Giant gorilla illustrating guerrilla marketing

The Oft Overlooked 900lb “Guerrilla” for QSR Marketing

For regional brands, Guerrilla Marketing can be your breakthrough media.

 Most regional brands don’t have the store penetration in a given market to go toe-to-toe with the McGiants’ media budgets. And even if you focus your budget on a single medium to try to breakthrough, your pockets still aren’t deep enough. That’s when Guerrilla Marketing can make up the difference. There are 3 keys to developing good Guerrilla Marketing:

  1. Imagination
  2. Inquiry
  3. Persistence

As an example, I have worked with clients in several cities to secure parking meters as advertising media. You purchase the meters and then apply your message with a printed bag or signage. Think about the advantages of this medium:

  • It’s unique so there’s no competitive clutter.
  • It’s greatly appreciated—what other advertising can make that claim?
  • It generates PR, which increases the value.
  • It’s highly targeted.
  • The readership is near 100% because it’s intriguing.

Another Guerrilla Marketing idea I have used is elevator doors in parking lots or in the major shopping malls. These are called elevator skins, and you can be incredibly creative with them because they move. They are also extremely targeted and located in direct line of sight with no competitive clutter. Generally, the McGiants won’t do this. One of my favorite Guerrilla Marketing ideas is decaled dollar bills. Yes, it’s legal but there’s only one company with the proprietary process to execute this.

Think about the possibilities when you decal dollar bills and distribute them through your stores:

  • They are an immediate conversation starter as no one is accustom to seeing a clever decal on a dollar bill.
  • A dollar bill, on average, changes hands about 10 times per month, creating great pass along readership (about 77% of the decals stay adhered for 30 days).
  • They act as a great bounce back coupon.
  • They generate added value PR. The media loves clever ideas.
  • They are highly targeted.

Now, with any of these ideas, go back to the 3 keys—imagination, inquiry and persistence.

Once you think of the idea (imagination) you then need a committed team member to ask the appropriate party for permission (inquiry). Asking with the offer to pay for the space works really well. Then you have to be persistent.

It’s easy for people to say no because saying yes might mean they have to actually do a tiny bit of work (i.e., get an OK from their boss, meet with you for 15 minutes, etc.). So do a little research to find the right person and make it easy for them to say yes. You’ll do all the work. Guerrilla Marketing is effective. If you can’t outspend them, outsmart them and out work them.

photo credit: Peter Kaminski via photopin cc

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