#MarketingTitbits – Obama, Growth Vouchers, DHL

ferns-vouchers-DHL-smaller1. Obama goes between two ferns with Zach Galifiankis
‘Between Two Ferns’, with Zach Galifiankis, is a series of videos shown on the Funny or Die website. In each episode he conducts an interview with a celebrity between two potted ferns. His typical interview style consists of normal interview questions, random non sequiturs and some inappropriate comments and questions.

Celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Jennifer Anniston and Bradley Cooper have gone between two ferns in the past but the most recent celebrity to do so was Barack Obama. Some of the topics the pair cover include Dennis Rodman, same-sex divorce and the Affordable Care Act. To watch the video, click here. 


2. Growth Vouchers: month one results

This time last year, George Osborne first announced Growth Vouchers. The drive behind them is to help SMEs access the advice they need to help them grow. The businesses that participate are allocated a voucher up to the value of £2,000, matched with their own funds, to spend on advice and guidance from industry experts.

The vouchers were launched at the end of January and so far, nearly 1,500 businesses have applied, with nearly 600 vouchers allocated (over £1 million). Nearly 50% of the vouchers issued so far have been for advice in marketing, attracting and keeping customers. If you have not applied yet, it is still not too late. To read more, click here.

3. DHL’s brilliant ad

DHL claim that in many countries the company has more offices, more vehicles and more employees than there competition, which is why they are faster. To illustrate this, they came up with a brilliantly conceived guerrilla marketing campaign to get their competitors advertise for them.

To do this, large DHL packages were covered in thermo-active foil and cooled down below the freezing point, allowing the plastic wrappers to turn black. They then asked for the competitors to deliver the packages to hard-to-get-to addresses in big cities. As the plastic warmed up the message from DHL became clear… to watch for yourself, click here.

Guerilla Marketing

This week we tackle one of our favourite topics, the concept of Guerilla marketing. The term, coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in 1970, describes an unconventional form of marketing intended to achieve maximum results using the minimum budget. Something we are sure all businesses will appreciate!
The main job of any guerilla campaign is to be noticed and remembered by the target audience. “Guerilla marketing works because it’s simple to understand, easy to implement and outrageously inexpensive.” – Levinson. The use of this type of marketing is effective for SMEs because it does not require big budgets. The most vital part of a guerilla campaign is creating a buzz around the message or product to ensure it gets people talking. Levinson states, “Broadening your search isn’t as important as aiming your message at the right people.”

Another advantage of Guerilla marketing is that it is unexpected – the recipient is caught off guard and as a result is more susceptible to an emotional response – laughter, confusion, happiness etc. This reaction is far more memorable than more traditional forms of marketing.

What is the difference between guerilla and traditional marketing?

In the 40’s and 50’s, the main goal of advertising was focused on educating your target audience, rather than entertaining or engaging with them. People became desensitized to this form of marketing and by the 70’s things needed to change. In response, Guerilla Marketing came into being and challenged traditional advertising, which revolved around huge budgets and widespread exposure.  The attraction of guerilla marketing is that it is not educational or designed to teach us something. Instead, it evokes a unique reaction to distinguish the business and ensure it is memorable.

The interactive form of some guerilla marketing also allows the audience to feel as though they are part of a project, thereby fostering a relationship with the business. The more creative a project, the more attention it gets.

However, “mediocre marketing with commitment works better than brilliant marketing without commitment.”  The main tenet for effective guerrilla marketing is time and effort. SMEs tend to have a greater awareness of their immediate marketplace, so preparation is key. Businesses need to generate interest by concentrating their efforts on small, focused areas of promotion that are effective; and then repeat them over and over again. This formula is demonstrated inthe TLC Business PIPE Marketing Formula.

Preparation + Inspiration + Perspiration + Evaluation = Realisation

Without the ‘Preparation’ and ‘Inspiration’, SME’s will waste valuable time and money. The amount of time spent understanding your target audience is directly proportionate to the eventual success of your campaign.

An example of a successful guerrilla campaign is the Innocent Smoothie van. Their vehicles are covered in real, growing grass and are often seen around cities delivering smoothies. This type of guerrilla marketing allows a business to build awareness of their brand without necessarily pushing their products. The vans also serve a real purpose (delivering smoothies) and therefore do not alienate the customer or look like an advert.

Another campaign placed bottles of Absolut vodka on the luggage belt at an airport. The company placed their product in a setting in where their target audience are forced to wait, and therefore are more aware of any distractions.

Creating a big visual impact is also important in making a big impression, so there are alot ofPR oppurtunities for SMEs. Swedish furniture company IKEA make over unattractive street corners in Manhattan with their colourful furniture.  The campaign not only creates an awareness of their products by placing them in front of consumers, but it challenges more traditional marketing methods by placing their furniture in an unconventional, and therefore more memorable, setting.

Be warned though, the jarring effect of some guerrilla marketing campaigns has actually caused them to be unsuccessful.  Toyota recently started a campaign called “Your Other You”, which was designed as a website to “prank your friends.” In one case, a woman was signed up by her friend and promptly began to receive a barrage of disturbing text messages, phone calls, e-mails and videos over a five day period. Miss Duick was reported to have believed she was being stalked and felt extremely frightened. She is now suing the company for $10 million. They say there is no such thing as bad publicity; Toyota may beg to differ.

In 2010, the total UK marketing spend was estimated at £16.6 billion. Businesses have clearly been spending. However, it is important as ever that businesses use their budget where it will be most effective. Guerilla Marketing should be appealing to SMEs because of its emphasis on investing time, energy and creativity, rather than money. If you get it right and start people talking (for the right reasons!) your target audience will do your job for you.  Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, it needs inspiration and imagination. Think differently and you can achieve maximum results!

Let us know about your Guerilla Marketing campaigns. What worked and what didn’t!

What your SME can learn from ‘Guerrilla marketing’

What your SME can learn from ‘Guerrilla marketing’

blog-image4In today’s competitive business environment, winning new business and attracting potential customers is a challenge. In order to set themselves apart from the competition, many larger organisations have adopted innovative campaigns, taking inspiration from ‘Guerrilla marketing’ and social media, to help raise their brand awareness and keep up-to-date with the changing lifestyles of their consumers.

Over the next few months, we will be sharing 3 tools used by big businesses that SMEs can develop and add to their own marketing mix. The first instalment focuses on ‘Guerrilla marketing’ and how original campaigns can help move your business forward.

The concept of ‘Guerrilla marketing’ came from the idea that imagination, time and energy could be used to create great marketing, as opposed to a big budget. ‘Guerrilla marketing’ can often make a far more impact on consumers when compared against more traditional forms of marketing. Tools such as flash mobs, floor stickers, videos and 3D art have been used to help generate publicity and that vital social buzz.

Take a look at some of the best ‘Guerrilla marketing’ campaigns for inspiration

1. Doses of happiness

Coca-Cola installed ‘The Happiness Machine’ into the cafeteria of a University in America, but when students pressed the button for a bottle of Coke, they got more than they expected. Hidden cameras filmed the spontaneous reactions of students as the machine dispensed goodies including flowers, pizzas and sunglasses to unsuspecting students.

2. Unlock the 007 in you. You have 70 seconds.

During the run up to the release of last year’s James Bond film, Skyfall, Coca-Cola came up with another fun and innovative campaign. When buying a Coke Zero, the vending machine at a train station gave the customer the option of whether they would like the chance to win tickets for the Skyfall premiere. If yes, the message then appeared “You have 70 seconds to get to platform 7…” but Coca-Cola made sure it wasn’t that easy for each contender and staged a series of obstacles to distract them from their mission.

3. ‘Carlsburg don’t do litter….’

‘Guerrilla marketing’ doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated. Carlsburg made a huge impact merely with stickers. Carlsburg added a sticker to £5000 worth of £10 notes and released them into circulation. The stickers said “Carlsburg don’t do litter. But if they did, it would probably be the best litter in the world.” As a result, the campaign received huge media interest. Who wouldn’t like free money?

Carlsberg Ten Pound Note

4. ‘Chalk’ Homer

During the run up to the release of The Simpsons Movie in the UK, one of the UK’s most famous landmarks, the fertility God carved into a chalk hillside in Dover, got a new neighbour. Overnight, a 180ft Homer Simpson appeared next to the fertility god. People couldn’t decide whether it was an act of vandalism or pure genius! Either way, it served as a huge promotion for the film, without an expensive price tag.

Chalk Homer

5. ‘Weighing for the bus’

Fitness First in the UK wanted to increase their gym membership, so instead of targeting people with the usual flyers and promotions, Fitness First went a step further. The fitness brand decided to target people who were waiting at the bus stop by fitting a scale into the bench. When the unsuspecting victim sat down on the bench their weight would be projected onto the screen next to them. A cruel or effective way of telling people they need to lose weight?

Weighing for the bus

Obviously, we don’t condone illegal activity, but the above are great examples of businesses thinking outside the box when it comes to marketing. ‘Guerrilla marketing’ is often ideal for small businesses that need to reach a large audience without breaking the bank. In order for your business to use the concept of ‘Guerrilla marketing’ effectively, it is important to plan and research your idea, whilst weighting up any factors that could back-fire once the campaign is implemented. As always, with all forms of marketing, having a clearly defined target audience that you understand intimately is critical to delivering an effective campaign. Just because you like it or think it is funny, doesn’t necessarily mean it will be appreciated by your target audience. Put yourself in their shoes!

#MarketingTitbits – Hootsuite, shopping and Science World

1. Hootsuite – for begginers
If you haven’t heard of Hootsuite already then it is about time that you did. The social media management site now has 7 million users in over 175 countries around the world. It is basically a website that allows users to integrate all their social media channels and control posts across them; particularly handy for businesses.

This week, we’ve found a great article on Mashable entitled ‘A beginner’s guide to Hootsuite’. If you don’t already have Hootsuite or a struggling with it then we suggest you check it out. To read the article click here.

2. How is shopping changing in the future?

The way that we do our shopping is changing rapidly. More people shop online now than they ever have before, especially the generation of 14-19 year olds. This week we came across a very interesting article in Marketing Week that explores how the face of shopping is changing and how brands can and need to keep up with it. To have a look at the article click here.

3. Wonderfully creative adverts from Science World Vancouver

The Science World Museum in Vancouver is notorious for its slightly controversial exhibits –Body Worlds and The Science of Sexuality exhibitions being just two examples that courted controversy. This risqué and alternative attitude extends into their marketing. They are now known across Vancouver for their innovative and attention grabbing campaigns. They have amassed a vast array of eye-catching and intelligent adverts that have been used around the city to raise awareness. We think they are brilliant, so thought we’d share some with you. To have a look at some of them and get inspired click here.

Guerilla Marketing for SMEs

The concept of Guerilla Marketing has captured our attention this month. It inspired us to create our ‘Gorilla Marketing’ concept and remains a strong influence on our marketing philosophy. We thought it would be interesting to explore the concept closer and outline how the ‘guerrilla’ ethos could be employed in your business’ marketing, whilst staying the right side of the law!
Guerilla Marketing – a definition

The term ‘Guerilla Marketing’ was coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in 1984 to define a form of marketing that took its inspiration from ‘Guerilla’ fighters in combat.

Mr. Levinson states that the ‘soul and essence of guerrilla marketing’ is in:

“Achieving conventional goals, such as profits and joy, with unconventional methods, such as investing energy instead of money.”

Inherent within the term are the obvious connotations of a ‘David versus Goliath scenario’, with the smaller, more agile entity, competing against it larger and wealthier competitor/s, utilising unconventional and less costly methods of marketing to engage with their target audience.

Equally relevant, is the relationship between the guerrilla marketer and the landscape in which they operate. ‘Guerilla’ fighters traditionally utilise their superior knowledge of the land to gain an advantage over their less knowledgeable counterparts. They live, breath and sleep the land and therefore have a deeper understanding of it and can use this to their benefit in combat.

Guerilla marketing – the implications for SMEs
Extending the analogy of guerrilla warfare into the sphere of marketing and business has great potential for SMEs.

Typically, SMEs have far fewer resources available to them than their larger corporate competitors. In the battle to engage with their target audience, SMEs can’t compete by pouring money into elaborate and expensive marketing campaigns. Instead they need to invoke the ethos of the guerrilla fighter and think differently, unconventionally and leverage their greatest assets, their size and closeness to the land, in this case the marketplace in which they operate.

SMEs often command a far greater understanding of their immediate marketplace. They can enjoy close relationships with all their clients. Management are never far from the customer and can listen to and interpret their needs and respond quickly to demand, without the need to navigate through the extended chain of command that exists within their larger competitors. Perhaps the SMEs greatest weakness, its size, can also become its greatest strength. Lower overheads, the ability to respond quickly to changing market conditions and the entrepreneurial spirit inherent within the SME can give the organisation an edge over the larger players in their marketplace.

Guerilla Marketing – how it works
Guerilla marketing involves investing energy and imagination, rather than money into your marketing. It is about capitalising on the landscape in which you operate to its maximum potential and employing human psychology to promote greater awareness of your business, products and services.

Guerilla Marketing was invented for SMEs and entrepreneurs. It is incredibly effective in local or regional markets.

The objective is to create a buzz about your product or service, to make it remarkable, unusual, noteworthy, standout and imaginative. The essence of guerrilla marketing is to get your target audience talking about you and generate word-of-mouth referrals from there.

As with most marketing, the smaller the group you target the more effective the marketing.

Whilst being unconventional is crucial, it is important you stay the right side of the law. Graffiti and street stunts are commonplace in the guerrilla sphere but could see you gain press for the wrong reasons, as you fall foul of the law.

Perhaps most importantly, a sense of humour is vital in Guerrilla Marketing.

It is easy to take oneself too seriously, so make sure you have some fun with it.

To give you some ideas, here’s a few examples we like.

Taxi sign – Guerilla marketing by mediafun

August’s Top Marketing Tips

  1. Think ‘Gorilla’! Basically do things differently. Whilst there is no substitute for the tried and tested traditional marketing methods, there is certainly room to support them in your marketing mix through less conventional methods. If you are feeling inspired to do things differently, make sure you use your imagination when thinking up attention grabbing campaigns. Most of the guerrilla marketing campaigns in our blog were very inexpensive. They just required a little bit of imagination and energy.
  2. Use online press releases. There are many site out there on the web, such as PR Log, that will let you upload your own press realises for free. These serve two purposes. One, it lets you communicate your news / story on the web and if it is interesting it might get picked up in other sources. Two, it can increase your web visibility and if you insert a link back to your website, it can drive traffic back to your website and potentially enhance your SEO credentials.
  3. More free data! Last month we directed you to a free source of 200 records of targets of your choice to expand your database. This month we’ve found another 100. The nice people at Market Scan are offering 100 free records of your choice to supplement your current database. Visit FREE DATA to register and claim your 100 free leads.

STOP Traffic This Autumn

We here at TLC Business have previously mentioned that ‘Gorilla Marketing’ remains a strong influence on our marketing philosophy. If used effectively, Gorilla Marketing can add a buzz to your brand and make a product or service worth talking about.
Last week, Oxford Circus was brought to a standstill, not only by the traffic but by the powers of the fashion industry.  Commuters and shoppers stood in amazement as they witnessed a Halle Berry lookalike abseil into Oxford Street dressed head to toe in high street fashion, providing onlookers with a ‘Vertical Catwalk’.

This unique stunt was to promote the beginning of the second week of High Street Fashion Week, featuring retailers such as French Connection and H&M. Last Year the event kicked off with a catwalk on a tube, this year they took to the skies, so what will next year bring?

This is an extreme case of Gorilla Marketing and due to health and safety restrictions we do not recommend dangling your product or colleague off a building to promote your brand; however we do believe that adding a fresh, creative aspect to your marketing can provide you with the results you desire.

Here are some great examples of how different organisations have used Gorilla Marketing to create a brilliant PR spin for their brand:

Puma created a breakout of fashion onto the streets making the sports world stylish with a successful Gorilla Marketing concept.

Mini in the Netherlands came up with a quirky way of promoting the Mini Cooper by littering the busy streets of Amsterdam with over sized ‘mini boxes’.

Unique online jewellery and fashion accessory company Boticca staged a flash mob in Portobello Market Notting Hill.

Like any marketing, Gorilla Marketing can go wrong. We believe that the preparation stage of any marketing concept is vital and when not researched and implemented properly, brilliant marketing campaigns can flop.

The major fashion brand DKNY produced what looked like a fantastic Gorilla Marketing campaign by placing neon bicycles around New York City in an effort to promote their brand, as well as the eco friendly way of transport.  The BMX bikes were covered in bright neon colours with the DKNY logo in contrasting black. The marketing concept did not receive the feedback you would have expected from a high profile brand; the bikes that weren’t removed by the police due to being illegally chained to trees were picked clean for spare parts and left by the side of roads as litter. Not a great message for a luxury brand.

If you are a retailer or a business that feels the need to inject a bit of creativity into your marketing, then get in touch. The TLC Business team can help you create a campaign that stands out from the crowd and gets your business noticed for all the right reasons. Take advantage of our 15% off any campaign offer in September and make your brand work for you.  Contact us on +44(0)1962 600 147 or email Anna at


Top Marketing Tips For November

  • Save the Words, a clever new Website from Oxford University Press. The makers of the Oxford English Dictionary have developed the site based on the simple idea that a word won’t die if it gets used often enough. Each year hundreds of words are dropped from the dictionary, make a change and adopt a word today.
  • Guerrilla Marketing on the Internet: The Definitive Guide from the Father of Guerrilla Marketing. Jay Conrad Levinson changed marketing forever when he unleashed his marketing tactics for surviving the advertising jungle on a budget. Learn how to use the internet Guerrilla style.
  • GroupTweet, is a website where you can create a community that privately shares tweets. Think of it as an ongoing Twitter conference call, a great way to keep in touch with people working on the same projects.