Thursday, 16 August, 2007

A few days ago I mentioned how I had been trying out a little bit of guerrilla marketing, as mentioned at ProBlogger.

As Darren says, guerrilla marketing “campaigns” may not result in great floods of traffic, but it can be fun having a bit of a dabble nonetheless.

For my part mounting such a “campaign” required very little “real” work, just a redeployment of some existing resources, and taking advantage of my close proximity to UNSW, one of Australia’s largest universities.

Here’s what I did.

First up I created some A4 flyers. The “hardest” part was preparing the flyer to print specifications… that is using CMYK colours (instead of RGB), and a resolution of 300 dpi instead of 72 dpi, the usual web resolution.

This meant I had to draw a new heart shape from scratch, since nothing else I had would scale properly. While the bigger version turned out just a slight tad wonky, I was otherwise very happy with the flyer. A4 flyer

As you can see the flyers have convenient “tear off” tabs, so the thousands of interested flyer viewers can look up as soon as they reach a computer.

Ze next step was to arrange some business cards. I needed these anyway, but realised they could also play a part in my guerrilla marketing.

Places such as Whirlwind Print here in Sydney, allow you to design your own cards and then send them the design as a “pre press” file in PDF format, all for a relatively modest outlay. business cards

The shrewd (ha, if I say so myself) design of these cards allows me to cut off my contact details while leaving the logo and truncated URL intact, which then forms a handy calling card. calling cards

If you happen to live near UNSW you may have already noticed some of these babies around the place… calling card seen in a lift

As well as of course the flyer, which I placed on a couple of boards around the campus. When I checked back a day later, a number of the “tear tabs” had been torn off, so there had been some interest. flyer on noticeboard at UNSW

While it is difficult to gauge exactly what sort of response, in terms of traffic, this campaign had (I was checking my web stats for visitors from Sydney and/or UNSW servers arriving via “no referring link”), it was by no means overwhelming.

Still it was relatively simple to pull off, didn’t require huge resources of time or money, got me out of the house and away from the blog for awhile, plus gave me the chance to get back to UNSW and check out the campus again.

For some edgier examples of guerrilla marketing check out Web Urbanist, and if you’ve tried out any guerrilla, or off-line, marketing yourself please leave a comment and tell me what you did, and how it went.

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  • Nice business card design! Really digging the look of disassociated in its current manifestation too.

    ben at 8:53 pm on Friday, 17 August, 2007
  • Thank you ben! Perhaps you could get some bucket fountain cards made up… using a photo of one the fountain’s buckets as the “masthead” image maybe?!

    John at 10:44 pm on Friday, 17 August, 2007
  • Thanks for the heads up re the CMYK link… it should have pointed to wikipedia like the RGB link. Don’t know what I did there. Thanks also for the compliment re the cards :)

    John at 10:04 pm on Saturday, 18 August, 2007
  • I really love the design of the cards John, they look very clean and professional.

    Just a side-note, the link to the CMYK in your post leads to a dead end!

    Luke at 9:49 pm on Saturday, 18 August, 2007
  • Wow nice idea mate! And really nice designs. Who did this for you? Good luck with your business anyway.

    Bidding Directory at 7:24 pm on Sunday, 19 August, 2007
  • If nothing else I think the ‘getting out of the house’ makes this kind of thing worthwhile – maybe gets you thinking differently about who is or could be reading. Great simple idea John.

    Derami at 8:35 am on Tuesday, 21 August, 2007
  • @BD – thanks – they’re my design.

    @Kurt – Cheers! A simple and fun idea.

    @Andrew – I can see visitors by physical (or server) locations with my current stats app, seeing who arrived via a tear tab is a little more difficult though unless someone actually tells me :)

    @David – so it looks like it works then ;)

    John at 11:00 am on Wednesday, 22 August, 2007
  • Throw some Analytics (Google Analytics, Omniture, etc.) on your site and you can see who’s visiting, when, from where, and so on….a good way to gauge how successful your campaign is.

    Andrew at 10:16 am on Wednesday, 22 August, 2007
  • well, you just got digged. so congratulations on your guerilla marketing work!!

    David at 10:38 am on Wednesday, 22 August, 2007
  • Idea: You should rip off one or two of your own “tear-offs” just so people get the impression that it’s already gaining traction.

    Dabe at 3:27 pm on Wednesday, 22 August, 2007
  • Hitting the university was a good idea. Did a similar thing in 1998 to promote our student film, but branched out to the town as well. Actually got stopped by the police for fly posting too, which is (apparently) illegal.

    Who knew? Still, it worked. Had nearly a full house for the screening.

    Darren Jamieson at 6:55 pm on Wednesday, 22 August, 2007
  • I went to UNSW for a semester in the late 80’s. :)
    (I’m from the US)
    Here’s an idea (would obviously require trust) to build on yours. Bloggers could swap services for each other putting up these flyers for each other in their respective parts of the world.

    AgentSully at 12:23 pm on Thursday, 23 August, 2007
  • @Dabe – I could try that next time. I wanted to leave them intact to see exactly what interest there was. Better go for another wander over there actually and see how they’re faring, and if they’re still up!

    @Darren – Yeah, “fly posting” (on lamp posts and the like) is illegal here also (but you have to be caught in the act thereof to be charged here). I’m mainly using public noticeboards up at the uni, which judging by the other material on them, appear to be “free for all” to use. Good to hear your idea was a success :)

    @AgentSully – you ought to check the snaps I have on my Flickr page of UNSW. I was thinking of placing a zipped version of the flyer online so people could put it up somewhere and then post a photo on their blog, or email it. Some sort of exchange could work… a few details would have to sorted out in advance though.

    John at 3:34 pm on Thursday, 23 August, 2007
  • […] Surpringly (to me at least) a fairly entertaining picture collection of tree porn was buried shortly after becoming popular. A nice abandonment photo set on a newer blog did quite well – probably in part because the pictures were original and the story personal. Some Diggers didn’t read the headline on this article, and were disappointed – but it delivered exactly what the headline said: a brilliantly simple and cheap guerilla marketing strategy. […]

  • i love your design style!

    Tyler at 7:11 am on Saturday, 25 August, 2007
  • […] of some super useful articles that can help you today in the following areas: 1. Marketing: Guerrilla Marketing by John Lampard of Describes with words and pictures an offline marketing idea […]

  • I’m doing my masters at UNSW and I saw some of these! I didn’t find the website that way though but great idea :-)

    Stoat at 7:23 pm on Sunday, 26 August, 2007
  • @Tyler – thanks :)

    @Stoat – would that have been in the Social Sciences building foyer? Most the other flyers have disappeared… Great to hear from someone at UNSW who has seen them though :)

    John at 1:27 am on Monday, 27 August, 2007
  • I haven’t done this, but i have seen flayers in the bathrooms on my college. And anytime I pie it’s in my face ;)

    Ta4ka at 2:22 am on Monday, 27 August, 2007
  • very nice. Few of my mates have used this technique before, main thing to remember is the website address :)

    First time I’ve seen the tear off tabs used in that way, damn good idea.

    Keep up the hard work

    Steve at 11:14 pm on Wednesday, 29 August, 2007
  • Cheers Steve, a few people have been mentioning those tear tabs :)

    John at 1:08 pm on Thursday, 30 August, 2007
  • […] read more | digg story […]

  • To be honest, I am not surprised your traffic didn’t go up. It is a great design but if I saw this, I would ignore it. I have no idea what disassociated is or means (in this context) so why would I bother? If the URL was something like or had a short description like ‘ place for hip clothing trends’ then I might be more inclined to go to your URL.

    Bill Smith at 5:53 am on Friday, 30 November, 2007
  • Hey Bill. It was hard to gauge what traffic, if any, the flyers actually generated. I received a couple of comments and emails from people saying they’d seen the them, and we know only 1 or 2 per cent of a blog’s readers leave comments or send in emails.

    I was very interested to see what results a very basic flyer, utilising really only an oversize version of my logo would generate, hence no explanation as to what anyone would see should they visit the URL.

    Unfortunately I never got around to a second, more thorough, flyer drop. On the flip side this story did make the front page of Digg, so ironically quite a few people did end up visiting disassociated in the end.

    John at 9:11 pm on Friday, 30 November, 2007
  • Great example, I’m sure the hate group over at (Citizens Against Ugly Street Spam) would have a stroke if they saw that in en elevator. Personally, I love the idea .. if everyone did this, could = some great PR.

    Guerrilla Marketing at 6:46 am on Tuesday, 3 June, 2008
  • I don’t really have enough logos to go leaving them in elevators too often (the photo above is more of an example of how the idea might work), I more use the logo from the biz card to leave at parties and networking gigs… very bad I know, but this is meant to be less than conventional off-line promotion :)

    John Lampard at 12:32 pm on Wednesday, 4 June, 2008
  • hi….i found out your blog when I used the Digg….
    To be frank, the idea is great but it has one problem….


    By puting your logo + advert on the white paper, in my opinion make your advert looks like normal advert – nothing special about…sorry to say….

    You must make it base on human perception….

    In my opinion you should try to print it out on a transparent A4 plastic ot the best is make stickers.

    ONE more thing, when you u put up our ad on the notice board, the other ads remains + the unattractive board discredit your adz.

    For me, the key of succesful guerila marketing is how you exploits other strentgh to give u extra advantage such put our ad besides the attracrtive + expensive ad for example or at any nice looking/contrast + clean board.

    Hope u will benefit with this little advice.

    p/s : I am planning to make business card and stickers of my blog – Place Where Hands Start to Give Help on my own – cheaper as compared if we order it. Can give for free at any event + i think very effective

    You should try it….

    H E L M I A S Y R A F at 7:32 pm on Wednesday, 20 August, 2008
  • Actually the idea was to spend as little money as possible. :)

    John Lampard at 7:59 pm on Wednesday, 20 August, 2008
  • least you should put it @ better notice board

    your nice logo deserve it…if not the board will discredit your entire ad.

    y dont u cut your ad into business card size and make fro the xtra paper as the case or maybe something u can put the cutting by pasing it at the notice board….

    I think it is ok….

    H E L M I A S Y R A F at 2:48 am on Thursday, 21 August, 2008
  • All the notice boards at the uni are like that (it’s a disgrace I know), but I was going for exposure. This story made the front page of Digg (as I mentioned earlier in the comments) so all up, and considering it ended up being a one-off campaign, I was quite happy with the publicity that was generated.

    John Lampard at 9:52 am on Thursday, 21 August, 2008
  • i was just googling unsw noticeboards and was directed to your page. I am assuming the discussion is now dead. I am new to this whole marketing thing and i am fully committed to be extremely good at it. I was just off posting up teartabs at unsw this arvo… not sure where the boards are though so went around in circles hoping to run into some! John would you have any good marketing books to recommend? Or things to do to sharpen my marketing knowhow?been following some tips from brian tracy!
    Cheers mate!

    charles at 6:09 pm on Tuesday, 18 November, 2008
  • Hi Charles, thanks for your comment. It was well over a year ago when I posted up my flyers, so I’d say they would be long gone by now. I did mean to try it again but never got around it.

    I couldn’t really tell you a how lot about marketing though. The flyer idea was inspired by a post on offline guerrilla marketing ideas at ProBlogger (which is a good place to look for blog marketing tips btw).

    Offline “guerrilla marketing” in itself won’t bring a whole heap of traffic though, it’s more a way to have a bit of fun (and get away from the computer for awhile) than anything else.

    Anyway good luck with your ventures. :)

    John Lampard at 3:18 pm on Saturday, 22 November, 2008