Guerrilla Marketing, The Battle OUTSIDE the Box

Recently I had the opportunity to participate in the Hunt for the Cure paintball game to benefit the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. It was my first time in a large-scale, 8-hour paintball game and we all had a great time.
As I thought about the game I realized it illustrated a marketing lesson I could share with fellow auctioneers and marketers. During the game, the 300 players were split into two teams. Each team was given missions to accomplish throughout the day to earn points and win the battle. As I went into the event I had no idea how much organization and planning had taken place so that we could all play this high-energy game. Once our team was assembled, our general started to give commands and send us out into the field. We had small teams who were sent to retrieve items and larger teams sent to secure outposts. If you are shot during the game you had to run back to the home base and tag to get back in the game. Sometimes when trying to accomplish an objective you are met with an overwhelming force and as a group of people come back to base, the general had to rethink priorities or reassign assets. Sometimes we were sent out to bother the other team and keep them from accomplishing their objectives. It was a small taste of guerrilla warfare. The experience got me thinking about guerrilla marketing.
In his book, Guerrilla Marketing, author Jay Conrad Levinson first coined the term ‘guerrilla marketing.’ The basic approach is to have a high impact, low cost unconventional marketing solution. In my opinion, the auction industry is ideal for this type of marketing. We already use an unconventional, extremely successful sales method. The next step is to look at our marketing and see if there is a way we can think outside the box. We all probably have the equivalent of a boring household auction from time to time, but that is not where we should apply off the wall marketing. However, when you come upon an interesting collection, high-end home, or even simple business liquidation, aggressive marketing may be your answer. The keys to an effective guerrilla campaign are often as simple as time, energy, and imagination instead of a large marketing budget.
A common example of this type of marketing is when a video goes “viral” on YouTube. A viral video is best described like a disease that spreads throughout the internet. It doesn’t cost the producer any money, but soon millions of people have viewed your content and many people have become famous for this. One example is a young boy who acts out the Herb Brooks speech from the movie, “Miracle.” He is now making appearances throughout the country giving that same speech at many sporting events and speaking engagements.