Alexander Levitas: “Guerrilla marketing works with any budget, even a zero”

In Kiev will present new marketing solutions for small and medium businesses.

Start marketing in the absence of Finance, progress in the conditions of crisis, simple and effective tools available without special training. A leading expert on guerrilla marketing, business coach Alexander Levitas, who has more than 20 years of experience in researching and developing new marketing solutions for small and medium-sized businesses, ready to share their recipes for success with participants of the CRM Conference. The conference will be held in Kiev on 3 June and will bring together the best international and Ukrainian experts in marketing, sales and service, to teach Ukrainian entrepreneurs to build long-term relationships with customers.

Your specializes in guerrilla marketing. What lies behind this name and why this topic is relevant for the participants?

Alexander Levitas: In marketing there is a mainstream direction, what I call marketing “Kotler”. He taught in the universities and MBA schools. However, the problem is that this direction is focused on big business. But 99 % of companies in the world is SMB, small and medium businesses. And for them, such marketing is not something that useless, and even harmful. To Philip Kotler I treat with great respect, personally acquainted with him, learned from him – he is really great man. And that’s why all his clients are companies of the scale of Samsung, Microsoft, Aeroflot, for them he writes. What do you do for a company that can not invest, as recommended by Kotler, 30-40 thousand Euro in market research or spend 3-5 years developing a new product? In small business you can’t invest and can’t wait that long – “die of hunger” before the end of the first half. Each one thousand dollars on account here. And Kotler, you can invest hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars in promotion, even assuming that the money will be lost if the advertising will be ineffective.

The answer lies in the guerrilla marketing?

A. L.: In 1984, one of my teachers, an American marketing guru Jay Levinson for the first time formulated the idea of a new direction, low budget marketing, which is based primarily on small businesses. Marketing for business that have no employees with specialized education, no possibility to wait the two years until the investment will justify itself.

Jay first described its principles in his book “Guerilla Marketing - “Guerrilla marketing”. It was carried out the analogy between marketing and warfare where marketing “by Kotler” was compared with total war, in the “nation against nation, army against army”, and marketing a new type associated with partisan action, when a small squad without heavy weapons, leading the battle against the regular army.

Respectively, and the logic of guerrilla warfare is different. You can’t take a number, to suppress the enemy through massive bombing, to surpass it in firepower. Due to limited resources, we have to act differently.

What makes small and medium businesses to choose guerrilla marketing, and not other concepts?

A. L.: the Three principles of guerrilla marketing that make it effective for small and medium businesses.

First – work on any budget, including zero. Tools like the rewriting of the labels, change the layout of the goods, title and flow text descriptions alone can boost sales by tens of percent. For any budget you can pick up a few dozen decisions to increase sales, and sometimes more. Only in my books “Express-marketing” and “More money from Your business” I discover more than 300 instruments, of which about 200 are free.

Second, these instruments, unlike the classic, can be used without professional education and expertise in the field of marketing. Guerrilla marketing is designed for people who have the education can be doctors, accountants, and may in General education do not have.

And, finally, the third principle of rapid implementation. Most of the tools of guerrilla marketing suggest that you can’t wait for years. Small business is all about profits in the short term. If the owner invests now, it expects to see a profit this year.

Not so long ago I published the book “Express-marketing” includes around 120 proven ways to increase sales, which “shoot” for a short time, from several hours to several weeks. All in all, guerrilla marketing is more than a thousand tools, but even the slowest of them assume that you can go through the entire cycle of planning, implementation, execution and profit for one calendar year.



Is there any difference between offline and online tools in guerrilla marketing?

A. L.: online work the same principles. A shelf of goods has become a virtual, but in fact nothing has changed. Assortment policy, pricing, increasing the amount of the check, the justification for purchase, cross-navigation, “cardboard sellers” – this will work in an ordinary shop, and electronic.

Here is an example of research which in its time caused a lot of buzz among marketers. In the circulation of several thousand catalogs of some products slightly fluctuated, the price tag. Thus wanted to know whether a small change in the cost to affect the sale. When the goods at the price of $ 39. sold by better than 40, it is predictable. But the study also showed that the goods at the price of $ 39. sold better than 34. Surprisingly, the price of 13% higher sales and better.

Such principles will work regardless of whether we are talking about the catalogue or on the window of the shop. So most of the guerrilla marketing tools relevant for both the offline and online environment.

If you described all the tools are equally applicable in practice?

A. L.: In contrast to beautiful theories, which is full of contemporary books on marketing – all of these “blue oceans”, “purple cow”, “funky business”, etc. – guerrilla marketing is built entirely on practical experience, best practices, solutions tested and implemented many times and proven to be effective. So there is no point to debate about their applicability. Of course, not all of these techniques are universal. But any business – online and offline, small and big, simple and complicated, maybe in the guerrilla marketing to build their own individual “box of tools” that will be great for him to work and make a profit.

What you need to do so that clients will always stay with you?

A. L.: for them to Be the best choice to do so, to stay with your company has always been cheaper, more comfortable, more interesting, safer. There are a couple of ways. For example, you can outperform the competition on key customers for setting, for example, price, speed or competence. Another way is to build the business in a way to switch to a competitor it was difficult, expensive. This is called “locking” customer lock‑in. Imagine a company where all business processes are tied to a base solution provider. And here is an offer from a competitor. A new product can be cheaper and faster and more reliable, but the current system is so “rooted” in the organization that the transition will cost her too much. In General, there are many strategies for customer retention. The main thing is to choose those that fit your business and that is very important to use them together. You cannot rely on just the tool of customer loyalty.

With the help of some channels to better inform the program of loyalty of today’s customer?

A. L.: Development of the loyalty program, the introduction of discount cards and other moves must not become an end in itself. The main thing for us is to understand what he wants and is waiting for the client, and how to give it to him. When these steps are done, to convey information to the client is not necessary, because he sees the result of any kind of communication.

For example, you and your competitors sell the same product, but you have the best technical support and a strong educational program. As a result, the client sees that his questions on the phone immediately respond, and clearly and competently, and for the first time to include training videos or come to a master class, he gets useful skills that can immediately apply. When the company has such a service, it is necessary to tell, always and everywhere: on business cards, on website, blog, social networks, on any paper promotional products, t-shirts employees, answering machine.

But the algorithm is as follows – first, changes in the business that make it more attractive to the customer, and then the mention of this through all available channels. Decisive in this matter is the customer experience. When a customer contacts the company, he must see that everything you promised is true. And even better if you can exceed expectations.

What are the main secrets are you ready to open listeners CRM Conference?

A. L.: Now the post-Soviet space is in crisis. The complexity of the situation is that most local marketers really do not know how to work in a falling market. Solving the problem, they usually try to follow the path of least resistance – for example, to inflate the volume of advertising to attract more customers. At the same time for Western and American marketing, survived the Great depression, the recession in the years of the Second world war, the oil embargo of the 70s, the collapse of the dot-com in 2000 years, falling market - the same familiar environment as the market is growing. We need to learn to behave differently, so at the conference I will bring their own experience of marketing in a falling market. Will offer to evaluate, which generally happens in the economy has changed the behavior of buyers, what are the strategies in their behavior lead to a decline in sales and how to counter each of them. In his master class at the CRM Conference I will give students a clear road map for advancement in the modern world.


June 3, Igor Mann, Alexandr Levitas, Yalcin Onur, Dmitry Rozenfeld, Vitaliy Tkachenko Yaroslav Trofimov will speak at CRM Conference about how to build long-term relationships with customers. The conference includes 3 sections, which United all aspects of the relationship:

effective marketing: how to attract customer’s attention,

successful sales: how to convince to buy from you

customer service: how to establish a fruitful cooperation.

To participate you must register and pay for a ticket to the event.