printed, but in the total scheme of things,imagination is what generated awareness for the business on thereverse side. That's guerrilla marketing.

Sometimes imagination leads to outrageousness. That's OK.That's what gets noticed, and that's what gets remembered.Best of all--and consistent with guerrilla marketing--it usuallydoesn't cost a whole lot. Imagine (yes, I repeated it onpurpose) a mailing that comes as a bank money bag, a printed paperbag or the lumpy mail pack that has a silver platter in it with asales letter to correspond. These are all low-cost tactics that acustomer and prospect will see and eventually act upon orremember.

As you can see, a creative idea can go a long way. People manytimes will talk about the cool idea more than the product, but ofcourse the product is always mentioned. It's almost like peoplego around saying, "I wish I would have thought of that,"and they start thinking of imaginative ideas for their products orservices.

Brainstorm how you can use your imagination to market yourproduct or service. As they say with anything related to yourimagination, "You are only limited by yourimagination."

Imagination doesn't cost anything; that's one of theprimary components of guerrilla marketing. Imagination is one ofthose things that can make your marketing fun. Involve others.Involve customers and prospects. Break out of your typical mode ofdoing business. That will definitely get you noticed.

Put some energy and enthusiasm behind your idea, and you'llsoon have your market talking about your imagination and,eventually, your products and services.

Al Lautenslager

Author, Speaker, and Consultant

Al Lautenslager is an award-winning marketing expert, bestselling author, highly sought-after speaker, consultant, and entrepreneur. He is the principal of Market For Profits, a Midwestern-based marketing consulting firm; former president and owner of The Ink Well, a direct marketing, printing, and a Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach.

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