AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerEveryday Guerrilla Marketing

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Everyday Guerrilla Marketing

The phrase guerrilla marketing was first coined in 1984 in Jay Levinson’s book, “Guerrilla Marketing.” Today, more than 30 years later, guerrilla marketing is still viable and effective at reaching people in unconventional ways. 20180409_153103The guerrilla marketer makes strong, lasting impressions utilizing surprise, stealth, grassroots, astro-turfing and other creative techniques to reach a small audience in a big way. The main idea is to be memorable.

Lately, I have seen many attempts to be surprising by advertisers from urinal mat advertising to ads on fruits and vegetables. Companies now can attach messages to concrete sidewalks or use chalk artists to make a message that is eco-friendly and washes off in the rain. Recently I saw an effective way of surprising people by the company Pure Storage. They wrapped escalator handles. We all have to grab the handles as we ride, but just the tactile difference on the handrail made you look at the message and read it.

In this example, I wish the marketer had crafted the message around the idea of going up or down, or connected more with the escalator environment in some way. But as I rode this escalator, you would see people discover the message and then read the message.

The only downside is the lack of statistics or metrics. Even so, the clutter-busting ideas can be so memorable to the target audience. Just remember, it does take some faith to execute on these kinds of ideas.



Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.