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The Role of Psychology and Community in Guerrilla Marketing

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The Role of Psychology and Community in Guerrilla Marketing

The Role of Psychology in Marketing

Psychology in marketing is still a rather untapped landscape. Since I stepped into the ring and became a guerrilla author in writing Guerrilla Social Media Marketing with Jay Conrad Levinson I have come across all kinds of misunderstanding, misuse and abuse of the term guerrilla marketing. Today’s podcast was inspired by what I can describe as a well meaning (or possibly not) but off-base commenter on the Creative Guerrilla Marketing blog.

I decided instead of just replying in the comments section that I would take the time to respond in the form of a podcast. Why? It’s so vital to understand the role of psychology and community in Guerrilla Marketing.

I also think it’s important to establish that Guerrilla Marketing is well defined, and it’s body of wisdom and definition that is widely accepted and used by over 20 million readers of the Guerrilla Marketing Series of books. Some people will take pieces of the body of wisdom and use them to suit their outlook on marketing but the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. In addition to this just because you slap the term guerrilla on a book, blog post or marketing campaign it doesn’t make it guerrilla.

Here are the facts:

  1. The term “guerrilla marketing” was coined by Jay Conrad Levinson and popularized by his best selling book that was released in 1983. Guerrilla Marketing uses unconventional means to achieve conventional goals,  it relies on time, energy and imagination rather than a big marketing budget. (We added community on-top of time, energy and imagination for Guerrilla Social Media Marketing because of the vital role it plays in social media marketing).
  2. Since then over 20,000,000 (that’s twenty million) books have been sold and read in Jay Levinson’s Guerrilla Marketing series of books making it the #1 best selling series of marketing books in history. Jay’s definition is the original and most widely accepted definition and grows by 1million readers and fans per year.
  3. Guerrilla’s apply and use the 19 Guerrilla Marketing Secrets (Principles).

Instead of paraphrasing why true guerrillas must understand and depend on psychology, I have posted in Jay’s own (timeless) words the importance:

Guerrilla marketing does not rely on guesswork because wrong guesses are so darned expensive. Instead, it relies upon psychology as much as possible. Psychology used to be a body of theories. Today, many of those theories have been debunked while others have been transformed into laws, actual laws of human behavior. Guerrillas lean on these laws because they want certainty to be a hallmark of their marketing.

There are 15 things that all guerrillas know about psychology as marketing is slowly transforming from guesswork into science:

  1. Purchase decisisons are made in the unconscious mind. People may say the words consciously, but they process the data in their unconscious.
  2. We now know how to access the unconscious mind. The way to do it is with repetition. Put these two thoughts together — purchase decisions are made in the unconscious, and you can access the unconscious with repetition, and you begin to understand the entire process of marketing.
  3. People are either left-brained or right-brained. Left-brained people respond to sequential, logical reasons and love marketing that gives ten reasons to buy. Right-brained people respond to emotional, aesthetic appeals and love marketing that looks stunning and tugs at heartstrings. Guerrillas are sure to hit both left and right-brained people.
  4. Businesses that succeed are those that form two bonds with all customers: the human bond and the business bond. The stronger the human bond, the stronger the business bond. Connect up as two human beings before you connect up as buyer and seller.
  5. All marketing has two messages — the stated message and the metamessage. The stated message is what you say. The metamessage, often stronger than the stated message, is what your marketing looks like, feels like, where it appears, what size it is, and how professional it appears.
  6. If you’re interested in increasing your share of market, the way to do it is to first increase your share of mind. If you go only for the share of market, don’t expect much customer loyalty — or even many customers.
  7. There are two schools of marketing hard at work in America these days — Freudian marketing, which is based on Sigmund Freud’s work and aims for a change of attitude — and Skinnerian marketing, based on B.F. Skinner’s proof of the power of behavior modification. Which does a guerrilla choose? Both. Guerrillas constantly implant attitudes while peppering their prospects with special offers that require instant action.
  8. During a recession, the tactics that generate sales are: leaning on current customers, enlarging the size of each transaction, offering a guarantee, and showing that high prices are an assurance against making a purchase mistake — something nobody wants to do during a recession.
  9. Realize that people hate taking the hard step of buying something, so guerrillas use soft steps to make the hard step a little easier. Soft steps include things like free consultations, free seminars, brochures, videos, demonstrations, and free samples.
  10. Full color marketing materials increase retention by 57% and increase inclination to buy by 41%. And the cost of full-color drops dramatically if you tell the printer you have the patience to wait for a gang run.
  11. Use as much non-verbal communication as you can. There are only about 250,000 commonly-used words in the English language, but there are 600,000 non-verbal gestures. They are more potent than the spoken words.
  12. You can gain guerrilla marketing power if you blend customer insight with product insight. The more your insight, the better your marketing.
  13. The way guerrillas view their marketing is as an opportunity to help their customers succeed. If you do the same, your profits will show it.
  14. A key to successful marketing is making each of your customers feel a special way. The way they should feel is unique. Not easy, but necessary.
  15. It is essential that you constantly feel a sense of dissatisfaction with your marketing and try to improve it without changing your identity. This personality trait will fare you well in the marketing wars.

So I have a challenge when someone (for their own self-interest) tries to redefine Guerrilla Marketing. Add to it? Great! Innovate? Great! But don’t negate, shrink, or dilute it. Back off. It is a timeless body of wisdom that has grown to be mainstream but it is more relevant than today than it was 20 years ago. It works, it’s simple, and it’s time tested.

Guerrilla Marketing is a body of wisdom and movement. It’s bigger and more important than campaigns, tricks, or tactics. To learn more about the book that started the movement (and continues to grow daily and globally). You can visit http://gmarketing.com.

Have a listen to the podcast and tell me what you think!

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