Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson
Book Review Rating – 5 Stars
The full title of this book is “Guerrilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies For Making Big Profits From Your Small Business, 4th Edition” by Jay Conrad Levinson.
There is a very large variety of Guerrilla Marketing books available from Amazon but this is the updated version of the first.
The Background To Guerrilla Marketing
It started in 1983 when Jay Conrad Levinson was lecturing at the University of California in Berkeley and he was asked to recommend a good small business marketing book to his students.
He searched various libraries but he couldn’t find anything suitable.
All the marketing books were written on the basis that there was a large marketing budget to spend on advertising and other promotional methods each month to build a brand and to increase brand awareness. While this was his own background, he knew the vast majority of business owners couldn’t do this type of marketing.
Seeing a clear opportunity to make money, Jay Levinson wrote his own small business marketing book and started what is now a huge branded network of people and resources, all focused on helping business owners and entrepreneurs to improve their marketing.
I must declare my self interest. I am a Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach.
I was captured and brought into the fold by one simple phrase:
“It’s for people with big dreams but tiny wallets.”
That’s me and my clients and it’s probably you too.
What’s In The Guerrilla Marketing Book?
It’s a big, dense book with 368 pages of small typing, little white space and no diagrams.
My only criticism is in the presentation because I generally like books to be easier to flick through and pick out the main points.
Instead you have to read the book thoroughly.
That’s not a hardship because it’s is very well written, concise and it fires up the imagination with its high quality, up-to-date content.
Guerrilla Marketing Started In the Mid 1980s But The Fourth Edition Is Up-To-Date
This is very much a marketing book for the 21st century as Chapter 11 on E-Media Marketing Shows with sections on:
- List building
- Nanocasting (commercial podcasting based on direct marketing principles)
- Your website
- Subscription websites
- RSS (Real Simple Syndication)
- Affiliate programs
- Automated marketing
- Search engine optimisation
- Landing pages
As you can see, the book isn’t just about old fashioned lead generation techniques.
It’s aimed at people looking for big results from small budgets so few of the techniques are expensive to implement.
The Basics of Guerrilla Marketing
Fundamental to understanding these concepts is the viewpoint that “marketing is every bit of contact your company has with anyone in the outside world.”
That really puts marketing at the very centre of your business. Everything you do is marketing because it leaves an impression (good or bad) on other people and that influences what they think and what they say to other people.
Are you a giver or a taker in any relationship? Guerrillas know that by giving first, they will get much more back from most people. OK perhaps not from everyone but from enough people to make it the right policy to follow.
What Is Guerrilla Marketing?
In Chapter 1 Jay Conrad Levinson contrasts guerrilla marketing with traditional marketing over 20 points.
The most important and number 1 on the list is that traditional marketing requires you to spend money to build and maintain your brand. In this type of marketing, you can replace money by investing time, energy, imagination and/or information.
The Secrets Of Guerrilla Marketing
In Chapter 3, the author explains the 16 monumental secrets of Guerrilla Marketing, the very foundation stones the ideas are based on.
If you know about being a Guerrilla, then these are the “ent” words. All the words end in “ent” to help you learn and remember them.
One of those words is Commitment and Jay Conrad Levinson tells the story of the Marlboro Man advertising campaign started when Marlboro was a low selling brand seen as feminine in market research.
The Marlboro Man campaign ran for a year (linking the cigarettes to cowboys, the American heritage and countryside).
Then the marketing company did the research and discovered that the brand was in the same market share position and was still seen as a feminine brand.
Joseph Cullman IV, chairman of Philip Morris believed in the cowboy based campaign and brand image, gave it his full commitment. It carried on (while cigarette advertising was legal) and the book says that 1 in 5 of every cigarette now sold in the world is a Marlboro.
A massive worldwide advertising campaign isn’t in the territory of a small, cash-constrained business but it does underline how important commitment to a powerful marketing idea can be.
Too often business owners give up on marketing when it is starting to gain traction in the market place. The challenge is knowing when a campaign is right and deserves loyalty and when it it wrong and needs to be changed.
On of the other ent words is intent.
I’m very keen that very business owner works with intent – he or she decides what they want and then works out how to make it happen. This is why I like the book The E Myth Revisited and the ideas on Primary Aim and Strategic Objective.
The Guerrilla Marketing Plan
Intent also leads me on to the excellent marketing planning technique.
Do you believe that business planning is a long-winded and a time consuming exercise that you just don’t have time for?
Well think again if you are a guerrilla marketer.
You need to apply imagination and do things intentionally so that requires disciplined thinking and planning.
But the great news is that this plan is just seven sentences long. It’s all there is Chapter 4.
The 200 Guerrilla Marketing Weapons
Much of the book is about the 200 different tactics and techniques that you can use to promote your business effectively.
Sometimes I hear business owners say “I’ve done everything to market my business and nothing works.”
Lists like the 200 Weapons are useful for reminding yourself that there is still plenty to do.
The book takes looks at some of the weapons although it’s only at the end of the book that you realise what Jay Conrad Levinson was doing as there isn’t a countdown or count-up throughout the book until the summary near the end..
These 200 Weapons are split into various chapters:
- Minimedia (1 to 30) – business cards, personal letters, postcards etc
- Maximedia (31 to 37) – advertising, direct mail etc
- E-Media (38 to 76) – see above
- Info-media (77 to 98) – case studies, newsletter etc
- Human Media (99 to 122) – you, networking etc
- Nonmedia (123 to 156) – PR, fusion marketing etc
- Company Attributes (157 to 183) – name, meme, opening hours etc
- Company Attitudes (184 to 200) – easy to do business with, focus etc
What I like about lists like these as a business coach is that it’s easy to take any one guerrilla marketing weapon and do a 30 minute workshop with a company to look at how well the weapon is currently used, what ideas can people think of and which ideas should be put into action.
Overall Assessment of Guerrilla Marketing – A Five Star Review Rating
It is a great book and I recommend it very highly to all small business owners who need to get the maximum impact from their marketing budget.
My only concern is that it’s much more about marketing philosophy and mindset than it is a “how to get more customers” guidebook.
I think you need both and believe hat you need to read at least three or four books about marketing and probably more.
Paul Simister is a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck, get unstuck. If your business is based in the UK, you can have a free Business SOS consultation with me.
There are many thousand of business books, you can see the full list of my reviews at Business Books Reviews by Paul Simister. I’ve also narrowed these down to a list of the 12 Best Business Books For Business Owners & Entrepreneurs.
- Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days by Jay Conrad Levinson and Al Lautenslager
- Guerrilla Profits by Stuart Berkow and Jay Conrad Levinson
- Guerrilla Marketing Attack by Jay Conrad Levinson
- Guerrilla Tourism Marketing by Carol Wain and Jay Conrad Levinson
- The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Guerrilla Marketing by Susan Drake and Colleen Wells