Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

This marketing strategy never goes out of style! Here’s how you can effectively compete with the “Big Guys!” [Monday: Marketing Marvels]

January 10, 2022

Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more. 

A Note from Miles Everson:

Happy Monday, everyone!  

I hope you were able to rest well and bond with your loved ones over the weekend. 

Let’s start this week with our daily dose of motivation from well-known and successful people in the field of business and marketing. Every Monday, we feature different “Marketing Marvels” in the hope that you will be inspired by their lives, insights, and experiences.

Today, I’d like to share with you the story of Jay Conrad Levinson, who is known as the Father of Guerrilla Marketing. 

Keep reading below to know more about his marketing tactics and how guerrilla marketing has become one of the most effective ways to market a brand.  

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Marketing Marvels 

IHOP’s fake name change campaign… 

Bounty’s “Big Messes”… 

KitKat’s “Take A Break” benches… 

These are just a few of the unconventional marketing tactics we featured in our past “Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing” articles. 

Guerrilla Marketing ⟶ Fun, unique, and engaging (sometimes even inexpensive) marketing strategies to effectively promote a brand. 

Do you know how this marketing tactic came to life―specifically, who first coined the term, “Guerrilla Marketing?” 

It’s none other than this man: 

Jay Conrad Levinson!

Levinson was a business writer who became famous as the “Father of Guerrilla Marketing” and author of the 1984 bestselling book, “Guerrilla Marketing.” 

Born on February 10, 1933 in Detroit, Michigan and raised in Chicago, he was known as one of the people who revolutionized the way marketing is done. 

Levinson graduated from Roosevelt University in 1956 with a Degree in Psychology. This led him to work as: 

  • A Creative Director at Leo Burnett Advertising in 1963
  • A Professor of Advertising at the Columbia College of Chicago in 1965 
  • A Senior Vice President and Creative Director at J. Walter Thompson in 1968 

Levinson also taught marketing for 10 years at the extension division of the University of California in Berkeley while working at J. Walter Thompson. 

The Big Idea: Guerrilla Marketing 

Guerrilla Marketing is a strategy where a company uses surprise and unconventional methods to promote a product or service. This strategy uses multiple techniques to establish direct contact with consumers and spark an emotional reaction in them. 

Levinson coined and popularized this term to describe unique marketing tools and tactics that business owners and marketers can use to promote their brands, especially when their financial resources are limited. 

Until today, guerrilla marketing remains to be one of the most effective ways to generate buzz and interact with consumers. 

When Levinson wrote the book, “Guerrilla Marketing” in 1984, he created one of the most important movements in the business world. His book became a de facto bible of marketing and entrepreneurial advice. 

It was also in this year when Levinson founded his own company, the Guerrilla Marketing International, Inc. 

His purpose? 

To provide business owners and marketers with the basic know-hows of guerrilla marketing, which include creativity, inspired thinking, strategies, measurements, profits, and easy-to-execute plans! 

Levinson’s insights, teachings, and advice on guerrilla marketing helped lots of business owners and marketers. With this unconventional method, they were able to effectively compete with the “Big Guys” in the industry and promote their brands successfully. 

This shows that Levinson was a genius, a legend, and a revolutionary in the field of business and marketing! 

The Pillsbury Doughboy is an advertising mascot that appeared in the Pillsbury Company’s commercials from 1965 to 2005. This icon was one of Levinson’s works when he was the Creative Director at Leo Burnett Advertising. 

Now that we know who the Father of Guerrilla Marketing is and what this strategy is about, the question we have to answer next is… 

“How can you ensure your guerrilla marketing campaigns will succeed and help your brand connect with your target market?” 

Below are a few tips! 

  1. Involve your target market. 

Guerrilla marketing tactics fail when brands put their own interests above their audience’s. 

Remember: One of the goals of this marketing strategy is to attract and entertain consumers. A great way to do that is to involve them in your campaign! 

So, make sure you know your target market―where they hang out, how they communicate, what piques their interests, and more. The better you know your customers, the higher the chances that your guerrilla marketing campaign will succeed. 

  1. Ensure you have a clear call-to-action (CTA). 

If you want to gather good results from your campaign, make sure you have a clear CTA. This could be in the form of compelling your target market to buy one of your products, sharing positive words about your brand on social media, or filling out a form with their contact information. 

Remember that a good marketing tactic always has a definite goal. Otherwise, how will you measure whether or not your campaign is effective? 

That will just be like cooking a delicious recipe and serving it on the table but not allowing your family and/or friends to eat it. 

Besides, your CTAs and marketing goals are beneficial as they will not only help you interact with consumers but also enable you to keep track of your ROI (return on investment) on the campaign and ensure it’s successful. 

  1. Do your research. 

Although guerrilla marketing seems spontaneous and random when it’s executed, you still need to do a lot of research and careful planning before you start your campaign. 

Since this strategy does not necessarily require a large budget, the most important factors you should focus on are your creativity and in-depth understanding of your target market. 

If you know your customers as well as you should, you’ll know which platforms and tools work best for your brand activations. 

  1. Entertain, amaze, and surprise! 

Effective guerrilla marketing campaigns entertain, amaze, and surprise its target audience. 

To achieve these factors, think originally and outside of the box. The more you create campaigns that are unique and engaging, the better you’ll capture consumers’ attention and make a memorable impression. 

Here’s the bottom line: 

You don’t necessarily have to spend big on guerrilla marketing campaigns. As Levinson said, this marketing strategy works because it’s “simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.” 

You just need to exercise your imagination and creativity as well as use your energy, resources, and time properly. 

The purpose of these campaigns is to make people remember your brand. So, in planning your guerrilla marketing tactics, be creative in devising unconventional methods of promotion to maintain your target market’s interest. 

– – –

One of Levinson’s legacies is this marketing strategy that never goes out of style. 

He taught us that in marketing, money is secondary to time, energy, and imagination.  He made us realize that cleverness, resourcefulness, and ingenuity go much further than just spending money to promote your brand. 

A round of applause for the Father of Guerrilla Marketing! 

He definitely deserves our gratitude for giving us a revolutionary concept that helps us creatively and effectively promote and market our offerings. 

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Monday Marketing Marvels”

Too often, industry experts and the marketing press sing the praises of some brand or company’s marketing strategy. 

… only for the audience to later find out that its product was a flop, or worse, that the brand or company went bankrupt.

The true ROI in marketing can’t be separated from the business as a whole. 

What good is a marketing case study if one can’t prove that the company’s efforts actually paid off?

At the end of the day, either the entire business is successful or it isn’t. And the roles of marketing and communication are always paramount to that success. 

Every Monday, we publish a case study that highlights the world’s greatest marketing strategies, marketers, and communicators. 

However, the difference between our articles and the numerous ones out there is that we will always make certain that the firm really did generate and demonstrate earning power worthy of study in the first place (compliments of Valens Research’s finance group) in keeping with a person’s leadership skills in the area of marketing and/or communication.

We’ll also study the greatest marketing fails and analyze what they did wrong, or what they needed to improve. We all make our mistakes, but better we learn from others’ mistakes—and earlier, rather than later.

Hope you found this week’s marketing marvel interesting and helpful. 

Stay tuned for next week’s Monday Marketing Marvels!


Kyle Yu 
Head of Marketing 
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities 
Powered by Valens Research 

View All

You don’t have access to the Valens Research Premium Application.

To get access to our best content including the highly regarded Conviction Long List and Market Phase Cycle macro newsletter, please contact our Client Relations Team at 630-841-0683 or email client.relations@valens-research.com.

Please fill out the fields below so that our client relations team can contact you

Or contact our Client Relationship Team at 630-841-0683