Everyone’s heard the adage that says you must spend money to make money. This quote by Plautus is so often repeated, you might assume it was written in stone rather than on papyrus the guiding tenet of Western venture capitalists, rather than the musings of a Roman poet, playwright and philosopher over two-thousand years ago.

Marketing campaigns don’t require substantial spending to be successful. To the contrary; your marketing efforts just need to be innovative and unconventional blurring the line between reality and theater, leveraging free media and maximizing your company’s exposure. Spark your marketing imagination with these free guerrilla marketing ideas and shake your money tree!

1. Window Paintingwindow art (1)

Do you have an artistic side? Capture the imagination of pedestrian storefront traffic with window painting. You have a wide variety of paints and applicators to choose from in creating your window artwork. Paint your current promotions, your logo, customer reviews, unrelated window artwork or anything else to grab your audience’s attention.


2. Window Displays

Window displays are common channels for guerrilla marketing, and why not? You want customers to look into your windows, see something that captures their attention and walk into your store. Creative window displays certainly accomplish this goal by using your own products.

3. Sandwich Board Fun

Do you use a sandwich board sign outside your store? Use humor to drive in business!

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  • “Food And Fun Inside Bleak Reality Outside” with arrows pointing opposite directions
  • “Zombie Safe Haven”
  • “To Arr Is Pirate, To Drink Rum Is Divine”

Ask your customers to contribute their ideas for sidewalk ads and punch lines.

4. Retro Headlines and Quotes

If you run a themed business of some type, such as vintage clothing, vintage furniture, a book store or coffee shop, for example, you could use your digital signage or posters to display retro newspaper headlines and famous quotes. Choose fitting word and phrases to match your store’s image, from humorous to nostalgic or even morbid if it fits your style.

  • “The First Footstep” [i.e. on the moon] ?the Evening Standard, for your baby clothing store.
  • “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take” Wayne Gretzky, for your sporting goods store, camera store or pub.
  • “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference” Robert Frost, for anything.

5. Make Coupon Gift Boxes

If you want your business’s coupons to drive in customers, get a little creative. Use decorative paper and a box template to make small gift boxes made of your coupons and promotions. You may choose to place a small gift inside the box, in addition to the coupon which is the box. So, think inside and outside your promotional box!

6. Fun Contests

Think of creative contests your customers would be interested in. This could be witty words for your sandwich board sign, creative gift box ideas, selfie contest and more. Don’t forget social media! Facebook contests are very popular.

  • “Caption This!”
  • “Comment” on our Page for a chance to win ________
  • “Like” our Page for a chance to win ________
  • “Fan of the Week”

7. Flash Mob

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We’ve all seen them, at least online. Flash mobs are among the most innovative, creative and attention-grabbing forms of guerrilla marketing today.

You may be thinking that hiring a flash mob isn’t cheap and far from free. Utilize the talents and skills of your employees and that of their willing relatives and friends to plan and execute your own flash mob. Post it on your Facebook and YouTube channels!