Bulldog Vlog Episode # 6 Experiential v. Gue

Bulldog Mobile Billboards founder / president Rod Collins discusses differences between operating a campaign from an Experiential Marketing v. a Guerrilla Marketing strategy.
Bulldog Mobile Billboards
Bulldog Mobile Billboards
DALLAS - July 22, 2015 - PRLog -- Good afternoon and welcome to the Bulldog Vlog Episode Number 6. Happy Father's Day, everybody. That's the late great Bakon the bulldog and I'm Rod Collins and I'm bringing you the Bulldog Vlog from Bulldog Mobile Billboards.

         So today I'm going to talk about something that's often discussed and that's guerrilla marketing versus experiential marketing. I'm going to talk about some of the differences, got some pros and cons written for each and I'll start with the pros and cons of guerrilla marketing. Guerrilla marketing can be inexpensive, it's easy to plan, you're able to react to the environment quickly.  I'll talk about all this in a minute. Some of the cons of guerrilla marketing are there's a chance of wasting time and money as plans can go wrong. And if you put all your eggs in one basket, that can be a no bueno for guerrilla marketing.

         Now, with experiential marketing, you're able to plan out a slick, impactful production. You can have professional marketing teams do strategy, branding, permitting, logistics, social media and PR.    You can invite bloggers to the activation, planning everything together. You can really plan soup to nuts for an experiential campaign because you know you're going to be in one place for the entire day or one place for the entire day for an entire tour. You can plan each city’s campaign in a tour around the entire country if you like. Some of the cons of experiential are it takes time, money and effort to pull off these kinds of plans. It can quickly become expensive and even though you're planning all the logistics, you still might have to react to your environment.

         The kinds of things that can go wrong with the guerrilla marketing program is you might be asked to move on down the road. You don't have permission to be in that particular location, if you don't have permission to be on the campus or on the property say of an NFL game, you're going to be asked to move. Raise your hand, bulldog guys. How many people watching this vlog have been asked to move in a guerrilla program? Well, if you have an experiential program, the primary difference is you have permission. You probably purchased your permission in the form of a permit or in the form of a sponsorship.

         Now, there's still some challenges when you have a permit. You might have a permit to be on a particular block on a New York City street where the city has given you the signs the night before to post that say no parking the following day. You show up to find there's a vehicle parked in your spot. There's a resolution to this. The resolution is you have the police help you move those vehicles and you can literally have them towed  at their expense if they aren't there to move those vehicles because you paid handsomely to be in that particular spot of New York City streets.

         For example, right now we're in advertising display cube, this is about a 20-foot long vehicle. If you were to buy a permit from the city of New York, it would probably be between four and five thousand dollars for the day to have a block of street and be able to put this vehicle down and have an activation for an entire day. If you were to be at say, a Cowboys game doing some sort of sampling with let's say a food truck, a sponsored food truck and you were doing a sampling either for a restaurant or for some other company, and you have brand ambassadors running around giving items and having the whole experiential marketing program, you would probably spend five to ten thousand dollars for that sort of a sponsorship. But you're able to spend the entire day there. So when you offload all your supplies and you're asked by the police to move your vehicle because you don't have permission to be there because it's a guerrilla program, well you have to spend the time to load your supplies back into the vehicle. Those five or ten or fifteen brand ambassadors that are doing the job for you, getting the word out about that brand, they're not very effective when they're spending time packing and unpacking. Then you have to go find another place to be.

         So it's essentially a budget question. With the appropriate budget, you're able to then set up a home base for the entire day and it makes it easier to execute your plan. I'm not saying experiential is always better than guerrilla. You may be able to double or triple the number of days of a campaign you can do with guerrilla. A third of our business at Bulldog Mobile Billboards and the Texas Mobile Advertising includes the use of billboard trucks. That's pretty much always guerrilla. We're asked to strategically drive and park by the brand that has hired us. As long as we're on public roads, we drive for eight hours a day, and for the most part, it's the guerrilla format. We are asked when we park in the wrong location to move. I am always one of the first folks to tell clients we should not park, say we're selling furniture, let's not park in our competitor's parking lot. It's the wrong thing to do and we're not going to last long. The folks that you're competing against are not going to appreciate that your billboard truck is parked in their parking lot. That's an example of guerrilla marketing that I wouldn't like to do. We'll do a drive by, we're going to hop out and take a picture, but we're not going to park in their parking lot for the day with the billboard truck.

         I'm not taking the position that experiential is always better than guerrilla, we do a lot of guerrilla marketing but there are significant differences. You need to prepare to plan with respect to budgeting and with respect to the timing of the event. You have to react to your environment. Again, the primary difference is permitting and sponsorship, both are almost always purchased and it's required in order to be able to stay in one place on someone else's property for the day.

         Please remember, you have a choice in your media mix. You get to choose to add and include guerrilla marketing, experiential marketing, and out of home advertising. Thanks and we'll see you on down the road.

Contact Rod Collins at Rod@BulldogBillboards.com, call the New York office (212) 726.2355 or Dallas office (214)724-2729.

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