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The 10 Truths of 'Real' Guerrilla Marketers

by Alain Thys  |  
June 20, 2006

If you look up the definition, "Guerrilla Marketing, is an unconventional way of performing promotional activities on a very low budget." While this is accurate, I'm not buying.

The great guerrillas like Che or Mao had something more going for them than being "unconventional and cheap." Their battles became legend because they were thinking beyond the next quarter.

That's why here I'm going in search of that "something more." As usual, I'm not claiming wisdom, so if you find omissions or flaws in my mini Sun Tzu on the Art of Guerrilla Marketing, don't hesitate to hit me.

And if all this macho talk of warfare is getting a bit too masculine for your taste, just remember that Wang Cong'er (Mulan, only without the happy ending) was one of the fiercest guerrillas of them all.

Here we go...

1. Set out to change the world

In the spirit of Guy Kawasaki: Don't launch a business unless you're prepared to change the world. No one ever freed a nation with features and benefits. People will get excited about your initiatives only if you clearly articulate how your proposition will liberate your customers in a way none of your competitors can. That is the true cause and banner of your guerrilla campaign. And if you can't come up with it, don't bother with the rest of this list.

2. It's not about the battle, it's about the war

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Alain Thys started his career in apparel and venture capital; he was in charge of retail and marketing at Reebok EMEA, which he left to flirt with dot-com adventureland. Today, he is managing partner and Storyteller at FutureLab, a Brussels-based boutique specialized in marketing, strategy, and business model innovation. Alain is a regular speaker and is working on two books simultaneously.

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